Over the past few weeks we’ve been steadily publishing a series of articles. Each one exploring tried and tested B2B blogging best practices.
If you’ve missed our posts you can check out each one below...
- B2B blogging: Cut the bullshit and give real answers to real people
- Reach your B2B niche with killer keywords
- Hit hard between the eyes with your next headline
- Once upon a time: Use storytelling hooks for a more immersive B2B blog
- How to craft powerful content that delivers the goods
- Make an impact with a stand-out feature image
- How to maximise dwell time on your B2B blog post
- Sharing’s caring: Tap into your readers’ urge to spread the word on social media
- How to close the deal with remarkable calls to action
To wrap up the series we’re going spend some time exploring what the next step is after you’ve created your blog post, drawn a breath and hit Publish.
Basically - how are you going to show your content to the world?
How are you going to amplify it?
But first let’s take a moment to recap what powerful blogging looks like...
BLOGGING IS SCIENCE
We know that a post needs to grab the reader by the collar and haul them in from the first sentence.
No flannel, no waffle. Just a highly relevant subject matter thats offers distinct value.
The body text must fulfil the early promise of its headline. It should demonstrate knowledge of pain points and solutions, bringing the subject alive and offering a comprehensive rundown, with practical, actionable advice that leaves the reader in a better place than they were before.
As the reader nears the end of their journey, a complete post will draw together all of the key points covered. It will produce an overarching statement that sums up the post and helps the reader to move forward. Typically towards another post, a content download or your website if you’re writing a guest post.
Taking your B2B blog posts from meh to marvellous takes time and careful thought. And approaching content from a best practice (science) point of view is a great starting point.
You need to exercise a willingness to experiment with your content.
Every niche is different, each with their own expectations, preferred consumption methods and preconceptions of what makes content meaningful to them.
By mastering best practices, looking at what your competitors are doing and optimising your blogs for the sweet spot, you’ll find yourself working to a framework (or formula, if you will) that ushers in the consistent quality and replicable results needed to drive content success.
BLOGGING IS ART
Not only do your blog posts need to inform and educate your readers, they also need to inspire them by building emotional connections.
There’s no doubt that writing is an art.
The words need to flow on the page.
They need to embody a tone of voice that's relatable and evocative.
Adding creativity into the mix really will make all the difference. Use this oh-so important variable in marketing to your advantage, and you’ll have yourself some truly remarkable content on your hands. Content that stands apart from all that is around it.
Get the ball rolling with well selected imagery and videos that run throughout your post, witty conversational language and provocative headlines and sub-heads.
YOUR CONTENT, ON STEROIDS
Now that you’ve reared your content brainchild and sent it out into the world like a proud mother, you may be wondering what’s next?
You may well be the Einstein of best practice, or the George Orwell of blog writing, but if you’re not promoting your content in the right way, all that hard work is going to fall on deaf ears.
Conceiving, creating and publishing your blog posts is only half the battle. Maybe less.
What happens after you hit that publish button is the biggest differentiator of them all.
So don’t rest on your laurels.
Ask yourself: How and where are people going to engage with my content?
Distributing blog posts across relevant social networks is right at the top of the list of ways to get discovered, for sure.
But the power of social shares is definitely up for debate.
- 50% of B2B content receives 22 social shares or less
- Most links shared on social are never clicked
- Many people who share articles don’t even view them, let alone read them
- Social posts tend to have a limited shelf life
- Social sharing usually declines quickly in the days and weeks after content is published
...it’s clear those marketers using organic social media as their sole amplification strategy are neglecting the true potential of their blog posts.
Even shares by influencers aren’t guaranteed to drive traffic to your website. Find the right influencers, however, and you might just hit the jackpot...
“An influencer’s number of followers is fairly meaningless. The best influencers for content amplification are those with good follower engagement and high retweet rates. You are much better off in a niche with an influencer who has a highly engaged but smaller audience than someone with hundreds of thousands of followers who rarely engage.” - Steve Rayson, Buzzsumo
But don’t put all your eggs in one basket...
SHOW IT SOME LOVE
With no real correlation between the number of backlinks and social shares each blog post receives (Buzzsumo), we need to understand that building authority and maximising the lifespan of your content is a complex process that requires a wider, more sophisticated approach.
Likelihood is your published content deserves more attention that it’s getting.
We’ve spoken a lot about the more content, means more exposure mantra that has infiltrated many a content marketing strategy.
So why not take some time out from creating new content and focus more on promoting your highest performing existing content?
How, you ask?
START BY REPURPOSING YOUR CONTENT
Not all people digest content in the same way.
Some prefer to download eBooks, some choose podcasts. Many people rely on videos.
By moulding your blog post (or a series of blog posts) into different content formats, you widen its scope and make it accessible to more people within your niche.
If you’ve got a high performing blog post on the 10 key features of a customer experience blueprint, create 10 short videos reflecting on each aspect.
Or how about an infographic?
Or a drip email campaign that expands on each section over a 10 week period?
Or a Slideshare deck?
By creating additional assets, you’ll have a much greater chance of success when it comes to outreach. These assets can also be embedded on external sites and within your own posts - thus maximising the lifespan and overall online presence of your original piece of content, helping it to reach new people!
OUTREACH WITH GUEST POSTS
Alongside social media influencer outreach, you should be lengthening an arm to relevant publications, offering to write a guest posts which resemble and deliver similar messages to that in your original blog post.
This is one the the most effective, proactive ways to go about earning the all-important backlinks that amp up your rankings and build authority for your brand. But be sure to avoid duplicating your content by adapting your current blog post and ensuring the publication uses a canonical tag.
Altering your headline is also a useful habit pick up.
PUBLISH ACROSS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS
Just because you’ve uploaded your blog post to your site, doesn’t mean it can’t sit elsewhere on the web. Make full use of publishing platforms such as LinkedIn Pulse and Medium to amplify your content in other online environments.
So long as you’re putting your content into relevant environments where your audience has a presence, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing this.
The same SEO principles apply to this as with guest posts.
INVEST IN PAID SOCIAL
If your blog post is already performing well, chances are if you sponsor it on social, advertise it to a highly targeted audience on the right platforms, it’s going to garner some valuable attention.
Start with a small budget to begin with to find out what and where works best, focus on optimising your ad the platform it’s running on all the while.
LET’S WRAP UP
So now you know that clicking Publish is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content marketing.
If you’re deadset on breeding brand awareness, driving traffic to your website and converting leads, you need to put a wider promotional strategy in place. One that unites your brand’s own creative streak, with established tactics such as manual promotion, targeted database mailing, paid promotion and collaboration with influencers.
We’ve covered but only a few amplification strategies in this post - but it should definitely be enough to get you started. Without these moving cogs, it’s easy to get lost in a crowded public stream. However, with the right approach to amplification, you have every opportunity to own your niche and kill it with some seriously sophisticated content.