You probably have read some of the articles and blogs proclaiming the death of blogging. You might have believed what you read, especially if you do not monitor the Internet daily for fresh data. If you wonder if and why B2B blogging is still the right thing to do, we offer the following insights and supporting data.
1. Blogging will still help your search engine rankings.
The search engines still look for fresh content posted to a site regularly as a positive factor. It is much easier, less expensive, and more logical to update your site with a daily or weekly blog post than to re-write your site content or to create and upload other new content to a site.
2.Blogging is a great way to anticipate and answer questions from prospects or customers.
Your blog is the ideal place to respond to questions about your business or your products/services. Posts of this type are most useful and accessible if the title includes the question you are answering. This eliminates the need to duplicate the information in a FAQ page or create a complicated index. You can easily create a category for blog posts that answer prospect questions and customer questions. What could be easier for prospects and customers than typing in a question and having the response displayed?
3. Blogs are one of the most influential sources of information for customer purchase decisions.
According to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, blogs are the number 3 source of information for purchase decisions.
Note that blogs are still more popular sources of information for purchase decisions than social media platforms. Bloggers who will review your product or service can be extremely influential, if you seek out the reviews of those bloggers with earned reputations for honesty and candor in their reviews. Exercise care in choosing review bloggers who are trusted by your market. This is far more important than a big name unknown to your audience
If you believe in your product/service (and we sincerely hope you do), you can also invite reviews on your blog in the form of comments from readers. This approach conveys both confidence in your product/service and transparency to the public. You can always invite your customers to post a blog reviewing your product/service on your site. (If you want this to be trustworthy, you must give everyone who buys from you a way to post their review (positive or negative), and all reviews must be retained on the blog.
4. Leading influencers publish blogs themselves.
According to the Technorati study, blogging is the primary publishing platform for influencers:
Primary publishing platforms – Technorati
5. Big brands evaluate marketing success very differently from influencers.
Most people have heard some bit of the debate about the business value of a social media like, fan, or follower. Big brands tend to evaluate the success of their marketing efforts in terms of likes, fans, and followers on social media because they are focusing on Facebook (and some other social platforms) as the area in which they can exert the greatest influence over their audience. Influencers, on the other hand, measure their success by the number of page views they earn for their blog or website.
Think about that for a minute. What does it take from a business for you to like something they post online or follow their activity on a social media platform? What does it take before you re-tweet something? What, if any, real connection there is between liking, following, becoming a fan, or re-tweeting, and your decision to purchase a particular product or service?
Remember: a blog is a social medium. It is not a social media platform. Do you make purchase decisions based on what you read on Facebook or Twitter (or other platforms), or do you decide based on what you read in the blog or the website to which they point you?
6. There is a demonstrated connection between blogging and winning new customers.
Customers want to know about your company and your products/services. They want to know who you are and what you value. They also want to know how you give back to the community that keeps you in business. They gather the information and the insights from your content marketing – your website and your blog, primarily. The chart below is based on data from HubSpot:
7. Blogging is your best platform to tell your own story.
Telling your company’s story is important in social media marketing. Your website and your blog are the primary platforms for doing so. You have complete control of the message and the shape of the story. If you want people to see the real story, you are the best person to tell the story truthfully.
For these seven primary reasons, we are committed to the importance of blogging. A blog is an ideal format for a “think piece” – a post in which you can share your thoughts and ideas with your audience without limitations on the number of characters you use and without risking loss of ownership of your ideas.