Business blogging pays off

BlogNot sure whether it’s worth your time to create and maintain a blog for your business? HubSpot’s latest survey on inbound marketing answers that question with a resounding YES.

The survey highlights the fact that blogging is a remarkably effective means of inbound marketing:

“Seventy-nine percent of companies who have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing this year, compared with just 20% of those companies that do not have a blog.” [HubSpot 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report]

But blogging requires time and persistence

Business blogging delivers inbound leads for remarkably little capital investment. Frequency makes blogging even more valuable. In the HubSpot survey, the 82% of companies that blog daily report an ROI for their inbound efforts, compared with 57% of those who blog monthly.

Yet keeping a blog ‘fed’ regularly can be a big challenge for companies of any size. (I struggle myself finding time for this blog.) If you want to commit to consistent business blogging, here are a few strategies that might help.

  • Start by building an editorial calendar around your SEO keywords or search objectives, and brainstorm ways to fill those topics.
  • Integrate blogs with other content initiatives. Some of my clients now ask me to prepare a blog posting with every new customer story or white paper I create for them. Have a new video? There’s a blog in that. Make blogging part of all new content development.
  • Share the love. Enlist multiple people to contribute to your blog, each with their own subject matter concentration.
  • Use ghost-bloggers. If you have a visionary executive who doesn’t have the time or inclination to blog, have a writer talk with them and put together blog postings from the conversations. Or create a blog in an interview format to pull content from a reticent contributor.
  • Look beyond writing. A blog can be an infographic, a quote, a video or some photos. Just be sure to include your search keywords in accompanying captions, labels or headlines.
  • Invite guests. Perhaps a valued customer, partner or analyst would like to write a guest post. It doesn’t always have to be your own employees.
  • Always consider what the customer wants to read. Answer common questions. Respond to concerns or criticism. Give people a reason to check your blog.

On a side note…

If you want to look at a company that practices what it preaches when it comes to inbound marketing, look at HubSpot. This report is a classic example of an effective content marketing and inbound marketing strategy: generate useful, relevant and valuable research for your target market and share it freely.

You can download the report from http://offers.hubspot.com/2013-state-of-inbound-marketing.

3 Comments on “Business blogging pays off

  1. In the B2B and B2G sectors I’ve seen way too many blogs with no posts for months. Based on my experience in those secotrs, I think that twice monthly is optimal — frequent enough to remain “top of mind,” but not so frequent that readers are inclined to unsubscribe. Providing VALUE in the posts is also critical — 90% should focus on hot topics, useful resources such as links, articles, even books — so that the blog is considered a “must read” for your target audience. Your example from HubSpot fits the bill perfectly. Useful, interesting, but still with a conversational tone.

    • Mark, I agree that in most B2B and B2G cases, twice a month or weekly works very well. It’s an achievable goal, even for stretched marketing organizations. And value is certainly more important than frequency.

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