So you have a blog. At least as far as you know, you have a blog. You can’t remember the last time you published anything to it but you know you have it and at one time you were publishing on a regular basis.
But as a small marketing team – maybe only one person – other priorities drew you away from your blog. After all, blogging is really hard work and there were other things that “needed” to get done.
Now, you find yourself in a position where you have been in the past. Lead generation is down. The sales team is clamoring that they are not getting enough leads. You remember a statistic you’ve read in the past, “B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.” And then you think to yourself, why haven’t I paid more attention to the blog?
Now is not the time to beat yourself up over neglecting your blog but it is time to refocus your efforts. B2B blogging is an extremely effective marketing tactic. In addition to lead generation, consider these statistics:
- Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts. (Source)
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. (Source)
- 45% of marketers say blogging is the #1 most important piece of their content strategy. (Source)
Late last year, Doug shared six additional reasons B2B businesses need to be actively blogging. I think you get the point – it is time to stop ignoring your blog.
Even if you haven’t published anything for six months or more, you can revive your blog and keep it alive for years to come. Here are five ways to get started.
1. Update your old posts
Perhaps the fastest way to breathe life into your blog is to update your old posts. Start by updating the text. Maybe there is a new study or statistic that you can reference or include. Also, update the graphics or images you originally used.
Change the published dates to recent dates. When visitors to your website see dates that are months in the past, it makes them question what doing business with your company will be like.
2. Establish an editorial calendar
At Imagine, our goal each week is to publish three blog posts. That’s a lot of content creation to manage for a small team. We have found that an editorial calendar helps to keep us on track.
Start by brainstorming topic ideas based on your buyer personas and the questions you know they are asking. Then, determine how often you will publish. If your original goal was once per week and that was a schedule you couldn’t keep up with, then consider posting once every other week or three weeks. The main goal is to get started publishing again. The schedule can be tweaked as you learn more about your audience.
Document the editorial calendar and share it. That will help you create accountability. If the entire demand generation and leadership teams are expecting to see a new post, it will be harder to push it aside. It will also make it harder for them to push other assignments ahead of the blog.
3. Spread the responsibility around
Just because marketing owns the blog doesn’t mean you have to be the only writer. Within your organization, there are many subject matter experts who can write on topics that are relevant to your buyer personas.
Start by identifying a small group who can contribute. Meet with them and establish the guidelines and topics they will write about. Then make assignments.
At Imagine, we have multiple contributors to our blog. It adds variety and interest and also lightens the load for Doug and me.
4. Invite guest bloggers
Your buyer personas have a lot of questions and are trying to solve a lot of problems. Many of which are not related directly to your solution but are part of the bigger picture.
Invite industry experts to contribute to your blog. Identify the “thought leaders” in your target markets. Reach out to them and invite them to contribute content to your blog. Offer to do the same for them.
Establishing relationships with guest bloggers make take some leg work but in the long run, it will help you keep your blog fresh and relevant.
5. Repurpose other content
When you weren’t writing blog posts, chances are you were creating other content. Case studies, white papers, ebooks, checklists, video, presentations, infographics…all of it can be repurposed into blog posts.
When you create your editorial calendar, take a look at your existing content. You probably have at least a dozen blog posts just sitting there…all you have to do is a little tweaking of content that already exists.
For example, if you have a white paper, consider turning a section of it into a post and include an offer to the full piece. If you have video, write a brief introduction and include the full or edited version of it as a post.
It is not necessary to start from scratch for every post. Take advantage of the work you’ve already done.
In 2016 and beyond, an effective blog will have a significant impact on your demand generation efforts. This time, don’t let it take a backseat. Make it your priority.