A blog can be a powerful part of a traffic- and lead-generation strategy, but only if it’s used effectively. This can be a particular challenge for B2B companies, who often struggle with content that is both relevant to a wider audience as well as valuable to their leads. If you’ve struggled to get visitors to your blog, or aren’t sure how to build a B2B blog that drives leads, here are some tips.
How to Build a B2B Blog That Drives Leads
Are B2B Blogs Effective?
According to a study by Backlinko, about 72% of B2B companies have a blog. These blogs, on average, receive about 282 organic search visits each month. Search Engine Journal found that about 55% of general business blogs receive less than 500 visits a month, so the B2B average is lower than the overall blog average.
Low traffic is not automatically a problem—B2B blogs are more likely to be relevant to a smaller audience, so it makes sense that the average traffic would be lower. If your blog is reaching your audience and generating leads, then it’s still effective. However, digging deeper into these numbers shows a huge variance in blog performance. The top 10% of B2B blogs in the study averaged 22,000 organic visits a month, while the bottom 10% get none. Again, though traffic is not always the most important metric, this does indicate a notable difference in content and strategy.
While thousands of visits a month is not necessary to reach your intended audience, every blog needs some traffic to drive leads. So how can you build a B2B blog that drives leads? Let’s take a look.
Can a B2B Blogging Strategy Actually Work?
Many B2B companies assume that their products are too narrowly-targeted to be effective in blogging. However, a targeted B2B blogging strategy can improve traffic and drives leads.
After applying a content marketing strategy and a targeted B2B blogging strategy, this client, targeting small and mid-sized retailers, saw average traffic to their blog triple in less than a year. With carefully-placed CTAs and a lead-nurturing strategy, they’ve been able to leverage this traffic into leads, while also improving the overall Google Rank of their site.
This equipment manufacturing client, targeting mid-sized and large food manufacturers, also saw their blog traffic rising steadily throughout the year after applying a targeted B2B blogging strategy. Their traffic tripled in this time frame, bringing in new leads and significantly improving rankings and traffic to their product and contact pages.
This logistics software supplier, targeting large and mid-sized manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors, also saw impressive improvements in their blog traffic after applying insights gleaned from a content audit. Though their blog contained a wide range of helpful information for logistics experts, it wasn’t organized in a way that was easy to find organically. By reorganizing their content and optimizing for search engines, their content delivered more value.
These are just a few examples of the results of a targeted B2B blogging strategy. When you know how to build a B2B blog that drives leads, your blog and your website can become a powerful part of your overall online marketing strategy.
What do you want your B2B blog to accomplish?
This is an important first step in building a B2B blog that drives leads, traffic, or accomplishes another goal. It’s helpful to be specific here. A goal like “get more leads” is difficult to measure, and therefore hard to strategize around. A goal like “produce two blog posts per week” is measurable, but isn’t connected to a business metric, and probably won’t improve your B2B blog post content.
Ask yourself what you want from your B2B blog, or how it can fit into an existing goal. Consider the following potential goals for your blog:
- Improve lead magnet downloads by 20% this quarter
- Increase organic traffic by 50% this year
- Engage 20% more marketing-qualified leads this quarter
- Generate 10% more sales-qualified leads this quarter
Keep in mind that you’ll need a way to accurately track these goals. Connecting tools like Google Analytics or using tracking features on your CRM system will help you monitor your progress and assess success.
Whatever goals you’ve selected for your B2B blog, you’ll need to provide value in order to reach them. You’ll need a content marketing strategy that helps you create content that will interest your audience, while also making your content easy for your audience to find.
First, decide who your audience is. Create a buyer persona that describes important elements of this person, such as their job title, their main obstacles or concerns, and how they’re likely to find your content.
Second, consider questions or concerns this person might have in relation to your product or service. Talk to your sales and marketing teams to get a list of questions they often hear from customers. This will help you choose your B2B blog post content topics.
Third, create your content to answer your target market’s questions or concerns. You might demonstrate how our product works with a video to accompany your blog post, or make a list of how your service can save your clients time and energy. Get creative, and do some keyword research and content optimization to maximize your B2B blog posts’s organic reach. Showcase your new content on your social media channels, especially those that your target audience is most likely to use.
Take the Next Step
To build a B2B blog that drives leads, you need to make it clear what the next step is. 23% of B2B blogs don’t have a call-to-action (CTA), which inspires a visitor to take the next step. Other B2B blogs use CTAs with unclear value, like “subscribe to our newsletter” or “see related posts.” While this can help a visitor stay on your site and browse more content, it doesn’t tell you much about their potential as a lead.
Assuming that this visitor is interested in your products or services, and they are a member of your target market, what is the next step they would be likely to take? They’ve just visited your site, so it’s probably too early to make a purchase or to contact a salesperson directly. However, they might be looking for more information. They may be likely to download a demo video, a brochure, sign up for a webinar, or engage with other middle-of-the-sales-funnel types of content.
Use relevant CTAs strategically in your blog post text, in the sidebar, in a pop-up, at the end of your blog post, or in multiple locations. Send users to a relevant landing page where they can download your lead magnet. When the visitor downloads this content, you can connect the download form to your CRM system and track them as a lead.
Use these steps to build a B2B blog that drives leads, and put your blog to work. Remember, you can’t make something from nothing, and you’ll need to allocate time and resources to make your blog successful. With the right focus, research and planning, you can make your B2B blog into a powerful lead-generating tool.