Blogging is often viewed as the core component of a B2B social media marketing strategy, and other than discussion forums, it’s the most mature component of social media. Facebook, Twitter and even newer tools like Quora may be sexier and get more attention, but blogs are the workhorses essential to making social media marketing work. Research from HubSpot shows that small businesses with blogs have twice as many Twitter followers as those who don’t. Increased search engine visibility, targeted traffic and enhanced brand image are just a few of the benefits of business blogging.
So what’s next for B2B blogging? What trends are likely to emerge in the coming year? To answer those questions, the founders of the B2B Marketing Zone asked 22 of the most influential b2b marketing and PR bloggers—including Roxanne Darling, Jay Baer, Ardath Albee, Erik Qualman and Chris Abraham—for their prognostications. You can get the whole story in B2B Blogging Trends in 2011, a free (and no registration required) white paper from Aggregage (the software that powers the BMZ site). Among the findings:
- • If you don’t have a blog yet, 2011 is the year to start one. As less than half of all B2B companies currently have blogs, there’s still an opportunity to stand out and establish thought leadership in your niche. If your company doesn’t have a blog, you’re not a laggard…quite yet. But time is running out to grab the best intellectual spots of turf on the B2B blogging landscape.
- • Blogging helps a company demonstrate expertise, it’s ideal for search, and as Blake Landau points out, “As push marketing becomes less effective, blogs become more important.”
- • Blogs are not islands; as pointed out above, they are the central point to social marketing efforts. Blogging is most effective when integrated with other communications efforts including PR and email marketing.
- • Although there is still opportunity to get started with a business blog, it’s crucial to do it right. Jay Baer predicts an “explosion of bad B2B blogs” in the coming year as companies scramble to embrace the medium, but many fail to do it well. To stand out and achieve business success with a blog, it’s critical to focus narrowly on the information needs of your customers and prospects, as Kristin Zhivago and Harry Hoover both note.
There’s much more. Again, you can download the complete Aggregage white paper on B2B Blogging Trends in 2011 here.