This week I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston. Hats off to Ann Handley, Kathy Bushman and team for putting together such an information-packed event.
(And, as an interesting sidenote, this trip gave me the opportunity to meet four of my "Savvy Sisters in person for the first time. They are even more fabulous in person than they are online!)
One of my favorite parts of the conference was talking with other attendees about their questions about B2B blogging in one-on-one "therapy" sessions. Many of the people I talked with had similar questions, so I thought others may be wondering about the same things.
What should I write about?
Use your blog to write about topics that are interesting to your prospects and clients; resist the urge to make your blog all about what is going on with your company, such as regurgitated press releases. I always ask myslef, "Will my reader want to share this?" Is not, reframe the post so it answers why they should care and want to forward it to colleagues.
I recently listened to the course How to Blog Effectively to Business by Ann Handley and Mack Collier, which is part of Inbound Marketing University (note: registration is required). If you're getting started, check out this webcast as they cover a lot of good examples of companies that are blogging successfully. Some of theexamples are B2C, but they have applications for B2B.
Should I host my blog on or off my website?
A number of people also asked if they should host the blog on or off their website. In general, my recommendation is to host your blog on your wesbsite because of the SEO benefits.
How do I get organized?
I think it's critical to have an editorial calendar for your blog to keep yourself organized. Jamie has a fantastic template that you can use or customize to get started.
How should I manage a group blog?
Most marketers I talked to wanted to include posts from others inside (and sometimes outside) the company. My suggestion is to develop a process and a set of guidelines. MarketingSherpa has a fantastic post on how you can manage a group blog.
How should I measure success?
There are a lot of things you can consider when looking at the success of your blog: number of subscribers, tweets and comments. It's important to note that, in general, people engage differently on B2B blogs than they do on B2C blogs. For instance, tracking the number of comments may not be a good measure of success (see why in this post from Mark Schaefer).
As Galen De Yound points out in a recent post, there are better questions to ask, such as:
- Where do visitors land on your website?
- Is your blog traffic increasing?
- Does your blog increase search traffic?
- How do blog traffic sources change?
- Does your blog increase keyword diversity?
- Does your blog drive long visits?
- Does your blog drive deep visits?
You can also include a call to action at the end of your posts and see how often you are getting people to click through.
What other questions do you have about getting started with blogging? Or, do you have any suggestions?
- 78 Questions to Ask Before Launching a Blog
- Four Ways to Get More Bang From Your Buck from Webinar
- Group Blog Style Guides - Creating the Fence in the Play Yard
About the author: Michele Linn is a B2B content consultant who helps companies create content and think through how their B2B prospects will consume it. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.