There are hundreds of millions of blogs on the web. Many are produced by marketers.
But creating and sustaining a blog is a big commitment. And with all the other marketing options available these days, do corporate blogs still have marketing value?
The answer is yes, especially for B2B marketers.
Here are seven reasons why you still need a blog in a smart B2B marketing strategy, plus a compelling B2B blogging success story shared by Rick Short of Indium Corporation at Content Marketing World 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
7 Advantages of Blogging for B2B Marketers
Despite the proliferation of blogs, the availability of new marketing channels, and the very real challenges of producing an effective blog, blogging continues to offer enduring advantages for B2B marketing:
- Forces you to be disciplined about regularly creating content: Consistency is what sets successful content marketers apart. Blogging keeps you from slacking off on content development by requiring you to commit to a publishing schedule.
- Creates a focal point and a base for content marketing: Blog posts can give you a jumping-off point for developing more in-depth content, such as white papers, case studies, videos, or presentations on similar subjects. Study your analytics for posts with the highest level of engagement, then create more extensive versions of this popular content.
- Helps drive lead generation: Hubspot reports that B2B marketers who blog receive a significantly higher percentage of leads for new business. (See the case study below.)
- Dramatically impacts your website’s visibility: Constantly publishing fresh, relevant content for your blog is high-octane fuel for search engines. Look at the mostly highly ranked websites in your industry; chances are, these sites are regularly publishing and posting new content, probably through one or more blogs.
- Creates natural opportunities for social media posts: Every blog post is an opportunity to share something new and interesting on your social media accounts, which can be a struggle for B2B marketers. Announce each new post with a link to your blog and add the proper hashtags relevant to your industry.
- Increases your impact on social media: Every retweet or share of your posts amplifies your voice on social media and increases your chances of being seen, read, remembered, and followed.
- Positions you as a thought leader and problem-solver: A blog remains an ideal way to showcase your expertise and establish your ongoing authority as an expert in your industry. Show your customers and prospects how to solve problems and address challenges based on your experience.
A B2B Blogging Success Story from Indium Corporation
Indium Corporation is a premier materials supplier to the global electronics, semiconductor, solar, thin film, and thermal management markets. Manufacturing facilities are in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Its customers are engineers.
The company’s commitment to blogging is legendary among B2B content marketers and Rick Short, Indium’s Director of Marketing Communications, explained why at Content Marketing World 2015. “Our goal is to make our customers’ lives easier and better,” Short stated. “We talk about our customers’ pain points, problems, and issues.”
Producing dozens of blogs written by 22 engineers enables Indium to continually position itself as the industry problem-solver. Its marketing tagline – From One Engineer to Another® – is exemplified in posts on such narrow topics as Achieving Uniform Solder Bondline Control Between Substrate and Baseplate in IGBT Assembly: Part II.
The Bottom Line: Blogging Supports Sales
As Indium’s example proves, blogging can be extremely effective in B2B marketing and sales. Indium’s blogs generate 100,000 blog visits and 10,000 opt-in, self-qualified, and highly qualified sales leads each year. That sells a lot of soldering materials.
The ultimate goal, said Short, is to develop content of such high value that customers ask for it: “Create content that motivates customers to give you their contact information.”
Follow Rick Short on Twitter: @RickShort21