Creating a Successful Corporate Blog for B2B Audiences
I’ve reviewed hundreds of B2B blog articles in the last few years, and I’ve found that the formula for success with a business audience is not that complex; while the execution takes a while to master, the model itself can be explained in the space of this article. Simply put:
(1) Use an energetic personal voice
(2) Employ basic SEO best practices
(3) Ensure that the article’s content rises to the level of thought leadership
Below, I explain each element.
1. Establish An Energetic Voice
Every corporate blog has a “voice.” Simply put, this is the speaking voice with which you write your blog and ideally, the narrative voice that readers hear in their minds when they read it. Your voice needs to be original and energetic. You’re presenting interesting new ideas to your readers, so get excited about your message and that excitement will come across in your writing. Readers can tell the difference between a writer who’s just providing information and one who is passionate about their topic.
2. Employ B2B SEO Best Practices
Here are the best practices you should use to increase your corporate B2B blog’s SEO-based traffic:
- Put your most valuable keywords in the article’s title
- Place internal links to other content on your site
- Consistently publish high-quality blog posts
- Utilize call to actions strategically and judiciously
Put your most valuable keywords in the article’s title
Every good SEO strategy starts with keywords — specifically, the ones your target audience would type in when they’re somewhere in your B2B content funnel. You’ll need to research keywords related to your product using a combination of intuition and AI tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer. Start by writing a list of container keywords that you’d like your business to rank for. Think about your target audience and try to imagine what they might type into Google when searching for your product.
To choose from among the many keywords suggested by keyword discovery tools, you’ll need a keyword strategy that balances qualified customer targeting; transactional intent; search volume; and a knowledge of which keywords your site already targets. Here are those factors in question form to make it easier for you:
- Is my keyword targeting the right audience, such that at least 25% of searchers who type in that keyword would be considered qualified leads?
- Does my keyword have a transactional phrase in it, i.e. one that indicates buying intent such as “company” “firm” “software” or “tool”?
- Does my keyword have sufficient search volume that anyone even searches it, but not so much that it’s too difficult to rank for?
- Does my website already target this keyword on another blog page or main landing page?
Here’s a blog we recently wrote for the keyword “B2B SEO stats.” We followed this same process for choosing that keywords, determining that (1) our target audience are the people searching that phrase, (2) it has a transactional intent, indicating a desire to justify a B2B SEO program, (3) it has medium search volume and is therefore possible to rank for in a relatively short time, and (4) we have never targeted it before. As of this writing, our article ranks at the top of the first page for the keyword.
Place internal links to other content on your site
Internal links point to other content on your site and are powerful SEO tools. Google gives more credit to pages that have many internal links and considers them to be more relevant than pages that do not. Make sure that every blog post has at least three internal links pointing to other content on your site. This will encourage new visitors to explore your site and read the great content you’ve posted in the past. Here’s an example of what a post with many links pointing to internal pages looks like.
Consistently publish high-quality blog posts
Publishing high-quality content on a regular basis will improve your B2B corporate blog’s SEO standing in two ways. First, Google cares more about the quality of content than any other factor in its algorithm. Second, readers are looking for blogs that publish new content on a regular basis, as it indicates that the company is on the cusp of what’s happening in their field. If you can post new content once per week or more on the same days, readers will anticipate your posts. They’ll come to know they can rely on you, which is a great way to start a relationship with a new customer.
Quality is one of those subjective-sounding words but you know a high quality post when you see one. This blog post on branding describes quality in a very clear way.
Utilize call-to-actions strategically and judiciously
Calls to action (CTAs) can go anywhere on a page, but you should always use one at the end of a post. A CTA reminds people that the post they’ve just read directly relates to the service or product they asked Google about. And when customers find your content interesting, they’re likely to think about becoming a customer. A CTA helps this process along, inspiring people to take action and encourages them to do a specific thing you’ve detailed. One note: rather than having an out-of-the-blue CTA to work with your firm, it’s best if the CTA is organically blended into the end of the post. If you look at any posts on the FPS blog, including this one, you’ll see good examples of blended CTAs.
3. Elevate Your Corporate Blog to the Level of Thought Leadership
If you want your blog to stand out, then you must rise from the morass of standard content marketing to the realm of true thought leadership. Give your readers the insights and analysis they really want, not a boring pile of information and a sales pitch.
In my experience, this is how the quality of B2B corporate blog content typically breaks down:
Let me explain: B2B blog content can be viewed on a spectrum. There’s filler content, standard content marketing, and thought leadership content. Filler content is uninspired tripe — essentially, it’s phoning it in. Nobody gets to the end of a filler article. Standard content marketing is much better than filler content in that it’s well-written; however, it doesn’t offer anything truly new to people familar with a subject or industry. Thought leadership content, on the other hand, is both well-written and offers original information or a new perspective.
The distinctions here are important because, when Google believes your post is the absolute best on a topic, it will allow you to rank highly for the keyword targeted in that post. People will also start linking to your post and sharing it on social media. And readers too will see you as an authority, making it more likely they’ll convert to customers.
Putting These Strategies Into Practice
You may know how to do competent technical SEO. It’s the easiest category of SEO in my opinion. But writing thought leadership content is a greater challenge. I say that because writing itself is hard; you’ve got to go beyond explanations into making original statements on a subject, sharing proprietary research, or describing things in unique ways. A well-executed corporate blog contains only valuable, vetted articles that enlighten its audience. Further, it publishes new content multiple times per week. To do that takes more than a talented writer; it takes a process. That’s why many firms choose to let a professional content marketing firm write their corporate blog.