B2B bloggers, I’m sure you can relate to this: You need to produce some high-quality content for your company blog that discusses an important industry topic or reports some company news.
What do you write about first? Do you tap into the latest industry conversation, or do you promote a new product feature? The best way to decide is by laying out all the possibilities on a content calendar. Before getting started, it’s important to take a step back and plan your approach.
A balanced content calendar helps you tackle the blog strategically and keep it focused on KPIs. Also, a calendar that incorporates a blog content strategy will make it easier for you to keep your B2B content aligned with larger company business goals. It will help you avoid simply haphazardly throwing content around to see what sticks. (That’s another way of doing it, but one that might lead to endless frustration).
B2B Content Calendar: Fresh and Varied
A good B2B content calendar is like a good salad: fresh and varied. A variety of posts keeps the blog relevant and interesting. The key is to maintain a balance between telling the company’s story and commenting on industry trends and developments, also known as thought leadership.
Telling the company’s story usually includes keeping readers up to speed on:
- The latest company product/feature developments
- Events and conference participation/attendance
- Client case studies
“It’s a good idea to consult with company departments to find out about upcoming news you can report on the blog.” Connect with the sales and marketing departments to find out about upcoming industry events that the company will be attending. Reach out to the product teams to find out about the latest developments that merit promotion.
Another tip to keep in mind: An effective way of sharing your company success stories is through client case studies. Nothing shows your company’s expertise like happy client testimonials. You can base an entire post on a case study. Alternatively, a persuasive quote from a client can be an excellent peg for a blog on separate topic.
Thought Leadership: Tapping into Industry Conversations
Company blogs should be both inward- and outward-facing. This is especially important for B2B content because one of the best ways to reach potential business clients is by demonstrating your expertise. Tapping into industry conversations with your own comments and insights on the blog is a critical way of showing you’re on top of industry news.
Approach your company’s thought leadership by researching the hot topics featured in industry-specific websites and online magazines. Use these topics as a basis for your strategy. The heart of this strategy should be: What does your company have to say about the hottest topics and trends in your industry?
Now that you have a few topics, there are a number of ways to approach thought leadership posts:
- Straight research and analysis
- Guest posts
- Theme/Topic Series
For the straight research and analysis, make sure to use the highest quality primary research you can find, including whitepapers, market analysis and government statistics. Avoid dodgy second and third-hand reports.
Connect with influential bloggers in your industry and invite them to host them on your blog for a blog post. Thought leaders understand the value the exposure, and having their authoritative commentary on your company blog can boost your own influence exponentially.
Finally, a great way to fill out your content calendar is through a series of themed posts. Pick a topic that has your industry abuzz and plan two or three posts that approach it from different angles.
These posts should be written by different employees that have varied but complementary opinions or viewpoints on the same topic. This shows how your company values diverse and creative thinking. Add introductory and concluding posts, and you’re set for four or five separate blog posts.
These are just a few ideas for building a B2B content calendar. What are some of the challenges you face in planning your B2B content? Let us know in the comments. Stay tuned for our upcoming posts in our Art of the B2B Blogging series.
Welcome to our new series on the Art of B2B Blogging. And, indeed, there is a certain art to blogging for B2B companies. Unlike B2C blogging, where you’re talking directly to the consumer and can engage in all manner of fun-but-appropriate banter, B2B demands a certain level of gravitas. As business bloggers, we don’t want to waste our potential prospect’s valuable time. In that vein, we’ve set out to cover a number of topics that will make it easier to keep your B2B blog strategic and focused on results. Our focus for this week is creating a content calendar.
In the coming weeks, we’ll cover:
- Aggregating source material
- Content marketing best practices
- Creating and using writing templates
Enjoy! We’re looking forward to your feedback and questions in the comments.