Blog posts are a popular tactic with B2B marketers and buyers. It’s no surprise that blog posts keep appearing as a top choice in our annual Content Preferences Survey Report.
In our latest report, 24% of respondents said blog posts are the most valuable type of content, and 60% said blog posts are most valuable in the early stages of their buying process. The report also found that buyers like the blog format because they don’t have lots of time to devote to reading and research, so they prefer shorter content formats.
Readers like blogs. But what happens when readers aren’t connecting with your blog? If you’re struggling to attract readers, or if you aren’t reaching a specific audience you’re trying to target, it’s time to reassess your strategy. Use these five steps to begin crafting a plan that drives more readers to your blog.
Know who you’re writing for.
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But this is often the most difficult step when you’re trying to drive readers to your content. Who is your blog speaking to? Are you trying to drive C-suite executives to your blog, or are you more focused on lower-level employees? What industry or industries are they in? How do they read content related to their jobs? You need the answers to these questions so your content consistently speaks to your target audience. Otherwise, you can create a confusing experience for your readers.
Know what readers care about.
B2B blog content can’t be all about you. It needs to serve your audience. This means looking at what your audience cares about today and what they’re thinking about for tomorrow, not the latest product or service you’re trying to sell. What are their pain points? What trends are catching their interest? How does a recent news story apply to their job or industry?
There may be differences within your target audience. For example, C-suite executives may want to read broader thought leadership content while lower-level employees may want content that helps them improve their day-to-day work.
If you present the same blog post to each audience without accounting for those differences, you won’t have as big of an impact as having a post that speaks to what that audience segment specifically cares about.
Write something readable. (Seriously.)
We can all appreciate great literature and the great writers who created that literature. But your B2B blog is not the place to imitate James Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness approach to writing. If you use language your audience doesn’t understand, or if you write in a way your audience doesn’t like, they’ll leave right away – and they won’t come back.
A former teacher of mine regularly told his classes that when it comes to writing, “It’s not deep-fried, golden chicken. It’s just chicken.” Readers just don’t have time to decipher what you’re trying to say. Write clearly, use the language your audience uses, and make the points you’ve set out to make.
Get in the SEO habit.
A strong SEO approach and strong content go hand in hand. You can have the best content in the world, but it doesn’t mean anything if your audience can’t find it. You should at least be using basic SEO tactics to get your blog content ready for search engines.
Use keywords with a high search volume, and strategically place keywords throughout the post. You could also go deeper in your SEO strategy by researching keywords your audience uses at the stage of the buying process that aligns with the content of your post. However you decide to tackle SEO, get in the habit of choosing and optimizing for keywords that your audience searches for online.
Share what you write.
You’ve published a great blog post. Now it’s time to make sure your audience knows the post is ready and available to read – and you have lots of options to do that. Share the post on your personal and company social media pages, and encourage colleagues to share your posts. Share it in the watering holes your audience often visits on the web. Include the post in email campaigns. The more ways you get the word out, the likelier your audience will be able to find it.
If you’re having trouble getting readers to your blog, you need to reassess your strategy. These fives steps will help you generate an action plan that not only drives more readers to your blog, but helps your readers keep coming back for more.