Blogs are a staple of content marketing, and with good reason. They can be developed quickly to address trending topics. They can be used to summarize longer form content and pique reader interest in the “big rock” asset—a recommendation from the 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report published by Demand Gen Report. Since blogs require minimal design, they can be updated quickly. And they can be easily shared on social media sites like LinkedIn.
With a year of blog posts behind you, you may be feeling a bit stale and out of ideas to make your blogs more exciting. I happened across a blog post on WordStream, “26 Brilliant Ways to Use Psychology in Your Copywriting (With Examples),” that made me excited about writing blogs in 2022. In her post, Kristen McCormick cites a list of ways to spice up your blogs. I want to share six of my favorite ideas from her list with my own suggestions of how you can use them in your B2B content marketing activities.
McCormick’s first blog type is the Q&A. In our content marketing work with clients, Content4Demand consistently sees Q&A assets performing well with B2B buyers. Why not bring this same appeal to your blogs?
These can be used at any stage of the buyer’s journey. In the early stages, you can use questions and answers to help educate around a topic that your buyers may just beginning to explore. Let’s say your consulting service offers IT outsourcing. You could write a blog that covers “The 5 Most Common Questions About IT Outsourcing.” In it, you can address questions like when a business should consider outsourcing or how to determine which areas of IT to outsource.
Join the A List
Everyone seems to love lists. Like Q&As, they almost always perform well. One reason is that you can give lists titles with numbers—and that will attract attention. A list usually indicates you’re going to get some practical tips or learn some important facts—fast.
A list-based blog might give “5 Ways the Hybrid Workplace Will Change How We Work” or “4 Things You Didn’t Know About Cybersecurity.” When we create interactive listicles at Content4Demand, we include links to other resources with every list item to help buyers start moving down the funnel and evaluating solutions. Your blogs can do the same by providing links with each item.
“Wow, I Didn’t Know That!”
On McCormick’s list are “eye-opening stats” blogs. Here’s where I would marry my blog post with an infographic. Primary research that takes a unique perspective on a topic typically produces some “wow” findings, which is why I love to do marketing surveys with clients. An infographic is a typical early-stage asset designed to point buyers to the complete research report.
There are a couple of ways to incorporate this idea into a blog. One way is to simply write a blog post that includes the most compelling facts, and build the graphs, charts and callouts right into the post. A way that can give your content broader reach is to create an infographic that can stand on its own and be inserted into a blog. This latter approach can also allow you to be extra creative with design.
Introduce Your Experts
Influencers lend credibility to your content. The Content Preferences Survey found that today’s B2B buyers look for trustworthiness in their content sources more than ever, and 40% said they look for credible content from industry influencers. Influencers don’t have to be YouTube celebrities in the B2B marketing world. They can include internal experts, industry analysts, partners, customers and journalists—to name just some possibilities.
Having guest posts on your blog is a great way to use the power of influencers to help you get your message out. Influencers are generally happy to contribute as it also helps them build their own credibility and following.
Share Your Success
Especially when you need testimonials for that last nudge to purchase, case studies provide “references” for your buyers to see how other businesses like theirs implemented your products or services successfully. An in-depth case study helps make a strong business case, but you can use a shorter blog post to highlight your customer’s success story and point your buyer to the full case study.
We All Make Mistakes
Buyers like to see the human side of the people with whom they do business—if they also trust in their expertise. I’ve been working with several clients lately on longer “lessons learned” content that have been extremely successful. Why not transfer this same principle to a blog post? “Mistakes to avoid” posts are very popular and attract plenty of readers eager to learn from their peers.
For software buyers, you might do a post like “6 Things Not to Do When Implementing a New ERP System” or “Supporting a Remote Workforce: Lessons Learned from the Experts.”
There are even more blog types I’m sure you can come up with on your own, but I hope these sparked some creative ideas for you.
If time or resources are tight, or you want to ratchet up your blog cadence, contact Content4Demand to find out how we can help.
Brenda Caine is VP of Content Strategy at Content4Demand. She works with B2B clients on content marketing strategy, personas, messaging and ideation; content audits, gap analysis and content mapping; blogs; content development and more. Brenda has a black belt in karate, and when she’s not immersed in technology, you can find her dancing in the ballet studio, lifting weights at the gym or strolling down the avenue in a 1930s dress with a smart hat to match.