5 Ways B2B Blogs & Social Media Can Transform Your Marketing Efforts
Are you ready for some surprising statistics about B2B social media, corporate blogging and purchasing decisions?
- According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 Report, 83% of B2B marketers say that social media is the marketing tactic their organizations use most.
- The average B2B executive buyer consumes 17 pieces of content over the course of the sales cycle.
- 92% of executives say social media influenced a purchasing decision within the last year.
It’s no wonder B2B companies are placing more emphasis than ever on blogs and social media.
Here, we’ll be covering the five most compelling reasons you should incorporate social media into your B2B marketing approach – and why corporate blogging should be at the top of that list.
B2B Blogs: A Crucial B2B Marketing Strategy
When we think of ‘social media,’ sites like Facebook or LinkedIn generally come to mind.
I believe blogs – due to their role in marketing content distribution and community engagement – occupy a unique space. They are located right at the intersection of content marketing, social media and SEO. Blog posts range from thought leadership reflections to keyword-rich industry content to educational content, events, and product announcements. In addition to copy, they often incorporate video, infographics, images, charts and more.
They are also among the top methods for attracting new customers. In fact, HubSpot reports that 55 percent of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.
- Better SEO & Increased Web Traffic
Blogs drive traffic to your website. Period. One reason is that websites featuring a blog have a 434% chance of ranking higher on search engines, according to Tech Client. That ranking is important as research shows that 75% of users don’t scroll beyond the first page of search In the first two years after introducing a blog and all organic social media program, a Brandwidth client saw significant increases in website traffic.
When no new content is added to a website, the website is ‘spidered’ or indexed less frequently. Fresh blog content encourages search engines to visit the website more often – leading to better search engine ranking. It also ensures your content is seen & ranked by Google soon after it’s posted.
- Generating More Leads…and Better Qualified Leads
Would you like to receive 67% more leads? This is how.
Blogs are a favorite of search engines. When a potential customer enters words or phrases into a search engine to get their questions answered, blogs with those topics appear high in the search results. So if you’ve created the right content speaking to the challenges of your potential buyers and populated it with the right keywords or key phrases, customers will benefit and search engines will rank your company content higher.
This strategy is so effective that companies with blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.
- Increasing Brand Awareness
You put a lot of time and effort into creating compelling marketing content. It makes sense to cross-promote that content across all B2B social media channels to increase awareness of your brand. Blogs also give you the opportunity to showcase your brand personality.
Blogs offer a fertile starting point for a suite of content. For example, let’s say you write a blog discussing the ‘Top 10 challenges facing the XYZ industry.’ You can transform those 10 points into an infographic, and promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. You can take one or two items from the list and create a short ‘how-to’ video on that topic. You can develop social posts teasing some highlights to pique interest and drive traffic to the content on your website.
Whether your customers are searching social media platforms to see what you are talking about today, or are using search engines to learn more about you, social media and blogging net you visibility.
- Improving the Buyer’s Journey
Blogs are a great place to start prospects out on the buying journey. Inbound marketing with blogs allows prospective customers to seek you out. Blog content should be more educational and informative, rather than sales-focused. As a result, it’s seen as less ‘threatening,’ and more likely to be considered objective.
Long-form content is also ideal for sharing ideas, fostering discussion and introducing visitors to your brand in a way you never could in, say, a tweet. Blogs are also the perfect environment for embedding a call-to-action – driving visitors through the sales funnel to specific landing pages or product or service pages.
- Engage With Your Prospects & Customers
Effective B2B social media functions as a community where your business can engage with interesting data, visuals, video and more. LinkedIn and Facebook Groups can offer the ability to reach wider audiences and drive traffic to a blog post demonstrating your thought leadership in the industry. Twitter allows you to engage in real-time discussions happening in your space. With social media and blogs, companies can address key industry challenges customers or prospects are facing right now.
When it comes to customers and prospects, social media also delivers more ‘touches.’ It is commonly reported that it takes 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. We’ve become impervious to traditional advertising and sales, and people are conducting more web research on brands than ever before. The use of blogs and social media allows you to make more of those critical ‘prospect touches.’
Use Your Blog & Social Media to Transform Your Marketing
One of the keys to a successful blog strategy is posting consistently, either with more frequent (likely shorter) posts or longer, less-frequent ‘anchor’ content. Keep your social profiles active, and share industry-relevant information that engages your audience and demonstrates your brand’s knowledge and capabilities.
This post was first published by Jen Mizak at www.LMwrite.com. Jen heads up Brandwidth Solutions’ social media team. She helps businesses increase visibility & boost sales by tapping into their customers’ needs with engaging blog and social media content.