Starting a B2B Blog: The First Steps Toward Better Online Marketing
You’ve heard all about the online marketing value of a blog for your business—how it’s an opportunity for search engine optimization, for example, and how it builds your brand’s authority online. You know that B2B businesses that blog get more leads than the ones that don’t, but you’ve been putting off starting your own blog anyway.
And that’s OK.
Everyone has to start somewhere,and especially in B2B, the first step toward starting your blog can be tough. The thought of making that time commitment is tearing up your heart, and you start to feel like writing those first few entries is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.
So how does a B2B company take those big initial steps toward blogging?
Quit Playing Games
If you’re not blogging yet, you’re missing out on potential business. In fact, recent online marketing research shows that B2B companies that blog score a whopping 67 percent more leads than ones who don’t. The good news, though, is that it isn’t too late to start—this I promise you.As of May 2013, only 33 percent of B2B companies are using blogs. That means that this is the perfect time for you to start one of your own—while this online marketing trend is quickly picking up steam, you aren’t yet left behind. If you don’t focus now, though, your competition will show you the meaning of being lonely—they could be poised to climb the search engine rankings, funnel traffic away from your site and dominate your industry.
The bottom line here is that if you’re going to start blogging, you need to take it seriously and give it all you have to give. Don’t make things up as you go along—set yourself a blogging schedule and force yourself to stick to it. Determine topics for each entry ahead of time, even, so you aren’t scrambling later on to think of something to write about. Commit to that schedule now, even if it’s just updating a few times a week—if your blog grinds to a halt later or doesn’t show any recent updates, its visitors will say “bye, bye, bye” to your website.
Be a Helping Hand to Make It Right
If you’re going to force yourself to stick to a blogging schedule, you need content—and plenty of it. So what do you write about?
First of all, your content should demonstrate your expertise. Your audience wants to see that you’re an authority in your field. Even if your business isn’t larger than life, people want to know that you’ve got it going on (so to speak).
While you can use analytics and keyword research to learn more about your site’s visitors, one thing is universal: They’re looking for answers.
Think of how many times you use search engines to find other B2B companies—the people you want to find you are doing the same thing, and that’s why your blog should demonstrate authority.
Write about a combination of timely and evergreen subjects that affect your industry, and write it for an audience looking for answers—they want it that way. When in doubt, think of a question that prospects frequently ask, and devote a blog entry to answering it. This demonstrates your expertise while giving visitors exactly what they’re looking for, and when they need a company to turn to again in the future, the odds are better that it’s gonna be you.
Get Technical—When You’re Ready
Of course, there are plenty of other, more technical considerations for effective B2B blogging—specifically, search engine optimization techniques like incorporating keyword research, writing meta data and building links.
When you’re just starting out, though, incorporating search engine optimization measures only complicates the process even more—and the last thing you need is another obstacle in your path. For now, focus on sticking to your schedule and writing thoughtful, authoritative content, and wait until you get more comfortable with your new routine before you take on the next challenge.