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Only 5% of UK corporations use blogs on a regular basis, according to the WebTrends-commissioned "Marketing in the Dark" report, conducted by Loudhouse Research in January 2007.
WebTrends contrasted this finding with the 85% of marketers who thought an effective Web presence was important in achieving sales and marketing objectives.
"Blogging is much more than a 'nice to have' in business today," said Nick Sharp, vice president and general manager of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at WebTrends, in a statement. "Corporate blogs can be very effective communication tools within or on behalf of a corporate community."
But business blogging is different from other parts of a firm's Web presence, and companies may have good reason to think twice before pouring out their corporate souls online.
For one, although WebTrends seemed bullish on the idea of business blogging, less than three in 10 UK marketers surveyed were satisfied with blogging's results. More than one-quarter were dissatisfied, and the remaining respondents were neutral. Many companies aren't blogging because they are not convinced it works.
There are plenty of business-blog skeptics in the US as well, according to studies by Socialtext and eMarketer. Less than 6% of the Fortune 500 and 2% of the Forbes 200 Best Small Companies blogged in April and June 2006, respectively.
Businesses do not have to publish their own blogs to make the medium work for them. Many companies that do not blog still monitor the blogosphere to keep tabs on their reputation.
Companies can also work with existing bloggers to get press for their products or services. Providing content to blogs requires the same respect for tone and forthrightness as would be needed if the company were blogging itself.
Learn more about who reads blogs. Please read eMarketer's User-Generated Content: Will Web 2.0 Pay Its Way? report.
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