I don’t like the word “blog” (the truncated version of weblog). Since its arrival onto the marketing scene, it’s evolved into this corny and overused buzzword. But I do love to read blogs because I can zoom right through them and quickly get the information I need. I am a born and bred Bostonian who wants fast coffee, fast Internet and fast – if not immediate – satisfaction. And let’s face it… we all live in a world that prioritizes efficiency, and that demand is only further emphasized when it comes to business.
So why take all that time to write a blog? I’m not a business owner. I’m an account manager at Precision Marketing Group. I’m writing this entry to target one of our priority keywords, to better position our company as a leading source of information in the inbound marketing industry, and most importantly… because our dashing young marketing manager asked me for a contribution. Seriously, he is dashing.
With that said, the truth of the matter is that the Web is the one place that virtually every customer now goes to research, plan, shop, make decisions, and then act (which in our industry means buy). That is the beauty of the Internet. It’s an ever expanding, continuously updated buffet of information we can all choose from and contribute to. It’s time to give something back to the Internet after everything it has given us (viruses and adware aside). And frankly speaking, if you aren’t on the Web, you really aren’t even in the footrace.
The majority of B2B business owners have little to no bandwidth for writing blogs, let alone curating a killer blogging strategy. So why should you take the time to write and publish a blog post once a week? Or more?!
Because you want to not only be in the race, you want to win the race. So check out these 4 important reasons why SMB owners should be regularly blogging up a storm:
1. Blogging attracts your target audience.
According to HubSpot, businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors. And B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those without blogs. Would your business benefit from a 55% increase in traffic and a 67% bump in leads? Probably. However, you want to focus your marketing efforts toward your ideal buyers in order to attract the right traffic and rake in qualified leads – and a blog enables you to do so. Take the time to think about what your target customer is looking for, and then create a blogging strategy that incorporates content to address those needs. Publish posts that are actually helpful to people who are trying to solve a problem, looking to buy your software, or hiring you to perform a job that needs to be done now.
2. Blogging puts your company's voice on display.
First-time visitors to your blog arrive with a grocery list of things they hope to find. If they don’t locate them quickly, they bounce from your site to the next one and that’s it. An “About Us” section is useful, but it’s not fresh. Visitors often assume this is canned information. When a business owner contributes to their own blog, it’s a good indicator of the personality the customer is going to be working with every day if they choose to partner with your company. So show your blog readers who you are! Are you fun? Super intelligent? A little crazy? Tell them! They want to know. The tone you create is often set long before those initial introductory phone calls. And if your B2B products or services are interesting only to your fellow industry colleagues and your mom, then use your blog to show off your charming personality. Go on, be human.
3. A blog indicates your areas of expertise.
When shopping for a product or any kind of services, I want to know exactly what the business specializes in, because I know it’s typically not everything listed on their products or services page. For most vendors, there are three to four specific areas in which they claim expertise. When you read a B2B company blog, it becomes very clear whether the writer actually knows what they are talking about. This is your opportunity to showcase your knowledge, and to appear as the trustworthy, experienced, knowledgeable business owner you are. If you’re the modest or shy type, then recruit some of your more verbally exuberant employees… or hire an outsourced marketing agency (Memememememe! I mean, us).
4. The results are long lasting.
Blogs can appear stale, particularly when the posts are dated. Sometimes people even leave timestamps down to the second (don’t do that), but in the grand scheme of things, blogs never stop working for you. As you read this blog post, Google and Bing are sifting through your Web content with a super fine sieve, relentlessly hunting for things that are relevant to your search terms. So help those customers adrift on the search engine seas locate your company and steer business your way with a well-optimized blog. If your post about Sexism in Silicon Valley highlights interesting and valuable content and is properly optimized with the right keyword strategy, you win! You get pulled onto the first search engine results page (SERP) and you are more likely to have readers click on your blog post and learn about your business. So even if this winter has convinced you that this is the spring to take that yearlong sabbatical in Tahiti, your blog will continue to direct internet traffic your way and increase the possibility of converting those visitors into leads and customers.
This time last year, there were 75.8 million blogs on WordPress alone. Take the time to sit down with a marketing professional and plot out our B2B blogging strategy. Think about frequent questions prospects ask your salespeople. Go get some hot statistics that really speak volumes. Make your blog stand out with a punchy titles, enticing Meta descriptions, proper ALT tags on your eye-popping yet relevant images and useful keywords for some kickass SEO points. If this all sounds like jargon that you don’t have time to read more about, you might want to seek out the knowledge of a shockingly attractive outsourced marketing team. Hint, hint… we’re right here. :)