Many B2B business owners and marketers still don’t consider blogging to be worth the investment or effort it takes. Only 33% of B2B companies utilize blogs—if so many haven’t found success with them, then what’s the point?
These business owners and marketers are missing out on a giant opportunity to reach potential customers. In fact, B2B marketers that use blogs get about 67% more leads than marketers who don’t. Blogging and content marketing may not yield the immediate results of traditional marketing channels, but is an essential part of inbound marketing. Many business experts even argue that content marketing is one of the best long-term strategies you can adopt.
So why, exactly, does your B2B company need a branded blog? Here are just a few of the most significant reasons.
1. Make it easier for customers to find you
Search engines drive millions of customers to sites every day. The premise behind SEO is that your customers already exist, but they may not know about your business (yet!). Improving your search engine rankings for specific keywords that your potential customers are searching is how you make the introduction.
Blogging is an excellent way to increase your search engine traffic—if you blog about certain topics enough, you can rank highly for specific keyword searches relevant to your industry. The more often you update your site with high-quality posts, the more traffic you’ll drive from organic searches. You can use individual blog posts to target different keyword themes so that as you build up more posts you’ll rank for many different keywords. Think of each new post as a new way that potential customers can find you. And the good news is that, because so many B2B companies still don’t utilize blogging, you’ll have a lot less competition for the keywords you want to optimize for.
2. Establish yourself as an expert in your field
A branded blog is an excellent way to establish your authority and credibility. Customers want to find information that’s valuable to them. If they have a question that needs answering or a problem that needs solving, they’ll resort to Google or a different search engine to find what they’re looking for. If that search leads them to an educational, valuable blog post on your website, you get the added benefit of being viewed as an authority—and companies that have built authority in their fields are inherently more trustworthy.
It’s not just about building brand awareness—though that is important as well!—but also building a reputation as a go-to source for a respected opinion in your industry.
3. Build your list of leads
A well-built email list is a goldmine. After a reader (and potential future customer) signs up for your newsletter through your blog, you can reach out with personalized follow-up emails, keep their attention, and generate further interest in your company’s offerings. Businesses that regularly update their blog get 67% more leads than those who do not—isn’t it time you started doing so?
When it comes to building out your blog content, you have many options—you can offer expert advice on relevant topics in your field, build out useful infographics, interview industry leaders, make an announcement, promote your products and services (subtly), and compile top 10 lists which are always a favorite.
One simple way to improve your blog content is to make it visual—blog posts with images get 94% more views than those without. And at the end of the body content of each blog post, you can include a call-to-action asking readers to subscribe to your newsletter or sign up for a targeted email list.
4. Communicate your brand personality
Customers respond to storytelling—what is your business about? Why should they trust you? What sets you apart from others in your field?
People want to know that there are human beings behind your company’s facade, and a blog is a great way to humanize your brand. Research suggests that making a personal connection is even more critical than data when it comes to engaging potential customers. The more you share about your company—how it began, why you chose to do what you do, when and how you’ve flourished—the more customers can relate to it on a human level. They need to be able to trust you, and that goes beyond your brand’s authority. They need to know that you care about their needs as much as your own, and a blog is an excellent place to communicate this.
Additionally, customers may have questions about your company, but don’t feel the need to reach out personally. They might, however, peruse your company website to try and find out as much as they can. The more you can tell them through your blog, the more likely you are to convert that website visitor into a customer.
5. Promote your blog content on social media to help gain more followers—and customers
Finally, it’s no secret that your customers are on social media. And while it may not feel like the place a B2B company should be, it absolutely is. Just look at your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account—people are interacting with brands all the time!
That being said, those interactions aren’t based on traditional advertisements. They happen when a brand has a story to tell or insight to provide. If you have blog posts that showcase your company’s expertise by offering information that’s useful to your customers, you have great content to share across all of your platforms. And, since social media is the new word-of-mouth, that gives your followers the opportunity to share your posts within their circles. Don’t underestimate the power of social media, especially when coupled with unique content from your blog.
Blogging is one of the best things you can do to find more customers in your B2B industry. And it’s easy. If you don’t know where to start, simply put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
What would you want to learn about your business or industry? What would you potentially be searching for online to find out about it? Once you get started, you’ll find that building out your B2B blog comes naturally—after all, you know your business inside and out. It’s time to communicate that with your customers, too!