Is the B2B Corporate Blog Dead

Integrated Marcom Minute

February 2011

Is your B2B corporate blog dead?  If so, you could be missing out on opportunities to generate leads and sales.

B2B corporate blogs should still be a key element in the B2B marcom mix.

In short… NO! A blog is still an integral part of the B2B marcom mix.  In fact, for many companies, the blog IS the company’s face of social media, especially when used to convey thought leadership beyond 140 characters.  Even more, the B2B corporate blog is helping generate leads and revenue  as well as boosting other online marketing metrics such as search ranking.

Corporate blogs lead to “leads.”

Mike Volpe of HubSpot says in his blog post, How to Turn a Blog into a B2B Lead Generation Machine, that the HubSpot blog generates more traffic than the main company website and is an excellent source of leads. A HubSpot study shows that 65% of businesses blog. For Joe Chernov, vice president of Content Marketing for Eloqua the investment in the corporate blog was worth it for Eloqua. “We launched our corporate blog, It’s All About Revenue about 18 months ago. The blog today is the fastest growing referrers of traffic to our corporate website. Visitors from our blog to our website are among the ‘best’ traffic we drive. They tend to view more pages, bounce less frequently, and ‘convert’ (fill out a form) at a higher rate than other traffic sources,” says Joe.

For B2B, Are Corporate Blogs and Social Media Mutually Exclusive?

Joe explains that the corporate blog is the hub and social media the spokes—mutually reliant, but different.  He sees the corporate blog as the starting point for the content that tends to spread best on social channels—everything from videos to infographics to provocative articles. It [content] starts on the blog and then is distributed over social channels that point back to the blog.

How Can B2B Marketers Leverage Blogs within an Integrated Marketing Communications Program?

Joe says that when the blog is the hub of the marcom wheel, it overlaps all outbound communications including ads. For example, he explains that the blog gives marketers an excellent opportunity to provide context for an online ad campaign. “The marketer can share the back story on the creative, or dive into what sites the ad will run on and why. It gives readers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the people behind the logo. And I believe that people trust other people more than they trust logos. So the more a brand can be humanized, the better,” says Joe.

No… the B2B corporate blog is NOT dead.  And yes, when used in conjunction with other social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn, the blog can be a lucrative source of qualified leads.  However, other forms of social media, though often guideposts pointing back to your latest blog post, offer much more than a promotional pointer.  Vehicles such as TwitterGoogle +LinkedIn and others can be used in conjunction with the blog to further engage prospects and build relationships in the social sphere which is what social media is all about, and such relationships can lead to real business opportunities.

Is Your Business Blogging?

Billy Mitchell, partner/senior creative director of B2B agency, MLT Creative, is getting to the bottom of why businesses don’t blog.  He’s running a LinkedIn poll. (You’ll probably need to be logged into your LinkedIn account to see it.) As of 9/29, results indicate that businesses aren’t blogging because they don’t have the resources to do it, followed by lack of top management support. Why are you or are you not blogging?

Additional B2B Corporate Blog Resources:

Jeff Bullas has all the infographics you’ll ever need on blogging including corporate blogging.http://www.jeffbullas.com/2011/09/16/past-present-and-future-of-blogging-3-infographics/

Corporate blogging:  value versus risk by Ross Dawson share valuable, practical blogging advice that every B2B marcom profession should read.

Get a F#ck!ng Blog Already by Brian Solis says not to underestimate the corporate blog.

Mashable’s 15 Excellent Corporate Blogs to Learn From by Erica Swallow includes 15 good practice blogs in both B2B and B2C.

Deb Weil’s book The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get it Right is a must-read for every B2B corporate and marketing communications professional.

That’s Integrated Marcom!

More next time…