Lately, when we talk to prospective B2B clients, I see increasingly divergent views on B2B blogging. On the one hand, there are those who lust after success stories involving other social media (e.g., Twitter) used to drive high amounts of immediate, short-term traffic to a business blog. Many times, these people are so eager to jump into the promise and immediacy of Twitter, LinkedIn groups, and Facebook to drive traffic to a blog, that they give little consideration to developing the meaningful, valuable content required to attract interest in the first place.
On the other hand, there are those that tend to lump B2B blogging in with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, social-bookmarking sites, and the like. Many of these people are in niche B2B industries where the pace of adoption of social media vehicles is slow and the potential “crowd” is thin. When they consider blogging as a part of their marketing strategy, they see little promise. Sure, they say, maybe we’ll get 20 subscribers to our blog, but what good is that? We’re not going to get large amounts of followers on Twitter. We’re not going to get large amounts of subscribers to our blog. Social media just isn’t a good fit, whatever form it comes in.
Both groups seem overly focused on the short-term, either somewhat crazed by the potential of short-term gains or convinced that such gains aren’t possible, and as a result, dismissing the very idea of B2B blogging. Both groups tend to ignore the long-term, most valuable benefits of B2B blogging—search visibility and thought leadership positioning.
Earlier this month, Jeffrey Cohen of Social Media B2B, had a great post titled Blogging for the Future, in which he discussed the long-term search benefits of consistently creating relevant, compelling content optimized for search. Even a modest commitment of 2-3 such posts per month will yield 30 posts in a year—and each of those posts will consistently drive relevant traffic to your blog and your site every single month. Forever. And the beauty of search is that you’ll be meeting those visitors at the very time they’re interested.
In addition to driving traffic, those posts will also position your firm in terms of expertise and thought leadership. This enhanced search visibility and positioning can go a long way in reducing the perceived risk potential purchasers feel when considering alternative suppliers, strengthening your position and increasing the chances you’ll be on the short list of contenders.
Sure, this isn’t as sexy as creating a lot of social media buzz in the marketplace, but unless you’re blogging for the long term, I doubt you’ll be successful in the short term, anyway.