Five Common Questions Answered About B2B Blogging

Five Common Questions Answered About B2B Blogging
Michele Linn - Thu May 06, 2010 @ 11:24AM
Comments: 13

5 questions about B2B bloggingThis 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?

Related posts:

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.

Comments: 13

Comments

1. John White  |  my website   |   Thu May 06, 2010 @ 06:48PM

Solve a customer's problem and they'll follow you anywhere.

The ultimate answer to "What should I write about?" is "whatever has our customers' hair on fire." I think that's an especially good point of departure when organizing a group blog.

2. Gift Ideas  |  my website   |   Thu May 06, 2010 @ 08:30PM

Michele you have pointed out good things. People must be sure in b2b blogging that what is their purpose of blog. It is obvious that they are blogging for their customers and customers should be satisfied in all aspects.

3. Matthew T. Grant  |  my website   |   Fri May 07, 2010 @ 03:11AM

Hey Michele - Quick work! The questions I got were slightly different - how do I promote my blog? how do I get people to write? - but one issue that stood out was that folks did not always have a clear reason why they were blogging in the first place. Now I've got to blog about THAT!
Nice to meet you, btw.
Matt

4. Michele Linn   |   Fri May 07, 2010 @ 04:34AM

@John: Love it!

@Matt: I got a couple of questions on promotion as well, but it was only from one or two people. I was thinking about saving that for a different post - a much longer answer. And, absolutely agree that you need to have an objective from the start! I see a lot of posts popping up about why companies shouldn't blog, and I absolutely agree that it's not for everyone. Send me your post on that one. Great to meet you, too!

5. William King   |  my website   |   Thu Jan 12, 2012 @ 12:27AM

I would also agree with John that in an answer to what I should blog about is that to put yourself in your clients or readers shoes.
Yes, if you thought of solution to any of their problems, don't hesitate to post it on your blog, they wont also hesitate to share it with their community.

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