B2B e-news competitive match-ups could exploit existing vulnerability
Anyone who frequently matches editorial strengths/weaknesses vs. those of competitors will find several angles to pursue via B2B e-news comparisons. Many sites have yet to go the extra mile in terms of delivering a regular flow of high-enterprise content. It’s possible you may be among them—not a good thing if your opposition is much more on the ball. Latest findings from my seventh annual B2B e-news delivery study confirm that many sites are vulnerable. In several cases, the content has merit, but has yet to go the extra mile required to secure bragging rights.
Current study data come from 36 sites. When completed, the study will have reviewed 50 sites. My scoring process considers eight factors: (1) Impact; (2) evidence of enterprise; (3) direct quotes used; (4) fast-paced introduction; (5) Fog Index score; (6) average sentence length; (7) total word count; (8) embedded link presence. Methodology involves reviewing ten articles posted by each site on the day of review. Now let’s look at some of the latest evidence:
- Of 360 articles reviewed, 152 (42%) reflect no evidence of enterprise. This is considerably better than the 65% average reported in years past. But it’s hardly cause for celebration. When this total combines with the 122 items ranked in factor (2) as “low,” that leaves only 86 articles that show a decent amount of reporting enterprise.
- Another finding that confirms vulnerability is offered via Fix-It-Alert (FIA) data. FIA shows the percentage of the 80 items reviewed per site that require improvement. Recommended target is 20% or lower. Only 10 sites made the grade; 21 sites scored FIA’s exceeding 25%. Within that latter total, nine sites registered FIA’s of 26–47.5%.
- For those of you who claim editorial excellence as a strength, check out your Fog Index (FI) scores vs. your opposition. Preferred FI readability grade level is 12.0. In my reviews, I have stretched the top of the acceptable range to 12.5. Of the 360 articles scored, 151 (42%) showed FI levels of 13.0 or higher. Every so often, it pays for you to run an FI e-news study. This should show the number of sentences running 25 words or higher. Any sentence running 30 words or higher requires defogging.
- As previous updates indicate, a lack of end-user connection is a common B2B e-news flaw. Of 284 quotes used, 145 (51%) were end-user sourced. Analysis of like items might show that many of those quotes were plucked from PR announcements rather than obtained via personal interviews. That 51% might sound okay to you (it doesn’t to me) but there is a hitch. Specifically, consider what happens when you apply my End-User-Visibility (EUV) index. In a nutshell, EUV suggests that a 10-article review should offer at least one end-user quote per article. This also could be attained by having a few articles use multiple quotes, offset by remaining articles using one or zero quotes. In other words, EUV should equal at least 1.0. Only three sites reached the target; 23 sites showed EUV lower than 0.5. A troublesome group of five sites used no end-user quotes.
You may recall from a previous post that for Phase VII of this study I raised my minimum target score from 60.0 to 80.0. Nobody has reached that target so far. And only ten sites managed a finish of 60.0 or higher.