Blogs drive business opportunities: UK survey

A new survey on business blogging conducted in August by research firm Loudhouse – the results of which were presented at an event in London yesterday in which I participated – shows that blogs are rapidly becoming a credible tool for UK companies in generating business opportunities.

The research questioned managers with direct sales and/or purchasing responsibility at 300 companies with over 250 employees to discover how they and their companies use blogs to interact with existing and potential customers, and how they engage with the blogosphere to inform their own business decision making.

The survey report clearly shows positive thinking in the UK about the value business blogs may present.

Key findings:

Is blogging popular in the workplace?

  • 50% of companies undertake some form of blogging, either having a blog, or encouraging employees to comment on blogs
  • 64% of company blogs have been launched in the past 6 months
  • 66% of managers in the survey have visited blogs in the past 12 months, 29% of those having commented on issues raised on blog sites

Is blogging a business tool?

  • 31% of businesses state that their blog has generated ‘significant’ business opportunities
  • A further 55% of businesses believe that their blog has generated ‘moderate’ business opportunities
  • 80% of blog users visit blogs within work hours. Most blog users visit blogs at lunchtime (31%), or first thing in the morning (29%)
  • 33% of blog visitors will access a blog on a daily basis. 29% visit on a weekly basis

Is there potential for blogging growth?

  • 63% of managers want to understand more about how blogs can benefit their businesses
  • 66% of businesses believe that blogs are becoming more influential as an information source
  • 54% of respondents believe that new skills sets and approaches are needed by their organizations in order to
    make use of blogs
  • 46% of respondents state that blogs can drive business opportunities in future

One particular result that I did find highly significant is that 64% of blogs started by companies have been launched only within the past six months, as noted above.

This reflects what I’m seeing among many of the companies I talk to about social media. It’s a very different picture compared to 2006 were there was far greater hesitancy.

It’s interesting, too, to note the variety of ways cited by survey respondents in how their companies use blogs:

blogsurvey2 

The 16-page survey report, which goes into considerable detail about the research and the results from it, is available on request from Inferno PR, who commissioned the research.

[Update 18/9/07] Inferno has posted the press release announcing the survey results:

http://www.infernopr.com/news.asp?pageID=6&openMenu=6#news35

And, Loudhouse has now started a blog with commentary about the event in their first post.

Great concluding comment:

heck…we even started blogging as a result!!

Welcome to the blogosphere, guys!

About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.