In the last post of our Art of B2B Blogging series, we discussed finding the best blog source material for writing fresh and relevant blog content. This week, we’ll focus on our B2B blogging best practices.
Don’t Waste Your Readers’ Time
This golden rule of all content marketing is simple but powerful: Don’t waste your readers’ time. Don’t rehash tired themes and ideas that your competitors have already reposted dozens of times. It’s a good idea to plug into industry conversations—but it is important to find a unique angle and message.
This rule is also relevant to post length: Try to keep your posts to around 500 words (give or take 50). Posts that drag on endlessly will quickly push readers elsewhere. If you’re writing about a particularly complicated topic, restrict your post to a maximum of 700 words. If you find that you can’t confine your ideas to such a short format, split up your post into two parts — now you have double the content!
Add Value to Your Readers’ Day
This point is a corollary to the one above, but it’s worth focusing on for a moment. Make sure your content reflects a fair exchange of your readers’ time for value. Good B2B marketing content should offer readers fresh ideas that they can immediately apply to their own work or businesses. If your content is missing this element of value, you’ll find it very difficult to build a dedicated audience—simply because your audience is off reading more informative content elsewhere. Maybe even at your competitors’ sites.
Highlight Unique Content—Don’t RegurgitateAvoid using sources and blogging stories that have been reported on endlessly. If you’re in tech, there’s probably no need to post about Apple or Google’s earnings—unless you have an original opinion or analysis to offer on those subjects. Simply posting the numbers is not compelling enough.
Additionally, try to find authoritative research/whitepapers related to your industry and blog about them. This is a way to accomplish three best practices in one fell swoop: reporting on slightly obscure but relevant research that doesn’t waste your readers’ time, adds value and avoids rehashing the same tired stories.
Keep Your Content Relevant to Your Industry
This sounds so obvious, but unfortunately, it bears repeating. You might want to seem cool and “with it” to your readers and report on the latest Kardashian shenanigans, even though you’re actually blogging for a software company. Let me be very clear: This is a huge mistake. You might gain a few extra hits from people searching for celebrity news, but you will have destroyed any chance of building up company thought leadership or a dedicated audience. B2B blogging best practices dictate that you stick to relevant industry topics. Always.
Find Your Voice
Ideally, your B2B blog should have a distinct voice—and it will take time for you to develop and hone it so it meets your needs and the approval of all relevant stakeholders. Try to be patient during the process. Unlike B2C, where generally you can get as cozy and personal as you like, a B2B blog needs to maintain a certain degree of professionalism. This is a good time to check a few competitor blogs to see what kind of tone and blog voice they are using. Try to match the tone while creating your own personal voice.
Stay tuned for the next installment of The Art of B2B Blogging, coming soon!