Blog by Kimberly Moss, Group Head of Marketing, Servest
Though blogging has been an important part of B2B and B2C marketing for a number of years now, recently, it’s really come into its own. Thanks to changes in Google’s algorithms, the rise of social media and the evolving way businesses communicate, blogging is having a real impact on marketing, communication and company strategy.
If you’re planning on blogging, it’s important you take the time to plan your approach and find the right angle for you and your business. If you follow a few simple blogging best practices, pretty much all of the content you upload will be beneficial for search engine optimisation (SEO). However, with more and more people becoming content curators, people are harder to please and you’ll need to provide high quality content if you’re going to make your blogs really stand out from the crowd.
Becoming a thought leader
Thought leadership is a quickly growing aspect of blogging and marketing. As a leader in our field, it’s something we take very seriously here at Servest and I believe this comes across in the blogs we produce. If you plan to grow your company reputation, attract new customers and become the go-to resource in your industry, focussing on becoming a thought leader could help your business to achieve its goals as well as raise your profile.
Blogging is a great way to showcase your credentials and work towards becoming a thought leader in your industry. If this is your goal, make sure all of the content you post on your blog is well researched, well written and informative. If you can offer your readers something truly interesting and insightful, they’ll be much more likely to turn to you when they need information about your industry and will see your company as trustworthy and reliable. In fact, B2B marketers have found blogging to be significantly more time and cost-effective than traditional lead generation methods according to HubSpot.
Get people sharing
If your content is good enough, readers will share it to their social media profiles or include links to it in their own blogs. This will help you to raise brand awareness even further and is also something that can significantly help to improve your search rankings.
To encourage users to share your content, post links to it on your social media profile. Including hyperlinks to other relevant blogs in your content can also help to increase the chances businesses will link to your blogs, boosting your SEO even further. As more people share your content, businesses are more likely to see your company as a leader in its field. You may well find you quickly earn a reputation for expertise, innovation and communication within your industry.
Though I know that creating, managing and writing a blog can seem like a lot of work, it’s important to remember that B2B blogging really does work. In fact, research has shown that blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. This highlights just how important B2B blogging is, especially for companies keen to grow their market share and their reputation.
With more and more B2B communication going digital, blogging is an essential part of your company communications. If you’re thinking of writing a blog for the first time, here are some great tips to help you get started.
Define your audience
Think about exactly who you’re talking to. Consider their interests and the information that will be most relevant to them. Do your target audience already have a knowledge of the topics you’re discussing or do you need to explain industry terminology and specific concepts? Do you want your readers to take action after reading your post or do you simply want to inform them and build trust with your customer base? The more you think about these things, the easier it will be for you to create a well targeted blog.
Research a topic
If you want your blog to be shared on social media and to be useful to your readers, you need to ensure it has been properly researched. Use your own expertise when writing your blog and if you need any additional research, make sure you use reliable sources. Ultimately, think about what problem you are trying to solve for your audience and then solve it for them. By doing keyword research, you can identify which problems your audience are already searching for on a frequent basis.
An eye-catching title
The title of your blog will have a big impact on the number of people who decide to read it. You need to ensure it’s interesting, enticing and catchy. Try to keep your title to a single line – or shorter if possible (Google prefers 65 characters or less), use short words and try to avoid technical jargon unless absolutely necessary.
To make your blog readable and easily digestible, keep your sentences and paragraphs short, avoid big blocks of text and use a font that’s big enough to read quickly and easily. Too much text can quickly put readers off, so keep it short, sweet and to the point. Many of your readers will be using their mobile devices to view the blog – so don’t forget to consider formatting and optimisation for mobile devices.
It really is true: A picture is worth 1,000 words. Images help to break up the text and make your post more eye-catching and memorable. They can also be used to illustrate your post and help you to get your message across. If you’re struggling to find the right image to accompany your text, try using a royalty free image site and take advantage of the professional stock photos that are free to use.
Your blog offers a fantastic opportunity for link building. By inserting links to authoritative sites throughout your posts, you can add value to your audiences’ experience and potentially earn reciprocal links. The sites you link to should be relevant to your topic but should not be competitors to your business. You can also include Twitter handles and quotes within your blog to further help your networking efforts.
Optimising for search engines
In order to make it as easy as possible for search engines to find your content, the keyword or phrase you’ve identified needs to be naturally integrated into your content, title, meta descriptions and image alt tags. Shoving your keyword into your content as many times as possible will just look spammy and will have a negative impact on your readers’ experience.
Inbound links to your blog can also help to improve the ranking of your blog in search engines and improve your overall SEO strategy. The first place you should start is your social media channels. They’re a great place to generate interest, engagement and traffic to your blog.
Call to action
It’s always a good idea to finish your blog with a call to action. What do you want them to do next? Encourage readers to take a look around your site, ask them to get in touch or include a link to relevant products or services they might be interested in. It’s all about adding value to your users’ experience.
On that note, why not explore the website to find out more about how Servest can help your business.
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