Opinion: Benefits of a Blog for B2B Companies
Blogging is not just for consumer brands – it is also a key part of the B2B marketing toolkit. If you visit just a few websites of the major companies in your industry, you will soon see that having one is a great way to connect with existing customers, and attract new ones. If you don’t have a blog, or are currently thinking about starting one, here are a few things to consider:
The Benefits of a Blog of B2B Companies
There are many reasons for starting a business blog if you are a B2B company, which can be summarised into two over-arching benefits:
- Gets you found online – Fresh and relevant content is an important way to boost your natural (not paid for!) search engine rankings. New content is one of the things that search engines are looking at for proof that you are active and worthy of a high ranked page position. Every company wants to be on page 1 of Google, but it’s impossible for most to keep updating the core content of their website. Blogs give you the perfect way to keep enriching your website with new, keyword rich content.
- Moves leads through the sales funnel – An expert blog post will instil your audience with confidence and allows you to showcase your area of expertise which people soon come to rely on. Blogs provide you with a channel to assert your authority on wider industry issues or more operational best practise. Every blog should include a strong call-to-action to move leads from the awareness-to-interest stage of the sales funnel, giving website visitors a reason to contact you for more information.
The one proviso for achieving both benefits is that your content is not just good, it’s great!
What is Great Blog Content?
Writing a blog post for the sake of it is a serious mistake. There is no denying that a maintaining a blog can be time-consuming, and early momentum can easily fade if the time and effort does not seem to be delivering the anticipated results. Results will only follow if your content is high quality and relevant to your audience.
To develop blogs the search engines will want to index, and your website visitors will want to read and take action on, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the purpose of your blog?
- Who are you targeting?
- What stage of the sales cycle are they at?
- What issues do they have?
- How can you provide value to them?
- What do you want them to do after reading your blog?
- What keywords and search phrases would enable them to find your blog?
Consistency is Key
If one of the objectives of your blog is thought leadership, then as well as providing great content, you need to be consistent. There’s no point posting a blog every now and again, as no matter how good the copy happens to be, this won’t get you any loyal followers. You have to publish something of value on a regular basis to get all those “followers” on-board and with you. It takes a bit of discipline, effort and time, but the rewards are invaluable.
The best way to main a regular blog is to have a plan! Your blogging strategy should be an integral part of your wider marketing communications strategy supporting online and offline campaigns. Building it into your overall B2B marketing plan signals a real commitment, and you can then develop a schedule which includes:
- Marketing campaign
- Target audience
- Call to action
- Author (in-house or outsourced?)
- Distribution date
Final Thoughts on Your B2B Blog
Well written and interesting posts will not only be appreciated by your blog audience, but the copy is so versatile it can be used in newsletters, ebooks and social media which all figure high on the list of marketing strategies. However, it’s also important to keep the “human touch” very much alive because people like to know they are dealing with another person and not some marketing robot. Viewers are far more likely to be engaged if they know you are only “human” too.
A well-conceived blog allows you to grow your audience on a global scale which in turn helps your business grow. The time and effort you put into your blog posts will pay dividends a little further down the line. Good content together with expert marketing and well-planned SEO is a marriage made in heaven for any B2B company, which is why setting up a blog should be one of priorities if you don’t already have one. It’s a fantastic platform that allows you to get your message and brand out there for the world to see!
To discuss your B2B blogging strategy in more detail, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org