Does this sound familiar?
A business leader reads an article about the importance of blogging, buys in to the logic that an active and relevant blog will strengthen engagement and improve the company’s search and website activity, rallies the team and gets everyone to commit to a consistent blog publishing schedule.
All works well for a few months…until it doesn’t.
At some point, other business demands take priority and the process of identifying topics, aligning search priorities, researching and interviewing, writing and approving content falls through the cracks.
We see The Great Blog Fade all too often, particularly in B2B marketing. Why? Maybe it’s because the team runs out of ideas about what to write about…or because there just isn’t enough time or staff…or maybe because blogging can be like dieting, where the value of the hard work doesn’t really show up for a while.
Whatever the reason, Blog Faders are missing out on some pretty strong upside. To wit:
- B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than those that do not.(Source: Hubspot)
- Marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI (Source: HubSpot)
- 60% of consumers feel engaged/positive with a brand or company after reading custom content on their blog (Source: ContentPlus)
This is because blogging drives engagement, the key element for successful B2B marketing. As buyers research their business issues, they want insight and guidance, precisely what good blog articles provide. In fact, nearly half of B2B buyers claim they read three-to-five pieces of content before even talking with a salesperson (Source: DemandGen). Blogs build engagement with searchers, website visitors and social media participants and they help create a position of authority and helpfulness. In short, blogging makes it more likely that buyers will discover you in the first place and more likely that they will buy from you. And if you don’t do it, well someone else probably does.
All of this to say that overcoming The Great Blog Fade should be an important goal for any company so afflicted.
Suggestions to Sustain Your B2B Blog
Here are a few steps to make it easier for you and your team to keep your blog active and relevant over the long haul:
- Keep a list of topic ideas and encourage colleagues throughout your organization to add to it. Think of common challenges faced by your customers, industry news and trends, upcoming innovations, concerns or opportunities…anything that would be of interest to your customers and prospects. Be sure to orient your topics around the information that your buyers want to know about. Here’s a great article from Neil Patel about keyword-driven topics vs. intent-driven topics.
- Create an editorial calendar to guide which topics will be published and when, then work backward to assign research, draft, review and approval deadlines. Then, make sure someone is in charge of the calendar and given the authority to make others stick to it. We recommend a three-to-six-month rolling schedule, depending upon blog frequency.
- Schedule time to blog. According to OrbitMedia the average blog takes about three and a half hours to write, although 13% report taking over six hours. Interestingly, those that take longer report higher levels of “strong results”.
- Identify subject matter experts and schedule interviews well in advance. Often, the blog topic will require the input of a subject matter expert who can add depth to the issue. This can be someone within your organization, say a product engineer or a technical resource, or even outside, perhaps a customer end-user. Since these people may be difficult to access, schedule them early and be well prepared so that your interview with them is efficient.
- Establish an approval process to identify those needing to review the blog draft before it is published. This may include one or multiple people, including the subject matter expert to verify accuracy. Be sure to include turnaround expectations so that everyone is aware of how much time they have (48 hours is usually sufficient).
Outsourcing Blog Content Writing
While these steps can help you improve and sustain your blog activity, you may still feel like your team is too small or doesn’t have the expertise to pull them off. You wouldn’t be alone. The Content Marketing Institute reports that about half (47%) of B2B organizations outsource their content development. At Communica, we serve that role for many of our clients. An added advantage of outsourcing to a professional organization is that you will often achieve higher engagement and search rankings due to their integrated approach to content creation and distribution.
The Great Blog Fade is real, but it does not have to be permanent. You just need to find the cure that works for you. It will be worth it.
Want to discuss how Communica can take your organization to better marketing performance? Contact us to talk.