Publishing interesting, engaging, well-written blog posts on topics your customers and prospects want and need to know more about is a critical first step—yet there are several other things you can do to help your content travel more widely across the web (and help bring people back to the ultimate destination: your website).
Consider this your B2B blogging checklist. These tips will not only help you optimize your content—they’ll also help you create effective blog posts that form the building blocks of your larger B2B content marketing strategy.
Teach Your Readers
Rarely do B2B sales happen from a simple blog post, especially if it’s a high value item or complex offering. Instead, your corporate blog is an ideal way to build your brand recognition and help show your readers that you’re here to help. What can you teach them? What pain points do they have that you can solve? Talk with your sales team about questions they get asked most often and also check with your customer service team. They’re great resources when you’re working on developing a content strategy, as they’re all out there on the front lines, interacting with and engaging with customers and prospects on a daily basis.
Keep It Brief
Blog post length isn’t necessarily one-size-fits-all, but it’s best to keep things brief. Use a minimum of 300 words per post and you’ll keep The Google happy. We typically aim for 400-600 words per post. Conversely, if you’re really digging into a meaty strategy or detailed tactics post, don’t be afraid to keep going, as long as you stay organized and make it easy to scan and read with clearly labeled subheads. Remember to spend as much time (if not more) editing your work and making sure you’re staying on point than you do writing the post—your readers will thank you. And are more likely to stay around.
Nix The Jargon And Corporate Speak
B2B blogs are notorious for using far too much industry jargon and ‘insider language.’ Sure, you’re blogging on behalf of a company—but that company is comprised of people, so don’t be afraid to show some personality in your corporate blogging efforts. Use language that’s conversational and approachable. Your blog is a way to build a connection with your customers and prospects. When you write in an approachable manner and focus on creating content that serves your readers, that kind of engagement translates into increased credibility on your part, brand loyalty on their part and, hopefully leads and sales.
Show And Tell
Visual content can be more easily digested and remembered than text-only content. Make sure you’ve included a photo with each of your blog posts (as well as charts, graphs, infographics, etc. where applicable). One tip about your lead image? Don’t just grab a random piece of stock art. Use a clever, enticing image that helps illustrate the theme of the overall post. That dominant image can be a big help when it comes to capturing a prospective reader’s interest, so make the most of that prime visual real estate.
Make Sharing Easy
Here’s the deal. We’re all pressed for time. And that means the easier something is, the more likely we all are to do it. If you want people to share your blog content, make it easy for them. Include sharing icons on your post so they can instantly distribute the information to their preferred social networks. Not only does this help your content travel more widely across the web—these sharing buttons are also valuable sources of web analytics so you can keep an eye on what content really resonates with your audience.
Conclude With A Call To Action
I mentioned earlier the importance of delivering value to your readers in each blog post—and that includes a call to action. What do you want your readers to do once they’ve finished the piece? This is typically a spot to invite them to share feedback, but depending on the topic, you might also encourage them to visit a website, register for a webinar or check out a new product. You don’t want to kill the momentum of your post with an over-the-top sales pitch; instead, think about the purpose of that particular blog and serve up a concluding call to action that fits.
I wasn’t lying when I said the easiest part of blogging is writing the post, even though sometimes the very thought of that makes writers crazy. My point when saying that is the work isn’t done when you’ve written the post—in fact, it’s only just begun. And getting people to read what you’ve written, well, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
By following these tips, you can quickly boost your content’s efficacy. Another tip? Emulate tactics and tips from other bloggers. When you read a post that interests you or inspires you to share it, pay special attention to that content. What made you want to share it? Why did you enjoy it? Then, you can use those findings to refine your own blog content.
B2B bloggers, I’d love to hear from you. What other tips would you add to this blogging checklist?