Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why a Blog (Still) Matters in Marketing

B2B marketers have more ways than ever to publish and share marketing content. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Slideshare, and Scribd are just some of the venues for disseminating your content to prospects and customers. With all of the options now available, it can be tempting to think that blogging is no longer important to your marketing efforts.

That's a mistake. A blog can still be a highly effective marketing tool. In the 2011 State of Inbound Marketing survey by HubSpot:
  • 57% of companies that publish a blog said that they have acquired new customers from blog-generated leads
  • 62% of companies with a blog said that it is "critical" or "important" to their business
Here are just a few of the benefits that a blog provides:
  • A blog is an ideal vehicle for providing your prospects with bite-size pieces of your marketing content. Today's business buyers are incredibly busy, and many prefer content that can be consumed quickly. This can be particularly important when you are dealing with prospects who don't know you well. A blog provides a way for them to try out your content without investing a lot of their time.
  • A blog is one of the best ways to improve your company's position in organic search. Google and other search engines place a big emphasis on how frequently content is updated. So, if you post to your blog regularly, you can improve your search results.
  • Your blog can be used to point prospects to more substantial marketing content. For example, you can use a blog post to summarize a topic covered in one of your white papers and include a link to the paper in your post.
  • Your blog can function as a hub for your content marketing effort. For example, when you publish a new blog post, you can use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to point to the post.
The catch is that just having a blog isn't enough. To reap the most benefits from your blog, you need to post new content on a frequent basis. The HubSpot survey shows that 72% of companies that post weekly have acquired new customers through their blog. That number increases to 78% for companies that post daily, but it falls to only 49% for companies that post monthly.

Posting on a weekly basis can be challenging for many companies, but there are a couple of ways to deal with the challenge. First, you can outsource some or all of the blog writing duties.  In this scenario, blog posts are prepared by an outside writer, but they are published under your "byline." The second approach is to use "guest bloggers" to write some of the posts for your blog. This approach can be effective, so long as it isn't overused. After all, one primary objective of your blog is to demonstrate your expertise, not someone else's.

5 comments:

  1. I like that you emphasized the importance of frequent blogs posting. I think often times companies think that simply by getting a blog and posting something every now and then is enough. It takes dedication and consistent seo to run a blog successfully, but when done correctly can be one of the best money making tools a company can do online. Thanks

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  2. TopherBricks,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree that SEO plays an important role in blogging success.

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  3. You can place your important keywords on your blog. You can also place links on your blog and images. All of these factors boost SEO. This shows how helpful a blog is in rankings.

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  4. Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff...I think you've made some truly interesting points.Keep up the good work.
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  5. What's interesting about this is that so many companies (especially small to one-person operations) haven't figured this out yet. And these are the folks who stand to have the most to gain from a solid, consistent content marketing program. The simplest and most cost-effective way for a solopreneur or small business to start leveling the playing field is to outsource a weekly blog post to a quality writer who understands how to write for web readers.

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