In the modern B2B landscape, customers have the luxury of seeking out and paying attention to the companies, products, and services that genuinely compel them. To gain the attention of qualified leads, B2B marketers need to generate interest and engagement that makes targeted leads want your help publishing content that creates brand awareness, compares and contrasts your offering with other options, and captures qualified leads with enticing offers and promotions.
Most buyer’s journeys only progress when leads are fed content with some real meat. Content comes in the form of whitepapers, eBooks, sell sheets, infographics, and more that position a brand and its executives as industry thought leaders. Blogs are the most widely used, shared, and referenced of all content pieces. Blogs can be quick to write, easy to publish, and fantastic at attracting leads within your slice of the B2B market. Blogs can be awareness-stage educational pieces that introduce a product or service at a foundational level or consideration-stage assets that explain the benefits and differentiators of your brand’s solutions.
No matter which stage of the buyer’s journey you’re focusing on, blogs are critical content pieces that help drive website traffic, convert traffic into leads, develop link building, and foster long-term results. In this blog, we’re looking at some go-to B2B blog format ideas you should consider when developing a content strategy.
💭 Thought Leadership Blogs
Thought leadership blogs introduce a concept, philosophy, or methodology that changes how organizations in your industry operate. These types of blogs establish a brand as an industry innovator and valuable source of insight. B2B brands that introduce new concepts and strategies stand out among the crowd, but it isn’t easy to continuously develop new and insightful topics. Research by Edelman and LinkedIn reveals out of 1,200 respondents, 58% read one or more hours of thought leadership per week, and 55% use thought leadership to vet organizations they may hire.
Just as in marketing, the key to success in thought leadership is to embrace new tools and techniques, invest in research, and be willing to share your knowledge with your prospects in the space.
📖 Case Study Blogs
Have a unique client success story? Leverage those types of engagements to paint a picture from challenge to success that your clients could easily relate to. By describing how you help similar businesses achieve their goals, new prospects have an easier time picturing themselves in the same situation, working with you on a solution, and enjoying the successful results. If you convince others of the potential your product or service has to change their lives, the more likely they’ll be to pick up the phone, schedule a demo, or sign a contract.
Good case study blog posts take the reader on an educational journey, describing an end-to-end process rather than just showing successful project results. Check out some examples of successful B2B case studies.
🔎 Research-Backed Blogs
B2B professionals love data and informed insights they can use to drive philosophy or process. Research shows that 85% of organizations globally experienced more timely and personalized customer communications due to improving their data quality. If you can take data and turn it into insights that can help B2B professionals achieve more success, that’s the kind of piece that gets bookmarked and even circulated companywide. Data-driven, research-backed blog posts have been a core element of B2B marketing efforts for years and are still as effective as ever.
📝 Instructional and How-to Blogs
Instructional and how-to blogs describe the steps of a given process to achieve the desired result. B2B professionals use Google, YouTube, Twitter, and other platforms to seek directions for accomplishing all sorts of tasks, so it makes perfect sense to create blogs that answer the questions they ask the most with clear, step-by-step instructions. Some instructional blogs offer a direct, numbered format, while others may be written in essay form with specific insights dispersed throughout. Either style is OK and can help develop your brand as a trusted source of industry knowledge, as long as you deliver on the promised purpose of the blog.
💼 Company Update Blogs
Whether you just launched a new product or service, partnered with a new client, received a new certification, or any other news, company update blogs are a great way to share what’s going on internally and externally while building a sense of culture around your brand. Company updates make great B2B content by making your audience feel included in the goings-on at your business and demonstrating progress.
Keep in mind that while company updates are beneficial and important, they should not be the main content pieces you lean on to drive leads. Unless your update shakes an entire industry to the core, you’re unlikely to get significant shares and linkbacks. Save these posts to consolidate news on a quarterly basis or similar, and use them as a tool to nurture existing relationships.
✍ Start Writing Your B2B Blog
There are endless blog formats out there to choose from and room for creativity, but the handful found here make up the bread and butter of B2B content marketing. Whenever you find yourself stuck, start by creating a list of topics around industry trends and related keyword phrases with a high search volume but low competition, and see how you can best fill that gap with a fresh new blog.
If you’re still struggling to get going and gain traction, that’s ok! Sagefrog helps B2B businesses develop informative, enticing, and compelling blogs that drive leads and engagement for our clients every day. Get in touch to see how we can help.