Last week, competitive intelligence platform TrackMaven released their “Colossal Content Marketing Report” – an analysis of blogging culture, pain points, analytics, and more. As you’d expect from a company whose bread and butter is organizing huge amounts of information, TrackMaven didn’t skimp on the data collection. For this report, they analyzed over 1.2 million blog posts and 2 billion social shares.
Although the report is about content marketing in general (including emails, whitepapers, webinars, case studies, website copy, infographics, and social media content), TrackMaven decided to focus their analysis on blogs. “Blog posts are a sum of content marketing’s parts,” the report explained, “often combining the statistics and research of whitepapers, ebooks, and case studies with the design of an infographic, but with greater length than social media posts and greater personalization than website content.” Fair enough!
Here are some of our favorite takeaways from the report:
When Should I Blog?
This is one of the questions marketers ask us most frequently, and our answer is usually “as often as possible,” as long as you update it consistently. At Marketo, we post to our company blog every single business day – usually, that means five times a week. But blogging takes a lot of time and energy, and many content marketers don’t have the bandwidth to write, edit, and publish a blog post every day. That’s why you want to blog on days (and times) that it really counts.
When TrackMaven examined social sharing for the the 1.2 million blog posts they examined (taken from the 4,618 blogs), here’s what they noticed:
- Blogs are most frequently published on Tuesdays and Wednesdays – 18% of all posts are published on Tuesdays, and 18% of all posts are published on Wednesdays
- The weekends are the biggest days for social shares – on average, 18% of all social shares happen on Saturday, while 14.6% of all social shares happen on Sundays.
These stats are even more remarkable when you consider that 87% of all posts happen during the workweek, and only 13% are published on the weekend. So while Marketo won’t be switching to “weekend only” posts any time soon, marketers looking for big ROI might take advantage of the less crowded weekend blogosphere. After all, that 18% of all social shares is ripe for the taking.
As for what time to publish your blog, TrackMaven’s research indicates that the majority of blogs are published between 9am and 6pm EST. As you can see in the chart below, the most blogs are published between 11am and 12pm:
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should publish at that time. In fact, you may want to differentiate your blog by posting at a less crowded time. Also, as you can see in the chart below, blogs published between 9pm and midnight EST tend to get the most social shares.
As TrackMaven explained, “leisure hours are readers’ preferred time to read, reflect, and share the content that resonates most with them…just because your content is educational or work-related doesn’t mean it should come during working hours.”
Where Does My Audience Share?
TrackMaven found that when it comes to sharing blog posts, the vast majority of social shares come from Facebook and Twitter. Of the nearly 2 billion social shares they examined, 38.6% of social shares were on Twitter, and Facebook “likes” accounted for 33.8%. This should come as little surprise, considering that Facebook and Twitter also have the highest user counts – Facebook has 1 billion active users, and Twitter has 560 million.
TrackMaven also noticed that readers were more likely to “like” a blog post on Facebook than to “share” it (although Facebook shares still accounted for a whopping 26.7%).
But even though LinkedIn and Pinterest both lagged significantly behind in total social shares, TrackMaven was quick to point out that these are still important networks for marketers. LinkedIn, after all, has 240 million active users (not too shabby!) and fills a particular niche as a professionally-oriented network. And while shares on Pinterest only accounted for 0.4% of total shares, the site is still a powerful network for consumer and B2B marketers alike – according to a recent report from BizRate, 69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they have purchased, or will purchase, compared to only 40% of online consumers who visit Facebook.
For us, all of these stats confirm the advice we always give to marketers – to embrace experimentation, measure carefully, and find out what works for your organization. While it’s essential to track how others in your industry are running their marketing programs, truly strategic marketers are focused on their own results, along with the strategies of their peers.
To learn more about how content marketers are leveraging their company blogs, and to find out which of TrackMaven’s surveyed bloggers had the best engagement levels, download The Colossal Content Marketing Report!