Is Blogging Over?
The article, written in response to a New York Times article, challenges the premise that other forms of social media have made blogs obsolete. It made a key distinction: blogging and B2B blogging are not the same thing.
Nonetheless, it's worth asking the question: Is B2B blogging over? While you contemplate it, there are six critical considerations you may want to throw into the mix.
1. Highlight your thought leadership
Many companies want to do business with those they view as thought leaders. One way to demonstrate your capacity for innovative solutions is through your blog.
2. Allow flexible, customer-centered marketing
It’s difficult to find a more adaptable medium for marketing to customers. A sound strategy is to provide a mix of useful, problem-solving information coupled with product/service information carefully targeted to your customer base.
3. Provide a venue for relationship building
The comments feature available on most blogs creates a convenient means of dialoguing with customers and prospects. The questions and issues they raise give valuable insight into what’s on their mind right now, so you can respond more effectively to their real needs. These issues can also provide useful fodder for sales presentations, future marketing campaigns and upcoming blog features.
4. Spotlight your successes
Success stories and customer endorsements continue to be persuasive selling tools. Your B2B blog offers the perfect venue for highlighting your unique strategies and relevant success stories, to demonstrate what and how you help your customers solve real business challenges.
5. Demonstrate staying power and reliability
Nearly one-third of all B2B blogs publish less than once a month, and the vast majority of blogs go static (no activity) within the first six months. Companies with a long history have less to prove, but those who are recent entrants into the marketplace can demonstrate their commitment to their business and customers by providing a steady stream of quality information. Include a means for direct contact (email, phone, etc.), to reinforce your responsiveness and legitimacy.
6. Market day after day, year after year
While you’re busy completing a massive project or gearing up for a major event or sales presentation, your B2B blog is quietly and persistently marketing day after day, year after year. With each blog entry, you’re building a critical mass of content that has ongoing value to customers and prospects, as it quietly and steadily raises your online findability. These are very good things.
Should your marketing efforts include more than a B2B blog? Yes.
For small businesses with tight budgets and tighter timelines, however, B2B blogs provide extraordinary opportunities to connect with customers, share high-value content and shine a spotlight on your company. Twitter, Facebook, et al, can provide a short-lived "aren't we popular" kind of thrill, but they just can't match the flexibility, scope and depth of a B2B blog.
B2B selling is about substance not popularity, which means your B2B blog offers you and your company an opportunity to use what you know to boost your bottom line.
That's a pretty good return on your investment.
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