A blog is the linchpin of an effective inbound marketing strategy. Everyone knows the basics—write something relevant, maintain search engine optimizations and use it to attract sales-qualified leads.
But the devil is always in the details. If you’re not diligently maintaining and cultivating your blog, it can become ineffective or, worse, counter-productive. Here are six warning signs to help you recognize whether your B2B blog needs improvement.
1. You’re not posting consistently
The first rule of having a B2B blog—or any blog, for that matter—is publishing good content on a regular basis. Good B2B inbound content should be informative. It’s important to consistently address the issues visitors to your blog care about, thus positioning your blog’s author as a thought leader and educator.
But don’t forget about maintaining consistent output, as well. It’s every bit as important to post on a regular schedule so that return visitors have a reason to come back and new ones are greeted with something current.
2. You’re playing by the old SEO rules
Search engine optimization has become more complex and involved than ever before. If your blog is focusing solely on integrating keywords into posts, you’re not seeing the whole picture.
SEO takes into account many things, and it has huge ramifications for B2B blogs because of how essential search is in the lead-generating process. Rising up search rankings requires using social media to generate more engagement, linking to high-quality sources in your posts and using good design to keep visitors from leaving too soon.
3. You’re not tying articles to specific CTAs
The end goal is to bring in visitors, identify the qualified leads among them and shepherd them to becoming customers. But if you’re not optimizing your blog posts for converting people, you’re wasting time.
Keep your ideal prospects in mind through detailed and regularly-updated buyer personas. Then use those to create effective, targeted and varied calls-to-action in your blog posts. Don’t just tailor the subject matter to your ideal prospects, but also the form that the CTAs take, where they come in the blog post and how you highlight them.
4. You’re not focusing on what prospects want
This failure can come in two forms—not focusing on the benefits your company provides and focusing too much on minutiae irrelevant to your prospects.
There’s a common thread between both, which is that you’re not writing customer-centric content in your B2B blog. Use your buyer personas to cover timely topics for all of the decision-makers you’re trying to reach.
Further, focusing on benefits doesn’t mean constantly blogging about what you’re selling. It’s more about elaborating on the applications of your company’s work, with a keen eye for highlighting how those applications have helped other businesses.
5. You’re not visual enough
Keep your blog content varied. As informative as wordy, elaborate posts can be, not everyone wants to pore over a handful of 1,000-word articles each week. Mix it up with supplementary or standalone videos and integrate as much imagery as needed to break up the parade of paragraphs. One of the best visual tools—infographics—can also add credibility and authority to your posts.
6. You’re working with an outdated plan
Most of all, it’s imperative to remember that no content strategy is permanent. Trends change and methods evolve, thus necessitating regular updates to your strategy.
Don’t stick with a plan that isn’t being informed by data and direct feedback. Use analytical tools to measure which offers, topics and formats are resonating with prospects. Actively seek out feedback from visitors as well, and use that to create more focused content calendars for the months ahead. And stay relevant and timely so that your blog will be visible in search results and useful for anyone who finds you.