As we kick off the new year, it's safe to say that content still reigns as king in the B2B world, and it seems that it's going to stay that way. With B2B marketers who use blogs saying that they get 67% more leads than those who don't, and companies who blog see 97% more links to their site than those who don't, it's clear that blogging should be a part of your B2B marketing strategy.
So, do you really need to spend time to promote your blog? Isn’t the point of a blog to promote your website? Yes and yes. Your blog is, indeed, a big opportunity to drive traffic to your website and promote your business as well as your products and services, but it needs strategic guidance to be successful in driving traffic and converting leads. Many industry experts preach the 80/20 rule when it comes to content and promotion, saying that 20% of your time should be spent creating content, and 80% of your time should be spent promoting it. Think of your blog like a garden that's meant to feed your family. The whole purpose of the garden is to create food—but you need to feed it, water it, and tend to it to get the desired results. The same is true of your blog.
When people ask us, "Where should I share my blog?" we suggest these eight free ways to distribute blog content. There are additional distribution channels that include paid promotion and advertising, but this list focuses on eight ways you can share you B2B blog content immediately that we've found successful for our clients and ourselves.
Where Should I Share My Blog?
Email Your Blog Subscribers
Publish on Your Social Channels
Engage Your Employees
Share with Evangelists
Include a Link in Your Email Signature
Get Links from Other Sites
Share in Industry Groups on Social Media
Use in the Sales Process
Below, we dig deeper into ways and best practices B2B companies can promote their blog content.
1. Email Your Blog Subscribers
I would say most people that create a blog plan to email their blog subscribers... but maybe everyone hasn't put this plan into action yet. Creating and growing a subscriber list that is interested in and engaged with your content is vital to the growth of traffic to your blog over time. Create a strategic plan to be consistently growing your subscriber list with an interested and engaged audience, and then you can communicate with this list each time you publish a new post to inform them that it's published.
2. Publish on Your Social Channels
Whether this is a manual push or an automated push through a marketing tool like Hubspot, don't miss out on the opportunity to get in front of your social connections. If your social channels are engaged with your content and active, this will be an effective channel to push your blog content to and drive visitors to your site with content they are interested in.
3. Engage Your Employees
One resource that many B2B companies have that is very underutilized is their employees. Let's say the average professional has between 500-1000 contacts on LinkedIn, the potential reach you're missing out on is exponential if your employees aren't sharing your content! And if we take that number a step further to other social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and more, you could be reaching a MASSIVE amount of more people and prospects and driving them to your site. This post shares ways to utilize your employees in your content distribution plan without spending more money or asking them to do anything that adds a lot of time or additional tasks to their to-do list.
4. Share with Evangelists
Are there thought leaders or clients who are evangelists of your brand or your company's product or services? Ask them to share your latest articles or tag them in a post you share on your personal page. Interacting and actively pursuing their attention and support can help to get your blog content in front of their audience. Think of this as a digital 'word of mouth' or 'referral' tactic. Just be sure not to abuse your relationships or over-ask. Be strategic with your ask and ensure the content you're asking them to share is valuable and also relates to their connections and followers.
5. Include a Link in Your Email Signature
How many emails do you send a day? Now multiply that by how many employees you have that are also sending that many emails every day. That's a lot of emails. Add a link at the bottom of your signature that links to the company's latest post, or to build thought leadership and personal branding for your employees, have them link to the most recent article that's been published on the company's blog that they wrote or contributed to.
6. Get Links from Other Sites
Do you have partners or clients who might share your content in their articles? If your content can contribute to their visitors without competing, ask them to link to your published posts.
7. Share in Industry Groups on Social Media
This one is often overlooked, and maybe because it's a bit more in-depth and time-consuming, but employees (and companies) that are engaged in industry or related groups on LinkedIn or Facebook have a huge opportunity to utilize their published content here. The most success I've seen is when employees who are in these engaged communities and are networking or interacting in groups or on threads link to content they have that answers other user's questions. For example, if a user is asking about ways to share their blog content in a LinkedIn group that I'm in and I see it, I could respond with some suggestions and link to this post for more tips that we've found successful. It doesn't have to be robotic. It's personal and helpful -- and that's what makes it successful without being too "sales-y."
8. Use in the Sales Process
Your blog content should be a secret weapon in your sales team's arsenal. While most salespeople are relying on traditional methods, savvy salespeople can use digital content to set themselves apart and deliver additional value during the sales process—ultimately leading to closing the sale faster. Great blog content is not just beneficial for marketing; it helps sales! Which in turn, helps marketing drive more traffic, etc. Utilize the sales team's knowledge when creating content - whether your salespeople write content for the company blog or they brainstorm ideas for blog posts that answer the questions and needs they discuss with prospects. This can help guide the content creation plan to fit the target audience's buyer's journey, generate more qualified leads, and improve sales performance!
Ensure your time spent on creating content is not wasted by taking full advantage of the marketing channels you have access to and share your blog posts with your company and employee connections and followers. Different companies across different industries will find the sweet spots in the digital space and what works best for them after spending time diving into the analytics on their efforts. This list should get you started sharing the valuable content you're creating on your blog to drive more traffic, generate more leads, and improve your sales performance!