No matter how much planning and goal setting goes into a B2B corporate blog, the writing and content ultimately is what will make a blog successful. The B2B blog team must develop content that resonates with a target audience and is tailored around specific goals.
My last article, "5 Steps for Crafting an Effective B2B SEO Blogging Strategy," focused on developing an organizational plan for a corporate blogging strategy. This article focuses on the writing component.
Here are four ideas and supporting examples for B2B corporate blog writing, designed to target specific audiences, help achieve Internet marketing goals, and build links for search engine optimization campaigns.
Content for Community Development
Soliciting the contribution and participation of other bloggers and site owners can be a powerful way to gain awareness and links. More importantly, this type of strategy provides an opportunity to connect and share with social media friendly peers.
Ideas and recommendations for developing these types of posts:
- Create aggregate lists showcasing important resources and/or publications relevant to the industry.
- Develop badges, awards, and general ways bloggers can showcase recommendations.
- Solicit quick and easy contributions from other bloggers in the industry, providing links and references in exchange for assistance.
Blog Post Examples
Galen De Young's list of top B2B blogs is a great example. As a way to gain additional, organic links, those included in the list can show off their inclusion with a community badge.
Dianna Huff's post on improving website strategies is a collection of tips and resources from fellow bloggers and a great resource for her readers.
Content for Research & Information
Informational content provides a way to demonstrate expertise and share valuable resources with prospects and customers. The key is figuring out the best way to present and share it.
Ideas and recommendations for developing content informational blog posts:
- Review keyword referral data from web traffic reports (filter to show keyword queries with "how" or "what").
- Consider frequent questions asked from customers and prospects that could be turned into blog posts.
- Provide insight and perspective into key industry events, announcements, and important news.
Blog Post Examples
The team at aimClear consistently publishes high quality coverage of conferences in the search engine marketing space. This screenshot of a recent SES NY session below is just one example.
The blog post below provides a simple "how-to" example that I would imagine this author has been asked in various forms in the past.
This post from Mashable provides an example adding educated perspective on a recent news announcement.
Content for Thought Leadership
We have seen effective thought leadership-style posts aid in the sales process -- particularly when dealing with complex B2B buying cycles.
The challenge is in getting senior leadership to contribute. If they do, it can provide a valuable human face to an organization, particularly when the buying decisions of company solutions involve executive leadership.
Recommendations and ideas for developing thought leaderships:
- Focus on perspectives related to industry "hot topics."
- Keep posts shorter in length for quick reading.
- In addition to expertise, help illustrate the "human side" of the company by relating to common issues, and customer and reader feedback.
Blog Post Examples
Chuck Hollis of EMC provides a consistent stream of thought leadership-oriented posts that provide insight into the organization, technological innovation, and topics related to the industry.
Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications offers another example of thought leadership, with personal perspective and insight. The screenshot below illustrates one recent example.
Content for Brand Development
Blog writing can be an important way to develop brand awareness. A B2B blog provides an excellent platform for taking complex solutions, and finding creative and compelling ways to illustrate them, to customers, prospects, and industry peers.
Recommendations and ideas for developing brand awareness through B2B blogging:
- Get creative: consider visual ways to illustrate complex solutions and concepts.
- In addition to traditional copy, add video, photography, and graphics.
- Leverage a more mature blog to introduce new, interesting, but related concepts to the readership
Blog Post Examples
This example from the IT community, Wikibon, provides a graphical visualization of the often complex topic of cloud computing.
In this example, the John Deere MachineFinder blog uses a combination of copy and video to introduce a rarely seen piece of forestry equipment.
While this article doesn't cover every concept that could be used for a B2B blogging strategy, these types of ideas have proven successful for numerous organizations.
In coordination with a plan of action, and metrics designed to benchmark performance, marketers should evaluate their content strategies to understand what works best over time; making adjustments in their blogging strategy as needed.
Have strategies like these worked for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas for what has worked in the comments below.
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