In previous editions of our B2B Social Media Masterclass series we looked at how businesses can maximise their B2B profiles through LinkedIn and Twitter. However, businesses also need to generate interesting, original content that can be pushed out through those social media networks and encourage engagement. One of the best ways to do this and reach your target audience is through a blog.
Blogs are a great way to demonstrate that your company is an authority in its field and they are also hugely influential in boosting your Google ranking. Here, we look at 10 steps that will help you become a successful B2B blogger and enhance your organisation’s B2B marketing output as a result.
1. Understand your audience
Firstly, you need to understand who your target audience is. Your content must be relevant to your business, but it should also be of interest to your readers and the people you are trying to reach. It’s worth asking yourself the question: “What value will my target audience derive from this content and what does it say about my business?”
2. Content Strategy
When devising your marketing strategy for the year, include a content marketing strategy as part of the plan. It serves as a roadmap to keep you on-track with your marketing activities throughout the year and should be born out of the overall strategic objectives for the company. As new projects and focuses crop up along the way, you can incorporate these into the plan as you progress. By planning what you want to talk about in advance, you can ensure consistency with your marketing and communications campaigns.
Correct grammar and a good writing style are essential, but so is personality. Write in conversational style and let the readers get to know and like the author. When a personality shines through, people are more likely to engage with it. After all, a B2B blog is a networking vehicle. Think about how you approach networking when face-to-face and inject some of that personality into your writing.
If you want to be a thought leader in your industry, you need to pioneer original ideas and concepts. By communicating these through your B2B blog, you will start a conversation and challenge your audience to look at situations from an alternative viewpoint. People follow thought leaders because they offer fresh ideas. Reading up on the latest news, announcements and consumer trends in your industry will give you a great basis for creating original content.
5. Self-promotion = disengagement
Of course, self-promotion is the reason you’re writing a B2B blog in the first place, but that doesn’t mean you should write a sales pitch. Your blog should be helpful to the reader and make them want to come back to read more. Industry news and commentary, along with tips and ‘how to’ guides all make great content. If your target audience likes what they’re reading, they will research your products and services themselves – so leave the pitching to your sales team.
One of the strongest advantages of blogging is the boost in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) it can bring to your website. Using specific keywords or phrases that you want to rank highly in Google for will help you edge ahead of your competitors. Research your keyword using the free Google Keyword Planner tool, which also lets you see what keywords are bringing traffic to competitors’ websites. Use the keyword(s) in your title, headings and subheadings, opening sentence, final paragraph, image tags, meta descriptions, URL and title tags, with a density of around 3% throughout the copy. It’s also worth staying up-to-date with Google’s regular algorithm updates to ensure you are maximising your SEO performance.
Your content will be much better if you keep the B2B blog focused. Become an expert in core areas that are relevant to your business and likely to help you achieve your objectives.
8. Keep it regular
A blog that has not been updated for a prolonged period looks unprofessional and portrays the organisation as one that neglects its communication channels. If you’ve decided to create a blog section, regular posting of at least one piece of content per month is the very least you should commit to. Dedicate a chunk of time in your schedule to sit down, plan, research, write and publicise your writing.
9. Make it visually appealing
B2B blogs tend to be text heavy with little in the way of visual content. Images and video content go a long way to increase interest. They make it more visually appealing, more interactive and will improve SEO performance significantly if tagged with your keywords. Images such as graphs and infographics can offer a better understanding of a point you’re trying to make, compared to paragraphs of text. Visual content is also more likely to be shared on social media by your B2B blog followers.
10. Publicise your work
Once your latest post is written, optimised, proofread and published, you will need to publicise it. For the whole process, you should spend 40% of the allocated time writing the content and the remaining 60% planning and executing its publicity. Using our other Social Media Masterclass series, you can market your blog multiple times. If you have written an evergreen blog (one that isn’t dated by its content), you can share it up to 40 times over the course of a year on Twitter alone. This will make sure that your message gets out there and that other businesses take note of what your company has to say.
If you have any queries or comments regarding our B2B blog masterclass or would like us to tackle any other PR/Communications subjects in our blog please let us know via the comment section below.