Many B2B businesses may be a little skeptical about blogs and the value they provide relative to other forms of digital marketing. In fact, some of the questions business owners have when regular blogging is proposed as part of a larger digital marketing strategy are:
- Does anyone care about blogs anymore?
- How can I reach my ideal audience, given how many blogs are out there?
- What concrete value does a blog provide for my business?
These are good and important questions to ask, and part of the confusion around blogs as part of a larger content strategy in 2023 is a misunderstanding about what blogs actually do — and how, via the power of search, they can make it faster and easier for your ideal customer to discover how you can help them solve a problem or realize an opportunity.
Along with other digital communication channels like email marketing and social media, blogs can be an effective form of digital content to help drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and foster business growth. Here, we’ll look at a couple of things to know about B2B blogs to help you see why so many business owners and marketers alike value this type of inbound marketing.
Do people actually read blogs?
Absolutely they do — in fact, a recent report found that B2B blogs are the third most popular form of content for businesses behind only video and ebooks. Additionally, half of the top 200 Fortune 500 companies regularly published blogs in 2018, and that figure has likely increased in the last few years.
People still read blogs for a variety of reasons, and each can provide a slightly clearer picture as to why blogging is such an important component of a larger digital marketing and content marketing strategy.
First, people read blogs to get information or find answers to their questions. About 8.5 million Google searches are conducted each day, which means people — potential customers — are searching for information and answers to their questions. Blogging gives your company a platform to answer these questions and provide information via content that is timely, relevant, and engaging.
What’s more, blogs provide your target audience a basis of knowledge about your brand, and how your product and services can help solve their challenges. This makes it much easier to enter into a sales conversation because neither you nor your customer is starting from scratch in terms of understanding the value you can provide.
In fact, a recent survey found 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content like blogs have a moderate to major impact on their purchasing decision. High-quality blog content that is optimized for search can make it easier for your ideal audience to find and research the value you provide, and it can help position your company as a useful resource for overcoming industry-specific challenges.
Why is a blog important?
Blogs are an important part of a larger B2B content marketing strategy for a couple of reasons, but primarily because they can help increase the SEO (search engine optimization) value of your website, and the SEO value — also referred to as organic search value — of your website directly impacts the volume of organic web traffic your website generates.
As a result, the more blogs you publish on the topics you want to be considered an authority on, or topics that matter to the prospects you’re trying to reach, the higher the likelihood that your target audience will find your content. And, if the content is relevant and useful, the better the chance your audience will engage with other blog entries or other content on your website.
Plus, publishing consistent, high-quality blog content that drives traffic and incorporates dynamic elements like photos, videos, infographics, and a compelling call-to-action (CTA) can actually help generate leads and thus increase the ROI of your content marketing initiatives. A recent survey actually found marketers who prioritize blogging experienced a 13x better ROI on their digital marketing budgets compared with those who did not incorporate blogs.
Regularly updated blog content can also be a boon to your sales team, because it gives them an easily accessible, shareable resource to answer customer questions quickly and thoroughly in a way that builds trust.
Blogs can also help diversify your presence on social media by providing a pipeline of fresh content either by sharing entire blog posts, or using excerpts from entries as a way to establish your authority on social channels and enter into larger social media conversations.
How do blogs help increase your SEO value?
Before we discuss what blogs have to do with SEO value, it’s important to know that there are two types of SEO: technical SEO and on-page SEO. Technical SEO deals more with how a website or blog is built — the code with which the site is written, how long it takes pages to load, etc. — while on-page SEO centers on the content of each blog and how that best answers search engine queries.
It’s also important to note that a blog — just like a website — needs to be optimized for organic search in order to secure wins like increased website traffic or lead conversions — you can learn more about optimizing your website for search in one of our more recent blog posts.
Every time you publish a blog post using keywords that you want to be associated with, the post becomes another possible page that search engines like Google can return based on the questions internet users ask.
For example, you may have found this very blog by searching something like: Should I start a blog for my business?
Search engines like Google index each new blog post — which essentially means they organize website pages based on how valuable they think the content will be for internet users — and then display the appropriate pages based on the level of value they assign to each one.
As such, regularly updated blog content that addresses topics, questions, or keywords that matter to your industry and target audience helps keep your website content relevant according to Google's search ranking algorithms, which increases the likelihood it will be returned on the first page or two of results.
This is how consistently publishing blog content can help increase your organic search traffic, thus making your website — and blog — an important means of communication with your audience. In fact, businesses that publish regular blog content experience 55% more web traffic compared with businesses that don’t blog.
Of course, this begs the question: How do you know what your target audience is searching for, or what kind of blog topics will get the most views and drive more traffic to your website?
Google has several tools to help you better understand the terms or questions customers are using to find your website, and Answer the Public is a wonderful resource we sometimes use to better understand the keywords people are using on Google so that we can write informative blog content that will directly respond to what users are searching for.
Rather than just blobbing for the sake of blogging, these tools help you better understand what your target audience is searching for in order to create blog content that directly addresses their questions or needs.
As you can see, what we talk about when we talk about B2B blogs is much more meaningful than many businesses may think. This strategic approach to digital content creation taps into what your target audience is already looking for by educating them on what you have to offer, and how you can help them overcome obstacles and seize opportunities.
Blogs that establish companies as thought leaders, drive website traffic, increase SEO value, and generate leads are foundational elements of Trekk’s content marketing strategy. Learn more about how our content marketing philosophy can help you achieve your business goals.