Starting a blog for your B2B company is an efficient way to share thought leadership content, create SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website and increase prospect confidence in your brand & offerings. But why does B2B blogging work, and how?
Content is King, Especially B2B Blogging
You’ve probably heard in marketing that “Content is King,” but do you know where this phrase originated? In 1996, when Netscape Navigator was the browser of choice, Amazon was just an online bookstore, and the radio was still the primary way to listen to music, Bill Gates penned an essay titled “Content is King” that was published to the Microsoft website.
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting,” he predicted, and in 2021 in the age of social media and monetized influencers, that statement rings as true as ever.
Gates explained that through the internet, “the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.”
Here are just a few reasons why content is still king:
B2B Blogging Creates Trust
People are constantly looking for answers to their questions on Google, Youtube, and other social media networks. Creating content that not only informs but helps solve your potential customer’s problems is more likely to instill that customer with a sense of trust in your brand. Sharing your expertise is a way of proving to your audience that your B2B is knowledgeable, understands their issues, and does business by putting the customer first.
B2B Blogging Enhances Website SEO
Most people begin their journey to purchase with a Google search, and over 80% of B2B purchases start with online research. However, 97% of people doing a web search never go beyond the first page of search results. That means if your website isn’t in the top few search results, it likely isn’t getting seen. The more relevant content found on your website and indexed by Google for searchable information about your expertise, the higher it will rank your website as relevant when a potential customer googles a question.
The key measures for Google on ranking a website are its relevance and authority to a search query. Having more content on your website around the problems you help customers solve helps increase both those ranking factors for your website.
Blogging Develops Your Brand Voice
As a B2B brand, it can be challenging to grow a social following – starting a blog can help build a brand personality to align with your social media presence. Your blog is a place to educate your audience on topics within your business’ vertical, but you’re allowed free reign of the tone and structure.
Most people associate content with blogging, but you can get creative with the mediums you use to create content for your website and B2B blogging. One way to do this is by embedding other forms of content on your blog like audio, infographics, photo galleries, even video.
B2B Blogging Drives Traffic
It’s important to share the blog content you create on your B2B website to drive traffic to your website. Good SEO and Google Search are the primary means of someone finding your blog content and reaching your website. Still, you should also share your B2B blogging on social media or in your company’s email newsletter as a means of generating interest and driving traffic to your website.
Blog Content Strategy
Now that you’re convinced it’s a good idea to create a blog for your B2B business let’s talk about where to start.
The first step is to set up a CMS (Content Management System) if you don’t already have one for your website. It makes your website content easily updatable with little to no need to write any website coding. Your website may already be running a CMS, like WordPress. If that’s the case, you only need to create a subdirectory (yourwebsite.com/blog) to get started.
If you need a CMS, that’s not too difficult to accomplish. You can set up a subdomain on your website (blog.yourwebsite.com). Subdomains are like mini websites that live on the same website domain as your primary website. You can do a new installation of WordPress on your subdomain and get started, including a B2B blogging website that connects directly to your primary website without a complete website redesign.
Google says they treat traffic to subdomains and subdirectories the same. However, since B2B businesses typically have a narrower focus, they will likely benefit from using a subdirectory because it will drive traffic to your primary domain. You don’t have to build a new website to start B2B blogging, but sometimes it’s helpful as a part of a more extensive marketing initiative.
Once you’ve added a blogging function to your website, it’s time to start brainstorming content ideas and building a strategic plan. Here are some tips for creating an effective blog plan and top-notch content:
- The most important category in your blog plan should be content that educates and informs your audience. But you need to know who your audience is and your value proposition to develop great B2B blogging topics. We recommend doing some research to create your business’ buyer personas. The more you understand your buyer personas and the journey that leads them to the services or products you offer, the better you’ll be at creating relevant content.
- Think about problems your buyer persona is looking for answers to and research the search terms they use. Your article will read and rank better if you build blog posts around those searches and keywords rather than insert them in your posts after writing.
- Remember, you are the expert, and you should position yourself as such in your posts. Truthful and factual information goes a long way to building trust for your brand. Be bold and challenge established thinking- try to provide a unique perspective on trends in your industry.
- Your B2B blogging should be skimmable and be easy to read – using too much jargon, too many technical terms, or writing in long and dense paragraphs will quickly put off readers.
- Don’t be afraid to call out your brand’s differentiators. You don’t want your blog posts to be all about your company and what you offer, but you can incorporate your value proposition while educating your audience. For example, if you’re a shipping auditing company and your blog topic is about how to create the best shipping strategy for the coming year, one of the tips you might offer to your audience/potential customer is to conduct a shipping audit of their business in order to collect data and find out where the pain points are. Back up why this is a good strategy with factual data and why your company is uniquely qualified to help.
- When it comes to B2B blogging content, the sky’s the limit! Take inspiration from everyday situations. With what do you, your partners, vendors, customers, and even failed prospects struggle? Great blogs often spring from common issues the people in your industry face daily but may not discuss.
Once you have a great B2B blogging topic, you must determine the type of blog post it’s going to be. It’s a good idea to experiment with different styles and types of blog posts to find out what works and does not work for your audience. You can write blogs targeted to people new to your industry or their problems or a blog post that addresses industry veterans who have a track record of dealing with their pain points.
In addition to mixing up your intended audience, here are some of the most common types of blog posts to help you change it up:
- Case Study
- Expert Panel Opinions
- Glossary or ELI5 (Explain Like I’m 5)
- How-To Infographic or Quick Reference
- Interview or Profile
- Expert Tips
- Top X Products/Services
- Relevant Industry News + Your Commentary
- Results of a Recent Industry Study
- Relate a Personal Experience
- Review (Book, Product, or Service)
Promoting Your B2B Blogging & Taking it to the Next Level
Blog posts are an excellent way to drive traffic to your website if promoted in the right way. There are several different avenues you can take to put your content in front of your audience and potential customers, but here are some of our favorites:
- Post blog posts to social media channels
- When writing about new topics on your blog, link back to previous relevant posts
- Include your latest blog post in your email signature
- Create a newsletter to share with your email network
- Pitch your content as a guest post to relevant media publications
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see better SEO or high levels of traffic to your website right away. Blogging is playing the long game- it takes time but is worth it in the end. If you’re looking for quicker results, consider spending some marketing dollars on Search Advertising/PPC. Pay-Per-Click advertising offers your B2B company a way to jump to the top of Google results for search keywords relevant to your business while your organic rankings catch up.
Blog posts are just one piece of a successful content marketing plan and a great place to start but once you feel comfortable creating consistent posts, think about repurposing your blog posts to develop other types of content. Video Marketing is a natural next step, and you can use the content you researched for your blog to create your script.
Bold Entity has a podcast/video recording studio in our office that makes it easy to take your existing content and reformat it for a different medium. It’s essential to consider other media types in your content marketing because not everyone wants to read a blog, watch a video, or listen to a podcast. Make sure your content meets your target audience where they want to consume it.
More B2B Blogging Resources
If you’re still struggling with how to develop content for your blog, check out our post on Successful Content Marketing – it includes a downloadable template that walks you step by step through planning and preparing a content marketing piece.
We’ve also put together a 13-Point Checklist for Effective B2B Content Marketing that is an easy resource to reference as you’re planning and writing your blog posts.
If all else fails, consider partnering with an experienced writer or hiring an agency to manage your company’s blog. Bold Entity is a B2B-focused branding and digital marketing agency that can help you develop and implement an effective blogging strategy and impactful posts that can boost SEO and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.