To Blog or Not To Blog?

Making the decision to blog requires commitment. I look at my blog posts and they seem to fluctuate in their regularity which means I’ll probably never do well from an organic SEO point of view. But then again it really depends on your objective and why you want to blog. For me, my personal blog is more of a personal branding exercise and serves almost as journal or diary of my career.

However, I also blog for work and my primary objective is to blog for my work site. In the Eloqua Grande Guide to B2B Blogging they share some tips and research to show the benefit of blogging for the business person. One interesting statistic is the following:

 55% of B2B pros turn to blogs for information.*

75% of executives want business to ease off the hard sell.*

When I think about my own use of blogs, I use them, I research and I have some key people or companies that I follow and read their blog from time to time.

 A well-crafted blog will help you to drive awareness of your brand and stand out among your competitors. And, once you capture the attention of your stakeholders, your blog offers an incredible opportunity for them to interact with you and your brand.*

As an example, I was in Melbourne last week with a client. We spent two days going through best practice execution of their marketing automation campaigns. We looked at how Eloqua can help them gain richer and deeper insight into the digital footprint of their prospects and clients. One question that came up was the use of language in headlines and how to improve the open rates of various emails.

I literally received a blog update from Psychotactics, a New Zealand based company whose blog I subscribe to. The white paper on offer covered that exact same point. I read it over lunch, emailed the author and got their permission to share the white paper with my clients and prospects. That was very generous of them.

Click Here to access that white paper – trust me, it’s a good read.

Offer Value and Insight

By now I think most modern marketers are supportive of the idea that it’s ok to give things away for nothing. However I’d argue that you don’t want to give things away for absolutely nothing. In the B2B context, you should ask for something, some basic profile information. At least First Name, Last Name and Email address as a minimum. If B2B people don’t want to give you this information, it’s likely they’re nowhere near ready to make a buying decision in which case you can almost use the completion of a form as a filter to gauge readiness to buy.

If you have a Marketing Automation platform like Eloqua, you can use progressive profiling to ask for small pieces of profile information at each touch point or interaction. This means you don’t have to present a form with 15 questions the first time someone discovers one of your assets.

9 Big Benefits of B2B Blogging

“A blog is a powerful weapon to have in your marketing arsenal. As you decide whether a blog is right for your company, it helps to understand some of the key benefits of building a blog or how to enhance the one you already have.”*

The following is an excerpt from the Eloqua Grande Guide to B2B Blogging:

  1. Improve search results. Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo reward sites that contain fresh, relevant content. By adding a blog to your website, you are increasing your ability to be “found” online. Fresh content helps boost your ranking in search, and a blog is a terrific way to consistently publish new content.
  2. Differentiate your brand. Do your competitors blog? If not, then this might be the best reason to start one! Blogging can help you stand out in your niche and establish yourself and your company as an industry expert.
  3. Extend customer relationships. You might not be able to visit customers as frequently as you’d like, but a blog is an excellent way to provide a constant drip-drip-drip of communication to remind them of your products, services, and why you’re special. For those that don’t read your blog, re-purpose the blog content in customer newsletters and sales materials.
  4. Drive sales. Your blog offers prime real estate for (soft) selling. For instance, you can advertise products or services in your blog’s sidebar. You can also blog about how to use your product in new or different ways, or even feature customer success stories.
  5. Generate leads. Featuring opt-in content on your blog is a fantastic way to turn readers into prospects. From there, you can nurture your leads down a path towards purchase.
  6. Test ideas and get feedback. Many companies use blogs as a way to engage customers to solve problems and create new ideas. Sometimes, crowdsourcing ideas can even lead to new products or service lines. Facebook and LinkedIn are also helpful for this.
  7. Get media coverage. Because blogging positions you as a thought leader, it offers the potential for reporters and media outlets to turn to you as a source for articles and stories. This rich content can generate massive reach for your brand.
  8. Communicate during a crisis. A blog is a critical channel to explain the facts amid chaos. It offers a medium to distribute important information to youremployees, key stakeholders and even the press as company responses on blogs are often quoted by mainstream news sources.
  9. Build community. Although building an engaged community through a business blog can be extremely difficult, it is possible. If you do it right, your blog can become a conversation hub for your industry.

 

*SOURCE: The Eloqua Grande Guide to B2B Blogging