Intro to B2B Blogging

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Today I spoke at Social Media Conference (Biz Buzz) on B2B Blogging. The deck as presented today walks you through the following: …

Today I spoke at Social Media Conference (Biz Buzz) on B2B Blogging. The deck as presented today walks you through the following:

- Things to think about before you start blogging
- Why you might want your B2B (or B2C) company to have a blog
- What keywords are important to your blog
- How to organize your content for your blog
- What you might write about on your blog
- How to market your blog and share via social media
- High level measurement of blog traffic, referral sources, keywords and top content (and how to use it)
- and what to do if you get stuck for lack of blog content.

Happy Reading!

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  • My career in internet marketing spans more than 15 years of Project managementHands on web developmentEmail marketingSearch engine optimizationAnd Social media marketing (including blogging both personally and professionally)I am currently the Social Media & Marketing Manager at a Marketing Service Firm in Rochester NY where I champion all social marketing on behalf of our brand (including our B2B blog)OK – so let’s jump right in… NEXT: What is a blog?
  • Simply stated –it’s a website, or part of a website that’s sole purpose is to publish content on a regular basis, that is above and beyond the regular content that exists on your website.Your company website probably offers up information includingCompany OverviewProducts & ServicesSolutionsCase StudiesContact Us,Etc…A blog allows you to build on your static web content by building deeper layers of related content about your products and services.NEXT: Why Blog?
  • Big Box Brands like WalMart and Coca Cola already have brand name recognition with or without a blog.Smaller companies that don’t have the luxury of a well-known brand can use a blog to raise awareness of who they are, and what their brand offers.Along with building a name for your brand, tie to your expertise or thought leadership.Search rank is important because typically blogs will get higher ranking in search engines quicker than static websites. Search Engines like the regularly updated content, plus you are adding more content covering more search terms over time.SIGMA Blog 15% traffic from blog and socially shared links about our blog every month. That 15% is traffic we would not otherwise enjoy without the blog because that’s how they are finding us.So you can reach new prospects and audiences that you wouldn’t otherwise have the luxury of touching – this goes way beyond your prospect database or email lists, and can reach anyone.NEXT: B2B Blog Statistic you might find interesting.
  • Would you like 67% more leads?How about 40% or even 20% more leads?HubSpot Reported that B2B Companies who do utilize a blog have realized up to 67% more leads over companies who don’t blog.Just on those numbers alone you might be sitting there in your seat thinking… I have to start a blog…Hands? How many think they need a blog?NEXT: How do I start a blog?
  • How the heck do I start a blog? I don’t the first thing about blogging…I’m not a writer…HOLY CRAP – now what do I do?Let’s walk through some of the basics you’ll want to think about to get a blog up and running…NEXT: Content Strategy
  • Start by figuring out who your audience is… You already know who is buying your product or service, or perhaps who isn’t that could benefit from it…That’s the WHO.NEXT: What do I blog About?
  • Start with a few goals:You know WHO you are writing for, now ask yourself WHY? Knowing what you hope to achieve with your blog is critical. Do you want as much web traffic as possible? Or would you prefer a more select group of followers? Are you trying to convey thought leadership or build brand loyalty and community? ASK YOURSELF SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE:Who would the primary reader (subscriber) of your blog be?What do you want to tell them? What are their pain points? NEXT: Topic Categories
  • You know who you are writing for, now create some topic categories:Categories can serve multiple purposes:If your blog serves more than one audience - Could be a vertical market or Buyer Type Create Categories that make it easy to find your content based on the user’s interest.For example the person or prospect who will actually use your product is probably different that the person who will make the decision about buying your product or service – you want to write content for both.USER BUYER: - How will your product make the user-buyer a hero?- How will your product solve the user-buyer’s problem?- How will your product make the user-buyer’s life easier? ANDFINANCIAL BUYER: - How will the product SAVE MONEY? - How will the product generate Revenue? - What is the ROI?NEXT: WHAT DO I BLOG ABOUT?
  • Ok, I’ve got categories – now what…Start by using content on your existing website like FAQs, Glossary of Terms, Case Studies, Products / Solutions.FAQs – if they are truly FREQUENTLY ASKED questions, chances are people are search for answers to that question… write a blog post about the question and answer…A glossary term is a great way to generate content – you could group a few together that maybe are commonly confused, and define the difference between the two.Get your customers to brag about your product – case studies, success stories.Photos of events, or products in useHow To Videos or Product Demo VideosStaff Bios – of your thought leadersProduct Reviews – related or supplementary products offered by other brands that don’t compete.Commentary on White Papers or Webinars you recently read or viewed.Commentary on infographics related to your industryNEXT: A TIP FOR YOU
  • The best advice you will ever get on blogging…Do not allow your blog content to become too “salesy”You want to give away helpful information that will help your prospect make an informed buying decision. And yes you want them to buy from you…Provide Information that will help them solve a problem, or make them realize they need you or your product to solve their problem.A sales pitch should happen during direct communication, not in a one-dialogue. A blog is intended to spark the dialogue that you can nurture into a prospect or sale. It is not intended to BE the sale.A blog shows you care about your prospects and customer’s because you are will to share your wealth of knowledge for free.NEXT: How Often do I publish?
  • This is the question of the day…How often you publish content on your blog is entirely up to you.Once a month is not enough.Twice a month is not enough.Once a week is probably not enough either…Here are some statistics to help you decide how often you might like to publish content to your b2b blog.NEXT: Blogging Frequency and Traffic Chart
  • HubSpot Reported That:Companies who blogged 16-20 times per month go mover than twice the traffic of those who did not. (4-5 posts per week(Companies who blogged at least 5 times per week (or more than 20 times per month) realized an increase in traffic by more than 5 times.The thought of 4-5 blog posts a week might freak some people out – but consider spreading this across multiple authors and blog contributors. Yes, it’s a lot of effort to get content submitted, stay on top of it, keep the process moving – but you don’t need to rely on one person to write all the content all the time.Your company has multiple subject matter experts – each with unique knowledge and value – use them! Get them to write for your blog on a rotating schedule.NEXT: HubSpot Leads Chart
  • The same report from HubSpot also showed that Lead volume grew consistently and drastically among businesses who blogged over 5 times per month. Businesses who blogged 4-5 times per week got 3 times more leads than those who didn’t blog. Those who blogged at more than 5 times per week saw nearly 4 times more leads than those who didn’t blog. NEXT: The Search Factor
  • So we just talked about how a regularly updated blog can increase your web traffic, but how exactly does that work?Every page on your blog could potentially be an entry to your website – every blog post a unique landing page… But you need to understand…How do people search for what you are selling?- Understanding that can help you figure out what content needs to be writtenHere’s something to think about. Look at the keywords in your web analytics that refer traffic now.It’s possible they are finding you under key-phrases you might not even expect.If that’s the case – write content to support those keywords or phrases.Write using keywords that support the categories we created early on – and then when you publish tag each post accordingly with search worthy keyterms.NEXT: Linking content to your website
  • A reader has come to your blog because they found you through Google Search – awesome use of keywords – good job…You wrote a stellar article on topix “x” - but there’s so much more you have to offer about a topic, that could help get a potential buyer into the lead funnel.Keep the readers attention longer by offering deeper content. Within the context of each blog post – link to more information that already exists on your website. The longer you can stay connected with your reader the better the likelihood they’ll turn into a prospect, and hopefully eventually a customer.NEXT: Social Sharing & Promoting Your Blog.
  • Outstanding work my friends – you now have a blog with content.But see – there’s a bit more to it.You actually have to promote your blog.Link all of your social profiles together to make the sharing easier. Set up an auto-feed to your facebook business page, and/or auto-tweets every time you publish.My personal tip: Write 5 unique tweets about each blog post using different language – different people respond to different wording – test out your twitter language to reach more folks. Use topic hashtags when tweeting about your blog.NEXT: Aggregators
  • In additional to social sharing on sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc… You can also connect with topic related blog aggregators or Syndicated sites that will pull your blog feed and re-publish your content to their audiences.This is a fantastic way to create more traffic. These are just a few B2B related aggregators – there are others out there that are more vertical market specific.They simply pull together content from many blogs and feed them into a aggregated site. Some of these have pretty high visibility and can refer quite a bit of traffic to your blog.Next: Analytics – Referring Sites
  • As you continue to publish content to your blog, you’ll want to measure your traffic, keywords and most popular content.Monitoring your referring sites will give you a good indication of which social sites are most responsive to your content.Shown here in our top 6 referring sites are two of the blog aggregator services I just mentioned (Social Media Informer and B2B Marketing Zone)I also see that Stumble Upon and Twitter are in the top Five, so I definitely want to continue pushing content through those channels.NEXT: Analytics - Keywords
  • Keep an eye on your referring keywords and most read content as well. This information can indicate which blog content performs the best – and where you should write more content.You might see that a particular key phrase is driving a lot of traffic but you don’t currently have enough content to support it – write more!NEXT: A few ideas if you get stuck for content
  • All bloggers will get stuck from time to time – but there is always something to write about… A few tips to look for new content ideas:Set up some Google AlertsThese alerts can give you news and trends about topics that can spark ideas Read similar blogsOther people are probably writing about the same thing you are. Why not read their content to get some new ideas?Or even take something somebody else wrote, and put your own unique spin on it. (but link to them as a courtesy – you’ll earn more respect that way.)Go back and look at your older content and write an updated version.Our blog had Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2010 – which continues to be our most read post – so we went back and refreshed it for 2011 – that’s just one idea.Top 10 lists are great, or 7 reasons to… , or 5 ways you can…, or 8 things not to do when you are ….
  • So we talked about why you might consider blogging – I’m thinking you want to be part of that 67% of companies who are generating more leads as a result of their blog.We talked about defining your audience and understanding your vertical markets.We covered topics, categories and keywords to help define your blog content, along with some ideas on types of content you might publish.I shared a few statistics about frequency of blog publishing and how that impacts overall blog traffic and leads generated.We did a quick overview on social sharing, and blog aggregators.We looked a few snapshots of Google Analytics and the types of stats you might look at with regards to your blog. I could spend a whole session just on blog measurement, keywords and referring sites just scratched the surface.And then a few ideas for you to come up with new content if you get stuck…Next: QUESTIONS?

Transcript

  • 1. An Intro to B2B Blogging Wendy K. Emerson Social Media & Marketing Manager SIGMA Marketing Group @SocialPMChick
  • 2. 3 Take-Aways from Today• Why you should have a blog.• What you should blog about.• How to promote your blog.
  • 3. What does she know anyway?• Small Business B2B Blogs• Currently Manage Award Winning B2B Blog for Marketing Services Firm in Rochester, NY
  • 4. What is a Blog?Frequently updatedweb property focusedon a particular topicor theme.
  • 5. Why Blog?- Raise brand awareness - You’re not Pepsi or Nike- Build thought leadership about a topic - You know how to solve a problem- Increase web traffic to company website - Blogs can enhance your web SEO- Reach new audiences - Go beyond your traditional marketing channels
  • 6. Viral Brand Evangelism Expanded Network Increases in - Blog Readership & Comments - Website Traffic from Social - Twitter Following - Facebook “Likes” and Interactions - Lead Capture via online form - Email Opt-Ins - Event Attendance SALES New Evangelists 6
  • 7. B2B companiesthat blog generate67% more leadsper month thanthose who do not. Source: Hubspot, State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, 2010 Image Credit: Renjith Krishnan
  • 8. How do I start a blog?
  • 9. Start Thinking in Terms of Search• How do your customers currently search? – List out those key words or phrases.• Who is buying your product or service? – What vertical markets do you serve?• What problems do your products solve? – How might someone search for the solution? Base Line SEO Keywords
  • 10. Then think about your readers. Who are they?
  • 11. What are my readers looking for?• What Vertical Markets do you serve? – Write unique content for each market• Who is buying your product or service? – Write content for each product or service• What are the problems that your product or service will solve, and for who? – Answer questions that provide value about your product or service• What are their pain points? – How will your product or service make life easier for the customer?
  • 12. Consider Different Reader Types• User Buyer – How will this product or solution make my life easier or better?• Financial Buyer – How will this product or solution make money? – What is the ROI? Speak to BOTH!
  • 13. Organize your content.• Create Topic Categories – By Vertical Marketing – By Product or Service Offering Type – By Top Search Phrases – By Functional Group in your Organization
  • 14. I’ve got categories and keywords – NOW WHAT?Add a layer of depth to what your company websitealready provides in content:• Expand on FAQs and Glossaries.• Success Stories.• Explore common problems.• Possible uses for your product that your readers may not have considered.• Industry news and trends.• How-To information
  • 15. Leverage other people’s content.Review a whitepaper or report.Pull out 4 or 5things that stuckout to you andwrite about those.
  • 16. Videos / Photos / PresentationsYouTube VideosSlideShare DecksPhoto Gallerys
  • 17. Lists make great content!• 10 Trends in ______________• 5 Ways to improve ___________• 6 Things to avoid when _________• 10 most popular articles for _________• 8 Most read posts on _____________• 12 Facts about ____________ Great fillers when low on content…
  • 18. Yes, your blog is a sales tool, but… Your blog should nurture and feed… not sell.
  • 19. How Often Do I Publish?
  • 20. Most Posts = More TrafficThere is a directcorrelation betweenhow often youpublish to yourblog, and how muchtraffic your bloggenerates. Source: HubSpot
  • 21. More Traffic = More LeadsCompanies who blogged morethan 5 times per monthconsistently grew volume ofleads.Companies that blogged 5 timesper week – gained on average 4times more leads. Source: HubSpot
  • 22. The Search FactorEvery blog post is a possible landing page intoyour website.
  • 23. Link to your websiteLink related keywords in your posts right back toyour website.
  • 24. Make it easy to share.Enable your readers to:• Tweet it!• Like it!• Share it!
  • 25. Once You’ve PublishedCongrats! You’ve got a blog with content.Now share it with the world! – Tweet It – Post it on Facebook – Submit to sites like StumbleUpon, DIGG, Delicious – Share it in LinkedIn Groups
  • 26. Helpful Tip…Don’t stop growing your networks – the biggeryour network, the further your content willreach! – Engage people on Twitter – Comment on other related blogs – Participate in LinkedIn discussions – Engage fans on Facebook
  • 27. Blog Aggregators / Syndication
  • 28. Pay Attention to Analytics
  • 29. Pay Attention to Analytics
  • 30. What if I get stuck for content?iGoogle Blog FeedTwitter StreamFacebook News FeedRefresh Old Content There is ALWAYS something to write about…
  • 31. Free Blog ResourcesBlog Platforms• WordPress• Blogger (Google)• TypePad• Tumblr Measurement • Google Analytics • Post Rank • Bit.ly
  • 32. Remember…If you are not talkingabout it……chances are yourcompetition is!
  • 33. Recap• Why you might want to blog• Who are you blogging for• What are you blogging about• How often you might want to blog• What you do with your published blog• How will you measure it?• How can you keep it going…