, , ,

Blogs can be great marketing tools for B-to-B organizations, giving companies a brand and personality that they would otherwise have trouble creating. Yet a Forrester report shows that 53 percent of B-to-B marketers consider blogging irrelevant, even as 23 percent call it highly significant. Many companies are still unsure how to use a blog effectively.

There is no one correct way to use a blog. Corporate blogging picked up steam last year, but it has since slowed down because it did not produce results in the short term. The success of a blog is difficult to measure if it is not part of a broader marketing strategy. Many companies start a blog without knowing its purpose or to whom they are addressing messages. Other companies think them useful only for posting press releases or believe they require too many organizational resources.

Dell has developed a successful B-to-C blog, where it offers customer service. In B-to-B contexts, blogs can build awareness, provide search engine results, educate potential and existing clients about products or services, and warm up a seemingly cold corporate culture. An expert who offers advice and knowledge about products increases brand awareness, and a blog is a great medium for this information.

Analytics, including traffic and the number of comments, can offer tangible evaluations of a blog, but a better measure is how often the blog gets mentioned elsewhere, the media attention it receives, and the interaction, involvement, intimacy, and influence that it promotes.

Blogs can be effective if they are used a lot and foster interaction. There are no real negatives to a blog; the worst thing that can happen is that no one pays attention to a boring blog, in which case the company can simply redevelop its blogging strategy.

Discussion Questions:

  1. For what purposes can B-to-B marketers use blogging?

Elisabeth A. Sullivan, “A Long Slog,” Marketing News, February 28, 2009.