OUR ARCHIVE

Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

10 Ideas for B2B Blog Posts

March 5th, 2015 by Jeff Mangels

b2b-blog-ideasYou’re staring at the computer and the only thing you can think about is coming up with a topic to blog about this time. Coming up with engaging, fresh, and high quality content on a regular basis is not an easy task. We get questions about blog content from clients on a very regular basis.

Regular and timely content not only contributes to your SEO strategy, it’s an opportunity to show your social followers that you are actively engaged in your industry and up to speed on current trends. Blogs are also a great opportunity to provide new and valuable information to your existing and potential clients.

Do you struggle to come up with new angles and ideas? Ideally, you’ve brainstormed several topics with your team and you’re planning your content using an editorial calendar. A calendar with deadlines will help hold you accountable to produce a steady flow of new posts, as well as back-up content for times when you are pulled away for more pressing projects. By dedicating one to two hours every week for writing, you can set yourself up for success and get ahead of the game.

Here are 10 topic ideas that can help you draw new visitors and build upon existing customer relationships. Keep in mind that many of these ideas also lend themselves to content outside of a blog like social media posts, articles or videos.

  1. Share client testimonials. When you receive praise from a client, ask them if you can turn it in to a post. In the post, demonstrate how you helped your client and the positive outcomes. Use the post to solicit additional customer success stories.
  2. Interview an expert. Is there someone within your industry who you admire? Reach out to them for with a short list of questions about industry trends or a particular problem. Publish the responses as part of a blog post.
  3. Debunk a common misconception or myth. Every industry has its fair share of myths and misconceptions. Use your blog to set the record straight by addressing them and educating your audience at the same time.
  4. Answer FAQs. What are the most common questions your customers ask? Compile the answers to these questions in a blog or answer them individually in separate blogs. You can direct customers to the answer in your blog when they ask.
  5. Discuss current industry trends. The timeliness of your blog posts can make a huge difference. Consider a trending topic and add a unique perspective to it. When you discuss how things are evolving in your industry and talk about trends, you convey authority to your readers.
  6. Create a top 10 list. Summon your best David Letterman and go for it. Don’t feel like you have to use 10 items. You can do more or fewer when it makes sense. Building a blog from a list also simplifies outlining the points that you would like to get across to the reader.
  7. Share tips and tricks. Are you a product or subject matter expert? Share some useful and practical information with readers in the form of tips or tricks. You could even turn it in to a recurring blog segment such as “Quick Tips with Launch Marketing.”
  8. Post about an event. You can write a blog while you are attending a professional trade show or conference. You could also post an event recap. Discuss the workshops you attended, quote speakers you heard and discuss the latest trends or ideas from the conference. This is an excellent opportunity to share your experiences.
  9. Review a book or report. You are constantly researching and learning so why not share a review on something interesting that you read? Highlight interesting information or share your criticism. After all, it is a review.
  10. Highlight a milestone. Make it personal by talking about your company’s history. Discuss an important time in your company and how it shaped your business. Getting personal with your readers can build trust over time.

 

This is only a short-list of ideas for posts to your blog. Take a look around you. Consider your business, Industry trends, conversation with clients and even what you hear in the news. The

point is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Ideas are out there that can inspire you so keep your eyes and ears open and mix it up with different types of posts to keep it fresh.

Have additional questions about blogging or content marketing? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

 

Image from: http://www.thesaleslion.com/employees-required-blog-content-marketing/

Thinking About Becoming a Thought Leader?

January 8th, 2015 by Somer Klepper

The importance of being a thought leader in your industry continues to grow now more than ever, with a plethora of digital outlets available. Countless websites, blogs, various social media sites and the traditional/nontraditional press outlets create an expansive space for businesses to ignore and say nothing, say the wrong things and damage their reputation, or use strategically and build up their brand equity with thought leadership that shares their voice, message and vision. Thought leadership is a key element in branding, which results in more organic traffic and increases the credibility of your business. When you deliver concrete, educational and useful information and circulate it in the right places, people read it and learn to trust your company as a thought leader in the industry. Then they will come to you and invest in your product and services because of the foundation of trust you’ve built.

thought-leader

“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” –John Maxwell

How does one become a thought leader?

  • Remove the concern of self-promotion. You’re probably already doing a bit of self-promotion without realizing it, so continue doing so, but in a bolder, more direct way. Careful to not sound arrogant, just confident and knowledgeable.
  • Be patient. At the beginning, remember that you’re just starting to deliver and they’re just starting to read your material. Like in any other area of life, relationships built on trust take time to grow.
  • Realize your level of experience and speak to the audience who is actually willing to listen. Ex: If you are a small startup, do not expect to deliver Apple-level CEO content. Be honest with yourself and your readers – that being said, if your content is not strong, don’t post it as a thought leadership piece.
  • Ask yourself if you have truly created something worth trusting and worth sharing. The passion and confidence will shine through the piece. Ex: You’re convinced that the new software your company designed will change the industry and you’re very proud of it. Call your mom, your best friend from college and mention it to your neighbor the next time you see him in the yard – listen to yourself and mimic that voice (professionally) later when writing thought leadership content.
  • NEVER stop learning. As you grow in your field of expertise, it’s wise to learn from others as well. Not only will you gain knowledge about other products and services in your field, but also note their delivery and the presentations that grabbed your attention. Apply those to your delivery.
  • Start creating alliances. Smart people tend to converse with other smart people. The expression, “Birds of a feather flock together,” rings true here. Let people know who those alliances are by combining efforts, events or possible resources.
  • Apply for awards. Awards show credibility – it’s as simple as that.
  • Think of LinkedIn as your favorite outlet. Facebook and Twitter are useful outlets and typically reach the masses, but LinkedIn is known for being a natural go-to for connecting with professionals and professional thought leadership material. Not only is LinkedIn good for posting strong content, but it’s also a place where people can easily see credibility from those alliances you made and support from customers and potential customers.

 

Considering the above will start you off to becoming a thought leader in your industry, and keep these three components front and center: Experience, Credentials and Passion. If you can stay consistent in delivering each of these components within each of your thought leadership efforts, with time and consistency, you will reign as the go-to resource for advice and information that will lead to increased sales and profits. For more tips on creating content that gains readership, look here: http://launch-marketing.com/creating-content-tips-gaining-readership-engagement/ Please share your comments on thought leadership best practices for those wanting to share their words of wisdom! Keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Content is the present and future of marketing. It is the way we are learning to communicate, reach and build relationships with our potential customers and clients. It’s our way of selling ourselves and products without directly asking for the sale. We create a dialogue and potential ongoing relationship by empowering interested readers with shared knowledge, best practices, real-world case studies and other content that can help them learn something new, work smarter and be more productive. What makes content marketing so successful is the way the messaging is crafted; it  motivates people to want to read it, share it and ultimately buy or act through the digital relationship you have sprung. If you take a glance at successful businesses’ websites and social media pages, you will find a presence of blogs and conversations ignited around much more than products. Lowe’s is posting Vine videos of other uses for everyday objects, Grey Poupon has a “Members Only” club on Facebook that was defined by their reputation of finer taste and based on members’ grammar. These are just two examples of unique, creative content that has helped broaden messaging to reach new or untapped demographics and create engagement for our brands.

Content Marketing Tips

So what does content need in order to gain readership and create a buzz?

  • A strong headline. They won’t read it if you can’t grab their attention from the start.
  • How-To’s and Lists. People want to learn something and they want to learn it quickly with simple steps to follow.
  • Stats and Facts. Readers want facts and stats over opinions – if you have them, share them.
  • Make it easy to share. If you want your readers to share your content, apply a sharebar with social media buttons to the pages you want passed along.
  • Remember: Quality over quantity.  Be relevant, Be valuable.
  • Infographics. People absolutely love infographics. Our minds naturally remember graphics and images over text.
  • Tell stories. Tell the story of how your business began or the tale of the first company picnic when you burned the burgers because you were busy playing horseshoes.
  • Be unique, but buy into the trends. This is an ongoing struggle, but it can be done.
  • The power of humor. You’ve seen a viral cat video, admit it, and it was funny.
  • Be positive.
  • Be interesting.
  • All posts do NOT need to be about business. Your readers know you’re a person; don’t make them doubt it.
  • Timing is everything. When posting your content, do some research.  Check out when your competition is posting, use the free social media analytics tools available, compare similar content when posted at different times – see what works.  If you have a piece that you believe deserves extra attention, post it twice at different times, but promote it with a different headline.

Your readers want to know what you know. With the ever expanding use of digital communications, rich media, social media and interest in blogs, you can build relationships and share why your business beats the others with crafted content. Follow the tips above and watch the impact.

For more tips on creating content for social media look here.

 

In today’s fast-paced technology industry, data-driven B2B marketers turn to industry statistics as a way to benchmark their current marketing efforts and plan ahead for future campaigns.  Additionally, these type of statistics can help validate marketing recommendations and budget requests to the executive team. Below are ten must-have B2B marketing stats around email marketing, SEO and blogging that every data-driven marketer will want to keep in their back pocket.

B2B Marketing Stat #1: Organic Links are Clicked on Most Often

70% of search users click on organic search results first, compared to only 25% who click on paid search results first.

B2B Marketing Stats: Organic Clicks

B2B Marketing Stat 2: The Top Three Organic Search Results Get the Most Traffic

60% of all organic clicks are on links in the first three positions.

B2B Marketing Stats: Top Organic Results

B2B Marketing Stat 3: Blogs Help Your SEO Efforts

Companies that have a blog have 97% more inbound links, on average, than companies that do not have a blog.

  B2B Marketing Stats: Blogs Help SEO

B2B Marketing Stat 4: Blogs Increase Website Visitors

Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors than companies that do not blog.

 B2B Marketing Stat: Blogging Increases Visitors

B2B Marketing Stat 5: Blogs Increase Leads

B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than companies that do not blog.

 B2B Marketing Stats: Blogs Increase Leads

B2B Marketing Stat 6: Email ROI is High

Of all the marketing channels, email has the highest ROI per dollar spent, with an average of $28.50 in sales generated per dollar invested, compared to $7 in sales generated per dollar invested in direct mail.

B2B Marketing Stats: Email ROI is High

B2B Marketing Stat 7: Email Subject Lines and URL Placement are Critical

33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.

In addition, recipients often only read the subject line or the first few lines of an email. Include your CTA early on in your email. 

Source: Convince & Convert

B2B Marketing Stat 8: Email Subject Lines Need to Be Engaging

The word “exclusive” in email promotional campaigns increases unique open rates by 14%

B2B Marketing Stats: Email Subject Lines

A good way to test an email subject line is to ask yourself “Would I open this email?”

B2B Marketing Stat 9: Email Click Through Rates Vary By Region and Industry

B2B Marketing Stats: Email Click Through Rates

B2B Marketing Stat 10: Email Send Time-of-Day is Important (Varies by Industry)

According to data from HubSpot, emails sent in the early morning typically receive higher click-through rates. This is likely because there are less distractions at that time, compared to emails sent toward the end of the workday.

 B2B Marketing Stats: Email Send Time of Day

As with all statistics, take these as a starting point for your marketing recommendations and continually test what works best for your industry.  There are many varying characteristics between audiences and industries, so you may find that what works best for your industry may differ from the industry standard.