Continuing our ‘how often should you’ blog series looking at different elements of b2b marketing communications the big question we’re answering this week is how often should you update your blog?
Blogging has become a go-to tactic for businesses trying to attract traffic to company websites; used to share company news, product launches and act as a platform to educate and inform on a company’s expertise. But how often should you update your blog?
Why is blogging good for business?
Understanding how a blog can help your business comes down to knowing your why. As Simon Sinek famously said: “start with why”. Including a blog on a company website simply because everyone else has one isn’t going to do much of anything to help grow your business or help customers engage with the company. A well structured blog – both in content and design can offer multiple benefits to businesses.
The benefits of blogging for marketing include increased website traffic, brand relationship building and improved SEO rankings. Blogs are often the first page potential customers will land on which makes them an important gateway to the rest of a website.
Additionally, given the recent outages of Instagram and Facebook relying purely on social media to communicate with customers is a risky approach. Blogging is a way of generating your own content – it enables businesses to build their owned media bank which brings customers in directly and gives them a reason to return.
Avoid using a blog for a hard sell to promote your products and services, treat it more as a conversation and a platform to demonstrate knowledge and understanding about your client’s loves and hates. Business blogging can also be a way to showcase the expertise, the people, and achievements that are happening within the business.
Business blogging is definitely quality over quantity
Before jumping into how to write a blog for your business, think about the topics you want to discuss, why someone would want to read them and what they will do with that information. We love creating mind maps for our blogs; picking a central theme and then creating offshoots to develop the theme further (this blog series being a prime example of that) and tying into SEO keywords for which we’d like to rank.
Our advice is to definitely put a content plan in place before even writing that first line. Work out how long each one will take to write; an hour, a day? Do you have to collate a lot of research? Build a cushion of posts before you promote your first one – if you’re posting twice a month, have four to six waiting in the wings at all times.
Without careful planning, eventually you will end up running out of quality blog posts, and they may get shorter, more general and less useful to your audience.
We got here eventually: how often should you post a blog?
Now we’ve got the why and what cleared up and established that there are benefits to blogging for businesses it’s time to answer the main question, the one you came here for…how often should you post on your blog?
Posting everyday is, let’s be honest, a massive undertaking for a business, even with the support of an internal comms team or external PR agency. Plus posting too often also gets rid of the “social proof”, the cycle of blogs could be too quick to establish ‘social proof’; essentially it could be forgotten, therefore reducing the amount of social proof that each post achieves. For example, if you post one blog a week, that blog will be the latest post for 7 days so is more likely to get more engagement than the post that has been the latest post for 24 hours. Research highlights that companies who blog once a week get about twice the web traffic than those that don’t blog at all.
Not everyone has the time to read blogs as soon as they are published and backlog is something we’re all too familiar with, whether it’s blogs, podcasts, those emails we’ve not yet replied to…
In truth, the online insights about how often you should post on your blog are conflicting which doesn’t give b2b businesses a very clear answer when Googling “how often should you blog”. Research from 2015, which is still being quoted on other blogs, by Hubspot indicates that B2B businesses which post 16 or more blog posts a month get 3.5x more website traffic than those who post four or less. There’s a big jump from four to 16 and, in our experience, it’s becoming far more about the quality of content and how its shared than regularity of posting.
If you have a plan, and are clear on the why and the what, then when is really down to the time you have available to give. Twice a month is achievable if you set aside the time or work with a content marketing specialist to produce something useful, informative and/or entertaining. Once a week is admirable, but you have to recognise the commitment and it may be easier for larger SMEs. And once a month is realistic for most SMEs who produce content internally.