Nearly a third of brands in L2’s Content & Commerce report use blogs to promote their products. However, adoption has declined in the last three years, suggesting that brands are starting to question their value. There is reason for concern: while good blogs can build brand communities and drive sales, the study finds that many blogs are virtually invisible or fail to generate conversions – rendering them irrelevant.
Many brand blogs are buried in site navigation menus or linked at the bottom of the homepage, according to the study. Others are relegated to microsites with discrete URLs, further limiting their views. Bed Bath & Beyond’s microsite-based blog accounts for a scant 0.66% of overall site traffic, while J.Crew’s receives just 1.39%.
Brand blogs should also encourage purchase. However, most brands fail to leverage blog content to drive conversions. Nearly half of brand blogs fail to link to product pages, and only 7% include an “Add to Cart” or buy button.
Billabong is an exception. The brand’s best-in-class blog can be accessed from any page of the Billabong site via a scrolling navigation bar, and quick-buy links for items featured in the blog’s lookbook show up under the photos – making it easy for users to shop for featured products without redirecting to a new page.