If you haven’t already heard, we’ve launched a no-nonsense guide to B2B blogging. An exploration of the eight essential elements you need to successfully write your next B2B business blog post.
From identifying killer keywords right through to calls to actions that pack a punch, it’s pretty darn good - even if we do say so ourselves...
But all of it comes down to your ability to deliver the goods and create powerful content!
“There is little point doing the hard work - unearthing the storytelling hook - if the ensuing content doesn’t deliver the goods.” - Blog,
Think of it all like winning a penalty in football; you wouldn’t blast the ball wide after carefully placing in on the spot. Well, not unless you’re John Terry that is.
They want it all, and they want it now
You should be giving your audience what they need.
Inspire, inform and
This is where buyer personas and the B2B buying journey come in.
To be able to get under your customers’ skin (in the best kinda way) you need to know what they want, what they need to know, and just how you can satisfy their
Understand who you are speaking to - their likes, dislikes,
So now you know what you should be writing, let’s dive into the how…
Up, up and away
With 43% of people admitting that they skim blog posts (HubSpot), you can’t afford to be
Make every sentence - every word - count. No repetition. No waffling. But don’t resign yourself to creating something dull...
Make an impact, keep it human, and add a captivating storytelling hook to really lift the words of the page.
To do this, concentrate on the quality of the content you create. No one will give your blog more than a moment’s glance if it’s crap. After all, quality is King in content marketing…
So before you click publish, ask yourself 10 questions:
1. IS YOUR CONTENT AS UP TO DATE AND AS RELEVANT AS IT CAN BE?
The sea of content out there is ever expanding. It’s your job - using buyer personas and keyword research- to create valuable content that cuts through this noise.
Help, inform and entertain your readers by ensuring the words you write are up to date and as relevant as they can be. There’s no point reciting facts and insights that have been available for the last 10 years. You have to give readers the latest and greatest to warrant their attention.
2. Does it link out to good quality, authoritative third party sources?
In Liane’s recent blog post discussing the context and challenge of content marketing, she highlighted the importance of having a positive impact on everyone you engage with.
Offer them something truly meaningful, and make sure they keep coming back for more.
Do this by being helpful. Give readers the content they are craving and the content that will meet their needs. If you already have it on your site, great - build a strong internal link architecture and send readers to truly helpful blogs.
But don’t worry if you don’t - outbound links are just as valuable for your readers and your business! As long as they link to quality, authoritative third party sources.
No, this isn’t a means to an end. Just because you send customers off your site doesn’t mean they aren’t going to come back for more. After all, you’ve been honest - human in fact. And nothing is more irresistible than a business you can trust.
3. HAVE YOU CHECKED YOUR GRAMMAR AND SPELLING?
We’re human - we make mistakes. It’s what makes us, well, us.
But there’s nothing more
So before you click publish, double, triple, quadruple check for any spelling or grammar errors!
4. Are you writing original content?
This kind of goes without saying. Duplicate content is a big no no. The biggest in fact.
Whether it’s duplicated from another site or an existing blog post on your site, it doesn’t matter. Nothing of value comes from unoriginal content.
“46 Percent of B2B Marketers Say Research Is the Most Effective Content.” - Convince and Convert
5. Are you using relevant multimedia to enhance the experience?
Video, imagery, infographics, memes and other media can really enhance your blog writing, so be sure not to skimp on it.
Articles with images get 94% more views than those without - Jeff Bullas
Including a video on a landing page could increase conversions by 86% -
Posts with videos receive nearly 300% more inbound links - Moz
As well as making your content more visually appealing - captivating your ideal audience - multimedia can elaborate and
6. Have you included bullets and numbered lists to break up the content and make it accessible?
There’s something awfully intimidating about a big, dull chunk of text on a page.
It screams ‘boring’. Readers should be captivated as soon as they land on the page, and paragraph after paragraph ain’t gonna do this!
So, once you’ve written your blog post, look at how and where you can break it up.
Could you include bullets and numbered lists? Yes? Do it…
- They’re easy to scan; making your key points more easily accessible
- They provide a visual break; content created for tired eyes is a lot less intimidating and a lot more inviting
- They pique interest; humans are curious creatures. We’re nosey and
and wantwhat we can’t have…
“Put a little time and effort into making your bullet points fascinating (or, at
7. Is the blog post bringing something new and useful to readers?
The question to end all questions.
Because, after all, if you’re spending time creating content that isn’t useful or helpful - what is the god damn point?
When you write B2B business blogs, you’re in charge of leaving those you engage with in a better place than where you found them. Your goal, your focus, should be having a positive impact on each and
Givers advance the world. Takers advance themselves and hold the world back.— Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) October 29, 2012
Read your blog through. Are you inspired every time you read it? Is it useful? Does it answer your buyer persona’s needs and challenges?
8. Does it encourage social sharing of key points?
Simon has discussed share worthy sound bites before, so I’ll just touch upon them here.
If it’s inspirational, motivational, or educational, people are going to want to share it. Which means getting your content out there and in front of other people who want to read your content- they just don’t know it yet!
So first of all, does your content include points worthy of sharing?
Think stats, quotes or insights.
And second, are they easy to share?
Use pull out quotes and add the click to share functionality to make the process seamless and encourage shares!
9. Is the post sufficiently long enough to cover a wide breadth of information and potentially offer more value?
Quality is King, yes. But do not underestimate the power of quantity…
Longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results; on average, content on the first page contains 1,890 words - SEMRush, 2016
74% of posts that are read are under three minutes long, and 94% that are read are under six minutes long. - Buffer, 2014
But don’t live and die by these benchmarks. Google is more sophisticated than ever and now ranks content based on over 200 criteria!
So, if you’ve answered your customers’ core needs in 1,000 words, don’t write for the sake of adding to the word count. As long as you’ve included a breadth of information and value to kick your content up a notch...
10. Is the content being regularly updated - with the latest supporting stats or new case studies for example?
Obviously, your content is as up to date and relevant as it can be when you first write and publish it. But this may not be the case in one year, 5 months or even one week’s time!
To continually help, inform and entertain your readers, you have to be citing the most recent and valuable information available. It’s not as simple as hitting publish and then forgetting about it…
So, make sure you’re regularly updating your content to offer the best value it possibly can.
Deliver the goods
So, to sum
- Your content should always be educational, entertaining and inspirational
- When creating your content, refer back to your buyer personas to maintain a consistent tone of voice
- Remember, Google is your friend; try and reach around 1,500 words to hit Google’s sweet spot
- You are the expert, so act like it - keep it conversational but authoritative
For more meaty tips on how to transform your blogging game for your B2B business, download your eBook below...