Writing a business blog that resonates with customers can be a daunting prospect, especially in these days of ‘content overload’.
For me, a website hosted blog is one of the main foundations of any respectable BB content marketing strategy and the place where issues can be explored, trends discussed, communities created and prospects identified.
In the first in a series of posts on b2b blogging, here are some ideas designed to ensure you always have something to write about.
Focus on customer benefit
We know a company blog can, over time, significantly increase a website’s presence in search engine results and be a valuable source of inbound inquiries. It is crucial that to be successful, your business has to tap into the needs of your target audience, and provides useful, usable and relevant content.
I advise business owners to position on challenges, benefits and issues, rather than features-based selling. Remember, it takes time to convert a one-time visitor into a multiple time visitor, then longer from an engaged visitor into a transactional one. This is a long term strategy.
If you are serious about being seen as the “go to” expert in your industry and want to generate leads from your web presence, your company blog needs to tackle these core topics.
1. Solve an industry problem.
By identifying a burning issue and positioning your company credibly to deal with it head on, you’ll create empathy with potential customers, provide reassurance and put yourself front of mind when they decide to shortlist. Hot topics might include material costs, machinery footprint, performance, waste, or the environment.
2. Use existing material.
Think about repurposing your press releases, presentations, conference or exhibition highlights as blog posts – all with the goal of showcasing your expertise. Go back over the last 6-12 months and shine a light on content that hasn’t yet made it into the spotlight.
3. Comment on breaking news or news round up.
Sectors like construction and manufacturing offer lots of opportunity to do this credibly given the various environmental, legislative and technical factors that companies need to be mindful of.
4. Take up a provocative position.
There are a number of reasons to do this. One, to stand out. Two, to drive debate. Three, to encourage comments. Four, to encourage subscription and return visit. If readers know that the blog will offer interesting and challenging information, they are more likely to return. NB: Provocative doesn’t have to be confrontational.
5. Provide an industry resource list.
The ethos amongst bloggers is ‘give to receive’. Achieving a link or track back is everything. Become a credible industry influencer by listing key websites, blogs, portals, hubs and other sites, which you, and the industry, value.
6. Write a keyword rich post.
This is essential in B2B marketing as often search is taking place without the use of a prominent brand name. Establish which keywords are not really being discussed and write a keyword rich post about it. This post will then be the page that appears in search results for a given term or phrase.
7. Use data to make your point.
Whether it is your own, or someone else’s, few people can argue with a great statistic. The trend more recently is to display data based information in illustrative formats like infographics. These have real usability and “shareability” and often go viral.
8. Write up an event.
A quick overnight summary of an event posted on your blog the next day demonstrates your commitment to being first with the news and also your commitment to the industry.
9. Write up a customer case study.
Written from a learning perspective rather than a selling perspective, a case study blog post can be a very powerful blog post – especially if it carries named, third party endorsement. This can be a challenge in many sectors, so even without the name, talking about your work and delighted customers can create a halo effect around the company.
10. Offer guest posts.
Delivering more traffic to your blog might require some outside influence. By working with established industry writers, and offering them an outlet on your blog, you can tap into their audience.
I’ll be offering more on business blogging and content marketing for b2b marketing in 2015.