By Karl Kangur, CEO, Result Compass
Content has been hailed as king for what seems like forever. And while the phrase itself has certainly gotten stale, the role of content in any B2B company’s success cannot be stressed enough.
Running a blog can help you generate and nurture leads no other marketing avenue can. Not even social media can compare. Your blog will keep attracting leads even when you’re not active on it, while socials demand an engaged presence.
Read on for key content marketing tips that can turn your blog into the lead generation machine you need it to be.
Use It to Introduce Your Product
Blog posts are a great tool for both helping your leads travel further down the sales funnel and for addressing customers who are already nearer the bottom than the top.
However, many brands make the mistake of over-selling themselves on their blog. No one wants to read 1000 words about how amazing you are. They want to learn something.
Your customers will appreciate an informative, educational, and actionable post more than they ever will a sales pitch. If you also happen to explain how they can use your product to their benefit, that’s just a bonus.
A great way to engage your readers and introduce your own product is to feature discussions on your blog.
For example, Optimal Workshop does this with their card sorting post. It discusses a very industry-specific topic and goes into great detail about how their product enables it with a specific feature. However, the aim of the post is not to sell the product but to discuss the topic. The content itself is not a pitch, and conversions are not the main objective.
Case studies also work very well in this context. In B2B, customers often need exceptional proof that something is working before they are even able to start a conversation. Enterprise customers have very complex purchasing processes, and several top-level executives often need to sign off on it. Showing tangible proof via a case study can make the decision a bit easier.
AMZ Pathfinder has done a case study that provides concrete figures about the sales their customers can expect to see, how they can be achieved, and the role their solution has played in the process. Being able to show numbers, as opposed to mere words, is always profitable in the B2B sector.
Widen Your Reach
Blogging can be about so much more than mere words. By using different content formats, you can attract leads through sources you have not used before, as you are able to market these alternative media formats through new avenues.
First, there’s podcasting. Podcasts have become incredibly popular over the years, as they are not only easy to access but can prove to be quite the entertaining and learning pastime.
They can also be made available across a huge range of podcasting platforms, from Spotify to Apple. Best practice does dictate that you should also always publish your podcast on your own blog too, to cater to your existing audience.
AdBadger does this with their podcast, which they have turned into quite the regular thing. They offer links to podcasting platforms too, but you can always take a listen through the blog itself. The topics they cover are varied, from comical to very practical, and will interest a wide section of their target audience segment.
Infographics are highly shareable pieces of content. By producing them, you often get referenced by other blogs – and that means a fair share of organic links!
Plus, they are also a visually appealing way to easily digest often complicated information.
Bsquare has done a simple infographic on Windows IoT, which explains the benefits of this content format in a nutshell. It’s easier to grasp than a blog post ever could be, plus it can be promoted on a whole range of image-based directories and on social media.
Video killed the radio star, and now it’s largely won over the Internet, too. Using it on your site can help you improve time on page and reduce bounce rates. It’s also highly shareable, and you can post it on YouTube, which makes it even more likely your audience will find it.
Our video best practice example comes from Scott’s Cheap Flights on their how to use Google flights page. The team filmed an informative video and posted it on YouTube, but also took care to accompany it with plenty of text. This gives their leads the choice of listening to the tips or reading through them if they just want to find a specific piece of information.
Build Authority with Your Posts
Finally, blog posts are a great way to build authority and become recognizable in your industry.
You can achieve this by publishing new and relevant research. Surveys and studies that tap into new data – or at least show a new angle to viewing existing data – will help you build a lot of credibilities, ensuring B2B decision-makers choose you over your competition.
There’s also the added benefit of attracting organic links, as other blogs will link to your research. Ahrefs does this type of research well, and their post on how many keywords you can rank for has attracted links from 450 domains (according to Ahrefs).
To build authority, you can also write guest posts for large industry platforms. Even small founders can offer a unique and compelling point of view, getting a lot of mileage from a single guest post on a blog that sees a lot of traffic.
Plus, you will likely also get a backlink.
Blogging for business can help you widen your reach significantly. Take our tips into consideration before writing your next post, and see how far you can take your content marketing efforts.