Your company blog is the prime place to showcase your thought leadership. While it may not have the flair that great ads or well-designed websites do, thought leadership is critical to your marketing strategy.
Though blog posts may not be considered to carry as much weight as other pieces of content like white papers or case studies — possibly because of the lowly origins of blogs — it’s a big mistake to overlook this critical piece of content. According to HubSpot, B2B companies that have active blogs typically generate 67% more leads per month than those that do not.
Blogs are powerful pieces that should:
- Above all else, be sincere, authentic, and engaging — this is not the place for sales language
- Showcase strong, true thought leadership by offering insights and opinions that aren’t simply a regurgitation or book report of commonly known industry information
- Be highly optimized for SEO, bringing the audience “home” to a company’s website
- Ideally be linked to and from multiple places within the company’s website to engage the audience, keep them on the site longer, and move them to other content pieces
Think of your blog posts as digital breadcrumbs that are highly discoverable in the great digital beyond, attracting the attention of your audience and showing thought leadership, organically leading them back to you and your company. Here’s how:
- Know your audience. It’s Marketing 101, really, but there are a shocking number of B2B blogs that create posts about topics their audiences are simply not interested in hearing about. Even if the posts are extraordinarily well-written, engaging, discoverable, and drive traffic to your website, if the wrong audience is reading them, the whole point is moot. You need to know your audience, your ideal client, and write the content that they need most — the content that will inspire them to want to work with you.
- Engage your audience. Blog posts are strongest in the awareness stage of your customer’s journey, but also play a part in the consideration stage as well. This is where your audience comes to be convinced that your SMEs have the answers they need and the solutions they crave. This is not the place to pitch your product or your company overtly. This is the place for authenticity — to have a sincere conversation with your audience. People want to do business with people — and especially with people who are experts. Be that expert.
- Show, don’t tell. This golden rule is most often applied to fiction writing, but it’s very appropriate for thought leadership blog posts, as well. Don’t just tell your readers how great you or your product are. Show them by giving them the information that proves your expertise. There is a time for “telling” language. And that’s in ads, emails, landing pages, promotional materials, and more — and it’s absolutely critical to include those in your marketing strategy. But you’ve got to know your content type and treat each one differently. Blog posts are for showing, not telling.
- Optimize your posts. There’s a lot of digital noise out there, and you need your audience to find their way to you. Use critical keywords in your post, but stay away from shoehorning them in simply to capitalize on SEO. While you use keywords to help your audience find you, your focus must stay on providing true value. A strong strategy for keyword use in blogs is to use them to help inspire content topics themselves, so the content has high value while also organically using those words to help lead your audience to your blog.
Blog posts play a big role in the content web, helping move your customer around the different stages of their journey. Your company’s blog is the homing beacon of a content strategy. You can drive eyes to it from your social channels, share posts by SMEs with links promoting their webinars or speaking events, offer downloadable white papers, and more. And since a blog post lives on an owned channel — your company’s website — you can have far more control, flexibility, and confidence that the channel won’t change, unlike platforms like social media or a paid or earned media publication.
An active, optimized, high-value company blog will make it easy for your audience to find you, see your value — and be excited to work with you.