Great business blogs have to walk a fine line: they have to create value for current and prospective customers while at the same time supporting a strategy that provides business growth. Business blogs are often measured by very different metrics than blogs that function as media outlets. The media business online is about impressions and clicks. However, if you are a B2B business blog and your goal is lead generation , then you really don't care about impressions. While one person may generate 100 impressions in a week for a media site, for a business blog, that same person is only going to account for one lead regardless of how often they view your content.
Because business blogging has different goals, it also has some distinct best practices that distinguish it from individual and media blogs. However, some of the key principles of media and personal blogs are still very much important in business blogging. The challenge is to find the right blend of content for your audience.
B2B Blogging Best Practices
1. Think Like a Vertically Integrated Publisher. You are not a business blogger , you are a vertically integrated online publisher. Your job isn't to put up an article or two each week. Instead, you have the same responsibilities that publishers in traditional media have; the only difference is that all of those responsibilities are tied directly to your business. Publishers have to create relevant content , determine the best methods to publicize their content to improve reach, and define advertising opportunities as well as manage them. As a vertically integrated publisher, you will do all of these things for your company to ensure that the content you create is valuable to prospective customers and is delivered in a way that can support lead generation for your business.
2. Focus on Non-Branded Keyword Content. Readers don't want you to talk about your company on your blog, and this is great for your business. It is likely that if you have spent some time optimizing your website , you rank well in search engines for your company name and related terms. However, business blogs provide the opportunity to build incoming traffic from non-branded keywords. For example, if you are a manufacturer, instead of blogging about your company and products, you should be writing about industry best practices and answering common customer questions about higher level product issues. This content will not only help increase search traffic but also drive better quality prospects to your business' website.
3. Ask Your Readers What They Want. It is easy to get caught up in the type of information you think is interesting, but after blogging for a few months for your business, it is important to ask readers what they want. Assumptions can often be wrong, so conduct a few-question survey on your business blog as a way to obtain clear feedback from readers. Questions should address topics for future posts and types of content readers prefer (e.g. text, audio, video, etc.), and the survey should also include space for comments to give readers the opportunity to make their own, personalized suggestions.
4. Make Sure Your Blog Is Clearly Connected to Your Website. Business blogs can be a major source of new traffic from search engines and social media. It is important to realize that a blog post may be the first thing a potential customer sees about your company. Having a blog as part of your corporate site , either as a subdomain ( blog.yourdomain.com ) or as a page ( yourdomain.com/blog ) is an important step to allow first-time visitors to easily learn additional information about your company. It is also important to make sure the navigation and other design elements of your blog make it easy for users to find information about your company if they're looking for it.
Business blogging can be one of the most important tools in tying traffic and leads to a corporate website by generating content that search engines value and people enjoy sharing on social networks. What best practices have you discovered while publishing your own business blog?
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