How do I make my B2B blog more interesting?

Our recent webinar on business-to-business blogging resulted in more questions than we had time to answer, so Mark Schaefer agreed to provide a personal reply on our blog to each question.

Question #7 comes from Jon:

So how do you determine the best way to entertain your audience with a blog?

B2B Blogging supports B2B MarketingLet’s go back a step and review why I mentioned that “entertainment” is an increasingly important factor in corporate blogging.

Like any marketing initiative (and blogging IS a marketing initiative!) the ultimate goal is to be distinctive. And that is becoming difficult in the increasingly crowded space of “content marketing.” Everybody is creating blogs and vying for that valuable reader time.

For awhile, just having a blog was enough to be different. But if you are just getting into the space, you need to plan to shake things up a bit to really stand out.

Having a little entertainment value can go a long way, especially within a traditionally staid market. How refreshing would it be to see something really artistic and whimsical come from banking, metals, or the chemicals industry? In these buttoned-up segments, just being a little edgy might be enough to grab attention and turn a blog into a destination.

In general, corporate blogs are little more than glorified press releases and that can be mind-numbingly dull. Here’s the Schaefer Entertainment Test (SET)… I have always wanted to be part of an acronym. Produce a blog article. Show it to somebody unfamiliar with your industry. Ask them what they think. If they say (honestly) that it’s interesting, you’re on the right track.

Now let’s really put a little sizzle with that steak! Add video. A slide presentation. A podcast. You probably have some of this stuff hanging around the marketing communications department any way, right? All of these can be easily embedded into a blog post.

Putting some razzle with your dazzle is going to take a little more time, planning and money. What? Somebody told you the social web was free? Well they were wrong weren’t they? Expectations for higher quality content and entertainment value will just increase as the novelty wears off. Expect to use professionals and appropriate resources for the social web just as you would any marketing channel.