Most B2B companies would accept that blogging is, in principle at least, a potentially valuable marketing tool. The challenge for many businesses, especially those without a dedicated marketing function, is to generate sufficient ideas and content to sustain a blog beyond the initial entries.
This is not, however, the barrier that it at first might seem, and with some modest effort can easily be achieved.
Worth the effort
The effort is worth making. According to a survey of over 600 business professionals, carried out in 2011 by Hubspot, 57% of companies that regularly use blogs won new customers via their blog entries. The same survey also showed that the cost of each lead from inbound marketing techniques, such as blogs and social media, compared with the cost of traditional outbound techniques, was around 62% lower.
Integrate blogs into your PR strategy
I’m not advocating a complete switch of strategy from advertising, P.R. and other traditional communication and brand building tools, to social media, blogs and so on.
But I do believe it is vital that companies in the B2B sector take a far more proactive approach to the integration of conventional and new media communication tools.
This is not a difficult exercise; in practice, it’s simply an evolution of what all good marketers have been doing for years.
For example, P.R. has always been acknowledged as a powerful marketing tool in the printed and broadcast media. It can also easily be adapted as a means of generating great content – engaging, informative and motivating – for social media, especially blogs.
So if you already have a P.R. programme in place, then you have the means to create solid blog entries on a regular basis with just a minimum of extra work.
Reconsider your MarComms approach
If you have not previously used P.R. but have invested your marketing budget in print advertising, exhibitions or other high cost activities, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate this strategy. Similarly, if you have only a modest budget then using P.R. as the engine to drive coverage in the media and provide online content can be an extremely cost-effective method of building brand awareness and generating new sales opportunities.
Top Blog Tips:
- Be passionate and demonstrate knowledge – if possible use statistics and cross references (URLs).
- Don’t be afraid to start with a comment from other sources.
- Use short paragraphs and headings to make it easier to read online. Use sub headings and captions to improve readability on-screen.
- Be inspirational.
- Time your blog and make sure you post regularly – more frequent but shorter posts and generally better than an occasional heavyweight piece
- Follow discussions through and maintain a consistent set of messages – ideally those that reflect your business and marketing strategies
- Offer something in exchange (like these Top Tips!)