A recent study about B2B web usability from KoMarketing and BuyerZone found that just 20% of respondents indicated that either social media or blogging “definitely” played a part in the discovery process.
This is bad news. Well, mostly. We’ve always known that corporate blogs functioned differently than personal blogs, but 20%?! That’s pretty low.
Perhaps it’s time we asked ourselves a tough question: is it time we abandoned the whole idea of the corporate blog?
In a word, no. There are still a lot of reasons we should keep the B2B blog around for a while. Here are just a few:
- Blogging has a formidable impact on SEO. Google loves fresh content. Long-tail keywords can help, too. Backlinks aren’t as important as they used to be, but they still have SEO value. Done right, blogging has a significant effect on your search engine rankings. Certainly, writing for people is important, but keeping the search engines in mind when blogging will help you get found when people search for relevant terms.
- An excess of information is better than too little. The KoMarketing/BuyerZone survey showed that B2B buyers want more information in the search process, not less. This includes contact information, case studies, and more. When buyers are doing their vetting process, they’ll want to see who you are and what you’re about. Rather than writing 101 stuff, write content that answers frequently-asked questions and helps in the decision-making journey. That content has value where simple blog basics may not.
- There’s still a measurable impact. For one, you shouldn’t ignore the 20% who in this survey consider blogs and social media as important in the discovery process. What’s more, B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that don’t, and blogs have been rated as the 5thmost trusted source for online information. It’s important not to ignore the positives, here.
- This is only one survey. A final important note: this is only one survey, and it was a survey of 262 people, at that. While we shouldn’t discount it completely (I hope this blog is evidence enough of that), blogging still has a lot of value for all types of companies, even unsexy ones. If anything, we businesses should use this survey as fuel to make sure we’re getting value out of our content marketing efforts.
To avoid speaking in generalizations, the exact answer to this question will depend on who your business is, what you’re writing about, how much you’re investing into your blog and how many views it’s getting.
For example, if you’re investing $5,000/month into a corporate blog with 3 posts a week and blog traffic accounts for less than 5% of total site views, is it worth it? Probably not. In that case, it’s time for you to either seriously reevaluate your strategy or stop posting altogether. But if you’re making that same investment and can prove that blogs bring in 15% of site traffic and account for 25 form conversions a month, you’re well on your way.
Is it time to abandon the corporate blog? Certainly not. For most businesses, at least. As with most other investments these days, however, you should hold your blog to a high standard: if it’s adding value, keep investing in it. If its impact is negligible, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Image Credit: CC by Paolo Valdemarin