Blogging is widely used as a marketing tool in the B2C space, but did you know it also plays an important role in B2B marketing, too? As a content writer, I help B2B businesses get their message out to their audience with regular blog posts. But a lot of B2B brands aren’t leveraging blogging in their marketing plans – and as a result, they’re missing out on clients and revenue. That’s why B2B marketing strategy specialist Nicole Martin at Pinpoint Marketing invited me to explain why you need to blog in your business B2B business.
Let’s look at the benefits of sharing blog content as part of your B2B marketing strategy, and why it’ll help your brand.
1. Building authority
Before a prospect will sign up to your services, they’ll need to be sure you can deliver for them. If they’ve never heard of your business, how do they know you’ll do a good job?
The answer? You have to show them.
Sales copy will only go so far – it’ll tell potential clients about your features and benefits, but it won’t demonstrate your real, in-depth knowledge of your sector. Or your understanding of prospect’s problems.
A blog post, however, gives you the time and space to explain things to your audience properly. You’re talking to them in a no-pressure environment: they’re researching your business on their own terms. It’s an ideal opportunity for building trust.
Posting regularly to your site shows potential customers that you’re active and engaged. Your blog is the place to respond to industry news and events so you can demonstrate you’ve got your ear to the ground in your sector.
In other words, a blog is where you can show you know what you’re talking about, without being ‘salesy’.
2. Being useful
If your prosects are new to working with your brand – or even your sector – they’ll need to do their research before they sign on the line.
By providing helpful, informative blog content, your business can become the go-to place for your audience to understand the industry in general.
So share topics that explore the ‘why’s and ‘how’s of your work to pique curiosity and engage interest. Throw in plenty of tips, too – no one likes to think they might be missing out on valuable knowledge, so they’ll keep reading.
Content like this means that when prospects have a question, they’ll come to your site to get it answered.
And when that happens, your target client is getting multiple touchpoints with your brand – and they’re initiating those touchpoints themselves. It’s a really powerful way to move prospects along the all-important know, like and trust journey of marketing.
The more a prospect grows to like and trust your business, the more likely that you’ll be the brand they choose when they’re ready to buy.
3. Speaking to your audience’s fears
Whoever your contact or target in a business, from lowly executive right up to the lofty heights of founder or CEO, they’ll have fears.
They might have doubts about venturing into new territory, worries about hitting targets, or concerns that the competition will get ahead.
If you can speak about these fears – and show how your business can help prevent them becoming reality – your brand becomes much more attractive to your audience.
Your blog will show you’re experienced in business and problem solving. Your audience will see you’re prepared to tackle problems head-on.
4. Appealing to aspirations
In business, everyone has somewhere they want to get to. That could be a business goal or a personal ambition.
When you tap into these aspirations – and show your reader how you’ll help achieve them – you’ll have their attention.
Appealing to aspiration is the flip-side of speaking to the fears. Think of it as the difference between what keeps your audience awake at night, and what makes them jump out of bed in the morning.
Creating content that appeals to aspirations shows your brand as the forward-thinking, proactive partner your prospect needs to get where they want to go.
5. Answering the ‘obvious’
When you’re close to your business, it can be hard to spot the gaps in your communication.
What seems obvious to you might be clear as mud to your reader.
It’s a significant barrier to sale when your prospect is unsure about part of the process, or what you’ll do when faced with an obstacle.
Do potential clients have lots of questions during the enquiry process? Do they have queries throughout the delivery? Yes? Then it’s a clear sign that you need to be talking about these issues earlier on – while they’re still researching you through your website.
If you can walk your audience through any questions they have, or processes they’ll encounter with your brand, they’ll see you as a safe pair of hands.
Initiating conversations and giving clarity up-front shows you’re prepared, open and transparent. This is where blogging comes in handy – it shows your audience you’re prepared, in control and you’re trustworthy.
If you’re not doing this, it’s likely that you’re missing out on business – there’ll be many other prospects choosing your competitors because their blog answered questions up front.
6. Improving SEO
When you understand what your audience needs to know, targeting key phrases carefully in your blog posts means you’ll pick up on queries typed into Google. In other words, blogging gives your SEO a significant boost.
Plus, Google loves it when websites are updated often. When Google’s bots see you creating relevant content regularly, it moves you higher up the ranking than a competitor who posts content less often, meaning more people get to engage with your brand.
Blogging gives the perfect opportunity to add new content to your site regularly. It shows both Google and your audience that you’ve got your finger on the pulse.
7. Guiding prospects to a buying decision
Whilst blog posts aren’t sales copy, they play an important part in the conversion process.
A blog post is a low-pressure place for your audience to find out about you. You’re informing, not selling. Think about it as ‘soft power’ – it’s what goes on behind the scenes to influence a decision.
Content is an important part of the buying journey, and with clients becoming more cautious with their spending, creating relevant blog posts can bring a pay-off where sales copy alone will fall down.
A well-managed blog supports your sales efforts – it doesn’t try to replace them. When a prospect asks a question, your team can chat through the points in brief, and then email a link to your article – it shows you’re thinking about them, you’re prepared, and it creates another touchpoint for your target to feel good about your brand.
8. Driving social and newsletter content with one clear message
Effective marketing focuses on one message at a time. It’s one of the reasons you need a clear marketing strategy in your business (talk to Nicole about that)
And that means your comms across all channels – your social, your emails, your blog – should all be singing from the same hymn sheet.
When you publish a blog post, maximise its impact by promoting it across your social media – several times, across all your accounts. It’s the best way to get eyes on your message.
Repurposing your blog content like this guides people to your site to read more, and keeps your messaging consistent. It makes your marketing efforts more effective.
9. Maximising ROI
Repurposing content is not just great for messaging, it also gives you a lot more bang for your marketing buck. It’s a great way to generate content for your every-hungry social accounts, so it saves you time AND helps you get more value from your blog content
Taking key phrases from your blog to use in your social posts, and use snippets in your newsletters to drive your followers to your site to read your blog posts. It all adds to the mix that shows your content is useful and improves your SEO.
Making the most of your expertise?
If you’re not blogging for your B2B brand, you should be. You’re missing out on huge opportunities to engage your audience, and you’re allowing your competitors to snap up your prospects.
You have a wealth of knowledge and expertise held within your business, and it’s time to share it.
Not sure where to start with a blog? Or how to fit your content with your marketing strategy? Talk to someone like Nicole at Pinpoint to get your plans in place.
No time to write your blog yourself? She’ll put you in touch with someone like me so you get your blog posts written, stress-free.
This is a Guest blog by Laura Ansbro, content writer. Check out Laura on LinkedIn