Whether you own a software company or a local burger joint, blogging is one of the most effective ways to promote your business and bring in customers. However, your approach to blogging will differ greatly depending on whether you sell directly to individual customers or other business.
If you are in the B2B sector, here’s our top 10 B2B blog best practices that will help your brand benefit from business blogging.
10 B2B Blogging Best Practices
1. Establish the purpose of your blog
Before writing a single word, you need to have a clear idea of what your blog’s purpose will be – which will likely be tied to a business objective. Do you want to position your firm as a thought leader? Do you want to drive sales? Do you want your blog to serve as a product manual or a place for FAQs? Do you want to highlight your culture, events, and employee accomplishments to help with recruitment?
Having a clear purpose for why your blog exists will not only help you plan and get the right people on board, but it will also ensure that your blog is effective at accomplishing your business goals.
2. Define your audience
Once you have an idea for the purpose of your blog, you will then be able to clearly define who your target audience (i.e. readers) will be.
For example, if you want to position your organization as a thought leader, you will need to write articles geared for high-level executives and perhaps academics. If you want to drive sales, you need to know who the key decision-makers are who buy your product. If you want your blog to be a resource for product/service users, then it needs to be geared for the technicians or professionals who use it.
Defining your audience will serve as the basis of your blogging strategy, and will help to ensure that you are writing articles that are relevant and valuable to readers.
3. Align blog topics with your calendar
Once you have the purpose of your blog and its intended audience, you can then get to the fun part – planning!
When planning your blog topics and title ideas, it’s important to plan articles that are both relevant to your business and relevant to your readers.
For example, do you have any product launches coming up? If so, plan for an article to highlight it. You can also consider seasonal aspects of your product/service. Do you have a busy season? Is there a time of year when certain products are more popular than others? If so, try to create blog articles that are aligned with these existing trends.
In addition to your organizational and product trends, you should also look to external trends to plan your blog content. For example, is there a relevant awareness day that you could write about? Is there a major sporting event that is relevant to your industry? Try to create content around these themes – it helps your brand stay relevant to your readers’ timeline.
4. Create a reasonable schedule
Once you have your topic ideas mapped out in a general timeline, you can then begin to schedule them to be published on a certain date. However, before setting any concrete deadlines, it’s important to consider:
- How many hours it takes your team to write, edit, publish, and promote a blog.
- Your team’s capacity – do they have time for one blog a week or only one per month?
- The approval processes and who in the organization will take ownership of the blog.
Once you have these questions answered, set out a clear schedule with deadlines and publishing dates. If your organization has never had a blog before, it’s important to not overwhelm staff. Make sure that your deadlines are reasonably attainable, and remember, it’s much easier to ramp up output after you’ve had a few months to practice.
5. Be consistent
As a B2B organization, it is important that your blog appears professional and under control. If you publish heavily for a few months and then go quiet, your readers will be confused and may think that your organization is not serious about blogging.
Be honest about your team’s capacity. If you only have the time to manage one blog per month, that’s okay! Don’t try to overdo yourself too early. It is much more important to consistently publish once or twice a month, rather than publishing a lot and then burning out. Readers will appreciate your consistency and continued commitment to providing them value.
6. Include multiple perspectives
B2B blogs offer a wealth of opportunities for collaborating with others both inside and outside of your organization. For example, if you have a new software launch coming up and your target buyer is a software engineer, why not do an interview with some of the product development team? Your potential buyers will appreciate hearing inside information from a respected source, as opposed to seeing it in a sales advertisement.
Another great way to collaborate on a blog article is with someone from outside of your organization. Perhaps you partnered with a charity recently to help them with a project? Conduct an interview with one of their representatives and write a blog article that shares a bit more about their cause and how your organization helped. Articles like this not only show that you care about your community, but they can also help you to expand your reach.
7. Be aware of trending topics
While it’s important to keep a consistent structure and follow a plan for your blog, it’s also important to remain flexible and alert to trending topics. If a trending topic in the news is relevant to one of your products, don’t be afraid to create a blog article about your product and how it relates to it. Trending content typically performs well on social media and is highly shareable.
It is also important to stay sensitive to trending topics as well. Be aware of catastrophic events and headlines that consume social media and the news, and make sure not to publish articles that may come across as insensitive or irrelevant – it’s okay to postpone your article until you can release it at a better time.
8. Include a clear call to action
At the end of each article in your blog, you should always include a clear call to action (CTA) that guides readers to take the next step.
If you want them to check out one of your new products, include a picture and a button that guides them to that specific product page. Readers are more likely to make a purchase if you help them along with the process.
Not all call to actions have to be a sales pitch, though. You can also encourage readers to schedule a call with a representative or sign up to a mailing list. You can also simply link them to a related article that they may find helpful.
Whatever action you want your readers to take, make sure that it is simple and easy for them to do so. It is your job to guide them through your website, and clear CTAs help you to accomplish that.
9. Use engaging visuals
Readers are much more likely to click on your blog article if it has a high-quality cover photo. They’re even more likely to stay on your article if it has some infographics or engaging visuals to accompany the written content. You don’t necessarily need to hire a graphic designer to do this though, platforms like Canva make creating these visuals super simple and cheap.
As a rule of thumb, try to stick to original branded photography and graphics if you can. If that’s not possible, find a high-quality stock photo on a website like Pexels or Unsplash and edit it in Canva to make it your own. By keeping your photo and color themes consistent with your branding, readers will be able to easily spot which articles are yours – helping you to distinguish yourself from your competition.
10. Don’t forget to promote & share
Remember, the process doesn’t stop after your article is written. Unless your readers check your website regularly, they may not know that a new blog article has been posted. That’s why it is so important to promote and share each new article that you publish.
At a minimum, you should always promote your article:
- On your organization’s social media accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and
- In e-newsletters/promotional emails
If you feel that your article brings value to your industry as a whole, you can also submit it to industry publications and ask them to either share it on their social media accounts or include it in their newsletters.
Bonus Tip #11: Provide Real Value
At the end of the day, the objective of your organization’s B2B blog is to provide genuine value to the audience that it serves. If you can do that, your blog can become one of your organization’s greatest assets to attract new clients and drive brand loyalty.