5 B2B blogs to inspire your content marketing

Personalizando WordPress 1.5

Marketers today are more savvy in content marketing than ever. In fact,  76% of B2B content marketers indicate that their brand already own a corporate blog. But the content beast is insatiable: “Lack of time” and “producing enough content” are top challenges that content marketers contend with, according to a MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute study.

This predicament is something I’m very familiar with. As part of a small social media team for a B2B software company, one of the many things that really keep me up at night is how to grow our company’s blog. This challenge is partly about engaging and relevant content: How do you consistently produce content that your target audience will love? But on the other hand, it’s also about distribution: How do you increase readership and attract the right people? 

The good news is that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Many B2B corporate blogs are already doing well. If you’re looking for some great examples, consider the following:

Marketo

URL: http://blog.marketo.com
About Marketo Marketing blog: Marketo, a marketing automation software company, keeps a steady stream of blog posts. In most weeks, they produce 4 to 5 quality blog posts, which is no easy feat.

What you can learn from Marketo:

  1. Make it easy for people to subscribe. If you look at the right hand side of the Marketo blog, you’ll see a persistent form that invites people to sign up.
  2. Invite people to stay longer. Share a list of your blog’s most shared posts to get people to access your hottest content.
  3. Keep it fun! Marketo occasionally publish fun—but still relevant—blog posts. To see an example, check out their post on the 17 Signs You Eat, Sleep, and Breathe Social Media.

[Read more...]

13 tips for using stock photos in your blog posts

Damn TPS reports

Stock photos. They’re awkward, overused…and generally useless.

If formatting and publishing blog posts is part of your job, you’re probably very familiar with the frustrating experience of sifting through hundreds of stock photos in the hopes of finding one—just one!—decent photo.

Thankfully Hubspot recently published a Slideshare presentation with some solid tips on how to change that. Check it out:

[Read more...]

HOW TO: Use social media to hire a blogger (and make a splash)

Tourism Richmond Talks
Photo: Minna Van (@thenetworkhub)

Last week, I attended #TourismRichmondTalks, an event organized by the Social Media Network. The hour-long meetup focused on the use of social media in the tourism industry using 365 Days of Dining, a Tourism Richmond initiative, as a case study. Brittany Riddell, Marketing Manager at Tourism Richmond, gave the talk.

In case you’re not aware, 365 Days of Dining was a social media-driven, global audition for a yearlong paid gig for a food blogger whose main job will be to eat at a different restaurant every day for a full year and blog about it. At stake was a salary of $50,000, apartment and living compensation, a daily stipend for all restaurant meals, and a one-year membership to the Richmond Olympic Oval. After a rigorous process, Vancouver-based blogger Lindsay Anderson was announced the winner.

As more and more companies are now are hiring bloggers, Brittany’s talk was useful and relevant. The purpose of hiring bloggers goes beyond getting someone who will write for your website — as Tourism Richmond has done, some organizations have taken advantage of the process to generate earned media.

[Read more...]

10 plugins every new WordPress blog should have

WordPress plugins every website needs to have
Photo: Jasonfox.me

One of the benefits of self-hosting your WordPress blog is having access to thousands of plugins for free.

Plugins are tools created by companies and independent developers that extend the functionality of WordPress. Some of the things you can use WordPress plugins for include protecting your site, improving your readers’ experience, and easily making your site mobile-friendly.

Recently I decided to transfer Filthy Pop, my music blog, to its own domain and server. This painful but necessary exercise allowed me to re-discover my love for plugins.

Here are 10 plugins I recommend every new WordPress blog should have:

1. Akismet

Akismet identifies and blocks comment and trackback spam. The plugin checks comments to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches in your admin panel.

Install this plugin if you don’t want to waste time going through pages and pages of spam. The Akismet service is free for personal WordPress accounts but come with a small fee for businesses.

[Read more...]

Why I Blog

Blogging Research Wordle
Photo: Kristina B. | Fickr

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog and why I continue to maintain it.

For the most part, this is because I’ve noticed some trends with my traffic here. Most of my posts about social media (such as those related to Northern Voice or to Social Media Week) tend to bring in spikes, while my posts about music (e.g. my post about Lights’ single “Toes”) tend to bring consistent traffic over time.

This difference makes me wonder whether I’m on the right path. Talking about three different things (music, food, and marketing) — is it the right approach?

[Read more...]