The B2B content marketing concept is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Your message may be clear, but that alone is insufficient to entice visitors to keep reading. So how do you come up with fresh B2B blog ideas and avoid writing dry, boring, uninspiring content?
B2B content marketing starts by brainstorming blog post ideas around a target reader. First, B2B marketers must know who that audience is. This knowledge helps to narrow down new content ideas for B2B blog topics. Moreover, it allows marketers to choose the best channels and strategies to reach B2B customers and prospects.
This article looks at methods used by successful B2B marketing experts. You will discover innovative ways to generate the type of blog content your audience wants to read. These tips will help you form creative ideation processes that work time after time.
Research and Choose the Right Long-Tail Keywords
Always perform keyword research and develop a list of the long-tail keywords you believe your website can rank for with the right content piece. Keyword research provides valuable insight into what potentia blog topics are being searched on the internet. But, you may be thinking, why long-tail keywords? Doesn’t that mean less traffic?
While it’s true that phrases of three or more words get less traffic, they tend to have better conversion rates. This is because longer keywords are more specific than one- or two-word phrases. Most keyword research tools produce valuable metrics to help you make better-informed topic decisions.
Tools for Long-Tail Keyword Research
Keyword research is the basis of B2B content marketing. The many free and fee-based tools available find long-tail keywords you can use to write compelling blog content. To help you choose the best words, these tools provide keyword metrics, such as:
Volume metric: displays the average number of searches for the keyword
Keyword difficulty metric: a 1-100 scale of how difficult it would be to rank high on search engine results pages for the search terms containing the keyword phrase
Keyword intent metric: why the user is searching the keyword phrase, what they are hoping to achieve with an internet search
This table lists some of the most popular keyword research tools for generating B2B content ideas. Some are 100% free, while others offer free plans with limitations.
|FREE WITH PAID OPTIONS||100% FREE|
|Google Trends |
OK, let’s quickly break down what each tool offers.
AlsoAsked: This topic generator gives unparalleled insight into search intent. It unearths a treasure trove of data on geo-specific questions people ask about a given topic.
Here’s a snapshot of the results for the head keyword “coworking space.”
AnswerThePublic: This excellent B2B content ideation tool aggregates Google and Bing autocomplete suggestions to find long-tail keywords from 191 countries.
Google Trends: A free tool for exploring what people are searching for on Google. You enter a keyword and view the results by subregion, metro area, city, interests over time, and discover related queries. It’s excellent for content ideation and planning based on audience insights.
Keyword Gap: This SEO competitor analysis tool provides side-by-side keyword comparisons. Analysis tabs report on areas such as weak, strong, untapped, and unique keywords.
Keyword Surfer: This browser extension is useful for gathering content ideas and streamlining content creation research with data that’s relevant to your location.
Keyword Tool: This tool generates a list of autocomplete suggestions, questions, and prepositions. It also retrieves long-tail keywords suggestions you won’t find in Google Keyword Planner.
QuestionDB: This is a helpful tool for coming up with B2B blog ideas. It works by showing you the questions people are asking on sites like Reddit and Stack Exchange for related topics.
Semrush: A popular, powerful and quick way to find and analyze keywords. The platform offers a comprehensive summary of all the major keyword metrics.
Soovle: This option retrieves search suggestions across multiple search engines as you type. It’s a great free tool for discovering new long-tail keywords and different search intents related to your keyword phrase for generating content ideas.
Free tools come with various limitations. For example, they may restrict the number of daily searches, suggestions, and keyword metrics. Keyword research tools that offer paid plans charge for good reasons. They dig much deeper to reveal a plethora of keyword data not provided in free versions.
Scope Out Your Content Marketing Competition
After reviewing your keyword list, your B2B content marketing strategy should next include competitive analysis. For example, let’s assume your company offers coworking space and facilities to local businesses. You would want to consider writing an inspiring blog post that focuses on the benefit of working in a coworking space with a keyword phase, such as, “why people thrive in coworking spaces.”
Who’s Ranking at the Top of Search Results?
The first step of your competitive analysis is to head over to Google and search for topics related to your keyword phrase. In this case, that’s “why people thrive in coworking spaces.” The articles you will see have made it to the first page of the search results for specific, SEO-related reasons. First, take note of what’s mentioned in the titles. Do you see any similarities?
This illustration shows a clear pattern in the highest-ranking titles. In this case, the top-ranking websites use numbers to quickly show how much information the reader can expect to find in the linked article.
The popularity of this tactic suggests that the target audience is more drawn to content that promises highly-organized, skimmable answers to their queries. List articles, “Listicles,” and step-by-step guides remain popular formats and are great ideas for B2B blog posts.
Article Length: How Long Should Your Blog Post Be?
The right content length will always vary depending on your topic and audience. Still, checking the average length of the top-ranking articles from competitors gives you an idea of a good word count to target with your blog content. In our example, the average word count for the top five ranked blogs suggests a word count sweet spot between 800 and 1050 words.
Read Google’s Top-Ranked Articles
Authority is one of the top ranking factors for blogs and you can learn a lot about a prospective article’s authority by reading each of the top 5-10 pieces. These pieces may or may not be by some of your competitors. If not, note the difference between the best-ranking content and your competitors’ content on the subject. This research gives you a feel for what the authors cover, as well as what they chose not to include.
Use this checklist to analyze your competitors’ content (modify as needed):
- What specific question(s) does the content answer?
- How soon in the piece are questions answered?
- Is it a product page, infographic, or illustrated article (words and images)?
- Is it a comprehensive piece that covers everything about the topic?
- What impression does the reader leave with; what have they learned?
- What call-to-action (CTA) is included in the content?
- Does the page offer interactive elements to improve the user experience?
- Does the content address the user intent of search? How?
Competitive analysis is all about examining the content of your rivals. It doesn’t have to take long. But it gives you a clear idea of the scope and type of content you need to write to be competitive for your keyword phrase. However, Google Search and other Google tools are not the only place for you to find B2B blog post ideas. We will explore some of the other alternatives shortly.
Explore Google Knowledge Panels
Another useful and relatively new Google Search feature is the inclusion of knowledge panels. These information panels appear on the right-hand side of organic search results. They contain high-quality information in a variety of formats.
The example below is a knowledge panel for the term “outsourcing.”
The Swipe File: A B2B Content Writer’s Secret Weapon
During your competitive research and general exposure, you will come across things you like, that you wish you’d thought of creating. Don’t let these go to waste as they can be very helpful when you’re struck by writer’s block.
Writer’s block happens to the best of us, and it can be tough to grind out a blog when your ideas battery is dead. Think of it like an old car that needs a jump. Blog writers sometimes need that spark of inspiration to get their writing engine to turn over, and that’s where a swipe file comes in. Your swipe file is a collection of other people’s great ideas, like a writer’s inspiration scrapbook.
Create a digital or physical file folder to hold your swipes. Collect these inspirational titles, research snippets, and other valuable scraps in your swipe file as they relate to your niche and writing style. So, when you feel stuck about what to write you can review the swipe file to re-energize your thinking and the ideas will soon start flowing.
A well-curated B2B content swipe file often includes:
- Attention-grabbing headlines
- Well-rounded conclusions
- Exceptional CTAs
- Inspirational quotes
- Impressive infographics
- Ideas from different media (videos, magazines, podcasts, etc.)
Now, a swipe file is not to help you one-to-one copy from others but to collect ideas that get your creative juices flowing. Your swipe file will typically include links, images, and text snippets organized for easy reference. Consider keeping your swipe file in digital storage like Google Drive or Dropbox. Printed materials are easy to scan and upload, and this way you can access it wherever you are in the world.
Experts in B2B Content Marketing
You don’t need to grapple with your B2B content marketing campaigns. Bold Entity is a digital marketing agency that knows how to produce compelling content around your reader personas. Our team of expert authors creates engaging SEO-optimized blogs that your visitors want to read. We use time-tested strategies, proven to raise your online visibility and build trust.
Learn More About Bold Entity’s Results-Driven Approach to SEO B2B Blogging
Discover More B2B Blog Ideas with Social Listening
With social listening marketing, you don’t need to write around a gut feeling, a hunch, or market speculation. Instead, you can see the discussion existing customers or prospects are having about companies, brands, industry trends, and products or services. It could be a conversation on Twitter or other social media discussing businesses and products or looking for solutions.
Knowing what consumers are talking about gives B2B blog writers invaluable insight into relevant topic ideas. You can find these conversations on all the usual social media channels and other public platforms. Some examples of places where conversations are being had are industry-related blogs, chat forums, social news sites, and Q&A platforms like Reddit and Quora.
Social media listening is an excellent way to get to know your target audience better and get an inside scoop on what matters most to them. But knowing what that is isn’t the full story. For better B2B content you need to dig down to figure the why and how of what matters to them.
B2B Blog Ideas: Understand Your Target Audience’s Needs
B2B content that doesn’t discuss the needs, wants, or aspirations of a target audience loses money and wastes time. The way to avoid this expense is to recognize and understand the persona of your readers. Without this insight, it’s impossible to produce relevant, quality content. Therefore, B2B blogging should target a precise reader and avoid watering down the content by sticking to general themes. Instead, your content should answer their questions or solve their problems.
With B2B blog posts, your target market typically consists of customer profiles and buyer personas. There is a difference. A customer profile is the type of business or industry you target, while a buyer persona is personification of the organization’s target audience member.
This table shows the basic distinctions between customer profiles and buyer personas.
|B2B CUSTOMER PROFILE||B2B BUYER PERSONA|
|COMPANY TO TARGET|
|PERSONIFIED TARGET AUDIENCE |
How can YOU help?
As you build customer profiles and buyer personas, you will start forming a picture of your target audience’s goals, pain points, buying patterns, and so on. Then, as you collect more details about your reader, your content becomes more targeted.
Use Pillar Pages to Create B2B Blog Ideas
A pillar page is a blogging/SEO strategy used to create T-shaped topic clusters, groups of blog pieces all related and interlinked around a singular, broad topic. This approach helps create a blog site with content that is wide in its coverage but deep in specifics.
The content generation starts with a single overview content piece on a broad topic. These content pieces tend to be in the “everything you need to know about…” or “comprehensive guide to…” formats.
A B2B content creator can use this to create more ideas by practicing fractional blogging. As a content creator, you can look back at the pillar page blog to find a section to expand upon in detail in a new blog. This process can also be iterative, helping to create near-unlimited content ideas.
For example, Bold Entity could create an “Everything You Need to Know About B2B SEO” general blog. We could then create a breakout blog around the newest trends in technical SEO for B2B and link it back to the original blog. Then we could iterate one step more by taking something specific like the importance of character counts in SEO metadata.
Pillar pages are a powerful tool to help you create wiki-style content around your most important B2B content keywords.
3 Types of Well-Performing Blog Posts for B2B
Ignore B2B content marketing at your peril. Targeted, well-optimized blog posts continue to be an important part of your plan to increase a company’s marketing ROI, and that’s why written content is still popular. You are reading a blog right now, which proves the point. In the world of business-to-business marketing, three types of blogs stand above when it comes to delivering results.
#1 Product-Focused Content
Product-focused B2B content tactically weaves a company’s product into the article’s narrative. The idea is to use the product to illustrate a specific point where it serves as a solution to the reader’s problem. Product-focused content can also inspire the target audience to achieve their goals. It’s important to remain focused on your target audience’s point of view and their need lest your blog begin to read like a long-winded advertisement.
#2 Thought Leadership Content
B2B marketers create this type of blog to showcase their expertise on a given topic. The author writes authentic, honest content to share real-world experiences and insights with the reader. In essence, thought leadership is about establishing credibility with the target audience by using the author’s expertise to address the target audience’s challenges.
#3 B2B Support-Based Content
B2B content creators often overlook support-based content, and it’s a mistake. Especially in B2B, it’s important to support the customers and clients you already have to help foster glowing reviews and referrals.
These blog posts exist to help customers use your product or service to the best effect, which helps boost user satisfaction while building brand trust and loyalty. As a result, content that adds value and support is an investment in long-term client retention. It can also serve a potent gateway to renewals, cross-selling, and upselling.
Use Your Editorial Calendar to Schedule B2B Blog Ideas Brainstorming
B2B content writers know consistent publishing is the foundation of content marketing and SEO success. And that means a well-oiled content creation machine. Usually, when marketers think about editorial calendars, it’s to coordinate the consistent publishing of content.
However, a calendar is a calendar, and it can also be used as an integral tool to schedule your content generation process. You can use the calendar to break down the giant project of creating and publishing content into a schedule of bite-sized tasks. That includes creating a task for blog content ideation.
One of the most common mistakes amateur content writers make is waiting for a deadline to jumpstart their inspiration. Instead of spending time at the start of each new B2B blog coming up with a topic for a single blog, create a time to brainstorm blog ideas. The most successful content creators keep a running list of topics and ideas they compile whenever the inspiration strikes.
Using your editorial calendar as a framework to schedule dedicated time to generate blog ideas ensures you will always have more ideas for content pieces than you have blogs to write. You can even take this one step further by using leftover time in tasks like blog keyword research to find relevant keywords for future blogs.
Consistently Generating B2B Blog Ideas is Difficult
B2B blogging works best with frequently updated, relevant content written directly to reader personas. High-quality content helps to retain current clients and customers while attracting new prospects into your sales funnels.
However, creating successful B2B content marketing campaigns takes time, commitment, and resources. Not to mention, creating a successful ongoing blog takes a lot of creative skill. You also need a dedicated area on your company’s website to host the blog. This is why many B2B organizations hand over long form blog planning and strategizing to a professional B2B marketing agency.
Bold Entity’s B2B Website Design & Development Services
Is your B2B company struggling to raise its online presence above competitors? Bold Entity offers website revamps, design, and development services for B2B businesses like yours. We are experts at building the systems and structure needed to launch or relaunch B2B websites and blogs to the forefront of your industry. In addition, our experts offer quality content updates, complete site development, and B2B content marketing strategies that drive high-quality traffic to your door.
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