It’s almost impossible to stand out against competitors if you lack a compelling blog that speaks directly to your audience’s challenges. So how can you ensure your blog strategy is successful?
Why Prioritise Your Blog Content Strategy?
If you want to increase your search authority, nurture visitors and leads - and establish your expertise - a healthy blog is an inbound tool that will attract and engage your audience. According to HubSpot’s State Of Inbound report, 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. B2B businesses are also likely to invest more time in blogging than B2C organisations; with a slower sales cycle, blog content plays a more active nurture role in the B2B buying journey.
The fundamental purpose of a blog should be to address your audience’s pain points; by doing so, your blog should drive traffic to your site, help to drive conversions, and play a key role in your SEO, establishing your brand as an industry authority. However, producing a stream of engaging, relevant and resonant content can be a challenge for B2B content creators. So how can you ensure that your blog achieves these objectives, provide value to your audience and support your marketing goals?
Considerations To Inform Your Blog Content Strategy
1. Know Your Audience
All of your marketing efforts should be informed by data-backed buyer persona research - and blog creation is no different. Remember that your blog will be read by real human beings - your ideal buyers and current customers. So think about the challenges they face and focus on how you can advise and help to solve those pain points, rather than focussing content on your product and business specifically. Keep your audience and their interests top-of-mind at all times to ensure that your content stays relevant to their challenges and uses the right tone of voice.
Of course, not all of your focus topics will appeal to your entire persona audience. If you have two (or more) business or product areas that attract very different persona types, you may want to create two separate blog sites to avoid confusing your readers.
When considering your strategy, above all, work to understand the nuance and language your audience uses, as well as their preferred content formats (blog articles, videos etc) to guide your content planning process. Putting your personas at the centre of your strategy is crucial to creating content that resonates!
2. Define Your Core Content Topics
If you’re considering pillar pages as part of your content strategy, your topic clusters and pillar mapping will also inform the direction of your blog strategy. How so? Because a pillar page (which discusses a topic more broadly) should be supported by a range of topic-relevant blog articles, that dig deeper into the pillar sub-topics. So, any particular pillar page may have 4+ supporting (linked to) blog articles.
Keep in mind that topic relevancy is important here; content that doesn’t align with your core topics could be damaging your SEO rank. So if the existing content on your blog falls far outside of the core topics you’re trying to rank for, it may be worth reviewing or removing it - as search algorithms will deem it less relevant!
Where Do I Start With Content Topics?
Conducting keyword research around your core topics is a good starting point to determine if your pillar page is viable and will achieve results. Doing so will also help you to generate content ideas - by highlighting questions and terms that your audience are searching for. Some of these questions might translate directly into blog titles!
Considering intent data can also help you understand the types of content that your audience is actively consuming across the web; you can identify trending keywords that are relevant to your area of expertise - and then run a campaign to your audience with the most relevant message at the right time. For example, if you can identify that your audience or a particular target account are currently searching for a certain early-stage topic that you haven’t yet discussed on your blog - you might want to move this to the top of your content calendar!
3. Think Practically: Develop A Content Calendar
69% of companies use an editorial calendar for blog posts - and for good reason. Developing a content calendar can help you streamline your content production process and ensure that your blog content fits with your overall content strategy (such as your topic clusters), giving you an overview of your blog content strategy. Keeping track of your current and future titles will make weekly blog writing a much easier process - and means that you can focus your efforts on producing high-quality articles each week.
You should also plan out the type of content that you’re going to produce. Longer blog content tends to perform better from an SEO perspective and can help provide more detail for your audience, with word counts increasing over the last couple of years. Did you know that the average word count of a top-ranked post in Google is now between 1,140-1,285 words?
Remember that not all posts have to be text-heavy; you can include infographics and video content on your blog too. Video content can help add a personal touch to your blog posts or provide a short introduction.
4. Focus On The Buyer’s Journey
Typically, the majority of content on your blog should be awareness-focused. However, your blog is also a good place to include consideration-stage content such as case studies, FAQs and other company-specific updates that your audience may be interested in; don’t forget that your blog should also act as a source of information for your existing customers, so some occasional solution-specific content can be included.
Although you’ll be focusing on awareness stage content, you should use CTAs on your blog to enable your readers to delve further, and nurture them through the buyer’s journey. For example, you can promote an eBook or guide as further information, and encourage visitors to convert on your content.
5. Ensure You’re Producing Blogs Regularly
Consistency and regularity of quality content are key to drive an effective content strategy that delivers results. Inconsistency can confuse your subscribers; if you go quiet for too long users may start looking elsewhere for information - and search engines may not see you as being the most authoritative source on a given topic.
Because of this, it’s wise to consider how you can resource your content production; whether you have the ability to create content in house, or you may need to outsource. Ideally, you should aim to produce at least one blog a week. While you can repurpose and even merge some of your existing posts to make them more current (which is less time-consuming than starting a post from scratch), you’ll want to add fresh titles, and unique content too, to demonstrate to your audience that you’re ahead of developing trends.
Remember, blogging consistently is an important factor when it comes to your long-term organic traffic goals - creating “evergreen” blog posts (that stay relevant year after year with little or no optimisation) will drive longer-term traffic and help to build your search authority.
Hone Your Strategy To Maximise The Value Of Your Blog
Before you start publishing content, ensure that you have a well-considered content strategy to deliver on your audience’s expectations and keep your blog content fresh, relevant and thought-provoking for your readers.
Essentially, ensuring that your personas and their preferences are considered throughout your content strategy development will boost your marketing efforts as a whole; an engaged audience will mean more traffic to your blog, greater search authority, a higher level of engagement on social media and more.