Today, the “build-it-and-they-will-come” approach does not work anymore for B2B firm websites. There are simply too many sites (close to 1 billion) and hence major competition for eyeballs on the Web. This alone explains why it has become vital for B2B firms and marketers to amp up their content offerings in order to positively influence the sales funnel.
How do you make that happen? By focusing on stakeholders and customers instead of the one-sided self-promotional path. The B2B space offers some great examples of companies that have reaped great benefits from leveraging their blogs the right way.
Check out our recommended list below:
Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT, gives employees an advocacy role through its many blogs.
The Cisco Blogs cover many industries, including energy, manufacturing, and financial services. There is also a focus on technology-centric topics.
From tips and insights to company news, customers and visitors are served a smorgasbord of helpful and useful information.
The posts often feature videos from Cisco’s YouTube channel. The language of each piece is also tailored to specific visitors of that page. And there is a podcast series dedicated to Cisco Champions, “a network of people who are passionate about Cisco and enjoy sharing their knowledge, expertise, and thoughts across the social web and with Cisco.”
With so much content available, anyone could easily feel overwhelmed. However, the website sports a simple design with few bells and whistles which helps “keep your eyes on the prize.”
To build momentum and connect more directly with customers, the company also takes advantage of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Vine. The social media team highlights specific blog articles, cross-posts content, and shares user-generated content.
Marketo, a digital marketing software and solutions provider, helps companies of all sizes in a wide variety of industries. The blog is used to show off expertise and increase leads.
The team publishes an average of four posts per week, each focusing on one of the following topics: social media, marketing automation, content/email marketing, modern marketing, or lead management.
There is a signup form in the right sidebar and scroll the page and you’ll be able to follow the company on every major social network. The sharing buttons are also prominently displayed on top of posts and accompanied by the number of shares. Social proof is a great way to build credibility online.
The company also wants you to stick around with a list of most-shared posts (right sidebar), a related-resource section (end of posts), and a downloadable guide (bottom of screen). Content-wise, the tone is friendly, posts are easily skimmable, and visual aids attract the eye. Branded infographics are always embeddable.
After a quick look at the engagement on posts (shares and comments), it is easy to figure out why Marketo has a combined total of more than 300,000 followers on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Sklar Wilton & Associates is a Toronto-based marketing advisory firm that has worked with brands such as Mars Canada, Sport Chek, and Canada Bread.
Its blog offers a variety of content formats, including case studies, curated posts, and marketing lessons. Posts are short and snappy, which caters to B2B marketers and executives just looking for quick tips.
What I like the most about this blog is its local flavor and friendly tone. The company also clearly knows how to leverage current events to deliver relevant and useful information.
Finally, Sklar Wilton does not hesitate to celebrate the achievements and successes of its clients and partners. Such an approach is a subtle but very effective way to promote its work.
HootSuite doesn’t just have one of the most solid social relationship platforms. It is also known as the company that grew its userbase from 0 to 5 million with barely any budget.
HootSuite has been able to cement its status as a leader thanks to its blog, which covers social media, innovation, and company news and announcement. Their rich content keeps visitors coming back daily: The right sidebar has a signup form and lists of popular posts and resources. And at the end of each post, you will find a call to action and related articles.
According to you, what other B2B corporate blogs are winning the blogging game?
Photo via Flickr, Creative Commons
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