8 B2B Blog Best Practices for Measurable Results
Businesses today have little choice but to include blogging in their B2B marketing strategy. As the B2B sales processes adjust to the “new normal” introduced by COVID-19, B2B blogging has its moment in the spotlight. All the while, digital marketing budgets are dwindling.
B2B blogs today need to show measurable results and a positive ROI to justify the investment in them. How can you, as a B2B marketer or business owner, achieve that?
How to Gain Positive ROI from B2B Blogs
1. Know your audience
The first step is crafting your buyer personas. A well-crafted buyer persona leads you to decide which topics are relevant. Once you understand the individuals (rather than a group of people), you can anticipate the questions your ideal buyer would ask, what solutions they need, and what values resonate with them.
Knowing your audience on such an intimate level will also help begin to discern the “voice” of your brand in your blog.
2. Humanize your brand
To resonate with your followers, you need to give your brand a unique voice. Refining such a voice is a process that considers your brand values and corporate culture, along with your aforementioned buyer personas.
An excellent approach to start is by observing how your target audience discusses relevant topics. This way, your voice can match theirs in style, language, and use of industry terms. It can also help you choose your blog post authors.
3. Let your employees blog
Employees are often an untapped resource for business blogs. They are stakeholders in the company and can offer unique and relevant insights to readers.
Moreover, having an employee advocacy program that leverages real employees in place of a nameless admin account on a corporate blog can go a long way in establishing trust. Employee-produces content in your blog can (and should) be part of your employee advocacy strategy.
4. Craft content to match your funnel
B2B sales are customer journeys (or funnels, if you will). As you create content, consider where in the funnel your potential reader resides. The goal is to produce content that can accompany your prospects and add value throughout the funnel from top to bottom, pushing them along.
This means that you can’t expect success with a blog full of posts about your products and services (lower funnel phases). Nor can you expect leads and sales if all you do is “beat around the bush” with top-funnel articles.
5. Plan a content calendar
A content or editorial calendar will ensure your blog doesn’t suddenly go quiet for too long or bombard followers with a mass of posts over a short period of time. It also facilitates accountability, prioritization, and goal alignment within your team.
Remember your marketing funnel when planning a content calendar. Such synchronization is vital if you want to consistently supply relevant and fresh content for every buyer persona at every step of the funnel.
6. Leverage multimedia & interactive content
Let’s face it, blog posts as massive walls of text are pretty grating to consume. So it helps to include multimedia elements like infographics, product images, and even memes to keep readers engaged.
Multimedia in your blog posts will also help you get discovered. Google Images that indexes photos and infographics in its results can often be a source of organic web traffic.
You should also consider employing interactive content, such as quizzes and surveys. These do not only add variety to your blog but can also be used to capture leads.
7. Make measurable sharing easy
Tracking your website and blog traffic is relatively straightforward. Monitoring your content’s performance beyond the pages of your website or app is more nuanced. Measuring social media sharing requires an extra effort and use of the proper tools if you want to be able to measure the ROI in your blog posts.
Helpful web traffic attribution tools include URL-shortening services (like Bitly) and optimizing the placement of social sharing buttons.
8. Track and optimize
Once you’ve implemented some (or all) of our tips, you want to discover which yield results, and which do not. To do so, you must track your blog’s performance and the posts in it across platforms, target audiences, geographies, and stages in your funnel. Tracking and optimizing means employing web analytics, social listening tools, and other resources, then finally feeding the data collected into your CRM.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match to explore content niches, keyword groups, and approaches to see what works best and adds most to the bottom line.
Since blogging is an old art, the keys are innovation and experimentation. Measurement and tracking tools today give us the ability to gauge the effectiveness of B2B content in lead generation on a much higher level than ever before.
Armed with data, some multimedia creativity, and well-organized content calendars and conversion funnels, B2B marketers today can (and should) leverage blogs in their quest to generate and nurture leads.