A company blog is a great investment for many reasons. It not only serves as an effective marketing tool, but can also provide a virtual location for potential customers to come learn about your business in a more personalized way than your standard commercial website.
Did you know 93 percent of B2B marketers used content marketing in 2014? This figure is up 2 percent from 2013, notes Lee Odden at Top Rank Blog. Blogs were used as a content marketing channel by 76 percent of B2B marketers.
To succeed with your blog, it is important to give readers the right amount of attention and detail. While some mistakes may be made along the way, recognizing potential hurdles brings you that much closer to developing stronger connections with your target market.
Check out these five mistakes you should avoid when writing for your company blog:
Posting irrelevant content
Content should be direct and focused. Customers want to find precisely what they are seeking. If they are presented with information not related to the product or service, they’ll quickly look somewhere else.
Keep in mind, this can be a tricky balance. While you do not want your blog to read like a text-version of a commercial, you’ll want the content to be applicable. In addition to sharing new information or sneak peeks, it’s a good idea to offer information that does not relate directly to your product or service, but would still be of interest to your visitors. For instance, if your B2B sells a software solution, consider offering current statistics, security tips or insight into the industry. We like how Hootsuite approaches their blog by not plugging their product but writing useful social media tips.
Providing irregular updates
Fresh and timely content matters. If you don’t give routine updates to your blog, you can quickly lose your audience. Companies that routinely update their blogs often find a growing and returning audience. According to a June 2014 post published by Business 2 Community, statistics indicate businesses with active blogs:
- Receive 55 percent more site visits
- Are given 97 percent more links to their websites
- Get indexed 434 percent more often – no that is not a typo.
Maintaining a steady level of traffic is eventually going to equate to a successful blog and, ultimately, contribute to your overall company visibility and profitability. It is easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day tasks and make the mistake of placing new blog entries lower on the priority list. But you only get as much you put into blogging. If you don’t have the time, consider outsourcing this task.
With fresh content in mind, it is of no value to post entries for the sole purpose of having a blog post. Be sure your content is interesting to targeted audiences and draws them to want more. Which leads to #3.
Not using varied types of content
Today’s technology offers a many ways you can jazz up your blog. You can use standard text blog entries, but mix it up with videos, Slideshare presentations and graphics. Gary Arlen of Multichannel.com recently reported more than 50 percent of data traffic on wireless networks comes from mobile video. That number is anticipated to surge to 72 percent by 2019. And just last week TechCrunch reported mobile advertising is “set to explode.”
Today’s smartphones can create beautiful looking videos, so if you don’t have a huge budget to create video, you can still produce professional-looking content to upload to your blog using your own mobile device.
Slides are another way to mix things up. Practical Ecommerce suggests Slideshare’s presentation platform “may be one of the most overlooked and underutilized tools” by B2B firms. Slideshare reportedly receives 500 percent more traffic from business owners than your standard social media sites. (Tip: Use clickable links in your Slideshare presentation).
Also consider embedding video interviews to your blog posts. You can also create and link to a podcast to share information, and infographics offering trends, statistics and other interesting information is always a plus.
You omit sources
You want to present your company as the authority in its industry, but not everyone knows everything. Rather than consistently interlinking to your own pages as a means of shameless self-promotion, it is valuable to present your audience with additional information that supports your claims or statistics.
If another organization provides external information that helps fulfill a content need, do not be hesitant to link to another authority website to back up your claims. People by nature may be apprehensive, especially when it comes to commercial claims. External linking, in this respect, can add value to your blog. Also if you tweet your blog posts and “@ mention” that site, a retweet can promote your tweet and company blog to an entirely new audience.
Limited use of social media
Online socialization, including networking and social search, continues to gain speed, and today’s businesses do themselves a huge disservice by neglecting social media. Just having a presence on social media is not enough; the account must be actively engaging. Blogs entries should be routinely promoted on social networks and each posting should contain an interesting lead. If people interact, don’t forget to acknowledge and respond. As you know, building relationships is a critical part of doing business and social media is a great tool to drive people to your blog. On your social networks, encourage people to sign up for blog updates via email.
Blogging can be an effective marketing tool if done with a strategy in mind. Additionally, the language and tone chosen in a blog post matters. Creating a blog and just throwing up content is not going to make the cut. Make your company stand out. With strong planning, the variety of interesting content you choose for your blog not only gives your company important Web exposure, but helps build your company’s overall reputation.
As you know, competition for business can be steep. However, thinking outside the box and investing efforts into your blog can help your B2B stand out among the competition.
Photo via Flickr, Creative Commons