Corporate Blogging is the New Black
It used to be that B2B organizations were allergic to the words “blog” and “blogging.” Blogs were the domain of the consumer and B2C brands that were targeting them. There was no way that a B2B organization was going to deign to dip their toe in that water and explore the options available to them.
In today’s business environment, however, blogs are playing an increasingly important role in lead generation and customer acquisition. As more professional writers get involved in the corporate blogging market, companies are recognizing the value of both the content and format of blogs.
At its core, a blog is “a website with frequently updated content about a specific keyword or bottom-line-oriented topic.” It’s also part of the social media world, and since marketers are placing an increasingly high value on social media, it’s an easy way for them to get involved in it. While a presence on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook may scare many B2B marketers, a corporate blog doesn’t. And, many B2B marketers are starting to add a corporate blog to their marketing arsenal.
My informal statistics support this, as I’m getting more requests for corporate blogging from my prospects than ever before. Looking at some official stats from the Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner, it appears that my experience is on target: 68% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogging in 2014.
B2B marketers have finally realized that blogging is an effective way to engage their prospects, perhaps even more so than B2C marketers. Why is it such an effective marketing technique for them? Here are 10 reasons …
Reason 1: Blogging increases exposure to B2B prospects. We’re living more of our lives online, both personally and professionally. B2B marketers can use a blog to develop loyal fans and increase sales. Prospects are looking for industry-specific content, and a B2B blog gives it to them.
Reason 2: B2B prospects are still people too. Previously, B2B marketers forgot they were dealing with people, and just talked to their prospects at an enterprise, organizational level. But it’s still a person on the receiving end of all the content that kick-starts the buying process. Creating content that speaks directly to people is the simplest way to capture their attention, and make their way up the decision process chain.
Reason 3: Corporate blogging provides a big bang for the marketing buck. Whether produced internally or externally, blogging provides the biggest Return on Investment. They’re significantly less expensive than white papers and case studies, but are just as effective. Create multiple posts from one idea or topic, repurpose existing webinars or white papers, and more.
Reason 4: Blogs provide good SEO karma. Not only does the blog get the traffic from the intended audience as they read the content, the rest of the B2B site does as well. Posts that are written well and include SEO best practices like internal linking are rewarded with higher positions on SERPs (search engine results pages).
Reason 5: Blog posts have a longer lifespan than other B2B content. Once published online, they’ll continue to drive traffic to their website through search engine searches and shares on social media like Twitter or LinkedIn. A post on an evergreen topic continues to be relevant for months and years to come.
Additionally, readers see that the site is active with each new post that’s published, and therefore, so is the B2B business, so it’s easier to convert leads to sales.
Reason 6: Blogs increase sales. Marketers who’ve been on social media at least three years report it increases sales. Incorporating compelling calls-to-action at the end of every post further increases the possibility of moving a reader through the sales funnel.
Reason 7: Helps B2B marketers become a thought leader in their industry. Thought leadership and influencer marketing are big ideas in the marketing world right now. By talking about the industry’s problems, concerns, and needs, B2B marketers display their expertise in that area. Simply by sharing their knowledge, they imply that they’ve got the solution to the issues because they intimately understand them. They’re building trust with their readers.
Reason 8: It’s an easy way to start content marketing. Content marketing is still all the rage, and has finally made its way to the B2B world. B2B marketers are starting to tell their stories in a variety of ways, and blogging is another way to do it. Through posts by the CEO and employees, readers are hearing the story directly from the people writing it.
Reason 9: It’s a “safe” way to get involved in social media. Since B2B companies tend to be more conservative in their marketing approaches, they’ve probably been leery of using social media. Well, blogging is social media, but it doesn’t seem like it.
Reason 10: It’s an easy project to outsource to a freelancer. This one’s good news for you, the B2B writer, but it’s also good news for the marketers too. There’s a lot less involved in producing blog posts than a white paper or a full website content refresh, so it’s easier for the marketers to outsource. Less stress and risk for the marketer, more consistent business and experience for you.
Corporate blogging is taking the B2B marketing world by storm. They’ve finally realized that it’s about more than just talking about themselves. They’re using it to reach out to their audience and provide information about their market. They’re using it to bolster their marketing narrative by incorporating images, links, audio, and video into their blogs. Production, promotion, and strategy are all ways that you, the B2B writer, can help these marketers with their corporate blogging. Happy blogging!
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