Far be it from me to curse in public! The B word the title refers to isn’t the one that rhymes with “witch.” It’s the one that rhymes with “frog.”
“Blog” can induce a shudder from even the most seasoned content marketer, and not just because it’s an ugly-sounding word. Fear of having to feed the beast and thoughts of content being published to an audience of Nobody contribute to blogs’ bad rep.
The fear, though, is really against bad content and poor content marketing. No matter what you call your online content vehicle, it’s going to be a beast if your content is weak and your promotion of it is weaker.
Still, there are at least 5 good reasons to push past that mediocrity to make a blog, whatever you call it, a productive part of your marketing.
Establish Thought Leadership
Using a blog to establish thought leadership can help you gain attention for your expertise and your firm’s products or services. This is especially true if you focus not only on the specifics of your field but on the benefits your expertise can mean to your prospects. (In other words, benefits not features.)
Provide Corroboration to Prospects
The beauty of a blog is that it can work for you even if you don’t promote it. Let’s say you meet a potential customer at an industry event. You trade business cards and, since this prospect really is interested, she goes to your website where she finds great content that demonstrates that you don’t just talk the talk; you walk the walk.
And if you’re introduced by a mutual colleague, all the better – your warm introduction is again backed up by your great content. (Which makes your colleague look good for recommending you …)
Improve Site Performance
The search engines love fresh content. All by itself it’s not going to get you to the top of page one, but without it, the fight is that much closer to impossible. If you’re serious about search optimization, fresh content is a must.
Fresh content is a great excuse to engage in conversation. For many of us, we simply don’t have a large enough audience to regularly attract comments on our content. That’s fine. A well-crafted article can still be used to start a conversation if you email it to those prospects and customers for whom it is relevant. The key is relevance and, of course, value. These articles are not the place to be touting the fantastic-ness of your products or services.
Finally, never forget that even in B2B sales and marketing, we live in a human world. People are comfortable with people they like and with whom they feel some connection. People buy when they’re comfortable, not just when logic dictates one choice over another. So it makes sense to have a venue in which you can create a personality for yourself and by extension your firm. That doesn’t mean flamboyant or quirky or offbeat – unless that’s who you are. It just means human.
But, But, But … I Don’t Have the Time
Even if you’ve bought into the value of fresh content, you’re probably still feeling the pinch of always having a publishing deadline. No question, you have to commit some time to doing this well. And if you’re not comfortable as a writer, you’ll probably need to enlist some help, at least at the outset. But there are ways to systematize in order to avoid the terror of staring at a blank page with a deadline looming.
And that’s what my next column will cover.
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