The blogosphere offers businesses a space to develop a relationship with a target readership. It has become an effective marketing tool because it allows a two-way communication in which the customer is an asset. In this context, bloggers use more personal voices to build a brand name and reach a desired audience. In order to win the customers’ trust, bloggers have to create resourceful and professional posts. Rewarded with content value and integrity, visitors eventually convert into new leads.
Blogs also positively influence search results by drawing organic traffic from search engines. The keyword-rich content in your blog posts optimizes your search results and helps customers find you easily. It comes as no surprize then that when you follow the right tips, you can turn your blog into a B2B Lead Generation Machine.
Step by Step
Before starting to blog, identify the collective character of the individuals you want to target. Determine the type of person who should read your blog. Whether you aim at attracting a 45-year-old head of manufacturing or a 24-year-old music fan can make all the difference in your blogging strategy. Think about the personal life, interests and hobbies this person might have. A clear image of your target audience members with their specific locations, appearances and activities will help you successfully communicate with them. Using your marketing personas, brainstorm article ideas that might appeal to them.
Identifying personas will help you determine the topics you would want to cover in your blog. Find out what websites and conversations attract your target audience in order to use effective tools in attracting the same crowd. Put these observations into context by keeping track of current news in your industry. As you find resourceful blogs, subscribe to them via RSS or email.
Find your voice
As you browse through interesting articles and blog posts, try to think of insightful comments you might be able leave. Your remarks have to be relevant to the featured content and, if possible, add value to it. Eventually, you will start conversations with other bloggers, develop a reputation in the blogosphere as a thought leader, and promote your blog. Most importantly, following and commenting on industry-specific blog articles will get you comfortable in finding your distinct voice. It will give you a general sense of the conversations taking place on the Web and the ways to join them.
Content is king
Knowing your blogging voice, determine the authors who can project it successfully. You can assign the blog content creation to a single leader from your company or make it more competitive and diverse by including a number of contributors. Then, finalize a schedule according to which the bloggers will publish their work. The frequency of the blog articles is a crucial element since the more you publish, the faster you’ll be generating traffic and leads.
Similarly to feature stories in journalism, ideas for blogs are everywhere. You can blog about industry-related news, company-sponsored conferences and daily encounters that may ring familiar to your target audience. Don’t be too sales-focused but make sure that the information you offer is useful and thought provoking for your readership.
The blog posts don’t have to be very long because you can often convey a message in just a few hundred words. Yet the posts have to be diverse, useful and interesting to the readers. As Yehuda Berlinger writes, “Building interest means promising that what is yet to come is worth sticking around for.” Make sure you can commit to this promise for content value.
Using blog analytics and other tools, you can easily measure your blog’s impact and performance in terms of attracting online traffic. Such evaluations can help you find the most successful types of articles that will develop your blog into a more powerful marketing tool.
Promote your blog
The last step to successful blog marketing is its promotion. It is helpful to think of your blog as a job search.
First, make sure your company’s website is connected to your blog by adding a link to the site’s home page. Send an email to friends, colleagues, customers, and other potentially interested networks to inform them about your blog’s launch. Add your blog to Technorati, blogging directories and online forums appropriate for your content. Utilize social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to promote your blog and extend your brand awareness.