BEST PRACTICE

5 Must-Have Elements for Your B2B Blog

Jessica Stevenson By Jessica Stevenson, Project Manager & Campaign Perfectionist, Extra Mile Marketing

After a filling holiday season and one too many of your sister-in-law’s cookies, you may be like me: in search of a way to eat healthier and hopefully shed a few of those extra holiday pounds. But when there’s so many options to choose from—Whole30, Keto, The Mediterranean, CICO, Paleo, The Flexitarian, DASH, and on and on—how do you choose what’s right for you? And just as you start to dive into the research, you realize you really don’t have the time to understand the pros and cons of each one, what the diets consist of, the “rules” for each new lifestyle, or if they would work for your personal needs. What I really need is a shortcut: someone to summarize the options with a high-level overview and expert opinion on each diet. 

This is where businesses can learn a thing or two from consumer blogs. Previously, B2B companies would write blogs with the focus of “sell, sell, sell.” Too many B2B blog writers only consider the company’s goals, rather than the needs of the reader. Meanwhile, #2020Ready blogs are written from a thought leader’s perspective. They share insights on industry trends and help readers solve for real-world situations. They make technical jargon easy to understand, and ultimately point the reader to a viable solution to their problem.

Let’s take a look at 5 key elements of successful consumer blogs that can be applied to any B2B blog marketing strategy.

#1 | Conversational Tone

Most conventional blogs we see today are written formally. I’m actually guilty of this myself from time to time, simply because I’m so used to writing in a professional manor. But the reality is, we want to connect with the reader through our writing. Creating connections with a conversational tone will make you sound much more genuine and human. People who read your blog will feel like they know you personally, and will show more interest. In fact, 78% of consumers believe that companies providing custom content are interested in building good relationships.

#2020Ready Pro Tip: Start your blog off with a relatable story that draws the reader in.

#2 | Providing Thought Leadership

Blogs help companies and businesses demonstrate their thought leadership and unique perspective on industry trends. If you thought finding the right diet was challenging, imagine companies trying to find the right cloud technology for their business.  It’s overwhelming. Thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. When you can breakdown the options into easy-to-understand content, they will feel more involved in their choices, which encourages them to have a discussion with you. Plus, a week or month down the road, they’ll have your brand in mind as the expert in the topic.

#2020Ready Pro Tip: B2B blogs should follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the blog should be thought leadership and only 20% should talk about your company and the relevant services you offer.

#3 | Factual & Sourced

Not all blogs should be based on one person’s opinion. In fact, showing that you have done your research and are citing creditable sources establishes your own credibility with your audience. It shows too! 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs. Adding in a few testimonials, statistics, or linking to other reputable articles is an easy way to show real-world examples of your shared expert opinion.

#2020Ready Pro Tip: When hyperlinking to sources, make sure they open in a new tab. That way, you keep the reader on your site for maximum exposure to your products and services.

#4 | A Way to Learn More

Blogs are a starting point, not the finish line. Keep your end goal in mind: for the reader to choose your company to help them with their challenges. At the end of your blog, help readers dive deeper into the topic by providing advanced content like an eBook, a one-page solution sheet, a case-study, or a video. When you provide an opportunity to lead the audience to additional material, it means you can keep your blog short. Remember: the goal with blogs is to convey your message under 2,000 words. The average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1,285 words.  And as an added benefit, creating helpful content, designed to help address their pain points and point them to a reliable solution, is also critical when building trust.

#2020Ready Pro Tip: Consider the customer journey when writing your blogs. The blog brought readers to your site, so what’s the next step for them to choose your company?

 

#5 | Storytelling

Let’s be honest, your business blog isn’t going to be adapted into a feature film. Still, adding narrative elements and adopting a positive lens will help keep your readers interested and make your material memorable. If your blog has too much technical jargon, or if it’s only focused on what could go wrong, then it will only hurt your opportunity to increase readership. Tell a story about common customer challenges and how industry leading solutions, like yours, can help solve them. Or create a numbered list of the positive actions customers can take to overcome their obstacles.

#2020Ready Pro Tip: Remember those rhetorical devices, like metaphors and analogies, you learned in elementary school? Use them to make your argument more persuasive!

If you need help coming up with ideas for your next blog series, ask our team of friendly marketing geeks for help! We have lots of experience generating thought leadership blog topics, and even writing whole series of #2020ready blogs for enterprises and small businesses alike. How can we help your team?

Let me know - jessica@emminc.com!

 

 

STATS & FACTS

81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.

78% of consumers believe that companies providing custom content are interested in building good relationships.

The average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1,285 words.

 

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