June 04, 2013

Marketing Research Chart: 84% of marketers consider blogs at least somewhat effective for inbound marketing

SUMMARY: Social media is an integral element of search engine optimization and inbound marketing. To discover which platforms your peers find most effective, along with points to consider with your team as you optimize your own social media efforts, read this edition of the MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week.

Share your own advice and experience in the MarketingSherpa LinkedIn Group discussion about this chart for a chance to be featured in a future blog post.
by Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content

Search engine optimization (SEO) is difficult for many reasons. For one, it is dominated by an opaque set of rules set by a dominant industry player.

But another factor that makes SEO difficult is that it is not just one thing.

SEO cannot be conducted in a vacuum. It is the essence of integrated marketing communications. It is both a subset of inbound marketing and a superset of not just technical specifications on a website, but also elements like content creation and social media marketing.

So, in the 2013 MarketingSherpa SEO Marketing Benchmark Survey, we asked marketers to…

Q: Please indicate the LEVEL OF EFFECTIVENESS (in terms of achieving objectives) of using social media platforms in your inbound marketing efforts.

View Chart Online

Click here to see a printable version of this chart

As you can see, marketers told us that blogs are most effective, with 84% of marketers rating blogs as either somewhat or very effective.

After that, the effectiveness largely mirrors the size of the social platforms mentioned, with the notable exception of Facebook being a little farther down the list, even though it has more than one billion users.

You've seen the data, now put it to use. Too often in marketing, we move rapidly to execute on plans or utilize platforms (especially in social media) without thinking through the most effective ways to use those platforms, or if we should utilize them at all.

So, feel free to use MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week as a regular touchpoint with your team to consider industry data while asking how it can help you shape your own initiatives to make them more effective. To that end, we've developed these points for your team to consider.

Points to consider

Which social media platforms have had the biggest impact on your SEO efforts? On your inbound marketing in general? On conversions? How do you track conversions from social media platforms?

Do you employ multi-touch attribution, giving social media partial credit for a conversion? Or do you favor last-touch attribution, where social media only gets credit if it is the final point of conversion?

And what types of conversion have you seen from social media? Are you only converting current customers, or are you attracting net new customers as well?

What are your current social media challenges? Are you able to post consistently? Do you deploy your posts on a set schedule? Have you created an editorial calendar? If so, have you been able to meet those deadlines?

How do you determine what content to write? What videos to produce? Do you have guidelines for messaging to different audiences?

How responsive are you to follower comments and other social media (like customer or industry blog posts)? Are you actively listening to conversations on social media networks that occur on your branded accounts? Do you listen for only mentions of your brand, or for industry keywords in general?

What recurring obstacles do you encounter?

Share your experiences with the MarketingSherpa community

Use the above questions internally with your own team to help improve your social media efforts, and also share your actionable advice and inspirational stories on the MarketingSherpa LinkedIn Group discussion about this chart for a chance to be featured in a future blog post.

Useful links related to this research

Inbound Marketing: 5 tactics for developing an optimized architecture

Inbound Marketing: Content is everything in search and social

Inbound Marketing: How to pull in customers without pushing ads

Personal Branding: 3 tips for personal SEO

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