Despite what all that white noise on the Internet is saying about business-to-business blogs, first determine if a blog will benefit your customers.
If not, I’d recommend a dog. At least Fido will pay attention to you, which is more than I can say about the attention paid to most company blogs.
Blogs can be a great way to make you more “findable” in the vast ocean of content on the Internet.
Generating regular content on your blog can drive more traffic to your website, plus audiences can share your articles on social media, and others may link to your blog from their website if you provide valuable information that people want to share.
However, it seems somewhere in the process of content strategy and content production we forgot that the goal is to connect and communicate with customers.
If we are not doing that … why bother?
Here are four questions to help you decide if a blog is right for your business.
1) What product or service are you selling?
Answering typical customer questions or offering useful product information via a blog can be a great way to save time (and reduce support-desk calls). The convenience will delight current customers and impress potential customers, even if the information has not been explicitly requested.
2) When will you write it?
If you think you can knock out a blog post in an hour or less each week, think again.
Allow a minimum of 4 to 5 hours per week to write and conduct research for a weekly blog post.
Think I am exaggerating? Check out these 17 great tips for writing a successful blog. You may change your mind.
3) Who cares?
Ask your customers what they care about in a few short simple questions.
Better yet, contact your top ten clients by phone – a real live person making a phone call – now that will get their attention in our digital age!
Your customers will tell you what kind of content will help them, and they might even be flattered that you asked.
4) Why not sell stuff using your blog?
A blog is tricky.
It should be all about providing value to your audience, but businesses tend to slip into using their blog to overtly sell products.
Has a “friend” ever invited you to a dinner party and, after everyone is finished eating, made a pitch for Amway or funding a “mission” trip to the Virgin Islands?
It leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, and no one at the party will come over for dinner again. Ever.
Similarly, do not sell via your blog.
Help Your Clients
The great content you provide that actually helps your clients do their jobs better, demonstrates creative uses of your products, or provides truly useful information to your customers will be appreciated.
Here’s another great article on writing the perfect blog.