A business blog allows your company to share the views of its internal experts, but it's not a one-way street. Done right, you and your company can use a business blog to increase brand awareness, educate your readers, become a go-to expert, and connect with more people.
As you engage with your online visitors, you can nurture stronger relationships and eventually encourage them to subscribe, download or interact. Of course, this doesn't happen overnight, but adopting a long-term business blogging strategy is a worthwhile endeavour.
By investing time and effort, you can use a blog to elevate your brand to new heights and establish your company as a knowledge leader and expert in your market. Sooner or later, you'll be able to turn readers into loyal customers.
What is a business blog?
A business blog is a website with frequently updated content about specific keyword- or topic-oriented content.
The keywords and topics that you create content around will depend on the nature of your business. Zooma's business blog provides content about onlinification and digitalisation because we sell solutions, services and software in these areas.
It's important to highlight that your business blog is not a static part of your website. Rather, a business blog is regularly updated with relevant knowledge content. Once a day, once a week, or a couple of times per month at a minimum.
What is business blogging?
Business blogging is a tactic that focuses on increasing your company's online visibility. This definition raises two questions: What is blogging, and what is online visibility? We cover this topic in more detail in our article "What is business blogging?", but here comes a short version.
Blogging means creating short-form content. A blog article is published on your .com/.xx blog, an essential part of your online presence where you house all of your knowledge articles. For example, you can take a look at a typically example of one of our articles - it's a piece of short-form content that has been published on a blog.
It's also important to note that your articles and content offers should focus on a particular subject matter related to your business. For instance, Zooma is an online and digital agency, so our business blog focuses on online and digital topics. Your business blog must focus on and cover all relevant subjects related to your company's business.
Now on to question number two: defining online visibility. Your company's online visibility is its capacity for being found and seen on the internet. To become visible online, your company must be easily findable in search engines, active on social media, and mentioned on other business blogs. Business blogging is one way to make your company visible to potential and existing customers looking for your products, solutions, or services.
Who consumes B2B business blogs?
Well, lots of people, but for now, let's focus on the two essential groups.
Search engines "read" business blogs to learn what your com /.xx is about, so they can determine whether the content is relevant for their users who perform searches connected to your main focuses and subjects. For example, Google reads our site, so it knows it can produce this knowledge article in a list of search results if someone searches "who consumes B2B business blogs?"
Potential and existing customers.Potential and existing customers read business blogs to find helpful industry content.
You may think that your target groups don't typically read business blogs, but you can be sure they stumble upon knowledge articles when doing research online.
For example, when you plan on buying something (either at work or privately), you usually begin by going to Google and researching your best option. You learn and develop an opinion based on this research, and then use it to make a decision.
You might never subscribe to any of those business blogs, and you may not even realise that what you read was a business blog - but it's almost certain that you do use business blogs to figure out where you want to invest your money.
Blogging helps you drive traffic and gain trust
Every time you publish a knowledge article, you create an opportunity for someone to find your company's website.
Every time we create content here, we increase our visibility online. The more knowledge content we create, the better chances we have of introducing Zooma to someone who's never heard of us.
A company that has 100 published knowledge articles has created 100 opportunities to get its .com/.xx found. And a company that has 500 knowledge articles is creating 500 new opportunities to get found. So the more content you produce around a wide range of relevant topics, the better - as long as the quality is good.
Business blogging creates these opportunities better than any other approach because every article you publish is a brand new URL. Think about how many unique page URLs you can add to your .com/.xx without a blog - unless you want your site to become difficult to use and navigate, it's probably not that many.
But if you have a business blog, you have endless opportunities to create new URLs that can rank in search and be discovered by people that didn't know about your company, knowledge or offering yet. In other words, a business blog gives you endless opportunities to be found.
Business blogging makes you credible.
Who would you buy from? Someone who guides and educates you by providing accessible, educational and relevant content or someone you've never spoken to before in your entire life?
Business blogging helps put you in the first camp. Most people in B2B buy from people they know and trust. By investing in creating relevant content that helps answer your target customers' questions, you will establish a trusting relationship that will make them more comfortable buying from you.
What you want is leads.
That's what relevant business blogging helps you get! Above we talked about how blogging creates opportunities to attract new traffic? Every person that lands on your business blog represents an opportunity to generate a new interaction, too. If you write a blog article that 100 people consume, you have 100 chances to convert those readers into leads by providing a relevant CTA (call-to-action). The CTA is anything that asks the reader to exchange their contact data for something, e.g. a checklist, ebook or a demo.
After reading a knowledge article about any subject, your audience might want to continue learning more. That's why they should always find a CTA at the end of the article that encourages them to exchange their details for more information, whether it's in the form of a presentation, guide or something valuable. That person is now a contact, and they might end up becoming a customer one day.
Relevant content is the gift that keeps on giving
Once you have published a blog article, it can continue bring in traffic, interactions and contacts forever. On our blogs, we have four or five-year-old articles that are still generating tremendous results.
Relevant content on your business blog will help you to generate leads while you sleep. The work you put in today will yield results over the coming years.
It helps to think of business blogging as an annuity. For example, if you publish one knowledge article tomorrow, it might drive 1500 visits. That's a great start, but traffic will fall over time, possible down to ten visits a month. This result could seem depressing after that initial traffic influx, but you shouldn't focus too much on the performance of individual articles. Instead, look at the gains your knowledge content makes over time as you continue to publish articles and win highly-ranked search positions. Now you are driving consistent returns month after month, without any extra work on your part.
How business blogging differs from regular blogging
Some people have personal blogs, or even blogs that bring in money through selling ad space. However, business blogging is very different. Your business blog is not a hobby, and it's certainly not the primary way your business makes money because, at that point, your blog becomes your business!
A business blog is a channel that helps your business grow. It does so by driving traffic to your website and providing opportunities for visitors to convert.
Different companies convert their traffic at different rates. Some companies aim to turn visitors into leads, so they can hand them over to their sales team for nurturing. Other companies seek to convert visitors into customers directly via ecommerce. Regardless of the approach, the goal of business blogging should always be to drive business.
Why B2B companies should blog
To make your .com/.xx a valuable asset, people need to be able to find it. If you wait for people to type in your URL in the address bar, you won't generate much traffic. Fortunately, there are many ways people can find your online presence, and one effective route is through search.
The more relevant pages and content your .com/.xx has, the more chances you have to rank well in search engines. The problem is, you don't want to throw up just random pages all over your .com/.xx. That would be an awful user experience, and your .com/.xx would become a mess. Business blogging is a solution to that problem. Every time you publish a knowledge article, you create a new page on your .com/.xx. These articles are all organised within your blog, meaning you avoid cluttering your .com/.xx with pages.
Every time you publish a knowledge article and create a new web page, you gain one more opportunity for your .com/.xx to rank in search and appear to users when they search online.
When someone asks Google something like, "what is digital sales transformation?, hopefully, one of Zooma's blog articles will show up!
You can use and apply this logic to most other online and digital channels, too. Every time you publish a new blog article, you create a resource that users can share on social media, getting it out in front of a new online audience. It also generates a URL that another website can link to, giving you some SEO juice.
In short, business blogging is an effective way to create opportunities to get your website found by the people you want to reach, and makes it easier to generate new leads and customers for your business.
We've listed plenty more benefits in our article "What are the benefits of business blogging?" - it's a useful resource if you need to convince colleagues to invest time and resources in contributing to your business blog.
Why business blogging works
You should never underestimate how many doubts your colleagues may have about business blogging as a tactic. Don't assume that everyone assumes that inbound works just because you work with it every day. When starting a business blog, it's always a good idea to make sure that your colleagues understand the purpose of the blog and what it contributes to the company.
In short, business blogging works because:
- It gives you a way to publish much more content than you would otherwise be able to on your 'main' site, thereby increasing your chances of ranking well in search results and converting qualified leads.
- A business blog is a perfect platform to showcase the hidden knowledge that exists inside your company. Many companies spend a lot of time talking about their USPs and the technical specifications of their products - but in the articles on your business blog, your company's internal experts can provide practical solutions and answers to your audience's most pressing problems and questions.
- When internal experts such as experienced salespeople, products designers and product managers write articles for your business blog (or have articles ghostwritten for them), they gain credibility amongst customers, leads and colleagues as knowledgeable and reliable sources.
- In the same way, your company's image as a trustworthy partner that understands its customers' needs is strengthened when you publish content that is focused on your audience's key priorities instead of your key products.
- You have the opportunity to show off your company's extensive knowledge and offering in a range of ways - from short articles offering practical tips to longer guides about key industry concepts. You can also experiment with different formats, such as videos, visualisations, infographics or podcasts.
How to start business blogging
When you and your company start a business blog, it might feel difficult to stand out from your competitors - especially when they have a head start and your find yourself covering the same topics as them.
When you start blogging, you should remember that people will always benefit from relevant and actionable content. That means that you should only create high-value content that loaded with answers on topics that your target customers care about. Every single piece of content must give them straight answers to their burning questions.
Your business blog will not do well if you're providing content that doesn't offer a solution to their pain points. But this throws up a question - what do my potential and existing customers actually want to know?
To learn more about the questions and most shared topics in your target market, source online groups, forums and platforms such as:
There's plenty of tools available that can help you answer this question. By analysing online activity, you can discover the most common questions and topics that your target audience is looking for. Here are some of the tools we use when researching relevant topics and issues:
- Think with Google - A service from Google that helps you find your target audience and trends they're interested in
- Keywords Everywhere - A fantastic tool for finding out what people are searching for
There's more advice on how to find the right keywords to target available in this article - take a look.
Knowing your target audience is vital in content marketing. After setting your objectives, you should do this groundwork to learn more about your target audience's pain points. What questions are they asking, what topics they are interested in, what challenges are they facing, and what solutions are they looking for?
When you gather this data, you should create detailed personas to guide your future content creation efforts. This is an essential aspect of business blogging today. Rather than simply building one business blog post for everyone, individual and detailed buyer personas will help you make more targeted content that gets results.
Decide a schedule
You should have a semi-flexible schedule for how often you publish new articles on your business blog. At Zooma, we aim to publish two new articles a week on our English-language blog, but depending on your resources and level of experience, once a week may be a more realistic goal to start with. You can always ramp up your content production once you have a smoothly-running process in place.
At any rate, deciding your posting frequency at an early stage is vital. It helps you plan your work in advance and makes it easier for you to get organised if your articles require input from experts or design work. A consistent schedule is also appreciated by your readers - your brand image will be affected if they suddenly receive four new posts in a week, and then hear nothing from you for two months.
For more guidance on how frequently to publish new posts on your business blog, take a look at our article 'Business blogging: How often should you blog?"
Promoting your content
With business blogging, creating content is only one part of the job. The work continues after you have published the content. Content marketing follows the 80/20 rule - 80% promotion and 20% creation. Once your business blog content is ready to be shared, you should promote the new content on your social channels.
Your blog will generally be the starting point for the conversations you will have with the content consumers. After that, you must work actively on promotion to ensure that your message connects with more people.
Once published, your articles will start appearing in search results. This is a type of promotion, but you don't have too much control over it (although effective SEO will naturally lead to better ranking). It's likely that you will promote your content through two main channels - social media and email.
When working with social media, you should focus on the platforms where your target audience is active. For example, if your potential and existing customer base are in the B2B world, it's probably better to focus on LinkedIn than TikTok or Snapchat.
Regardless of the platform, it's hard to go wrong if you post relevant and engaging content, ask thought-provoking questions, engages actively with your audience and offer credible, relevant and valuable insights. By building your presence on one or two channels, you will establish your brand authority and voice. After this, you can promote your content to people you already know and trust.
The platform you should choose also depends on what kind of content you will be sharing. As a general rule, the following platforms are best used for:
Business updates and reflections, relevant data and insights, job postings
Photos, videos, in-photo texts
Short texts, links to blogs, business updates, and reflections
Links to articles, videos, company-related news
Email is not as new and shiny as some other techniques today, but it is still compelling. The key to being successful with email marketing is personalisation. Nobody wants to receive mass emails; almost everyone prefers relevant suggestions and advice.
Use email sign-up forms on your online presence to build a list of contacts, which will give you a direct line to their inboxes. From there, you will be able to nurture stronger one-to-one relationships with people, encouraging them to amplify your brand message. With enough contacts in your email list, you will be able to segment it - for example, by the recipient's industry, location or role. By creating separate emails for each of these segmented groups, you can be more confident that they'll find your emails relevant.
As we mentioned above, companies typically find it difficult to figure out what content is relevant for their audience. As a result, business blogging initiatives either fail or even struggle to get off the ground.
If you want some more detailed explanations on how to start a business blog, take a look at this article.