This is a guest post from Jennifer G. Hanford of B2B Inbound Online.
I have been a B2B blogger for a little over a year now. Let me say this: I had a really rough start and the odds seemed to be against me. My knowledge of business-to-business marketing came from many years of cold calling, emailing, and sending out mailers.
I was a dedicated employee for a not-so-small company known as IBM. It would be years before social media became popular or the Internet would be used “for fun.” Business correspondence was mostly cut-and-dry back then and, as a result, the initial blog posts for my current company (not IBM) echoed my past life. It was all I knew!
I’ve come a long way this past year with my blogging. It’s a fact I work in a B2B world dominated by direct marketing, but I’m actively embracing all things inbound, including blogging for business.
What’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned this past year? B2B blogging doesn’t have to be boring.
Corporate Websites Need Blogs
I have read many blogs the past year regarding the importance of business blogging. So, why does your corporate website need a blog? The primary reason for a business to blog, in my honest opinion, is because people are out there looking for you on the Internet.
Many savvy B2B buyers are researching their purchases online these days. They know what they want and they are increasingly realizing the Internet provides the most efficient way to find it. Through your blog you can provide information to potential clients about:
- Your company, its culture, and your dedication to your consumers.
- The expertise and leadership your company has in its respective industry.
- The solutions you have to offer to consumer needs.
- How your solutions better meet consumer needs compared to competitors.
Getting to know and completely understand your audience will make a positive impression on them. As you write, it will help to learn and acknowledge the “pain points” of your potential buyers. Speaking to them in their language is crucial. The blog posts you write about your company and products or solutions don’t need to be technical (i.e. usually boring). Instead, writing your posts in a person-to-person context makes your business seem “human,” which is typically well-received by the modern B2B consumer.
Facing Your B2B Blogging Fears
There’s a common misconception in the B2B world that no one in the industry is reading business blog posts. Have no fear – these blogs are indeed being read and taken seriously. As I mentioned above, there are real people behind the B2B façades.
As a B2B blogger, you will be lending your own personal voice to the blog. This will help a potential buyer feel connected with your company in a way not otherwise accomplished through reading white papers or eBooks. When these “stories” resonate with potential clients, they will not be boring to them – in fact, the opposite should be true.
Another fear is that B2B blogging and social media marketing have no ROI. This is indeed a tricky subject, but still should not be feared. As long as your posts contain content sparking interest in your audience (and does not come across as a boring sales presentation) you will see results in the form of engagement, lead generation, and conversion. Several tools are available to measure the metrics and analytics involved in each of these steps, but there is really no one-size-fits-all measurement system. The best result, no matter what your business, is a satisfied client.
And there’s nothing boring about that.
Do you still think B2B blogging is boring? I would be glad to hear your thoughts about B2B blogging and what works for you.
About the Author: Jennifer G. Hanford is the Director of B2B Inbound Online, a division of OnTarget Partners. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (469) 200-4909.
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