B2B marketers are living in a time of feast and famine: at a time when there have never been more ways to communicate with prospects and customers, it has never been more difficult to break through to them.
Because of technology, your prospects are able to screen out unwanted marketing messages such as cold calls, spam email, pop up and banner ads.
Since a company's prospects are increasingly in control over what marketing messages they consume, rather than sending unappetizing, outbound marketing messages, smart marketers are producing content that tastes good.
That's why blogs are playing a central role in B2B marketing success.
So what exactly is a blog? The name is derived from web log, where articles are published on a regular basis. Here's how HubSpot defines it:
Blog - A collection of articles that provide helpful, valuable, educational, and remarkable content to your target audience. By providing this value, blogs can easily and effectively draw prospects to your website.
One of the best examples of a blog being used for inbound marketing is the American Express OPEN Forum. This popular blog has lots of useful articles about how to successfully run a small business. According to American Express, the OPEN Forum is now the number one source of sign ups for their corporate credit cards.
Companies that blog get 55% more website traffic than those that don't blog.
Companies that blog get 70% more leads than those that don't blog.
57% of companies have acquired a customer through their blog.
Blogs affect purchasing decisions:
71% of companies said blogs affect their purchase decisions
But the benefits of a regular diet of blogging don't stop there. Another marketing health benefit is the impact blogging has on search engine optimization (SEO).
Here's why: each and every post you write gets published as its own, individual, indexed page page on your website. If you think of indexable pages as lottery tickets for getting found online, then each page is a new opportunity to win more chances of the right people finding your site.
And there's proof in that pudding: Businesses with 400-1,000 pages get six times more leads than sites with 50-100 pages.
When your blogging focuses on keywords related to the problem your company solves, the blogging helps you rank in search engines and get found by people looking for the solutions you provide.
Blogging can also help you cut down on the empty calories of pay-per-click (PPC). When people are searching on Google, they click on the organic results at least 70 percent of the time (vs. 30 percent for paid, sponsored listings). And people with higher levels of income and education tend to click on the paid results even less.
Your organic results, derived largely from blogging, continue to deliver results over time, almost like compound interest. PPC, on the other hand, only works as long as you're paying for it. It comes down to the classic "own versus rent" as it relates to your marketing dollars.
Blogs help give you additional real estate for more conversion opportunities. Each page of your site can include relevant calls to action with offers for premium content like whitepapers and ebooks, or complimentary consultations.
Once a website visitor has clicked on a call to action and gone to a landing page to provide their contact information in return for the offer, you have just taken the business relationship to the next level. And that visitor becomes a lead to be further nurtured.
A steady diet of blogging is also good for your company's complexion:
Finally, blogging is the first step in developing other, repurposed content such as webinars, videos, eBooks, whitepapers, speeches and even books.
What other nutritional benefits from blogging would you add?
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