I am still surprised to find that many B2B marketers still don’t understand the importance of a blog program. Here’s why. The longer you don’t have a blog, the more ground you are giving up to your competitors.
What is a Blog?
A blog is an online informational website. It is a platform where a company can share its views on a particular subject or series of subjects that educates prospects and customers. Unlike the rest of your website, you need to update the blog frequently by adding new posts.
Benefits of B2B Blogs
- Helps Establish Industry Leadership - Blogs are a great platform for thought leadership content. If you consistently create valuable content for your target audience, it'll establish you as an industry leader or authority in their eyes. Unlike earned media, your content is not edited or filtered by a third party and gives you a unique platform to educate prospects, customers, and your industry on topics without censorship. Organizations can delve deep into products, industry trends, use cases, technology and vision.
- Blogging increases traffic to your website – The data doesn’t lie. Studies show that blogging increases traffic to your website by 55%. In addition, with every blog post you publish, there is one more indexed page in Google search that will drive traffic to your website and make buyers aware of your brand.
- Helps you attract more qualified leads – More web traffic means more opportunities to covert that traffic to leads and ultimately sales.
- Creates more inbound links - Companies that blog create 97% more inbound links. An inbound link is a link coming from another site to your own website. Why does this matter? Because inbound links signal authority to search engines. The more inbound links you have from high quality, high authority sites, the better your website can rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). Inbound links also generate referral traffic. If someone posts link on their website that points to content on your website, people who see that link may click on it, and you'll benefit from that referral traffic.
- Helps Shorten the Sales Cycle – Gartner’s Future of Sales research shows that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. This is because 33% of all buyers desire a seller-free sales experience – a preference that climbs to 44% for millennials. Blogs can help sales shorten the sales cycle by removing friction during the buying cycle. For example, if prospects consistently have the same questions, they can be addressed in a blog post and sales can use the post as a follow-up to the conversation.
- Helps bring customers and prospects back to your site – If you are producing quality content, prospects and customers will keep coming back for more until they eventually enter the buying cycle where they will begin to engage with sales.
You have written your post, now what?
Ensure your post is SEO optimized – to get the biggest bang out of your post, you want to make sure it is SEO-optimized. What does this mean? According to Hubspot, here are a few of the top-ranking factors that can, directly and indirectly, affect blog SEO.
- Use 1–2 long-tail keywords.
- Use keywords strategically throughout the blog post.
- Optimize for mobile devices.
- Optimize the meta description.
- Include an image and image alt text.
- Limit topic tags.
- Include user-friendly URL structures.
- Link to related blog posts.
Add an engaging call-to action (CTA) - A CTA tells your audience what you want them to do next. This action can be subscribing to your blog, downloading an ebook, filling out a landing page form to sign up for a demo, or anything else you may want users to do.. It could be as simple as Buy Now button that takes them to an order form. You want your readers to take an action that helps them start building a relationship with you or gets them on your email list for future engagement.
Blog Promotion – Promote your post! It could take months for your post to be discovered through search. Here are five actions to take to get your post seen.
- Email your subscribers - The first thing you should do is to share your new posts with your email subscribers. These users are already waiting for your updates and that’s why they are subscribed to you.
- Publish on All Your Social Networks - Your followers have signed up because they want to be kept up to date on your site so you have to make sure that they can see that you have new content out.
- Link from old posts to a new one - Links your new post into some of your previous posts and vice versa. Go through some of your older posts looking for keywords to link to your new post.
- Create A Few External Backlinks to Your Post – Ask your partners to link to your post or share your post on social media. You can return the favor to help them out too!
- Use your blog post for a PR pitch – Blog posts make great content for PR pitches especially if the post focuses on industry trends.
Blogging is your long game
Your blog should be seen as so much more than a place to publish content. It should be seen as an opportunity to position yourself as an industry expert, drive an increase in organic traffic, and engage your customers and prospects. If you don't have a blog and your competitors do, then you are already behind.