In 2018, 45 percent of B2B buyers spent more time researching purchases than they did in 2017, according to Demand Gen’s 2018 B2B Buyer Survey Report. One of the key sources of information they are reading to make decisions about which products and services they’ll purchase is blog posts. Yet, many B2B companies still don’t have blogs or don’t make blogs a priority.
The recent HubSpot State of Inbound report provides a compelling business case for blogs in just three stats:
After working with an energy supplier whose blog had gone stagnant, Kuno helped bring in a 75 percent increase in blog subscribers and a 419 percent increase in organic traffic. And more traffic means more leads, so it’s safe to say if you are still not leveraging a blog to reach your marketing goals, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
If you need support to make a business case within your organization, here are 10 reasons why you need to start making blogging a priority in your marketing program.
Unlike other forms of marketing, such as advertising, blogging has minimal investment. The greatest expense is the cost of producing quality content on a regular basis. But the return on that investment can be high as long as your content is valuable to your audience. As a result, companies get a great bang for their buck on brand building when they publish quality blog posts on a regular basis.
One of the leading benefits of blogs is that people can subscribe to receive your updates. As a result, you can build a database of qualified leads — people interested in your company, your products and what you have to say. As any marketer knows, this capability is invaluable.
Modern B2B marketing is less about advertising to your target businesses, and more about having a conversation with them through attraction marketing. You can’t reach people in the same way you once could online. Having many pages with targeted keywords gives you more opportunities to rank pages for specific searches that your target audience might be conducting. Maintaining a blog provides the opportunity to create unlimited pages of fresh content, which Google loves. This will help you rise higher in search engines and help more prospects find you so they can subscribe to your blog.
When you start blogging, you increase the odds of improving the ROI of your digital marketing efforts. HubSpot reported that blogs produce low-cost leads for 24 percent of marketers. This means that your target buyers are out there searching for you right now. If you want them to find you, your search presence should be a top priority.
When you don’t have a well-known, established brand, regularly publishing high-quality content cannot only help you create awareness and build your brand but also establish credibility. When you offer a ton of useful, educational content, prospects will begin to see you as a thought leader in your industry. Becoming a thought leader builds credibility which helps your brand grow your active following.
In today’s highly competitive world, it’s getting harder to stand out. An excellent, content-rich blog with original content that caters to your audience can solidify your brand voice, demonstrate your value and build trust. Publish a wide range of content to enhance your unique presence, including text, photographs, graphics, videos, audio, presentations and PDFs.
You can post 10 times a day on third-party social media platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn. But you don’t own them. That means you’re marketing on these platforms at the whim of a third party that can change the rules overnight. Having a blog puts you in the driver’s seat regarding the kind of content you’ll post and how often. You’ll also be in control of the look and feel.
Because you control everything on your blog — from content to design — you put your brand identity on display with every post. You can show your personality by using a unique voice, such as writing in a conversational tone, so you appear human to your prospects and customers. As a result, you’ll be able to connect with them in more impactful ways.
Today’s marketers want to know what impact their marketing strategies are having on their business goals. Blogs offer an ideal opportunity to gather data that can be tracked using key performance indicators (KPIs), such as the number of total visitors in a given time period, number of new and returning visitors, time spent on your site and the total number of visits per visitor. Companies can use this data to improve their marketing programs and gain ever-improving results.
The best industry blogs tend to develop into authoritative voices within their respective industries. This doesn’t go unnoticed by industry media. As a result, they’ll also be interested in reading your posts and, perhaps, even reporting on the innovative things you’re doing in the industry.
If these 10 business case benefits have convinced your company to either launch a new blog or refresh an existing blog that’s languishing in the background, here are a few essential B2B blogging best practices to employ to gain a fast win:
There is a reason blogs are the beating heart of successful companies’ marketing programs. They provide a home base from which everything else connects. If you’re missing this important piece of marketing, you’re risking limiting the impact of everything else you’re doing. Conversely, by investing in a quality blog, you’ll boost your results of everything you’re doing and gain new advantages as well.