MAD Perspectives Blog

 Introduction to B2B Blogging

Peggy Dau - Monday, September 06, 2010

Your company has just put a social media plan in place and blogging is one of the key elements.  You’re excited about the opportunity to interact with readers, but nervous about content.  How do you get started? How do you create content that resonates with customers and helps you attract new customers?  Here are just a few tips.  I invite readers to provide more!

1. Figure out your identity:  Blogging is a great forum to share your thoughts and and B2B decision makers are reading blogs to learn about products, services, companies and people.  What is your company identity?  How do you want to be known?  Do you consider yourselves the innovative technology leader?  If so, your blog may want to focus on your lead engineers and how they work together?  Or you may want to comments on emerging technology trends. 

Or, perhaps you a commercial real estate broker who wants to be known as brokerage with their finger on the pulse of their market.  Your blog may highlight new construction projects, tax benefits, demographic trends, or new office space concepts.  Sharing your insights may attract businesses you have done business with in another city or attract new clients impressed by your insights about their city.

2. Get comfortable writing:  Not everyone who starts blogging has a natural affinity for writing.  That is OK!  The more you write, the more comfortable you get.  Don’t be afraid to share personal insights or anecdotes.  This helps your readers understand the context of your position.  I’ve started writing many blogs and left them for a few days to mull over my thoughts.  Other times, I’ve been inspired by an article, a bit of news or a customer interaction.

3. Create an editorial calendar:  You already have a marketing calendar mapping out events/trade shows, product releases, collateral development, webinars, earnings announcements, etc.  In this calendar you are also identifying the various communication channels.  Blogging is another channel.  It is the channel that allows you to add personal insight to the topic. 

Establishing a calendar helps organize your thoughts and identify resources (see next tip!).  I’ve heard many clients comment on their fear of the time commitment related to blogging.    I won’t lie, it does require a commitment.  However, if you can develop a calendar with some topics aligned with other events, it simplifies the process.

4. Identify potential bloggers (besides you!):  Owning the blog responsibility can be daunting.  Every company has natural spokespeople from its various business groups.  These may be folks that have driven you crazy in meetings because they have so much to say.  Blogging gives them an outlet for their thoughts as long as they are related to your overall goals.

If you have a hard time gathering company bloggers, you may consider interviewing key members of different work teams.  A simple Q&A can be meaningful to readers as it shares the flow of a conversation and its natural ebb and flow.  Another option is to invite guest bloggers to share insights around key trends or industry announcements.  This also provides another benefit of increasing your following through appealing to the followers of that blogger.

5. Repurpose content:  Your company has already created scads of content.  However, most of that content has been vetted by marketing experts and/or legal.  Blogs are more casual and serve to share content in a more personal manner.  You may consider extracting a few thoughts from a white paper and adding personal insights on the benefits or practical use of that topic.  Or, you may provide insight into the process through which your company developed a product or service.  Another avenue for content may be provided by your readers.  Your blog should enable comments.  Those comments can become a great source for further content.

6.  Promote your blog!:  Now that you've gotten comfortable with content, writing and resources, make sure somebody is reading it!  To draw more attention to your blog tweet about it; comment on it in LinkedIn or Facebook; enable readers to subscribe to a RSS feed of your blog; share it on industry sites.  You want to create a following that is broader than the casual visitor to your company website.  While most B2B blogs exist within the corporate site, you can alert your audience as to its presence and topics being discussed.

The bottom line is that blogging is your voice for sharing thoughts in a less structured manner than traditional marketing channels.  While your company blog(s) should be aligned with your company goals, they should also allow your company’s personality to shine through.  I have found, many times, that the blog sometimes requires looking a familiar topic from a different perspective.

What’s your perspective?