Businesses have been using blogs since the late 1990s to advertise their services and expertise to consumers and competitors. As such, blogging is now considered a cornerstone feature of content marketing and online advertising. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72 percent of B2B businesses value blogging as a valuable digital content platform (1). However, brands that do not have a corporate blog at the moment may be unsure where to look for the best platforms. Which services increase ROI? Which are the most customizable? Finally, how can a brand develop this blog further with other integrated marketing techniques?
Here are the four best blogging platforms to use for B2B and corporate blogs:
Medium is a free blog service similar to Thought Catalog yet more professional. The website is popular with entrepreneurs, B2B marketers, individuals in creative industries and those with a story to tell. The Spectacled Marketer recommended using Medium because of its optimized and streamlined layout, typography and imagery (2). Medium also has the possibility to collaborate with other writers. This tool works as a built-in networking option to connect with other like-minded individuals. Best of all, medium articles are easy to share across social media or in email marketing campaigns.
To appeal to professionals, LinkedIn expanded its own unique B2B blogging platform in 2014 (3). The platform was meant for both users and writers to connect with others in their field and has proven a successful venture. Consider using LinkedIn's publishing platform as a means to reach out to your target audience. Link your company page to the bottom of the article and share the piece on LinkedIn. By sharing a piece with others in your field, traffic will be drawn to the company landing page and people will view your organization as a credible source of expertise.
3. Company website
Using the company website for blogging is a viable option for multiple reasons. First, placing the blog on the sales site drives traffic to the page and may lead to an increase in conversions. Positioning the blog on the company web page can also encourage readers to explore other options the company has to offer. If a page has a responsive Web design, a reader viewing a blog post may be inclined to click around the page and view other services. It also builds credibility for the company to host a blog on this space.
Start Blogging Online recommends using WordPress as a viable blogging option because of its many plug-in features, user friendliness and automatic updates (4). Considered a stand-by for corporate and consumer blogs alike, WordPress has unique features and a full range of creative control over layouts and plugins. The platform is also successful in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) because of its tagging system and post categories. This makes a WordPress blog easier to find than a blog that does not utilize SEO. Although storage is not free, it can be purchased in tiers.
How can a B2B company market its blog correctly? Be sure to use SEO techniques and keywords for each entry as well as cross-promotional efforts to market the blog entries. If a blog does not receive healthy traffic after implementing these strategies, consider hiring a marketing agency to help with these efforts. By using the platforms above and a strong marketing campaign, a corporate blog can become successful and turn leads into conversions.
(1). B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America
(2). Best Blogging Tools for 2015
(3). The Definitive Professional Publishing Platform
(4). WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger? Best blogging platforms reviewed…