Seth-Godin-Blogging

B2B Blogging | The Value of B2B Blogging

In my last article Social Media Cheat Sheet for B2B Marketing I introduced Drew McLellan’s “Social Media Landscape” tool for CMOs and made a bold statement (no-pun-intended): “B2B Social Media Marketing Is Useless Without a Business Blog.”  You may be wondering, what is the value of B2B Blogging and why is B2B Social Media Marketing Useless Without a Business Blog?

A blog is company’s Hub or “home-base” for ALL Social Media Marketing Activity.  B2B Companies should use their blog as a way to create remarkable content that can be found on search engines, in the blogosphere, and shared on social media networks.

The Value of B2B Blogging

  1. Establish yourself and your company as a thought leader in your industry
  2. Educate others in your industry with your blog
  3. Interact with the visitors to your blog in the comments section
  4. Encourage visitors to your blog to comment on your blog posts/articles
  5. Encourage visitors to subscribe to your RSS Feed via email or reader, enabling them to receive your new fresh content (blog posts/articles) immediately.
  6. Turn visitors into LEADS by adding compelling “Calls To Action” on each blog post/article
  7. Expand your Reach by commenting on other industry related blogs and linking back to your blog (in a Non-Spammy way.  See my comment policy if you want to learn about Comment Spam).
  8. Off-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Value: Build up high quality inbound links from authoritative websites.  Huh?  Why should you care about inbound links?  Inbound links are the currency of the internet.  The quantity and quality of inbound links are very important with respect to Getting Found online in Search Engines.  High quality websites are far more likely to link to an educational, inspirational, or well thought out blog article, than a static web page on your website.
  9. On-Page SEO Value:  Each blog article is an opportunity to focus on a keyword phrase that your target audience will type into search engines when doing research.  If  you can rank on Google’s 1st page in the organic listings (AKA Search Engine Results Pages or SERPS) for relevant keyword phrases, you will give yourself more opportunities to get found by your target audience.  Go To Google and do a Keyword Search for “Inbound Marketing.”  You will notice my employer’s B2B Blog ranks 1st and 2nd in Google’s organic listings.
  10. Analyze your blog articles to understand which articles are generating the most comments, reactions and leads.  Analyzing the marketing effectiveness of your blog should inspire future content creation efforts and blog articles.

Social Media Marketing is Useless Without a B2B Blog

  1. Since your blog is your home base for content creation, you want to give visitors the opportunity to share your remarkable content with their social media networks.
  2. Social Media Networks offer ways to connect with family, friends, colleagues, businesses, prospects, and like-minded people.  The best way to leverage social media for b2b business is to interact with others, answer questions, be respectful and act as if you were meeting these people in real life.
  3. Credibility:  When meeting prospects online, answering questions or offering advice, a blog adds another layer of credibility to your advice.

What are your thougts on B2B Blogging as it relates to Social Media Marketing?  Do you think B2B Companies can have a success generating leads without having a blog?

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  • http://www.twitter.com/expressbloom Scott Arnold

    Ryan – I’m new to social media, but everything I’ve read is that you must have a blog. if your corporate has a blog and you are a franchise location, IYO is it ok to link back to that as your resource rather than having a local blog? Downside, I suppose… is no local content and also no local metrics (I have no idea about their page views, etc). But we don’t have the resources to blog (really, we don’t). What do you think? BTW our corp blog is http://www.refreshleadership.com... if you aren’t already follow @tmonhollon, she’s doing a great job, I think, with our corporate social media strategy.

    • http://rbeale.com RBeale

      Scott, Thanks for stopping by and thanks for Tweeting this article! If you are a franchise and your corporation has blog, it is ok to link back to leverage their blog for success by linking back to the content that they create. If you have 3-4 hours per week (as a TEAM – not just you) to commit to content creation, I would recommend starting a blog where you can put a local spin on Tiffany’s content. Here are a few benefits to having your own blog: 1) You own it. It’s Your content 2) You become the authority 3) You can track and measure the marketing effectiveness of your blog (visitors, comments, reactions, leads).

      I just looked at http://www.refreshleadership.com and have a few tips to help improve her online visibility. 1) Google is not indexing ANY of the blog articles on http://www.refreshleadership.com. That means, when you do a Google Search for “refresh leadership” or any keyword phrase, your domain/blog is NOT getting found. This is problematic if your company’s social media marketing strategy is to get found by a target audience on search engines.

      I’m happy to help point you and Tiffany in the right direction if you want. :) Thanks again for stopping by!

      Best,
      Ryan

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  • http://www.twitter.com/expressbloom Scott Arnold

    Ryan – I'm new to social media, but everything I've read is that you must have a blog. if your corporate has a blog and you are a franchise location, IYO is it ok to link back to that as your resource rather than having a local blog? Downside, I suppose… is no local content and also no local metrics (I have no idea about their page views, etc). But we don't have the resources to blog (really, we don't). What do you think? BTW our corp blog is http://www.refreshleadership.com… if you aren't already follow @tmonhollon, she's doing a great job, I think, with our corporate social media strategy.

  • http://www.twitter.com/expressbloom Scott Arnold

    Thanks for the tips Ryan. Follow up question… what about using our Facebook Fan Page as our “blog” for local spin? You can see mine here http://www.facebook.com/expressbloom. I could blog notes there right?? I suppose it’s not as professional as a blog and more difficult because a person would need to have an account and be a fan to read it? Trouble is we’re a lean office and truly don’t have the 3-4 hours a week to managing another social media site (I work nights and weekends too). Perhaps for the “someday maybe” file! I’ll pass on to Tiffany the issue re: Google indexing too. You two should be following each other – she’s a huge Seth Godin fan too. Thanks much!

  • http://www.twitter.com/expressbloom Scott Arnold

    Thanks for the tips Ryan. Follow up question… what about using our Facebook Fan Page as our “blog” for local spin? You can see mine here http://www.facebook.com/expressbloom. I could blog notes there right?? I suppose it’s not as professional as a blog and more difficult because a person would need to have an account and be a fan to read it? Trouble is we’re a lean office and truly don’t have the 3-4 hours a week to managing another social media site (I work nights and weekends too). Perhaps for the “someday maybe” file! I’ll pass on to Tiffany the issue re: Google indexing too. You two should be following each other – she’s a huge Seth Godin fan too. Thanks much!

    • http://rbeale.com RBeale

      Hi Scott,

      You can always use as a facebook fan page to add notes and share your thoughts. Make sure your facebook fan page is set to “public” so the content that you create can be indexed by search engines. The reason why I tend to advise against using facebook or another social media platform to create content is because you ultimately have less flexibility in terms of “owning your content,” owning your URL, Brand name, etc. If for some reason one day Facebook decides to make every user PAY for a Facebook account, you may be left hanging and frustrated that you don’t own a blog. It’s an unlikely scenario, but my point is that you want to diversify your efforts and a blog should be your home-base for all social media marketing activity.

      Thanks again for commenting. I appreciate it!

  • http://rbeale.com RBeale

    Scott, Thanks for stopping by and thanks for Tweeting this article! If you are a franchise and your corporation has blog, it is ok to link back to leverage their blog for success by linking back to the content that they create. If you have 3-4 hours per week (as a TEAM – not just you) to commit to content creation, I would recommend starting a blog where you can put a local spin on Tiffany's content. Here are a few benefits to having your own blog: 1) You own it. It's Your content 2) You become the authority 3) You can track and measure the marketing effectiveness of your blog (visitors, comments, reactions, leads).

    I just looked at http://www.refreshleadership.com and have a few tips to help improve her online visibility. 1) Google is not indexing ANY of the blog articles on http://www.refreshleadership.com. That means, when you do a Google Search for “refresh leadership” or any keyword phrase, your domain/blog is NOT getting found. This is problematic if your company's social media marketing strategy is to get found by a target audience on search engines.

    I'm happy to help point you and Tiffany in the right direction if you want. :) Thanks again for stopping by!

    Best,
    Ryan

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for bringing up the importance of commenting on blogs. You’re right, done in a non-spammy way, it can be incredibly effective. In fact, I find it a little bit easier to start a discussion as so many people are focused on Retweeting content on Twitter these days. Blogs give me the feeling that I’m actually interacting rather than just pressing the RT button.

    From your experience, why do you think so many people avoid commenting on blogs? Is it just time or is it a value thing?

    • http://rbeale.com RBeale

      Thanks for commenting, Jeff! It’s great to see a HubSpot Partner and Inbound Marketing Professional comment here! I agree with your point that it is difficult to articulate and personalize comments while sharing a link or ReTweeting a link on Twitter. I find commenting on blogs much easier to offer your point of view, share new ideas or personal experience and ultimately, meet new people.

      From my experience, the reason why people do not comment on blogs is 2 fold. 1) Like Inbound Marketing, commenting on blogs is a relatively new concept to most business owners and experienced traditional marketers. Since commenting on blogs is such a new concept, it takes time for business owners and marketers to find their voice and build confidence to share their thoughts on particular blog posts/articles. 2) Time. Time is money and most business owners and marketers do not understand the value of building online relationships through commenting on blogs (really the first step in social media marketing, in my opinion) and thus, claim they do not have enough time to comment on blogs.

      Once again, those are my thoughts based on my experience. What do you think?

      Thanks very much for commenting here!!!

      • Anonymous

        It’s my pleasure to comment here. It’s so nice to get to know the HubSpot team – you guys are making magic and I love learning about you all.

        I’m so glad you share my view on commenting on blogs. I used this post and conversation as the fuel for an upcoming post. To me, a Retweet just always seems to be the equivalent of the “Hi! How Are You?” and the same canned “Fine!” response. I figure we can stop hiding behind Retweets and Fines and delve right into the good stuff. Blogging makes that happen!

        What’s crazy to me is that using HubSpot makes it so easy to see the value of commenting on blogs. When you gather enough data, you can tell which blogs attract the right traffic to your site for lead generation and potentially new clients or customers.

        You made a great point about finding voice and building confidence. As a service provider, this tells me that I should really take a more active role in the daily activities of my clients and make sure they’re taking small actions each day in areas like blog commenting. Taking action and learning is the only way to get better when you move away from the theory of marketing into the meat of it.

        I’m really hard on myself about the time issue. For a while, I was telling myself that I had no time to blog. However, I knew that I would be a hypocrite if I said that so I started waking up at 5am and adjusting my schedule to always get some writing in. When it becomes a priority, you find the time.

        So much to talk about! I feel a webinar coming on.

  • pullnotpush

    Thanks for bringing up the importance of commenting on blogs. You're right, done in a non-spammy way, it can be incredibly effective. In fact, I find it a little bit easier to start a discussion as so many people are focused on Retweeting content on Twitter these days. Blogs give me the feeling that I'm actually interacting rather than just pressing the RT button.

    From your experience, why do you think so many people avoid commenting on blogs? Is it just time or is it a value thing?

  • http://rbeale.com RBeale

    Thanks for commenting, Jeff! It's great to see a HubSpot Partner and Inbound Marketing Professional comment here! I agree with your point that it is difficult to articulate and personalize comments while sharing a link or ReTweeting a link on Twitter. I find commenting on blogs much easier to offer your point of view, share new ideas or personal experience and ultimately, meet new people.

    From my experience, the reason why people do not comment on blogs is 2 fold. 1) Like Inbound Marketing, commenting on blogs is a relatively new concept to most business owners and experienced traditional marketers. Since commenting on blogs is such a new concept, it takes time for business owners and marketers to find their voice and build confidence to share their thoughts on particular blog posts/articles. 2) Time. Time is money and most business owners and marketers do not understand the value of building online relationships through commenting on blogs (really the first step in social media marketing, in my opinion) and thus, claim they do not have enough time to comment on blogs.

    Once again, those are my thoughts based on my experience. What do you think?

    Thanks very much for commenting here!!!

  • http://rbeale.com RBeale

    Hi Scott,

    You can always use as a facebook fan page to add notes and share your thoughts. Make sure your facebook fan page is set to “public” so the content that you create can be indexed by search engines. The reason why I tend to advise against using facebook or another social media platform to create content is because you ultimately have less flexibility in terms of “owning your content,” owning your URL, Brand name, etc. If for some reason one day Facebook decides to make every user PAY for a Facebook account, you may be left hanging and frustrated that you don't own a blog. It's an unlikely scenario, but my point is that you want to diversify your efforts and a blog should be your home-base for all social media marketing activity.

    Thanks again for commenting. I appreciate it!

  • pullnotpush

    It's my pleasure to comment here. It's so nice to get to know the HubSpot team – you guys are making magic and I love learning about you all.

    I'm so glad you share my view on commenting on blogs. I used this post and conversation as the fuel for an upcoming post. To me, a Retweet just always seems to be the equivalent of the “Hi! How Are You?” and the same canned “Fine!” response. I figure we can stop hiding behind Retweets and Fines and delve right into the good stuff. Blogging makes that happen!

    What's crazy to me is that using HubSpot makes it so easy to see the value of commenting on blogs. When you gather enough data, you can tell which blogs attract the right traffic to your site for lead generation and potentially new clients or customers.

    You made a great point about finding voice and building confidence. As a service provider, this tells me that I should really take a more active role in the daily activities of my clients and make sure they're taking small actions each day in areas like blog commenting. Taking action and learning is the only way to get better when you move away from the theory of marketing into the meat of it.

    I'm really hard on myself about the time issue. For a while, I was telling myself that I had no time to blog. However, I knew that I would be a hypocrite if I said that so I started waking up at 5am and adjusting my schedule to always get some writing in. When it becomes a priority, you find the time.

    So much to talk about! I feel a webinar coming on.

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