A B2B blog is a powerful tool for any business. Not only does it allow you to connect with and engage your audience, but it has some very important benefits when it comes to SEO and building brand reputation as well.
It’s important to note that blogging isn’t just for B2C businesses. In fact, a B2B blog may be one of the most useful tactics available to the B2B marketer. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute, 76% of B2B marketers report that blogs are a vital part of their content marketing strategy. Blogs provide a whole range of benefits that allow B2B marketers to more effectively attract, engage, convert, and delight their leads and customers.
In this handy guide, we’ll tell you all that you need to know about B2B blogging. We will start with what a B2B blog is and the benefits it can provide to your company’s bottom line. Then, we’ll show you how to create your own blog and start creating killer content for your readers. Let’s get started…
What is a B2B Blog?
A B2B blog is a blog website where your company can post quality content that your target audience will find valuable. B2B blogs are a lot like B2C blogs except the content is not aimed at general consumers. Instead, B2B blog content focuses on helping businesses and professionals understand and solve their greatest organizational challenges.
To give you a better idea of what B2B blogging is and how it works, let’s look at an example of a great B2B blog. American Express OPEN Forum is a B2B blog aimed at helping small business owners better understand their biggest challenges and find new ways to improve their brands.
Here you can see the homepage of OPEN Forum, which has a number of different categories for readers to choose from.
The blog covers a range of topics that are important to business owners such as hiring and human resources, customer relations, digital tools, marketing and sales, and research. Though the end goal for American Express is to get new customers to use their business products, the blog is not focused strictly on sales. Instead, it works to build relationships with readers through quality content that can provide them some value in their journey as business owners.
This is what a great blog does. It goes beyond just selling your B2B product or service. Instead, it allows you to provide valuable content for your readers that helps you improve brand recognition and earn the trust of your target buyers. The more great content you can provide for your target market, the better your chances of influencing a sale.
If you’re thinking, “wow, my small business could never create and sustain something on that scale,” – you’re not alone. Many small business owners and marketers avoid creating blogs because they fear that they will not be able to develop enough great content to engage their target audience.
However, the truth is that you can start small and still see big results.
Your business doesn’t have to have the same big budget as American Express to create a B2B blog that improves lead generation, builds brand reputation, and increases conversions. Posting just one or two great articles each month is better than none at all. In fact, according to HubSpot, B2B companies that blog typically generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not have a B2B blog.
Even producing just one or two blog posts a month can help your business see an increase in the number of new leads.
The Benefits of B2B Blogging
Now that you know what a B2B blog is, let’s talk more about the benefits of business blogging and how it can impact your company’s bottom line. Here are just a few ways your business can benefit from having a blog:
1. Blogging improves search engine optimization (SEO).
B2B blogging can help improve your company’s search engine optimization efforts. The more pages of content that you have on your website for search engines like Google to “read” and index, the higher your chances of showing up on the search engine results page when someone types in a relevant keyword or phrase. In fact, according to Tech Client, websites that have a blog will typically have 434% more indexed pages than those without.
If you want to improve your chances of showing up in the search engines, you’ll need to create more blog content that is focused around keywords that your target audience finds important. This will help drive more organic traffic back to your site, giving you the opportunity to convert more potential leads.
2. A B2B blog helps you attract more qualified leads.
Not only does blogging help you bring more leads back to your site, but it helps improve the quality of those leads. When you blog about topics that are relevant to your ideal buyer, you are working to attract more of the right types of buyers to your site.
For instance, let’s say that your business is a software company that provides a product to help ecommerce brands work more efficiently. You do some keyword research and find out that one of the biggest issues for ecommerce businesses is cart abandonment. You then decide to publish a series of blogs on how ecommerce brands can decrease cart abandonment rates.
When you write about topics like this that are specific to your target audience, you work to attract exactly the type of buyers that are perfect for your brand. By writing about niche topics that appeal to your target buyers, you help ensure that those leads that are coming to your website are right for your product or service. The more qualified the lead, the more likely you will be to convert. Which brings us to the next point…
3. B2B blogs can increase conversions over time.
Blogging is one of the best types of content marketing when it comes to high conversion rates. That is most likely because this digital marketing tactic is a great way to foster relationships with your customers and build trust over time. The more valuable quality content you can provide for your target audience, the more opportunities you have to make a connection with the buyer and earn their trust.
Conversion rates for blogs and other inbound marketing tactics are second only to optimized landing pages.
B2B blogs can be used to engage buyers at every step in the buyer’s journey, but if you want to improve conversions, you will need to make sure that you have content aimed at buyers in the consideration and decision stages of the marketing funnel. This means that not all of your content should be about general challenges, but also about how your specific products and solutions can benefit buyers.
Another important part of increasing conversion rates with your B2B blog is placing calls-to-action (CTAs) in your blog post. Make sure that your CTA is easy to see and clearly written. There should be no question in the reader’s mind as to what you would like them to do next.
The Costs of B2B Blogging
Looking at all the benefits, you may still be wondering, what are the costs of B2B blogging? Well, the answer to this question will depend on whether you plan to use an in-house content creator to develop blog content or outsource work to a freelance writer or content marketing agency.
In addition to the content creation costs, you will also have to consider the costs associated with starting a blog. If you already have a website set up, starting a blog page on your site should be rather simple. If you are not managing your own site content, be sure to speak to your web designer about creating a new page for your blog posts.
If you don’t yet have a website built, but you’d like to get started, here are some of the costs that will come with starting your blog:
- Domain Name – You will need to choose a unique domain name for your blog website. There are a number of affordable domain name registrars that will allow you to search for and buy a domain name for anywhere between $10-15 for the year. Remember, you will have to renew this domain each year.
- Web Hosting – Web hosting is another routine cost that you will have to pay to host your blog on the internet. The price will depend on which host you use, but is typically around $10 per month. Do some research to find a web hosting company that provides you with the support and features you need.
- Web Design – If you’re starting from scratch, you may also want to consider hiring someone to help with the design of your site. Hiring an expert for web design services gives you the peace of mind in knowing that your site will look professional and work properly.
Though there are some costs involved with B2B blogging, it’s important to note that any investment you make in your blog is a smart one. Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely than those who don’t to enjoy a positive return on investment.
A positive ROI makes blogging worthwhile for B2B businesses.
How to Start a B2B Blog
Are you ready to start blogging? Developing a thriving B2B blog takes time, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you will be able to reap the benefits of business blogging. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to start your B2B blog:
- Create a strategy. Before you start writing, consider what the purpose of your blog will be. Do some target market research to define what topics will appeal most to your ideal buyers. In addition, you’ll want to decide how often you will publish and who will be creating content for your blog.
- Research target keywords. As part of your B2B blogging, you’ll be working to create content around targeted keywords. Before you start writing, you need to determine what keywords and phrases your audience might use to find your company. You can do your own research on Google AdWords or with a paid SEO keyword research tool. You may also want to hire an SEO company to provide keywords for you.
- Create a content calendar. Once you know what types of topics you’ll be writing about and have identified the most effective keywords, it’s time to create a content calendar for your B2B blog. In this content calendar you’ll include the topic of the blog post, the keywords you plan to use, the author, the publish date, and any other important information.
- Start writing! Whether you are planning to create your blog content in-house or you want to hire some outside help, you will be ready to start writing once you have the content calendar in place. Make sure that you have a system in place for revising and optimizing your blog content over time.
- Publish your blog content. After you have some posts ready to go, it’s time to take them live on your B2B blog. In addition to posting the written content, include any relevant images and be sure to link to any resources you’ve used along the ways.
- Promote your content. B2B blogging doesn’t stop after you’ve published hit publish. You need to make sure that your target audience is able to see what you’ve written. This is where social media and gated content strategies come into play. Use any platform available to you to share your blog content with others who may find it valuable.
If you want your B2B blog to be successful, you need to consistently post content that is valuable and engaging. However, one of the greatest challenges reported by B2B content marketers is that it’s difficult to produce engaging content. B2B marketers also struggle with measuring the effectiveness of their content, producing content consistently, and creating a variety of content.
Many B2B content marketers struggle with producing great content, which is a vital part of any company blog.
All of these challenges can very easily be solved by partnering with a content marketing agency. Many small B2B businesses just don’t have the resources in house to create great blog content consistently. Working with a digital marketing agency allows these business to enjoy the benefits of B2B blogging while freeing up their team to work on other important tasks that are vital to the business.
Want more information about how a digital marketing agency can help you reach your B2B blog goals? Check out our Content Marketing Services page for more information about how our digital marketing agency can help you drive results through quality content. Or just contact us directly, and we will schedule a time to talk to you.