Turn your blog into a marketing powerhouse with these tips.
Summary: A well-developed blog post can a powerful tool for generating and nurturing leads. To achieve those goals, each post must be built on rigorous SEO strategy and buyer persona research, then brought to life with copywriting writing that makes the reader's enjoyment and education a priority.
Savvy B2B marketers know that there’s a direct correlation between blogging frequency and how quickly your business grows. But, learning to create outstanding blog posts that really move your marketing needle is a challenge that not everyone can easily grasp.
This blog will teach you what makes a great B2B blog and how to improve your own blog writing skills.
Approach Each Blog Post with Strategy in Mind
Even in 2021 – much to my surprise – companies will embark on a blogging project without a clear sense of what they want their blog to accomplish. Here are just a few of the common goals that businesses can achieve through blogging:
Demand Generation This is a common goal for business bloggers. All businesses want a full pipeline of leads to nurture and eventually close, and blogging is one of the ways that you can achieve that. For businesses that aren’t savvy clear on how blogs help you generate leads, the key is search engine optimization (SEO). To make a long story short, by writing engaging, authoritative blogs on topics that your prospects are searching for on Google, you build authority and visibility in the eyes of the search engines and the people who read your blogs.
The people who visit your website by finding your content are called organic traffic. This traffic is great for generating leads, here's why:
89% of B2B buyers use the internet during the B2B buying process, which means your next big customer is already on the Internet searching for your solution.
Organic search is valuable, driving 51% of all visitors to business-to-business web sites, whereas paid-search drives 10% and social drives 5%. (MediaPost)
It's important to rank high on Google and other search engines. The first five organic results in a search engine result page (SERP) account for 67% of all the clicks.
50% of visitors are more likely to click a result if the brand appears multiple times in search engine results. (Search Engine People, 2021)
Lead Nurturing In addition to generating new leads, high-quality blog posts can also help you nurture existing leads. In the long B2B sales cycles, closing a customer can takes months, even years. Add value to every touchpoint, ensuring that whenever a prospect hears from you it’s not just another one of the “just checking in” emails that often gets sales reps ignored.
Client Retention and Loyalty
Acquiring a new customer is 5 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, which is why B2B SaaS and technology services firms put a lot of effort into ensuring their MMR churn rate, customer lifetime value (LTV), and customer acquisition cost (CAC) metrics stay within acceptable limits.
High quality blogs can do a lot to help you retain clients. From teaching them how to get the most from your solution, to informing them about important industry and technology news that could affect their business, your blogs are a great way to make yourself an indispensable, strategic assets who understands their challenges.
Quality Blogs Depend on SEO and Competitor Analysis
Your content marketing efforts shouldn’t happen in a vacuum, they need to be in direct relation and response to what your competitors are doing. That makes competitor analysis an important part of any blogging or content marketing strategy.
Discover Valuable Content Opportunities As mentioned, every blog should be created to fill a need that exists or else be aimed at dethroning your competitors from a top Google ranking. A lack of a coherent strategy is one of the fastest ways to waste marketing budget and undermine your own efforts.
That point bears repeating: don't just write new articles for the sake of writing them. So, when you do competitor analysis (which can involve SEO tools or not), you should be looking for topics and areas that are strategically important enough to warrant blogging efforts, or areas where you competitors are weak.
In addition to seed keywords, you’ll also want to start working on a list of long-tail keyword ideas that you can use in blog posts, which are used by searchers further along the sales process and thus more likely to become a customer.
Optimize Messaging for Your Buyer Personas While consistent content marketing is crucial to organic visibility, it's also important that you are giving your prospects the right messages.
When in doubt, do a competitor analysis to look for weak points in your competition’s messaging, and make sure that your own high-level messaging is optimized at each stage of your sales funnel.
Writing a Blog Post That’s Optimized for Sales Results
Now that you've clarified the strategy for your blog post, you can start writing!
Good blog writing for B2B technology takes a unique mix of elements. The most important element is that you express your ideas with clear and engaging language.
The goal is to that the person who finds your content thinks, “These people know what they’re talking about, and they seem like professional, helpful people who I could trust to help me with my problem.”
Headline Copy The headline is important – very important. According to marketing wisdom from David Ogilvy, 8 out of 10 readers will only ever read your headline copy without reading your body copy. That means that effectively 80% of your marketing budget is spent on the headline copy.
Writing a good headline is a topic worthy of its own blog post or book, but here are some quick and dirty tips for creating great B2B blog headlines.
Focus on the problems you solve
Create urgency by attaching a timeline
Use numbers and statistics whenever possible
Mention a timely business issue or new development
Be brutally straightforward and honest about the content
Keep headline wordcounts between 16 and 18 words
Employ the classic “how to” structure and teach them something
According to Kissmetrics, just tweaking the headline of a blog post can increase the click through rate by as much as 40%
How to Write Great Body Copy
Armed with a great headline, you can now shift your focus onto the body of the blog post.
The first point is to make the body of your blog valuable. You want your reader to take 10 minutes out of their day to read your post, what’s the best way to provide you reader with value in that time so they feel like it was a worthwhile experience? What information can you share that will make them engage with your business on a deeper level?
After you have some key points in mind, you'll want to determine a structure. All stakeholders involved in marketing content creation — like internal subject matter experts, marketing staff, as well as any internal or external copywriters — should be involved in creating the outline or creative brief.
The outline helps you shape the points in such a way as to (subtly) sell your products or services, while saving you a great deal of painful revision time after the first draft is done.
Building Great Sentence and Paragraphs When it comes to writing the body copy, adhere closely to established rules for effective writing to make it engaging and readable. You can refer to classics like The Elements of Style, and On Writing Well, for tips on becoming a better writer. In general, that will includes things like:
Avoid the passive voice, parenthetical phrases, and adverbs
Embrace the subjective + verb + object sentence construction
Avoid clichés, puns, and the other forms of lazy writing
You should also apply copywriting best practices:
Keep paragraphs as short as possible. It may feel unnatural to break up paragraphs into 2-3 sentence chunks at first, but they’re important for readability and can play a crucial role in helping your readers finish reading the whole blog.
Get straight to the value. The goal of the first sentence is to get the reader to read the second sentence. The goal of the second sentence is … you guessed it, to get them to read the third sentence, and so on. Never waste your readers time and cut the fluff.
How much you want to talk about your own products and services is a matter of person taste. Most content marketing experts agree that content should stay focused on educating and adding value, as opposed to selling, but others disagree! You should determine what you think is the best amount of "selling" for your audience.
Develop a Winning Call-to-Action (CTA) Along with the headline, the call-to-action is the other most important aspect of the blog post. What action do you want people to take after reading your blog? While you can always go for the generic “get in touch” button, companies that have the resources to build effective content marketing funnels know that having a more compelling CTA can greatly amplify the impact of your blog post.
Here are some trusted CTA methods that outperform "call us, please"
Make your blog post part of a large content piece that readers can continue reading, maybe in exchange for an email address.
Have the CTA include a list of other resources on similar topics that you’ve created, enticing them to stay on your site and learn more.
Offer a downloadable tip sheet or infographic attached to the blog post that visitors can download and give them a way to remember your company.
A Blog Writing Partner Who Saves You Time and Effort
Rather than go through this process every week, or several times a week, many B2B technology firms choose to work with a specialist content marketing partner who handles the strategy, planning and writing of each blog post, like BIOS Marketing & Communication.
For over a decade, we've been guiding companies both large and small to content marketing success. Want to learn more, click to see our portfolio and see testimonials from our happy clients.
If you want to ask us a question, use any of the forms on this page, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.