Thinking about developing your content marketing as a new channel for capturing leads? The online market research company ResearchNow recently analysed the extent to which blogs are a driver of sales. The conclusions are well worth a read.

So, does a good editorial calendar attract future sales for your business?

Here are some of the statistics from the study that suggest it can:

  • 84% of online buyers have bought products based on descriptions they read in a blog.
  • 25% of people between the ages of 25 and 34 read blogs on a daily basis.
  • 2 in 3 people read blogs at least once a week.
  • 1 in 4 people buy something each month thanks to a blog.
  • 30% of those surveyed use blogs to confirm their choice.
  • 33% use blogs to rule out options.
  • 46% consult blogs to research a product.
  • People between the ages of 18 and 34 consider blogs as the most important source of information prior to buying something. For those between 35 and 54, the opinions of family, friends and colleagues outweigh the information they find in the blogosphere.

If you still have doubts about the impact of blogs on sales, here’s some more information from Technorati Media’s report Digital Influence.

Blogs are considered the third best online service for influencing purchase decisions. Retail and brand sites dominate, but blogs are more popular than opinions found on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, on forums or in online magazines.

Jeff Bullas, a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer 2013 according to Forbes Magazine, says that to be heard on social media and to influence buying decisions you have to be familiar with WordPress, Blogger or any content publishing platform.  And you need to use it to regularly share educational content and experience, and build proximity with users.

86% of influencers are already blogging. If you’re not yet part of the blogosphere – or even if you are – and want to know what a user looks for when they follow you, this is for you:

  • Content captures 86% of readers’ attention. Make sure you surprise with innovative articles that resolve problems, and that they’ll want to share with their contacts.
  • Use images (38%) to make your text easier to understand and visually attractive.
  • Content is king. Take advantage of microblogging and use videos and audio to win over your readers.

Finally, check out this infographic from BigCommerce. It outlines the key factors that influence buying habits in addition to a business blog:

  1. You sell when you can demonstrate your product is top quality (56%).
  2. Your target market is looking for a competitive price in shops (80%).
  3. If your product is expensive, 62% of your target will check it out in the store before buying it online.
  4. 9 out of 10 users say they watch videos on tech-based products that can motivate them to buy.
  5. 54% of buyers have smartphones and 76% use them while they buy.
  6. 81% of the sample says that recommendations by friends have a direct influence on the buying decision.
  7. 44% are more likely to engage with brand content if it contains images; 40% if it includes a video.

Want to read more on the subject? In our blog post How a corporate blog can help drive your sales  we outlined the two major advantages of a blog (in addition to the fact it’s free):

  • It bridges the distance between you and your potential customer, and
  • High-value content will drive qualified traffic to your website.

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