Why blogging is a valuable and rewarding online activity?
When it comes to achieving the ultimate goal of any B2B company which is to increase sales and revenue, it is likely that some would be suspicious about the return on investment of creating, supporting and developing a company blog on an on-going basis.
And there I would argue that blogging can, on the contrary, be quickly rewarding, when one would consider the immense power of Google as a gatekeeper. Google is today on most markets around the globe the main entrance door to a company’s online audience… and it gives higher ranking to those (company) websites that are regularly updated.
So once you have your corporate content in order, your product pages completed and all other basic information under control… what is left to make your website a “living” platform?
Most of us tend to start with Adwords campaigns since the reward is basically immediate and its effect is very measurable. This is indeed quite alright to start… but is it not a good option to balance “paid promotion” with in-depth blogs that have a potentially longer life time in the search engine results ranking?
On top of that, blogs not only will appear in the “organic results” but, if mentioned about (i.e. commented on, talked about, linked to, liked and rated…) they will stay there for a long period ensuring higher online visibility to the owner, i.e. the company!
Is blogging for everyone in a company?
That is certainly a question worth considering: who should be writing blogs?
- Is this an activity that should be left to selected company experts or can this be open to anyone within the company provided the topic is relevant?
- Would it be a better option to employ a dedicated “company blogger”?
- Should we create a mixed approach and do a bit of both?
And then also come many other questions such as what is a relevant blog topic? Can we touch upon topics that might create controversy? Should we create a frame for possible blog topics? Should blogs be reviewed before they are published by their authors?…
Since it remains pretty hard today to get metrics on this type of activities (compelling metrics on social media activities remain difficult to gather as stated in the same article where we took this quote about company blogs) maybe a good start for a B2B would be:
- On one side to create a “bloggers/champions team” mixing experts on selected topics and who are willing to write
- On the other side, to open blogging to any employee who has interesting views about the business the company is into and who wants to share those in an engaging way
- Finally ensure someone (could be external then!) with a more technical knowledge of SEO and blogging good practises should handle the keyboard and help to optimize the posts with tags, meta-descriptions….
Company blog: what should be the “targets and goals”?
Ideally blogging should be aimed at creating a proprietary audience that is a group composed of those individuals that a company wants to be “followed by”:
Most probably the already existing customers would be a good starting point.
And since we see a growing trend of peer-to-peer communication and knowledge sharing in the B2B arena, blogs would potentially be mentioned by those existing customers via links on their own websites, via their social media profiles and more: so a second group of interest, potential customers and experts from related businesses, would also gradually become a part of this proprietary audience.
Additional targets would be to improve the companies ranking in search results as we already mentioned above, to increase the brand awareness, to become opinion leaders… but those should probably not be the initial or let’s say the ideal goals. They should naturally come as the company proposes high value and well optimized content on its blog.
Company blog: how to start and define what to blog about?
- A good place to start the process would be to scan and use the available information around the top 3 social media platforms that are today LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. YouTube could also be scanned although video content might be more tricky to analyse!
- This information should then be bundled in order to extract the top words, phrases, product names etc…to get an overall understanding of what is actually being talked about: what are the hottest topics.
- It would be important to not only look at who are the company’s followers but going deeper into who twits about it and the segments it’s operating within? Who has written about its products or services?
- Surely an in-depth study of what is being said not only about the company itself, about its products and services but also about the businesses it deals with via those products and services. On a wider scale the what study should also look into “related” topics discussed in the society at large (environmental care, green energy, new laws and regulations that apply to our business…)
We believe that blogging is not about vanity publishing because people do not care much about how good we are. It should be solely focusing on solving the target audience’s pain points, about discussing how the company supports its sustainable goals and all things that are high on the agenda of professionals and individuals.
And a last point: if you start it’s not to stop after a couple of month. There must be a commitment to do this consistently for at least 6 month before the first results can be evaluated.
- Timothy Cawsey, Jennifer Rowley, (2016) “Social media brand building strategies in B2B companies”, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 34 Issue: 6, pp.754-776,
- 12 Reasons Why Blogging Is The #1 B2B Marketing Tactic by Douglas Burdett ⇒ https://www.artillerymarketing.com/blog/bid/137986/12-Reasons-Why-Blogging-Is-The-1-B2B-Marketing-Tactic
- The ultimate guide to Blogging: https://www.slideshare.net/ArtilleryMarketing/ultimate-blogging-14265777?ref=