You’ve seen them before.
Those B2B blogs that are about as exciting as Ben Stein giving a 30-minute speech on eye drops… They’re the worst.
You wouldn’t spend any time reading a blog like that, would you?
Of course not. Your time is valuable, and you don’t want to waste it reading something that isn’t engaging or relevant.
Your ideal customers feel the same way. So, don’t think that you can get away with the same boring B2B content your competitors are posting on their blogs.
I mean, you can, but you won’t see the results you’re after.
So, let’s talk about a few things you should do when creating your B2B blog if you want to use your content to win new customers.
Use SEO tactics the right way
When you’re writing for a B2C blog, the SEO key words you choose are often pretty straightforward. B2B blogs, on the other hand, sometimes require a bit more thought as far as SEO.
Let me explain what I mean with an example.
I’ve worked with lots of managed service providers in the past – mostly IT companies that were marketing their IT services to small businesses. And they would focus on stuffing their blog posts with SEO key words like “managed service provider.”
The problem with that?
Small business owners aren’t usually searching for complex technical terms like “managed service provider.” Heck, most of them probably don’t even know what “managed services” are (I sure didn’t until I started working with IT companies).
What they are likely searching for is non-technical key word phrases like “IT support” and asking Google how they can fix specific technical problems with their computers.
So, make sure you’re not choosing key words based on what you know. Instead, think about what your ideal customer is likely to type into the search bar when they need services like yours.
If they’re as technically-savvy as you are, then by all means, use your techie lingo.
But otherwise, avoid it.
Cover the topics your audience cares about
Think about it – what problem is your audience facing that leads them to you, and how can you solve those problems? What are their goals, and how can you help them reach those goals?
Answering those two questions should give you plenty of ideas for blog post topics.
But let’s talk about an example of a B2B blog that does content the right way by covering topics their audience cares about. The blog is called Landlordology, and it was created by a company called Cozy.
Cozy is a company that offers free tools to property managers, so their blog focuses on – you guessed it – providing tons of free resources to property managers. They also update their blog regularly, and the design is memorable, which makes it even better.
Let’s break it down. This is why the Landlordology blog works so well for Cozy:
1. The property manager (Cozy’s target customer) searches for the solution to a problem. Let’s say they look up “how to handle abandoned pets at your rental property.”
2. BOOM – Landlordology pops up as the first search result in Google. They click it, read the article, and get the info they need.
3. Over a couple of months, the property manager repeats steps 1 and 2 (but with different searches). Eventually, they begin to recognize that Landlordology is the site that’s answering most of their questions (thanks to Landlordology’s SEO strategy and content strategy that allows them to rank high in search engines).
4. One day, the property manager is facing some kind of major issue with their job – let’s say they have a problem with their tenant screening process. They need information on how to fix the issue, so they search on Landlordology because they feel confident they can find a solution there.
5. They find a blog post that helps, but they also notice a “Free Tools for Property Managers” button on the side of the blog post.
6. Since Landlordology has been an invaluable resource for the property manager, they trust the brand’s recommendations. So, they click the button and are presented with the Cozy website.
7. They get started using Cozy for free. And eventually, they move up to a paid account… all because they found Cozy through the Landlordology blog months ago.
Of course, this process can be more complex and is a bit different depending on the industry and the individual reading the posts.
But the point is this:
If you help your target audience solve their problems, you’ll build a rapport with them. Then, when it’s time for them to buy something, they’ll choose you over your competition because you are already perceived by them as a trustworthy, helpful expert.
Leave out the news briefs
Okay – this might hurt your feelings a little bit, but I’m going to say it anyway because you need to hear it.
No one cares about the latest news at your company.
…Well, I partially take that back – you care, and your employees might care.
But your target audience?
Nope. They don’t care. So, you can bet that constantly posting company news on your blog isn’t going to attract them.
What will attract them (like we talked about earlier) is content that helps them solve their problems and reach their goals. So, focus on creating blog posts that do those two things.
Include an opt-in graphic in your posts when appropriate
Ever heard of using opt-in graphics in blog posts to capture customer information? And, in exchange, the customer gets to download a piece of content for free (usually an eBook or whitepaper)?
If not, it’s time to learn how to do it right. Take a look at this awesome example from the LabTech Software blog:
See that little graphic that says “eBook – The Secrets of Selling to Millennials” and has the red button on the right side?
It fits into the blog post perfectly. Since the post is about selling to millennials, the people reading it are likely to be interested in reading an eBook that includes the secrets of selling to millennials.
So, chances are, lots of the people who read the post will end up submitting their email address in exchange for that eBook. They get an awesome eBook, LabTech Software gets another contact for their email list… everybody wins.
To do something like this yourself, create eBooks and/or whitepapers that fit with your blog posts, and include a graphic similar to the one in the LabTech example. As long as your downloadable resource is relevant to the person reading the post (and the overall topic is relevant to your target audience), you should be able to use this strategy to collect your ideal customers’ email addresses.
Now, don’t get carried away and turn your blog post into giant sales pitches – that won’t work. But as long as you’re providing value, you’ll see positive results.
And really, that’s the overall takeaway when you’re creating a B2B blog: provide value, and you’ll get results. Keep that in mind every time you write, and your efforts will pay off for your business.