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Cognition b2b_marketingblogs_ebook (RAGHU) Cognition b2b_marketingblogs_ebook (RAGHU) Document Transcript

  • B2B Marketing BlogsThe secret of killerLB O SG
  • By Lisa WheelerLisa Wheeler is a B2B marketingcommunications specialistand leader of the social mediateam at Cognition Coaching &Development.She is responsible for creatingvarious content for all marketingchannels, including eBooks andsocial media campaigns. Lisa isalso a prolific marketing blogger atCognition Coaching & Developmentand has written for intouchcrmand Oxford ProfessionalConsulting among many others.B2B Marketing BlogsThe secret of killer01Killer B2B Marketing BlogsFollow Cognition
  • 02Killer B2B Marketing BlogsCognition is an inbound marketing agency thatgives you all the tools you need to develop amarketing approach for your business.What is inbound marketing?Search marketingTargeted keywords,web optimisation,keyword rich content.CRMIntegrate your CRM foropportunity managementand closed loop marketing.Content marketingeBooks, whitepapers,mindmaps, infographics,share your expertise.Inbound marketing relies on earning people’s interest, instead of buying it,making yourself easy to be found and drawing customers to you.Some of our most effective inbound marketing strategies include:Business blogging55% more leads forcompanies that blog,434% more webpages tobe found.Lead nurturingList segmentation,educational content,lead scoring.Social mediaBuild a following, shareyour blog posts andengage your audience.To see how inbound marketing can change your business marketing,book a free Marketing Assessment today:Book your Marketing AssessmentBook your Marketing Assessment
  • Introduction 04Chapter 1: 9 big benefits of B2B blogging 05Chapter 2: How to build the perfect blog post 09Chapter 3: How to place a guest blog post 13Chapter 4: Promoting your blog 16Chapter 5: How blogging ultimately leads to sales 18Chapter 6: How to measure your blog 20Chapter 7: B2B blogging best practice standards 22Conclusion 26ContentsIntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter703Killer B2B Marketing Blogs
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7Did you know that businessblogs are a top-ranked sourceof information in the B2B world?They allow you to capture theattention of your stakeholders andprovide an incredible opportunityfor them to interact with you andyour brand in a very unique wayand more towards ‘soft’ selling.If you’re more of a numbersperson, then check this out. It’s afact that 55% of B2B buyers turnto blogs for information and 75%of executives want businesses toease off the hard sell.So if you’re still wondering whyyour business should care aboutB2B business blogging, then hereare some additional reasons.Blogging is a critical piece of theinbound marketing methodology,which directly correlates to yourcompany’s sales and marketingefforts. This translates intobuilding better business results.So it only makes sense to produceand share compelling contentthrough B2B blogging to keepbuyers engaged over the course ofa lengthy sales cycle and focus onlong-term ROI.This eBook will guide you step-by-step through the bloggingfundamentals showing you toptips and tricks and do’s anddon’t so you can start reapingthe benefits of B2B blogging tomaximise ROI results.55%of B2B buyers turnto blogs forinformationIntroduction04Killer B2B Marketing Blogs
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter79 big benefitsof B2B blogging05Killer B2B Marketing Blogs
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7Improve search results. Searchengines such as Google, Bing andYahoo reward sites that containfresh, relevant content. By addingcaptivating content like a blog toyour website, you are increasingyour SEO results and ability to be‘found’ online.Differentiate your brand. Standingout from the rest is key! Bloggingprovides a wonderful opportunityto stand out in your niche and yourcompany as an industry expert.06Killer B2B Marketing BlogsUnderstanding the larger picture of why youshould care about blogging is the first step inrealising why it should be incorporated intoyour inbound marketing strategy and treatedas a long-term marketing asset. The followinghighlights the big benefits of B2B blogging:Extend customer relationships. In a world that’s constantlyon-the-go, you might not be able to visit customers asfrequently as you’d like. A blog is an excellent way toprovide a constant means of communication to remind yoursubscribers and customers of your products and servicesand the value you have to them. For those that don’tread your blog, re-purpose the blog content in customernewsletters and sales materials.1 23
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7Drive sales. As people arebecoming more resistant to thetraditional means of the “hard”sell approach, think of your blog asprime real estate for “soft” selling.For instance you can advertiseproducts or services in your blog’sside bar. You can also blog abouthow to use your product in newor different ways, or even featurecustomer success stories.Generate leads. Featuring opt-incontent on your blog is a fantasticway to turn readers into prospects.From there, you can nurture yourleads down a path towards apurchase.07Killer B2B Marketing BlogsTest ideas and get feedback. Blogs provide a greatopportunity to receive inexpensive and honest businessadvice from your subscribers to help solve problems andcreate new ideas leading to new products or service lines.It’s a win-win situation.Get media coverage. Because blogging positions youas a thought leader, it offers the potential for reportersand media outlets to turn to you as a source forarticles and stories. This rich content can generatemassive reach for your brand.4657
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7Communicate during a crisis.Blogging acts as a wonderfultool for crisis management toyour employees, subscribers, keystakeholders and even the pressas company responses on blogsare often quoted by mainstreamnews sources.Build community. Although buildingan engaged community througha business blog can be extremelydifficult, it is possible. If donecorrectly, your blog can become aconversation hub for your industry.08Killer B2B Marketing Blogs89
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7How to build theperfect blog post09Killer B2B Marketing Blogs
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7Do we have the right culture?Blogging is an engaging, content-rich effort that requires thewillingness to share valuableinformation and respond tofeedback and criticism. If it isn’tfostered and nurtured in the rightenvironment, it will probably fail.Here are some warning signs thatyou don’t have the right culturein place to support a sustainableblogging strategy:1. Unsupportive executivemanagement2. Ongoing approval hurdles3. Lobbying efforts againstblogging from the outset10Killer B2B Marketing BlogsNow that you have abetter understanding inthe business value ofblogging, what do you writeabout? Creating that perfectpost involves exploring thefollowing key areas.First off, there are several questions youneed to ask yourself first, like:Do we have the resourceswe need? Blogging can take aconsiderable amount of time,so you need to take a close lookat the resources you’ll need toget the job done. Here are somethings to keep in mind.1. Know who will be responsiblefor content, planning, handingcomments and community2. Establish how frequently youwill be posting fresh content3. Understand the approvalprocess4. Know how you will promoteyour blog (i.e. via email, socialsites or search)
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7And most importantly, what do we want to achieve? Like any marketinginitiative, you need to have goals in place to drive the success ofyour efforts. For example, are you looking to build brand awareness,generating leads, improving conversions or increasing sales?11Killer B2B Marketing BlogsIt’s critical to answer these questions beforeyou get started so you know how blogging willfit into your overall marketing strategy and howto measure the success of your efforts.The next thing to explore is whatshould you write about. Stayingon top, requires a good mixof different types of post andcontent, such as customer how-to’s, industry trends and events,commentary on the market,customer success stories andcompany news.Where to look for fresh content isalso key. Looking towards existingcontent, questions from yourcustomers, forums, commentsor internal communications aregreat sources of blog inspiration.Additionally some excellentblogging resources includeWordPress, Blogger, Tumblr andGoogle Blog Search.
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter712Killer B2B Marketing Blogs3. Keep it short. Most readersskim and scan content fairlyquickly because they’reconstantly pressed for time.Keep your posts short and tothe point. 600 words or less isa good measure. Bullet pointsand subheadings help organisethe post in a business-friendlymanner.4. Make it shareable. Spreadingthe word is key! Amplify yourcontent by including socialsharing and email buttons.This is a sure way for readersto share your stuff and expandthe reach of your content. Plus,widgets like tweet counts andFacebooks “likes”provide socialvalidation.1. Create an eye-catchingheadline. First impressions arekey! This is the first thing yourreaders see when it pops upin search results, their emailinbox, on social and their RSSfeeds. It needs to be somethingthat speaks to them like anoffer for example.2. Include illustrative photosand video. What’s thatexpression: “A picture is wortha thousand words.” The sameapplies to blog campaigns. Tograb and keep your readersengaged, provide visualelements like video or photosthat tie in and really enhanceyour message. Sometimesyou need to spend a little toget more. So set aside a smallbudget for stock photographyand explore popular siteslike istock or veer for yourimages or add some funInstagram flair.The final piece to building the perfect blog is thelayout of the blog itself. Here’s the anatomy of aperfect blog post.
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7How to place aguest blog post13Killer B2B Marketing Blogs
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7Become known in the community. Establishing arelationship within the community is key for improvingguest blogging. This can be achieved by reading andcommenting on articles, sharing the blog’s content sociallyand interacting with the blog community members beforeever approaching the topic of guest posting. So spend at leasta month reading and commenting on articles to start buildinga foundation. Going in blind with no established relationship isa sure way of getting your request ignored.Think thought leadership, not SEO. Thinking that guestblogging is a great strategy to accumulate SEO-friendlylinks will surely backfire. Instead, learn what makes thiscommunity unique and the types of articles that performwell and model your approach after that. An inboundlink is not the reason to make your request, it’s simply asecondary benefit.14Killer B2B Marketing BlogsNow that you’ve created your perfect post,how do you get your brand’s message across?Guest blogging gets your brand, thoughtleaders and voice in front of new communitiesand prospects.From a B2B perspective, it provides one of themost valuable outcomes of a blogging strategy.Many people are unsure how to approach aninfluential blogger though. To help make that amuch less daunting task, here are 6 helpful tacticsfor improving guest blog article placement.21
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter715Killer B2B Marketing BlogsDo your homework. Every blog orpublication has a unique set of guidelinesfor guest contributors. It’s your job to findthem, understand them and make yourpitch conform to them. And don’t forgetto be concise and thorough. Make the jobof approving your request a simple oneby providing a title and abstract for yourarticle, links to other guest blog posts atreputable, known blogs and your socialprofile and contact information.Kill the form email. Once you becomeknown in the community, a form email isnot needed. In fact, it will likely be deletedbefore the reader gets to the next sentence.You’ll stand out because of your existingrelationship and previous contributions.Create best effort, quality content. Devote the appropriateamount of time to produce a quality piece and rememberthe intent is to create a piece that benefits the community,not your company.Optimise your article for the community. Make surethe article fits in terms of style, length and topic.Remember, there is as much value in getting thepost shared by the community as there is in gettingthe article published. Also, study the blog’s mostsuccessful articles from a social sharing standpointand work those elements into your article to mimictheir success.3456
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter716Killer B2B Marketing Blogsyour blogPromoting
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter717Killer B2B Marketing Blogsblog. So whenever you sendan email, be sure to link it toyour blog.Run a contest. Attract moreattention to your blog by runninga contest. For example, come upwith an entry system that requiresother bloggers to link back to you.You can either have them publisha post on their blog, retweet apost from your blog, or “like” yourFacebook fan page in order tobe eligible.Blog directories. These can helpyou legally get more trafficand help with ranking as wellbecause it creates inbound linksto your blog.Create a video. Telling yourblog’s story is a great way togain viewership. After creatingyour video, publish the video onYouTube and allow a differentaudience to find it. You can alsocreate a controversial or funnyvideo that links to the blog.Social media sharing. As previouslymentioned, this is definitely anessential part for the promotionof your content. Just about everyblog now has social sharingbuttons to make it as easy aspossible for visitors to shareyour content.CTA’s. Incorporate well-craftedcall-to-action’s on differentpages of your website, such asyour home page and About Uscompany page.Events & presentations. If youare at an event and giving apresentation on a specific topic,you can refer the audience toyour blog for further information.A QR code is a great means toallow people to quickly and easilysubscribe to your blog.Email signatures. More than justan electronic business card, emailsignatures can drive a surprisinglyhigh amount of traffic to adestination of interest, including aIn addition to using guest blogging, there areseveral ways in which you can gain exposurefor your blog.
  • 18Killer B2B Marketing BlogsHow bloggingultimatelyleads to salesIntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter719Killer B2B Marketing BlogsIntegrated social media strategy.Consider your blog as justone piece of an informationecosystem constantly pointingsales leads to your products andservices. Your blog posts can forexample feed Twitter, LinkedInand Facebook updates. YouTubevideos and SlideShare decks canalso be featured on your blog. Allshould eventually point back to acall-to-action on your website.Create killer offers. Blogs createa wonderful opportunity to buildand spread your brand identity.You can develop eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, webinars,exclusive videos and other freecontent that your audience canreceive by opting-in to youremail list can easily be promotedon your blog with ads, calls-to-action or links in your post. And,once they opt-in, you now have awarm lead that you can nurturetoward a sale.Keyword search. These are thewords that your customers areusing to find you. Look at GoogleAnalytics to find common wordspeople are using to find yourcompany and products and makesure these phrases match yourcurrent content subject matter.Remember to also hunt forcompetitor keywords too. Be sureto make this a continuous anddynamic process for better results.Buying cycle and keyword search.Understanding the buying cycle andthe keywords used at various pointsin that cycle helps customers finduseful content based on where theyare in that cycle.Keywords and content. Bemethodical about creatingkeyword-laden content and makesure that your content writersunderstand the basics of SEO andhow to leverage it throughout thematerial. Remember to use thekeywords your customers use,not internal buzzwords.Now that you have a better understanding onhow to build and promote your blog, how doesit lead to sales? Marketing’s ultimate goal is toturn visitors into leads and ultimately sales,here’s how blogging helps achieve this objective.
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7How to measureyour blog20Killer B2B Marketing Blogs
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter4Chapter521Killer B2B Marketing BlogsYou must conduct an ongoingtrend analysis of several keymetrics like traffic, leads andcustomers. Here are some helpfulmetrics to keep in mind of howyour business blogging is goingand if you should keep as a part ofyour inbound marketing strategy.As a marketer, one of the most importantthings to ask yourself is: How didyour efforts do? Blogging marketingperformance is no exception.• Measuring visitors• Measuring leads• Subscribers count• Track inbound links• Watch social media sharesChapter3Chapter6Chapter7
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter7B2B blogging22Killer B2B Marketing Blogsstandardsbest practice
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter723Killer B2B Marketing BlogsEntertain. As important is it isfor a communication materialto be informative, it also needsto be entertaining to stay atopyour reader’s mind. By mixing upyour content with videos, photos,interviews or reviews it helpscut out the noisy chaos whichcontinues to rise on social sites.Be original. Put your own personaltouch and write posts that onlyyour company can write about.Add value. Simply put, good blogsknow how to add value to theirreaders. This is done throughpersonal and not promotionalcontent. Blogs that focus onsolving problems, answeringquestions and offering usefulinformation that helps yoursubscribers make money, savemoney, make their jobs easieror add something enhancing thequality of their lives will establishwhy you’re special to them.Understanding the following “do’s” and“don’ts” best practice standards for bloggingprovides a wonderful check and balancesystem for optimising results.
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter724Killer B2B Marketing BlogsOversell. By focusing on solvingyour audience’s problems and notpromoting yourself via a salesblog you will keep readers fromrunning in the other direction. Ifyou’re savvy with using this as a“soft” selling channel the sales willcome.Use corporate speak. People liketo read material by people. Inother words, your blog shouldn’tsound like it came from the legaldepartment filled with jargon andmumbo jumbo. Keep it simple.Tell stories. Stories sell. Whetheryou’re sharing stories aboutyour customers, employees oradvocates, it offers a great way forpeople to connect with you andyour brand.Write well. It goes without sayingbut people will spend more timewith you if they enjoy your writing.As a good rule of thumb, take thetime to read your post aloud-it’sa great way to ensure it has anatural, conversational tone.Promote your posts. There arevery tactful and non-tacky salestype ways to promote yourarticles. Some of these waysinclude emailing it to customersor prospects, sharing it on socialnetworks and posting it on aforum or group relevant to yourtopic. By sharing your content,you’ll increase its success.
  • IntroductionChapter1Chapter2Chapter3Chapter4Chapter5Chapter6Chapter725Killer B2B Marketing BlogsFail to plan. A calendar is key!This helps your blog stay on trackby plotting out the topics anddates you will post new articles.Without planning, your blog mayquickly gather cobwebs.Post infrequently. If you only blogonce or twice a quarter, it willbe hard to sustain your readers’attention. At the very least, youshould post a new article everymonth and, preferably, once aweek. This is why planning is soimportant.Ignore negative comments. What’sthat expression: “Turn lemons intolemonade.” Negative feedbackpresents an excellent opportunityto turn a critic into an advocate.By ignoring or even worse deletingnegative comments, you’re addingfuel to the fire of a disgruntledsubscriber. People as a generalrule are more apt to tell everyonethey know if they have receivedless than satisfactory servicewith your company. A prompt andthoughtful response to a critic is agreat way to avoid this and createan advocate.Forget to measure. You canonly manage what you measure.In other words, track your effortsand tie them back to your overallgoals. That’s the only way youcan determine if your blog issuccessful.
  • Book your Marketing AssessmentConclusion26Killer B2B Marketing BlogsAfter reading this eBook, youshould hopefully be able tosuccessfully map out a solidstrategy towards businessblogging and making it an effectivepart of your permanent inboundmarketing strategy for long-termresults.B2B blogging offers an excellent way todemonstrate you as a thought leader, buildingtrust over time through smart content andmaking a lasting impression on your audience.For more on blogging for better business results please visithttp://bit.ly/biz-blogging to download our handy infographicFor more on blogging for better business results please visithttp://bit.ly/biz-blogging to download our handy infographic
  • CognitionThe Thatched CottageEling, Berkshire RG18 9XR01189 680812info@cognition-coaching.co.ukwww.cognition-coaching.co.uk