For many B2B brands, blogging is crucial for achieving digital marketing ambitions. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of B2B content marketing teams have achieved their goal of creating brand awareness in the last 12 months, yet only 45% have succeeded in building subscribed audiences. Brands, therefore, are struggling to create content that has a long-lasting impact on their audience.
With this in mind, we’ve asked B2B marketing experts to share their best tips for organically growing a blog that not only raises brand awareness but also fosters subscriber loyalty.
The Key Ingredients of a Successful B2B Blog
Choose the Right Keywords
Brands need to focus on the right keywords by knowing the personas they’re targeting. “Don’t waste time on those broad keywords,” suggested Natalie Marcotullio, director of marketing at Map My Customers, “you’ll find much more success when you get the right people to your blog.” If you understand your intended audience well, you can target long-tail keywords that have lower search volume and are more attainable to rank for.
Organize an Editorial Calendar
“Establish a blog calendar with a regular cadence,” recommended Anna Roolf, VP at BLASTmedia. This allows brands to continually publish content at the same time each week or month, which is beneficial for people that consume your content and for other teams that rely on the blog for their marketing initiatives as well. “It helps people who use your content — like the social teams who promote it or the sales teams who share it — to know when to look for new content,” Roolf explained. That way, it’s easier to plan a blog linking strategy or newsletter campaign to make the most of the content you publish.
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Understand Search Intent
“Search intent is a massively important topic in the SEO world, especially with Google’s most recent algorithm updates,” Marcotullio said. In terms of B2B blogging, search intent is crucial for creating content that resonates with the reader and provides the information they were actually looking for. “As long as you are able to anticipate your target audience's intent — what they search for, how they phrase questions, how they formulate their problems,” agreed Marine Klein, director of operations at Commusoft, “you can create content that answers their queries and enriches their knowledge.” This shift towards customer-centric content could improve search rankings and foster better engagement with your audience.
Publish Educational Content
Roolf suggests most B2B brands focus on publishing educational content. “You can use your blog to share product updates and other news about your company,” she said, “but for brands looking to use a blog as an organic traffic driver, thought leadership is the way to go.”
When generating educational content ideas, it’s helpful to ask sales and customer success teams for the questions that prospects and existing customers ask. “It's good collateral for your team to share,” explained Roolf, “but chances are if clients and prospects are asking, others are searching as well!” This is the best way to ensure your blog is highly relevant for your intended audience.
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Giving Your B2B Blog an Edge
Along with the standard advice the experts have provided, we’ve asked if they have any other ways brands can give their blog the edge over the competition.
Unique Featured Images
For many blogs, the featured image is an afterthought when creating blog content. “Everybody’s doing these flat-people-with-computers kind of illustrations for their blogs,” said Anastasiia Khlystova, content marketing manager at HelpCrunch, “and we decided to use classic paintings with funny captions for our blog.” The featured image is a small opportunity to stand out from other business blogs and capture the attention of your audience.
Narrow Your Focus
It’s tempting to publish general long-form content to target broader keywords with higher search traffic, but this approach doesn’t work for most brands. “Stay ahead of the competition by writing niche, industry-specific topics,” Marcotullio suggested, “and stay away from super-high ranking keywords.” Brands can begin targeting high-volume keywords after their blog has gained some traction.
“It’s a mistake to think that blogs can’t convert and their main purpose is to raise brand awareness,” said Khlystova. Following the tactics our experts have revealed, B2B blogging can generate leads, improve conversions and foster a loyal audience that keeps coming back.