I am a blogger?! Everyone is

B2B Marketing: Blogs are like opinions. Everyone’s got one.

OK, so I’m paraphrasing a little there, but you get my drift, right? According to WordPress.com, over 409 million people view more than 14.5 billion blog pages each month. Users post 42.6 million new posts and 54.5 new comments each month. That’s a lot of content. I don’t know how often they update those statistics, but there’s probably too many bloggers out there.

And yet, I was tasked with writing a blog post. The stress has been killing me. I’m afraid I’m not very good at putting the ‘social’ into social media. I’m more adept at anti-social, but I digress.

At first, it seems like it should be so simple. Just pick a topic and write about it. Well, guess what? It isn’t that simple.

Write what you know, right? Well, I’m new to inbound marketing, and I really don’t know that much. I only recently passed my inbound marketing certification, and it’s all still pretty new to me. So, I have to start somewhere. Social media seemed like a good place to start.

For B2B marketers, social media is a really big deal! Want to know how big? Well, check out the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. It’s 50 pages, 70 charts big.

But, there are quite a few interesting tidbits to be learned there. For instance, 92% of marketers say that social media is important to their business; that number is up from 86% last year. Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most important social networks for marketers. When asked to pick one, 54% chose Facebook as their number one, and yet only 34% think that their efforts on Facebook are effective. That seems odd. Maybe they’re doing it wrong.

Is there a significant ROI when it comes to social media? Only about one in three marketers say they have the means to measure their ROI. Yet 64% of marketers say they are using social media for 6 hours or more and 37% for 11 or more hours weekly. That’s a pretty significant investment in time.

So, what’s in it for them? The top five reasons, in order of importance:

  • 92% Increased exposure
  • 80% Increased traffic
  • 72% Developed loyal fans
  • 71% Provided marketplace insight
  • 66% Generated leads

In fact, marketers reported increased benefits across all categories since 2013. The largest increases were developing loyal fans, which increased to 72% from 65% in 2013, followed by increased sales, which jumped to 50% from 43% in 2013.

In addition, many businesses find they can reduce marketing expenses by investing in social media and their search engine ratings are better, too.

So, if you want to know the state of the social media nation, check out the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. There is a plethora of data there to help marketers optimize their social media efforts and grow their business. And it does, in fact, matter whether you’re in the B2C or B2B space.

For B2B marketers, they’re seeing a particular benefit to using social media. By investing in as little as 6 hours per week, 61% were able to build new partnerships. In contrast to B2C marketers, B2B marketers are more likely to focus their efforts on LinkedIn, Google+ and blogging.

Which brings me back to blogging. When asked about where they’ll increase their spend in future marketing efforts, the number one answer is blogging. 74% of B2B marketers are more likely to increase their blogging activity in the future.

And that’s where I came in.

An Introduction to B2B Blogging