If your B2B marketing efforts include a blog, you’re off to a good start. Blogs are one of the top B2B content marketing tactics (80%), according to the B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs:
Blogs can be enormously effective for B2B marketing. Acccording to HubSpot:
Unfortunately, there persists a “build it and they will come” mindset to blogging. A belief that if you create a blog with remarkable content your buyer persona likes, everything will fall into place. Hit the “publish” button and you’re all done.
In reality, when you hit the “publish” button you’re really just at the starting line. Of a marathon.
One key fundamental of successful blogging is making sure you promote your content. Marketing expert an author Jay Baer refers to this as the need to “market your marketing.”
Here are four key areas you can leverage to increase awareness, traffic and leads for your blog:
In many instances, your blog will be the most visited section of your website. However, you should still use other parts of your site to promote your blog to visitors who reached your site on another page. Because of your blog's customer-orientation and regular updates, it is most likely to be the section of your site visitors will want to return to.
Add a blog link to your main website navigation. Make your blog as easy to find as possible. Surprisingly, many websites make the blog difficult to find which impacts readership negatively.
Encourage blog subscriptions. If you can only accomplish one thing when a visitor is on your blog (or elsewhere on your site), it should be to get them to subscribe to your newsletter.
Add a blog RSS feed to your homepage & ‘About’ pages. If you are not able to capture your readers' email addresses (top priority), give them the opportunity to subscribe to your blog via an RSS reader like Feedly.
Link internally to relevant articles and posts. Chances are if a visitor has found your site via a page about your company, they will like your blog even more. While company information should certainly be on your site, helpful and educational blog content will be of greater value to your visitors.
Use your blog sidebar to promote popular/recent posts. The more blog content that you can expose your readers to, the faster they will get to know, like and trust your company. If they like the blog article they happen to be reading, they will probably like more of the same.
This is where social media can have its biggest impact - helping to get your blog content shared and driving more traffic back to your site.
Promote blog articles through social posts. When you have a new post, it should be shared via social media. And evergreen content can continue to be shared as it remains relevant. While not all of your social media posts should be links to your blog, if the blog content is of interest to your buyer persona, it will be popular on social media.
Answer questions and link back to a related blog post. Whether it's people asking questions on Twitter or LinkedIn groups, you might have already answered their questions in a blog post. The trick is to listen. Your answer and related blog post will be seen by more people than just the person posing the question.
Email marketing is the connective tissue of B2B marketing. Your blog content should be one of the major muscle groups.
Use your personas (and their interests/pain points) to segment your leads and send relevant blog posts. Based on your site visitors' expressed interest and digital body language, use email to deliver blog post topics that will be of greatest interest to them.
Include articles in email newsletters. Sure, you'll wan to include information about your company, products and offers. But to keep interest, build relationships, and drive more traffic to your site, include links to blog posts.
Create a weekly or monthly blog digest email. Your blog content should be able to stand on its own, which is why blog digest emails are popular and useful for increasing readership. Don't forget to encourage recipients to forward the email to friends or colleagues.
Publish a press release. If your blog is new or perhaps has won an award or reached a milestone, a press release might generate coverage from relevant news media.
Add a blog link to your business card. Try to include your blog's mission statement or title in an effort to create more interest.
Add blog articles to a “resource center” of helpful articles and content. You can mix in blog posts, videos and even premium content like ebooks.
Add a blog link to your email signature block. This may be more effective than including a link to your blog on your business card because of the immediacy of it. There are even email signature apps like Wisesamp that can automatically include your blog's latest post.