The 8 steps to better B2B blogging
Content and web design go hand in hand, we established as much when we shared our 5 reasons why you should consider content-first web design.
However, as well as the content on its internal pages, many businesses now include a blog as part of a website redesign or rebuild.
If you don’t currently have a blog on your website, should you consider adding one?
The business case for blogging
Some businesses might consider their product or service as too boring to blog about, especially in the B2B sector.
Consumers are seen as a potentially captive audience, with 76% of UK consumers researching online before they make a purchase.
But people within a business are in the same position. A recent B2B Buyers Survey from Demand Gen Report found that 45% of buyers were spending more time in 2018 researching purchases compared to the previous year.
Since these B2B buyers are looking for knowledgeable, reliable companies, a blog not only gives an organisation the opportunity to share their latest news but also allows them to share their expertise and knowledge.
Here are the 8 ways your B2B business can get better at blogging.
Like everything else in business, if you want to do something efficiently and get the best return, you’ll need to define a strategy.
Decide who will look after blogging. It won’t hurt to share the responsibility so that you can have a mix of tones, topics and styles in your blog posts.
Blogging can be time-consuming so plan ahead to make it as efficient as possible.
Create a content calendar that plots the topics and authors for each month. Use the first month to get ahead of yourself so that you can schedule the blogs to go live while you work a month ahead on the next articles.
If it starts to get in the way of daily business or activity begins to slip, we take a look in step 8 at a few ways to get help.
Part of the process for creating a content calendar should be getting to know your target market better.
You’ll probably have a clear understanding of your clients and customers but it’s worth taking a long hard look at their business needs and how your product or service can make their lives easier.
The Demand Gen Report B2B Survey found that 76% of B2B buyers wanted content that spoke directly to their company.
Answer questions, recognise your clients’ needs and create content that meets those needs and solves their problems.
This should provide plenty of topics for guides, ebooks, whitepapers and blogs.
Just make sure that you conclude with a clear call to action. It might be to get in touch but it could be downloading an ebook, booking a free demo or signing up to a newsletter.
Get to the point!
Don’t beat around the bush.
It’s important to note that the B2B purchase cycle is likely to be much longer, with up to six people involved in the purchase decision process.
The people that you are talking to are time poor. Get to the point as soon as you can but don’t be too concerned about publishing longer blogs.
An article should be as long as it needs to be. If your content is informative and educational, visitors will remain engaged whatever its word count.
Don’t waffle but don’t get hung up on writing a 2,000-word blog. Simply write the most useful content for your chosen audience.
There are a few best-practice essentials when it comes to blogging.
This is less about the content or the topic that you’re writing about and more about the flow of the copy on the page.
We’ve already looked at 5 ways to make your online content more readable, but here is a quick checklist:
- Write in bite-sized chunks
- Write in short sentences
- Use bullet points
- Break your content up into sub-headings
- Use plenty of images to illustrate your points
So long as it’s informative and interesting, you’ll capture the attention of a visitor but giving them a great user experience while they are reading can only be a good thing.
Ensuring that your blog has been built using a responsive website design will also mean that it can be viewed on any device.
It’s all very well writing a blog but it’s only useful if it finds an audience. Or rather, when an audience finds it.
The Demand Gen Report B2B Survey found that more B2B buyers are turning to social media to research a purchase decision.
Make sure that you share your blogs on all company social profiles and encourage staff to re-share it from their own personal social accounts.
Now that you’ve got all of this content, you can keep current clients engaged by sharing your blogs in a regular email newsletter.
Create sign-up forms on your website and through social media to encourage potential clients to receive the latest news from your business.
Optimising pages for search engines (SEO) is a technical and specialist area. Some businesses may only want to blog so that they have content to share with prospective clients or on social media.
However, regular blogging will improve rankings for certain search terms when the content is correctly optimised.
It’s best to seek the help of a specialist but, even if you don’t want to get too technical with your SEO, here are a few basics to remember:
- Make sure that the meta-title (that displays in the browser tab of the page) matches the blog’s title and that it’s around 50 to 60 characters.
- The meta description is what displays as a snippet in search engine results. Ensure that the meta-description conveys what the article is about. There is no fixed length but aim for around 165 characters.
- The main title or heading of the blog is known as the H1 tag. Make sure that it is allocated as H1 in the HTML code. The title of the blog should look like this; <h1>The 8 steps to better B2B blogging</h1>.
- Give all of your images relevant and descriptive alt text. This will tell Google the context of the images in relation to the content of the blog.
- Make sure that you include internal links to other pages and blogs within your site. This is a technical aspect of SEO but it also encourages visitors to explore your site.
Don’t prevaricate or procrastinate.
It’s easy to become complacent and, with the best intentions, promise that you’ll start that blog “tomorrow” but business issues have a habit of getting in the way.
Allocate some time for you and your staff to get away from it all and concentrate on writing.
We realise that this can be easier said than done. Which brings us to Step 8.
You needn’t have to go it alone.
If staff members are struggling to keep up with the content calendar, you could reach out to your own business partners and other organisations that you have an existing working relationship with.
Featuring guest posts on your own blog will add some variety to the topics and tone of voice.
You could also write articles that feature on other business’ blogs. This will put your brand in front of a new audience and, if you include links to your own site, it can also benefit your SEO.
If it all starts to become a bit too much, you can always bolster your own content by using the online copywriting services of a digital marketing agency… like us.
If you’re ready to take the first step towards B2B blogging, we can help you to create a content strategy. And if your current website doesn’t offer the best user experience, we can help with that too. Give us a call to find out more.
Content & Creative, Digital Marketing, Website Design & Development