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77% of B2B decision makers enjoy regularly engaging with business blogs, yet 2 in 3 marketing teams struggle to continually create and publish these rich content assets. B2B blogs continue to prove highly valuable to businesses everywhere, marketers should be jumping at the chance to incorporate an effective blog channel into their strategy. For 55% of marketers, embracing and maximizing B2B blogging has become a priority, so let’s get back to blog basics. What defines a blog, why are they so important and how can you create your own?
What is a blog?
We’ll start with a hint- you’re currently reading a blog entry! “Blog” is a shortened version of “weblog”, a form of an information-based website or online journal, continually updated to offer a stream of educational, exciting information from an individual writer, a select group of writers or a specific business. Blogs are fuelled with blog entries, offering a myriad of insightful instalments often displayed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent appearing first. A blog can be about almost anything, for either personal or business use, but they are usually made public- there for the world wide web to digest and enjoy.
They first came into being as the popularity of the online world grew, and many started turning to the internet when looking for information and answers surrounding current events. Those searching for insight about recent scientific discoveries, government news, and military updates started to form online networks where those in the know would share their knowledge, and over time, these information networks evolved into the common blog stream we know and love today.
Why are blogs important to a business?
A business blog aims to share expertise and advice, positioning the brand as industry leaders and helping prospects understand the brand’s product or services in a practical way. Blogs tend to carry a more casual tone, helping businesses open up whilst welcoming readers into a variety of discussions. Blogs feed into the most effective content marketing strategies, as readers become compelled by the brand’s knowledge and product benefits to ask for further information and enter the buyer pipeline.
B2B businesses using blogs as part of their content strategy continue to see incredible results; from boosting website traffic by 55% to increasing lead generation by 126%, there’s little doubt managing an effective blog stream is highly beneficial. On top of encouraging the generation of new business opportunities, blogs additionally boost results throughout your sales pipeline, actively influencing purchasing decisions as leads nurtured by this rich content spend nearly 50% more on your product.
If you’ve got a website, there’s nothing stopping you starting your blog today! To help you create an outstanding B2B blog that revolutionizes your content marketing results, we’ve brought together our favorite top tips…
Writing the ultimate blog
1) Fuel blogs with research
Whilst your business blog will want to promote your brand and product, always remember the key reason your audience engage with blogs- they want to learn something new and exciting! When planning a blog entry title, find a statistic, quote or topic that interests you, and expand from there. Conduct detailed searches across a variety of platforms to understand commonly debated ideas relating to this original topic or fact, and carefully gather your sources, feeding into your eventual blog copy.
Ensure the sources you use are accurate and up to date, and don’t forget to include the stats and facts you discover in every blog entry- decision makers love these details and readers find them easy to remember, helping them later recall what your blog taught them. There’s little point writing a blog that doesn’t tell the truth, or that is (simply put) boring; if you don’t find your blog entries interesting, how can you expect a reader to? Always start your blog with research, and let it drive your creative juices.
2) Use a “list” format
You may see many blog entries with titles like “18 ways to…” or “10 top tips for…”, and there’s a reason for this. Blogs in “list” format are increasingly popular, and it’s easy to see why. Nearly half of all business blog readers confess to scanning a blog to quickly find the specific sections they need; using a list format makes this process far easier for your readers and ensures they find your blogs functionally useful as well as educationally interesting. Added to which, decision makers are busy people! They enjoy knowing precisely how long a blog entry is, and if they enjoy your writing, they can conveniently stop reading at point 7, and pick the blog up again later without worrying about where they got to.
List formats don’t just make your blog entries easily consumable, they make them highly effective; breaking a blog into smaller sections with informative headings has been additionally proven to boost search engine ranking (more on this in point 5!).
3) Include the thoughts and opinions of others
96% of B2B buyers crave content with more input from thought leaders, so be sure to fuel your blog with insightful quotes and opinions from those leading these research fields. Whether you use these insights to boost your own views or ignite a friendly discussion, using the thoughts of others ensures your blog offers a well-informed and richly rounded reader experience. Some businesses wonder whether this is a good idea- they don’t want to undermine their own authority by incorporating the views of others. However, there’s no need to fear, as this is simply not the case. Embracing a wider array of leading voices positions your brand on their expert level, and shows readers how you’re keen to provide content that is fair and puts the reader’s needs before your own.
4) Respond to current trends
Whilst it’s important to write blogs about topics that remain evergreen and always engaging, including references to current events and topical trends helps keep your blog entries interesting and relevant. If there’s an event that drastically effects your business or your audience in either a positive or negative way- you have nothing to lose by incorporating it into your blog! Your team might find topical blog entries easier to distribute across channels like social media, and there’s a chance you’ll see additional benefits from a search engine optimization perspective.
The only difficulty faced when discussing topical content lies in its expiry date- will you lose interest as entries become “old news”? When managing a blog- this doesn’t need to be a huge concern; as your business should aim to regularly publish new blog entries, at least once a week, topical content will soon give way to new, more relevant entries, giving your readers plenty to enjoy.
5) Give your blogs the SEO treatment
Writing an outstanding blog is just the first step- you need to ensure people can find your wonderful work! And this is done through effective search engine optimization (SEO). No doubt your marketing team will be well in tune with your business keywords and have them properly optimized across your website; all you need to do is take a little of that keyword magic and share it with every blog entry. Ensuring your priority keywords are delicately used throughout your blog helps boost the online ranking of each entry and when properly backlinked to align with your business website, any relevant landing pages, and sources, your blogs are sure to be successfully found by the wider world of ideal business buyers.
Added to this, using a list format (as mentioned above) helps your blog secure featured snippets on Google, as algorithms know to check the sub-headings used within your content to identify snippets searchers may find useful. Seek out some SEO advice, understanding how this vital approach affects the way you write, design and publish blog entries.
6) Be yourself
When writing a blog, it’s important to just be yourself, and speak to readers on an individual level. Though you’re writing a business blog and want to ensure an air of expertise and authority, don’t forget to inject some personality into your entry; in an age where machines can write blogs (a somewhat scary development!), make sure your readers know this information comes from another person, passionate about sharing a message and imparting some wisdom.
When writing a blog, instead of trying to please the masses, speak directly to an individual person. Imagine your perfect reader, and vow to offer them (and only them) the ultimate blog experience- you can’t please everyone, so instead aim to please those most valuable to your business pipeline. Writing blog entries in this way helps readers feel more compelled to take your advice on board, and should you ask them to inquire about your product or download a new piece of content, this tone will make them excited to do so.
If you’re keen to revolutionize your business blog, why not use Lead Forensics to gain highly advanced audience insight, helping create the perfect content strategy? Lead Forensics identifies the businesses visiting your website and provides contact details for key decision makers including phone number and email address. With detailed website analytics included, Lead Forensics offers an elite lead generation approach whilst fueling your team with the advanced insight needed to produce the ultimate stream of business blogs. Find out more- book your free demo today!
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