5 tips for a successful B2B blog
I have now been blogging for over five years. Sometimes I have a number of subjects of which I'm desperate to write about. Other times I sit staring at my screen with no inspiration whatsoever! For me the key to a successful blog is routine and planning. By scheduling in a new post every fortnight I can then ensure I set the right amount of time aside and my subscribers then know when to expect a new post.
Fundamentally, everyone is a potential blogger. The only difference between those with a successful blog and those without is discipline. Whether it be about music, sport or parenthood everyone has some subject about which they are a true geek, and can thus write about on a regular basis.
The same applies for business but on a larger scale. Here are my top 5 tips to setting up and running a killer B2B blog:
1. Identify your audience.
Everyone who works in marketing will have done some work with personas. For your blog posts you need to be as narrow as you can in identifying your audience. As you're blogging for the long term there is no danger of running out of ideas - especially if you go narrow in your targeting. This way you'll also be setting yourself up to represent the entire business at some point.
2. Get planning.
For any blog to survive you will need a massive list of advanced article topics. For my own blog I'm constantly updating my list on my phone notes when the inspiration hits me! Each post you write should clearly state your opinions to spark debate and you should also vary the focus of each post (e.g. lists, predictions, events, reviews and case studies).
3. Get writing.
When writing I also use a great online tool called Hemingway App. This makes my posts as readable as possible by flagging up things like long sentences and the overuse of adverbs. Now you have your persona and possible topics you need to focus on the reader intent. Why would they come across your article? What would they be searching for that you can answer/help them with? You need to ask those questions that they're most wanting answers to. Delivering helpful content in the form of a step by step guide is a great way to meet this need.
4. The skills to pay the bills.
With content marketing now becoming a massive industry your blog needs to be authored by someone who can WRITE! To truly succeed they will need to be experienced in both content and your industry. They then need to be given the free reign to write and have their unique voice come through in the posts. After all, we approve bloggers not blog posts.
The whole point of your blog is to tell your story to your audience and to get them to interact with you. By using personas you can then track through the actions of your readers to test and learn the best types of content. Are people engaging with your content? Are they visiting your product pages after reading your post? Are they commenting or sharing your post? All these are great metrics for benchmarking.
If your blog is not saying anything new then your readers could get what they want elsewhere. Your customer should be absolutely key in everything you do. This is why you'll need the input of your sales people to keep thinking about the customer pain points. If you're fixing their problem of course they'll want to read on!
Maintaining a successful blog is a long and tiring slog which can take a while to reap its reward. To do it properly requires skill, determination and bravery. By holding too much back you're not going to be of any use to your readers.
About the author: Paul Fryer
Paul has worked at Kier Group since February 2015 where he is the digital lead for the central group marketing function. His team are responsible for all company websites, social media channels, digital marketing strategy and video content. Previously he spent 6 years as Digital Marketing Manager at a University undertaking a similar role. He holds a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Portsmouth and is achieved a credit in his Postgraduate Diploma with the IDM.
Since 2011 his team have been awarded over ten separate industry awards for websites, social media and digital strategy. He has recently won a Gold award for his personal blog Deep Phat Digital (www.deepphat.co.uk) at the Digital Awards Champions 2017.
LinkedIn profile: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/fryerpaul