These days, whoever I talk to, speaks about original content that is useful for readers. That’s a welcome change – we are acknowledging the power of content. In fact, every other person or business runs an active blog nowadays. Content creation and dissemination through blogs is a popular and effective marketing strategy if employed properly.
With over 3.5 billion Internet users worldwide, undoubtedly the digital word has wide reach, but do you feel your B2B blog isn’t getting the traction you anticipated? Well, admit it, would you be interested in reading about cleaning products, equipment, machinery and other B2B offerings on a daily basis; until and unless the content is really honest and presented in an interesting way . . .?
Your business may be the most exciting subject to you, but the idea maybe a trifle boring to others; yet, the content on your B2B blog needn’t be drab or boring. Think GE’s widely followed Instagram account! You could think Kissmetrics and HubSpot, too.
Is having a blog really that important, though?
If you ask me, I’d say ‘Yes’ a thousand times over. Blogs are a ‘killer’ marketing tool for any business. Well-written blogs can educate customers about your services and help build trust in your brand, increasing visibility and even generating leads for businesses. However, most B2B blogs end up with boring and uninspiring content, simply sharing some information that the audience doesn’t care about.
Do you think your B2B blog is really boring? Don’t waste your time in changing the theme, colour or the font, follow some of these simple tips for fun, inspiring and engaging content that will add value to your business:
1. Get personal
Not in the literal sense, no. What I mean here is that instead of writing your blog in the third person, develop a connection with your audience by writing in the first person. Your readers will feel more connected to your story if you write in the first person.
Tip – Avoid using ‘We’ and stick to ‘I’. Companies don’t write blogs, individuals do.
A blog is meant to be conversational and engaging. Speak to your reader through your words by addressing them in the blog. You are not talking to machines but to people. Personalize your message by calling out to your readers, using the word “You” in your copy for a compelling message.
2. Write inspirational content
Leave mundane behind. Use your most prolific writers to pen down interesting thoughts that will add value to the readers’ lives. Agreed, anyone can write. But everyone cannot craft a story that touches hearts and provokes minds and has people coming back for more.
Hire a writer if required, but don’t compromise on the quality of content. Writers who are motivated and love to write will always craft more engaging thoughts than someone who is writing for the heck of it.
Tip: Don’t be shy of sharing your emotions. Tell readers how you feel about the events and trends in the industry to make the content more human and relatable.
3.Don’t create a monologue, tell a story
The idea of a B2B blog is not just to propagate you business; it is more centered towards building a brand, a market leader, a name people can connect with. Thus, writing a monologue will only turn people away.
It is well and good to declare your success. But will that help your readers? No. Instead, tell them your success story. How you achieved that victory. What were the ideas, strategies and changes you employed to reach that benchmark? Give people insights they can use in their own lives. Don’t be scared of sharing your mistakes. It shows you are human and many people can benefit from your hindsight.
Tip – Use facts and figures to back up your stories – We all love eye grabbing statistics. Facts and figures, related to our industry, more often than not compel us to click on stories revealing these numbers. Leverage facts, figures and statistics from others, or better still, use your own unique statistics, to make your stories more compelling.
4. Be an authority
Most people who would be reading your B2B blog will have basic knowledge about the field. How do you hook them, then?
By being an expert.
Don’t write what everyone knows. Don’t be scared of sharing knowledge. Go deep in your industry and share tips you have gained from your insights and experience. In the coming days, I will be sharing several advanced guides on SEO, Digital Marketing and Content Marketing strategies giving in-depth knowledge that I have gained over the years in the industry.
Think of influencers such as Neil Patel and Craig Rosenberg. I appreciate and admire the honesty and depth of their content that delves deep into every topic, leaving the reader with valuable and actionable output.
Tip: Don’t stray from your mainstay. If you are an aviation expert, starting your blog by appreciating the Crème Brulee your wife prepared is not going to help you.
However, you can club relevant fields sometimes for more ideas. For example, considering most of your readers are aviation enthusiasts, too, many of them would be avid travelers. While discussing aviation trivia, you may sometimes explore a less-serviced destination. Relating your blog to trending news is also a good idea.
5. Play with content format
You don’t have to stick to usual. Play with content format for creating eye-catching posts that readers are going to talk about and share. People only read up to 20% of the content on a page on an average. So how do you deliver important information?
Research proves that readers spend more time on informative images than text, leading to the undeniable popularity and usefulness of Infographics and Listicles.
Do you know that articles with images receive 94% more views than articles comprising only of text.
Tip: Tap into the power of memes. Share one or create your own.
Memes are powerful and fun. There is no way you can ignore them.
6. Create case studies
Case studies can add a lot of value to your content. Case studies showcase your expertise and skills by revealing data, strategies and information that readers can apply to their own situations.
With a great headline, a case study will tell your honest story of how you solved a problem or achieved certain results for a client. It is an advertisement of your skills in the most honest and connectable way.
It can be overwhelming for a reader to go through an article senselessly littered with jargon. Using industry specific words shows off your knowledge base but can muddle up the content if jargon is used indiscriminately.
Use few industry specific words to establish your authority and stick to short and simple sentences beyond that. People prefer easy to read content. Long sentences littered with jargon, commas and unnecessary punctuation only deviate readers.
8. Appreciate heroes in the same field
It is always good practice to appreciate and share success stories. Talk about leaders in your field, their thoughts, stories and successes through interviews that make an interesting read on any B2B blog. It is not even necessary to conduct interviews in person. You can send across emails requesting relevant information that can be published as an inspiring story, dialogue or interview.
Tip: Always be in the know by staying abreast of latest trends and following industry leaders. It will always have you teeming with ideas.
9. Predict the future
You are no fortune-teller, but being an industry expert, you can definitely predict the future course of your industry.
You don’t need to be an astrologer to predict the “Content Marketing Trends that will dominate in 2017.” All you need is in-depth knowledge of your field and experience to make educated predictions and share them with your readers with facts and examples.
10. Don’t oversell yourself
The purpose of having a blog is to promote yourself. But don’t oversell yourself by sharing promotional content all the time. Blowing your own trumpet sometimes is acceptable, but overdoing it will only have the readers scampering for fresher content that is useful to them. Instead of pushing your brand on customers, create compelling content, sharing statistics, internal stories, infographics and case studies to pull them to your brand.
Conclusion – Break out of the box!
B2B blogs are conceived to be boring rants about a business, but that doesn’t need to be the case. While your business may be overly exciting to you, it may not be so for others; the onus lies on you to make it fun and interesting for readers. The best tip I could give you is not to take yourself too seriously. Use humour, generously but empathetically.
Humorous is viral. Humour is serious business. I mean it.