The Importance of Guest Blogging for B2B Marketing
Guest blogging is one of the most impactful marketing strategies that you can implement for your B2B-focused business. And if you’re reading this, you probably already have some idea of the value it holds.
Why is Guest Blogging so Valuable?
The reason that guest blogging is so valuable is because of the many different goals and objectives it can serve. From top of the funnel goals, to considerations further along the buyer’s journey, guest blogging can help you accomplish a variety of objectives… if you know how to design your strategy accordingly.
For example, the objectives that guest blogging can serve include:
- Branding and awareness
- Influencer engagement
- Community building
- Organic ranking (SEO)
- Traffic and conversions
And once you start to really understand the value that guest blogging can bring your business, it actually makes the term “guest blogging” seem cheap and limited. Perhaps this is why many people have referred to it in other ways, such as:
- Bylined articles
- Online PR
- Contributed content
- 3rd party article contributions
Regardless of what you call it, guest blogging requires skilled work if you want to accomplish your goal. Specifically, your success depends on three things:
- Your ability to create remarkable, valuable, well-targeted content
- Your ability to build trusting relationships online (which I like to call, “the art of digital relationship building”)
- Your ability to design a guest posting strategy that’s tailored to your goals
These abilities can take a lot of time and experience to develop, which is why many companies choose to hire an agency or content marketer that they trust to help them with this process. It’s often the best choice if you’re committed to reaching your goal and protecting your brand throughout the process.
What is the Difference Between Guest Posting for B2B Marketing and B2C Marketing?
Your guest blogging strategy may differ between B2B and B2C brands because of the potential differences in sales cycle length and complexity (i.e. number of touch points required).
Depending on the products and services offered, B2C sales cycles have a reputation of being shorter than B2B sales cycles. For example, the amount of time a consumer spends in the consideration phase is likely to be much shorter when it comes to an iPhone app purchase, in comparison to an enterprise software purchase.
Furthermore, that iPhone consumer might only need one or two touch points to convert, whereas an enterprise software purchase might require a slew of touch points in many different formats (testimonials, email nurturing, social media, etc.). Your guest blog contribution can serve as one of those touch points.
The reason why this difference in sales cycle is important when it comes to guest blogging, is because it may impact the type of publishers you target – which is the most foundational piece of any guest blogging strategy.
To explain further, there are two questions that you should ask yourself when considering targeting a publisher.
- What is the authority of this publisher?
- What is the relevance of the publisher’s audience, in comparison to my target consumer?
If you are a B2B brand with a long, convoluted sales cycle, it’s going to be that much more important for you to get in front of your target consumer as often as you can. For that reason, targeting publishers that are highly relevant may trump opportunities to publish on higher authority sites.
And on the flip side, if you are an e-commerce B2C clothing company and your goal is to improve the organic keyword rankings of your category pages by building high authority backlinks through guest blogging – you may be willing to sacrifice some audience relevance in order to get on a higher authority site (in this case, likely measured by a metric called domain authority).
The underlying assumption of this willingness to sacrifice some relevance for authority is that the publisher’s site is still topically relevant to your business, even if it may not be as directly focused on your target consumer. And of course, never lose sight of the foundational context necessary for successful guest blogging – that creating remarkably valuable, unique, and well-targeted content is what matters.
As a marketer, generating exposure for your brand is probably very important to you. There are a number of different ways to go about this, but guest blogging is one of the better ones due to the variety of other goals it can serve.
How will guest blogging help you accomplish your marketing goals? Leave a comment below or find me @QuezSays if there’s something you’d like to add to this conversation.