It’s taken awhile for blogs to gain the respect they deserve in B2B marketing, but now that this versatile content platform has caught fire, B2B buyers and marketers can’t get enough of them.
Each year we produce more blog posts for our clients than the last. Why? Because it turns out blogs are great for a lot of different marketing needs. Take a look at some of the ways our clients are using their blogs.
1. Improving SEO with Straightforward Answers
Blogs are great way to draw people to your website, because they are short enough to give distinct answers to common queries but long enough to give comprehensive answers — which is what search engines favor.
I first encountered this at an early Content Marketing World conference. The speaker owned a small company that installed fiberglass swimming pools. He wasn’t a professional content creator and didn’t have a lot of money to spend on his website, so he simply wrote a series of question-and-answer blog posts based on the most common questions people asked him about fiberglass pools. Once he did this, the revenue he generated from online inquiries more than doubled.
I also remember he was the only person at the conference talking about blogs, but since then blogging has become an official part of SEO strategy — for example, SEO agencies such as ContentMender recommend an “aggressive blog strategy.”
2. Promoting Everything and Everyone
Blogs are an easy format to fit into just about any marketing effort. One popular tactic is to use a blog to promote a longer, more informative content asset on the same topic, like a checklist or an on-demand webinar. It’s especially beneficial when the user finds the post via a search query, because they can be offered content that — based on behavior — can further identify who they are and how to nurture or qualify them.
We’ve also seen a big upswing in influencer blogs. Blogs are a natural here, because they are easier to write/ghostwrite than a longer asset, so the commitment from the influencer is easier to secure. And, because the design work involved in blogs is usually minimal, the approval process is lighter and shorter. You can expend the same energy to get 10 different influencers to write 10 different blog posts as you would to get half that many to contribute comments to a white paper.
Another area where we’ve seen some activity is combining a blogging strategy with an events strategy. It’s easy to fall into the rut of assigning pre- and post-event blog posts on an editorial calendar and thinking you’re done. But so much great content gets showcased during workshops, by keynote speakers, in demos, and in social gatherings at B2B events that I’d like to see more events teams working more closely with marketing teams to maximize this programming with blogs. It’s a shame not to repurpose at least some of that great content help fill your funnel.
3. Creating a Themed Hub or E-Book
Some of our clients that post frequently to their blogs have organized them by product/service family and categorized them by sub-topics according to buyer interest. These web pages are well organized and easy to use, and there’s lots of imagery because each blog has an image. The result is a hub-like experience for users who can find posts that exactly match their needs.
Another idea — especially for influencer blogs — is to repurpose the discrete blogs into a themed e-book, usually around a high-level topic like digital disruption or planning for the new year.
4. Making Marketing More Human
Each year at Demand Gen Report’s B2B Marketing Exchange conference, speaker after speaker talks about the need to make marketing more human. Blogs are great way to do this, because they literally put a face, a name and a voice out there.
This adds authenticity and credibility to what you’re saying, and that’s really valuable. In DGR’s 2019 Content Preferences Survey of B2B buyers, content from “colleagues and peers” was ranked as the No. 1 most valuable type of content for researching potential purchases. Blogs are a great way to tap into peer and colleague stories as part of a marketing program.
Do You Post Frequently Enough?
These are only some of the ways blogs can help marketing teams improve results. How frequently should you post? I don’t think there’s a limit. Blogs are so versatile and have so many benefits that they should be considered an always-on resource. Make them part of every program you touch in 2020.
Doing more doesn’t have to zap all your resources. Be sure to check out Do More With Less: 4 Ways to Maximize ROI Without Breaking the Bank (Or Driving Yourself Crazy) for some scrappy tips for making the most of your content.