In 2010, we first discussed the importance of B2B blogging. We wrote, “along with social media platforms, blogs are a fundamental way for B2B companies to communicate with their customers about their products and services.” While this still holds true, a lot has changed in the B2B blogosphere.
If done successfully, B2B blogging can be enormously effective at driving organic traffic to your website, engaging potential buyers, and generating high-quality leads for your sales team. In fact, B2B marketers that blog get 67% more leads than those that do not (source).
Today, we’re re-visiting the topic and providing you with the six steps to B2B blogging success.
1. Determine who your ideal audience is.
Your B2B organization probably doesn’t cater to the entire population and neither should your blog. Ideally, your readership should be made of your various buyer personas. To get the most out of your blog, it’s important to narrow in on who these people are and more importantly, what they are looking for online.
Remember, your blog should not only cater to your current visitors, but it should also be leveraged as a tool to attract new readers and ultimately convert them into customers.
2. Create a content strategy.
A successful blog is only as good as the content it provides; after all, it’s what your readers came for. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your content strategy:
- Be compelling: Avoid pitching a sale to your readers. Remember, most blog readers are in the early stages of the buyer’s journey. They’re not interested in your products or services yet. Instead, focus on providing them with content that is engaging, informative and entertaining. Whatever you choose to write about, make sure it is meaningful to your target audience.
- Get focused: If you’re a tech mogul, chances are your readers aren’t coming to you for advice on their fantasy football line up. So, stick to what you know! Focus on topics that are relevant to your readers and your brand.
- Stay original: According to a recent study, 62% of people feel good about a company that delivers custom content (source). Providing original content not only sets you apart from the competition, but is a great way to position your B2B company as an industry thought leader.
- Be authentic: You are a human after all, so don’t be afraid to put some personality behind your writing. Speak conversationally or add relevant humor to your writing.
3. Set up an editorial calendar and stick to it.
Even if your content is top-notch, your followers aren’t likely to revisit your blog if you aren’t posting consistently. The simple solution to this dilemma is to implement a blog editorial calendar. This will keep your writers on a strict schedule, ensuring that posts are published regularly.
Keeping a consistent schedule isn’t just for your readers—it also helps websites gain traction with regard to search results. Regularly posting high-quality content signals to Google and other search engines that your website is topical, up-to-date, and valuable to readers.
4. Consider your format.
Most people seek out blog posts to learn something. When deciding the format of your posts, make it as easy as possible for readers to scan your post and pick out the information most relevant to them. If tackling a lengthy topic, break it up into a list, how-to, or step-by-step guide. Consider the following factors to determine how ‘readable’ your posts are:
- Is it evergreen? Will this content still matter in a year? Will it still matter in five years? Creating evergreen content will reduce post expiration and will make your blog more reliable.
- Is it shareable? Are you creating content that readers want to bookmark and revisit? Are other companies using your posts as resources? We’ve found that infographics, lists, guides, and statistics make for extremely shareable content.
- Is it valuable? Would you genuinely be interested in the content you’re creating? Shift the focus from marketing and sales speak to the topics your readers are actively searching for. To get a better understanding of what these topics are, keep up to date on industry news and keyword research.
- Is it visual? Posts with too much written content can be boring, even for business people. Pictures, graphs, videos and even gifs are a great way to make your blogs more visually interesting and appealing.
5. Include a clear CTA.
Although you don’t want your content to read like a sales pitch, it’s important to include a clear call-to-action at the end of each blog post. Although your readers may not always be ready to buy, it’s important to give them every opportunity to do so once they decide to take that step.
6. Promote your blog.
Last but not least, be sure to promote your blog posts. For many, the natural outlet for promoting blog posts is social media. To garner the most return, be sure to use short, engaging taglines and eye-catching images to make your content more clickable. Other outlets to experiment with are RSS feeds, recap emails, and high-quality content syndication platforms.
Learn how ZoomInfo can help your B2B marketing team achieve success—contact us today!