New research by eMarketer reveals that corporate blogging has gone mainstream with 34% of U.S. companies using blogs for marketing purposes — a number that is predicted to grow to 43% by 2012.  That’s a big jump from just 16% of U.S. companies using blogs for marketing purposes back in 2007.  Check out the statistics from the study in the chart below.

Corporations are using blogs for many different reasons, including communications, lead generation, brand building, marketing, and customer service.  The analysts at eMarketer acknowledge that the use of “faster” forms of social media communication and marketing (such as Twitter and Facebook) have caused the growth of more time-intensive blogging activities to slow down.  However, corporations still publish blogs because they deliver a few benefits that other social media tools don’t provide, such as greater control, integration, more in-depth content publishing, and more varied opportunities for creative communications and marketing.  With the current trend toward content marketing for long-term sustainable growth, it’s not surprising that corporations are still finding blogs to be a highly useful medium for indirect and direct marketing.

For corporations, business blogs are also an important source to publish critical news and real-time information that journalists and researchers might be looking for.  A survey by PRWeek and PR Newswire conducted in April 2010 revealed that over 30% of journalists use company blogs when conducting research for a story, and nearly 30% use general blogs in their research efforts.

As Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst explains:

“This confluence between established and emerging media is making blogging an integral part of the news cycle.  As consumers assimilate blogs into their media consumption, they are less likely to distinguish between a blog and a traditional news outlet.”

This is a concept that Newstex can attest to — just take a look at the authoritative bloggers and content publishers who syndicate their content through Newstex to see clear examples of the high quality and expertise of “non-traditional” new media sources.