A good blog is a powerful way to attract customers and drive them down your sales funnel. Some may be concerned that blogs are no longer relevant, but we are here to assure you that this is not the case.
Many of these leads come from posts published months, or even years, earlier. Your blog isn't just useful now. It's also a way to build a bank of evergreen content, which is content that stays fresh and relevant and can generate leads for years to come.
First, your blog spreads brand awareness. People who aren't familiar with your company but are interested in related topics might come across your posts through organic searches or links from other sources. If your post provides useful information, they'll be left to browse your website or simply with a positive impression of your company.
If someone is already interested in your product, your blog can help move them toward a sale. Blog posts are a great way to explain how to use certain features of your product and how your product solves your customers' problems. This is a low-pressure and low-cost way for prospective customers to get more information about the product and make a decision about whether the product or service is right for their business.
Finally, the content you write for your blog can be useful for other parts of your marketing plan. You might use certain content in your sales material, in your newsletter, and/or on your website. There are plenty of opportunities to use what you've written or to repurpose old content.
Before you write your first post, you'll need to start your B2B blog itself. Defining your strategy, topics, and competitors will help your blog define a clear and effective direction.
Before you start writing, you'll need to identify both your competitors and your target audience. You probably already know your business's competitors, so start by looking at their blog content. Some of your posts might cover the same topics, but this can help you differentiate your B2B blog strategy.
Consider your target audience with each blog you write, and as you formulate your strategy. Be sure to map out the sales journey so you intentionally appeal to potential customers throughout the sales funnel. It’s just as important to have a resource for people in the awareness stage of the buyer journey as it is in the consideration and even post-purchase stage. For example, readers who are closer to a purchase might benefit from end-of-funnel posts like in-depth guides to your product rather than a blog post that targets an informational search intent.
Content clusters, or topic clusters, are an essential part of your blog structure. As Google's algorithm evolves, it's beginning to prefer topic-based pages over keyword-oriented pages. To take advantage of this, you should create content clusters. These are simply groups of posts that cover multiple aspects of the same topic and are linked through a pillar page.
Focusing on content clusters will help you expand your audience while building a bank of relevant content for them to read. Your topic cluster will relate directly to your target keywords, so you'll naturally create keyword-optimized content. Your cluster will bring in more organic traffic and provide value for your audience.
When you build your content clusters, consider starting with evergreen topics in your industry as these types of posts will serve you 24/7 for years to come. Once you have a base of content published, you'll want a healthy mix of timely posts, industry news posts, trends, and evergreen content with long-term relevance.
Just as it’s recommended to post on TikTok or Instagram consistently for a successful social media strategy, it’s recommended you remain consistent with blog publications. Creating a content calendar keeps track of what you're posting, which makes it easier to manage.
Pro tip: color code the content calendar based on topic clusters so you know you are balancing your content.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by strategy considerations. Once you've narrowed down your topic and target keywords, the most important thing to do is to start writing. Don't overthink it. You'll learn and make adjustments as you go.
Pro tip: Be sure to track your Google Analytics to identify patterns. You might notice certain content performs better than others or that you’ve developed a community around one topic cluster vs. another.
Once you've written your blog post, you must promote both individual posts and the blog in general. Your social media accounts, your email list and your monthly newsletter are all good places to do this.
Now that you understand why a B2B blog is so useful, let's look at what you need to do to write a compelling post.
Now that you understand why a B2B blog is so useful, let's look at what you need to do to write a compelling post.
You need the right title to get people to read your blog post. Eight out of ten people will read a headline, while only two out of ten will click on the article. This means your title is the part of your post that the most people will read and your best opportunity for getting their attention. Use numbers, statistics, and specific wording to make the value the post provides clear from the beginning.
"How to" headlines are a good choice for B2B blogs. They directly tell your readers what they can expect to learn and what solutions they can find in the post. This is the sort of practical information business customers are looking for. Remember that your target audience is probably reading your blog at work. "The future of X" titles are also popular with B2B blogs. Titles like "10 Predictions for the Future of Email Marketing" provoke curiosity and let you share your thoughts on where your industry is going.
While you do need your title to convey what's in the article, make sure to keep it short. Shorter titles won't be cut off on the Google search results page and are easier to retweet or share. Consider adding brackets for clarification, like [Interview] or [Infographic]. This lets your readers know exactly what they're clicking on, and these headlines perform 38% better than similar ones without clarification.
You should focus more on providing value to your reader than hitting a specific word count. However, Google's algorithm prefers longer content, and longer pieces tend to get more backlinks. Google will dismiss anything less than 300 words as low-value, skim content. Consider 600 words your absolute minimum, but aim for 1000 words or more. This gives you space to include specific information, like statistics and examples, that will provide value for your readers.
To get a more specific sense of how long your posts should be, look at the top 10 search results for your focus keyword (more on this in #4) and calculate the average word count. You can do this using SEO tools like Screaming Frog. Write your posts to be this length or a bit longer. Because of reader and algorithm preferences, you're more likely to outrank competitors if your post is longer than theirs.
Data from studies in your industry and quotes from experts and influencers adds authority to the claims you're making and makes your post more compelling. Connecting with experts to get quotes specific to your brand and what you're writing about helps develop your B2B blog as an authority source or thought leader. Start by looking in-house. Especially if you're a SaaS company, you probably have employees with technical expertise who can provide a good quote. Twitter and other social platforms are another good way to connect with experts and source quotes for your content. If your industry has influencers that are relevant to your company, reach out to them for quotes as well. Remember, smaller influencers in a relevant niche can be just as useful as those with a bigger following.
Using the right keywords will make sure that the people who want to read your content find your post through Google. You'll want to choose both short tail and long tail keywords. Short tail keywords are one or two-word search terms that are very general, like "marketing." Long tail keywords are four words or longer and more specific, like "best social media scheduling tool." Short tail keywords have a higher search volume, but are much harder to rank for. They can be useful for building brand awareness, but when it comes to getting conversions, long-tail keywords will be more useful.
There are plenty of keyword research tools available. SEMRush and Ahrefs are popular paid options. If you're new to keyword research and want to start with a free tool, try Answer the Public or Google Trends. All of these tools will help you understand whether the keywords you're considering are feasible to rank for and what kind of search volume they have. Start with one or two short tail and a few long tail keywords to include in your blog posts. Make sure that these are directly relevant and fit neatly into what you're writing about.
To make sure you're using the right keywords, you'll need to understand your audience's search intent. There are four main types:
You'll want to capture informational and commercial searchers with your blog posts. These readers are looking to learn about either a topic in your industry or the types of products that are available that might offer a solution to their problem. A simple way to make sure that your keywords line up with your target audience's search intent is by searching Google for the keyword and looking at the results. If your keyword brings up landing pages and product pages, it's probably not a good fit for your blog post. You can also use this method to refine search intent further and help you decide what type of post to write. For example, if the top results for "best social media scheduling tool" are all list articles, that's what you should write if you want to rank for that keyword.
People are more likely to remember visual information than written details, so it's important to include interesting and original images in your blog post. The type of image you should use will depend on the post. If you're sharing a lot of statistics, an infographic that condenses and simplifies that information is a good choice. In a "how to" post about your SaaS product, include screenshots that show what the user should do in each step. Readers who have both images and text can follow directions 323% better than those with only written instructions. Usually, you'll want more practical images like screenshots and infographics for B2B blogs. However, if none of these are relevant to your posts, you can look at other images like stock photos.
Regardless of the type of photo you use, make sure to optimize alt text. Alt text is part of your page's HTML code that describes the image. This is important for both accessibility and SEO. Alt text for any images you use in your blog post should clearly describe what's in the picture and include your target keyword.
Indexing is the process Google uses to understand what a page is about and add it to a database so it can be matched with relevant search queries. This usually happens automatically, but it's important to check that your blog post has been indexed. To do this:
Doing this makes sure that Google has crawled your page so you can benefit from your SEO efforts.
A CTA, or call to action, asks your readers to take a specific action. For example:
These CTAs all give your reader a clear next step to keep them engaged with your company. It’s recommended that you include a CTA somewhere in the first one-third of your blog post and again at the end of the post. This should also include your company's contact form so you can collect information like names and email addresses for further communication.
It might feel like you're done after planning, writing, and publishing your blog post, but there's still more work to do. Make sure that in addition to being specific and compelling, your headline includes your target keywords. Write the meta description for your post using the same principles. Clearly and concisely explain what the post is about while naturally incorporating your target keywords. Unlike with your title, you can prioritize clarity over grabbing attention.
As you build a library of blog posts, make sure to link between them when relevant. When you publish a new post, look back at your old posts for sections where you've mentioned similar ideas or products. This internal linking can improve your SEO results and keep interested readers on your site longer. Finally, make sure to revisit evergreen posts regularly. This type of content can add value for years, but you need to make sure that it stays up to date. This might mean refreshing statistics that have changed or linking to a new post you've written. These small updates help your older posts stay relevant for longer.
All the work you put into your blog post will be useless if no one reads it. Ideally, your keyword optimization will get you some organic search traffic. However, you can help get your post in front of readers by promoting it through other channels like your company's social media accounts, newsletters and email list. Your newsletter and email list are a good way to promote your posts to people who are already interested in your company. Social media posts are more likely to be seen by new prospects. Over time, as your blog gets more attention, your site will benefit from backlinks from other sites.
There's a lot that goes into creating a successful B2B blog as part of your content marketing strategy, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. Partnering with an expert can help. Steel Croissant is here to guide you through choosing blog topics, designing a content marketing strategy or putting together a comprehensive growth plan. Contact us to discuss your company's marketing needs today.
Sign up to be notified with it is done.