Blogging has been around for quite a while, but at many companies, its value as a lead generation tool still remains a bit mysterious. On top of that, plenty of professionals, especially in the B2B marketplace, aren’t sure how to blog effectively in order to highlight their company's competencies and attract qualified leads. As a result, they may backburner their B2B blog marketing efforts or only occasionally post fresh content to their websites, and they may wonder why they aren't generating the high-quality leads they need.
Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve had the same concerns that you’re just spinning your wheels with your B2B marketing blog efforts. But even if you've seen lackluster results so far, don’t think you have to turn your back on your blog, because B2B blogs can produce tangible lead generation results. In fact, DemandMetric figures indicate that when done well, B2B blogs help bring in 67% more prospective clients for salespeople.
Why, then, doesn’t your B2B blog marketing seem to be working? As someone who works for a custom content marketing agency, I can take an educated guess. Typically, the reason B2B business blogs don’t deliver is that the content isn't underpinned by a workable content strategy for lead generation. However, that’s a solvable problem if you implement a few steps to set up your B2B blog for success:
Before you write another blog post, perform a content audit so you understand the content you have on your site, how well it's performing, and what content you still need to create in order to rival or surpass your competitors.
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Your full-scale audit isn’t just a running list of your blog posts' headlines. Instead, it dives deeper into all your posts to see what keyword rankings they boost for your website and how well visitors are engaging with the content. It answers questions about which posts have generated the most conversions and what keywords are optimizing traffic.
Taking the time to conduct an audit with or without the help of a partner like Influence & Co. will lay the groundwork for better content down the road, including which content pieces you already have that you can link to in the future.
Now that you know more about the current status of your B2B marketing blog, you can start to develop a content schedule. A good place to begin is to perform some keyword research on very specific, niche phrases. Ideally, you’ll want to uncover well-searched phrases with low competition. With those phrases in hand, you can brainstorm some blog titles. Along those lines, consider writing actionable headlines that clearly tell readers what to expect (e.g., think “the Top 5 Ways to ...” or “How to ...” ).
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Choose topics that align with your expertise and target audience’s needs, as well as your search results. During this phase of your content strategy development, be sure to think about the blog authors whose insights you intend to tap for each post. You probably have some experts at your organization whose voices and experience could add depth to your copy and humanize your brand. Having them author some of your blog posts will add some unique viewpoints and expertise to the content you publish.
Obviously, your B2B blog marketing needs to have a bit of a technical angle to boost SEO. With that said, never let SEO supersede readability in your content. If you’re not writing for humans, you shouldn’t write at all, as no one will get past the first couple of sentences and your blog bounce rates will soar.
Is your content paying off? Learn about six things you can do right now to start seeing tangible content marketing results:
And because we’re living in a hyper-fast digital world, be sure to write your content in a scannable, easily digestible way. Generally speaking, any blog post deserves subheads and short paragraphs. Think snackable! You also may want to incorporate images, infographics, and videos from time to time to give readers good visual variety.
Before you finalize your content, make sure it includes strategically chosen links to other pieces of your on-site content or links to reputable sources. And always wrap up with a clear call-to-action or opt-in so your readers aren’t left hanging. If you’re stuck deciding between two or more CTAs, conduct A/B tests and measure the lead generation results on Google Analytics or HubSpot to see which works best for your audiences.
Content audit? Check. Content calendar? Check. Content writing plans? Check. Now, you need to make the most of every blog you post. That way, you can get tons of traction from all your messaging.
For example, let’s say you have a well-optimized blog article. It’s published and performing well. Other publications or journalists may be interested in linking back to it as a resource. Or, it may be possible to use the essence of your winning B2B blog post to pitch a thought leadership article to a publication looking for new material. As long as the publication lets you link back to your site, you can enjoy more traffic and authority.
Be sure to share your blog content through your company's social media channels while you’re at it. What’s the use of having major social platform accounts if you don’t use them? When posting, tag any individuals mentioned in the blog post and use appropriate hashtags to bolster organic discovery.
Blogs aren’t just for B2C companies. They’re a great lead-generation device for B2B businesses as long as you’re pragmatic and thoughtful with your planning.
Of course, before putting out any content, follow these rules: