The Internet is here. As of 2012, Google processed more than 5 billion searches per day worldwide. People constantly forage for information that can feed their business and personal needs and will willingly wander their way into your website if it’s full of fruitful information. Even better, if you continually stock it with tasty treats, they’ll keep coming back and eventually become loyal clients and customers. Here’s how it works.

B2B blogging and the modern shopping process

Since the advent of the Internet, the modern shopping process has changed dramatically. B2B shoppers now complete 57 percent of the B2B buying process before ever contacting a salesperson, according to a joint study conducted by the CEB Marketing Leadership Council and Google in Feb. 2013.

Stop. Take a step back. That is an astonishing statistic. For the first time in human history, the B2B business leader is finding products and services for her company by sitting down and typing search terms into a search engine.

B2B buyers want to know what they’re buying, and they want to research products and see what others think of those products. They discuss buying decisions internally and search the Internet to learn more about the products or services their companies need.

SEO – Help potential clients find your business

Let’s dive a little deeper into the numbers. 60 percent of searchers click on the top three results that Google shows them, according to MarketingSherpa, and 75 percent don’t even scroll to the second page of results, according to marketsharehitslink.com.

Your site must rank well (for the right terms) to pull in those hungry B2B purchasers scavenging for morsels of information. Luckily for you, regularly blogging can positively impact both your site’s search rank and your site’s customer conversion rate.

Let’s pour the creamy queso on the whole statistical enchilada. According to Hubspot, as of 2010, companies that blogged earned 97 percent more inbound links than companies that didn’t blog. A seasoned search engine optimizer (SEO) will tell you that Google uses the quantity and quality of inbound links as a major ranking factor for websites. According to Hubspot, 92 percent of companies that blog multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog, 82 percent of marketers who blog once per day acquired a customer using their blog, and 57 percent of marketers who blog monthly acquired a customer through their blog.

Even blogging just once a month can bring you customers.

What’s the bottom line? Blog. Blog regularly and pack your posts full of useful information that leads people to buy your products or services.

You’re an industry expert, let the world know

The Internet churns out industry experts each day as their delicious content satisfies hungry readers. When you see experts on talk shows and listen to them on the radio, you may be surprised by how many of them got there by regularly blogging. The Internet has given everyone a loudspeaker, and the more you blog, the louder your loudspeaker.

The official marketing lingo for this is “reach.” It’s like being in St. Louis and having someone ask you where you went to high school. All it takes is one question to glean reams of information about a person or organization – “what is your reach?” Reach sums up the size of your audience when you add up the number of readers consuming content on your blog, Facebook, Twitter and all the other social networks you use as publishing platforms. The size of the audience consuming your content separates you as an expert from the hordes of knowledgeable but unknown workers and businesses. And having expertise makes you and your business valuable.

As you blog and reach more and more people, you build credibility in your industry as a thought leader, both individually and as a company. When your blog provides insightful information, you gain trust from your audience and begin to build a relationship with your readers. Those relationships lead to success in your business.

B2B blogging for sales leads – the good stuff

So now that you’ve read the blogging-for-blogging reasons to blog, here’s the Christmas ham, the Thanksgiving turkey, the Easter egg, the… I could go all day on these… the number one, most important reason you should run a B2B blog. Sales leads.

Your hard-working website and bakery-fresh, aromatically arousing blog exists above all else to generate sales leads for your business. Because you market a B2B company that focusses primarily on securing large accounts, you don’t need many leads to make blogging pay off for you, in fact, you probably only need one sale.

According to Hubspot, 43 percent of marketers in 2013 generated a customer via their blog, while blogging accounted for only 7 percent of their total marketing budget. Conversely, only 20 percent of B2B companies without a blog reported any ROI from other inbound marketing – social media for example. Blogging is the number one most important component of an inbound marketing strategy.

So, how do you turn blog readers into clients? Lead generation. It’s a blogging sin to create an insightful post, full of useful information, and fail to place a relevant “call-to-action” (CTA) in the article. CTAs direct readers to download a longer content piece, such as a whitepaper, in exchange for a name and email address. Businesses nurture those leads with follow-up emails that contain even more insightful information and requests for the reader to connect with the company.

Paying off your blogging investment

Your business blog can hum along as a lead-generating machine, but to start its engine, you’ll need a sound strategy and to-the-point tactics. Get your blog running at full speed. Click below to download and read our business blogging guide.

Build a consistent inbound pipeline of qualified leads

Our Tactical Guide to Industrial Lead Generation will teach you how to attract, engage and convert ideal-fit prospects into real leads, move them into your sales funnel and measure results.

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