Even the most well written blog will not have an impact if no one reads it. While blogging is on the rise in B2B marketing tactics, it is difficult to stand out in the crowd when there are more than two million blog posts written each day. To make sure your blog resonates with readers, there are three questions to ask before you start writing.
What’s Already Working?
Past blog performance is a great way to find topics that can be explored more. By using analytics software (i.e., Google Analytics), you can see which blog posts are trending as the most popular. Also, look at the search terms people used to find your site either through organic or paid search activity. If you find there is a topic that is driving more people to your site, consider writing fresh content on that topic or expanding on an existing piece of content.
It is easier to analyze your data and see trends by proactively keeping track of your blog statistics,. As an example, I keep an Excel spreadsheet with a row for each blog post. I then have columns for bit.ly clicks, Google Analytics data and Facebook engagement statistics for each. Periodically, I will analyze the data to see which topics are driving more traffic.
Sometimes it can be surprising what drives the most traffic to your website. For instance, the most popular content pieces on our website are an article on common grammar and punctuation mistakes, a blog on tips for taking the Google AdWords certification exam and a two-part blog series on our favorite infographics. While these are not irrelevant to what we do here, it was still surprising to see that they were driving so much more traffic than topics more closely related to our core services.
What’s Happening Now?
One way to increase the likelihood of content going viral is being one of the first to write on a topic. Is there a new product launch making an impact in your industry (such as Pinterest or Vine for social media marketing)? Maybe there’s been a new study published that has up-to-date, relevant findings. By keeping up with the latest industry trends, you can help to ensure that you will be one of the first to publish content on that topic.
Outside of your industry, are there any current events happening in popular culture? Taking advantage of the attention that is already being paid to an event can be a successful way to generate interest in a blog post. The term newsjacking refers to the method of using a current event to place your company into the spotlight. Several brands took advantage of the recent Super Bowl blackout to inject their message into the coverage that was occurring both on social media and beyond. Subsequently, many marketing blogs took the opportunity to write posts on newsjacking best practices.
What’s Interesting to Readers?
With limited free time and so many blogs being published, visitors are not likely to read a long post if it contains only text. Generally speaking, the more visual content you add to a blog post, the more engaged your readers will be. We make sure to include at least one image in each of our blog posts and articles.
Additionally, is there any rich media that you can embed in your blog post, such as a video or Slideshare? Doing so allows your reader to view the content without leaving your post and keeps them engaged. Below is a SlideShare presentation from Marketo full of blogging tips for B2B marketers.
The tone you use when writing a blog post is also important. Try to find a balance of casual and professional, and avoid being too “salesy.” Establishing a distinct voice is important, as it showcases your company’s personality. Hubspot and MarketingProfs both take a fun, casual tone with their blog posts, while blog posts from MarketingSherpa, while still conversational, tend to have more of a straight-laced tone.
Blogging is not just for moms or teenagers anymore. Its use in B2B marketing has increased significantly – 77% of B2B marketers are now using blogs as a content marketing tactic, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. However, since this is a relatively new tactic for B2B marketers, many companies struggle with making their efforts effective. It is important to keep in mind what your readers want, in order to develop content that they will be likely to consume and share with those in their network.