A recent report published by Hubspot reveals that more than half of marketers identify ‘blog content creation’ as one of the most important tools to use when coming up with a high quality inbound marketing strategy. 53% of those asked in the newly-published ‘State of Inbound’ survey rank it either as the top thing they can do to attract their desired audience or a pretty close second.
The benefits of producing and promoting high quality blog posts are pretty clear – putting well-researched and well-written content out there that’s relevant and interesting demonstrates expertise and, if done right, thought leadership. And, of course, there are the many SEO-based advantages of featuring smartly-produced blog content on your website.
But what exactly makes a good blog post? The internet is full of guides and pointers, some are useful, others are less so. Let’s consider the top B2B blogging tips and tactics currently being suggested online. How effective are they? The good folk over at Orbit Media Studios in Chicago have collated some fascinating data that nicely illustrates the state of play at the current time and which top tips actually produce results.
Let’s have a quick look at them…
We’ll start with some fundamental principles that almost all marketers agree need to be woven into your B2B blogging strategy:
- Make sure your content is relevant to your business and audience
- Know your subject and speak with authority
- Make sure you’re teaching people something
- Have a consistent voice, tone and style
- Put some real thought into your calls to action
Now let’s move onto some recent trend-based advice that the latest research indicates yields some pretty significant results…
B2B blogging tips #1. ‘Spend more time on your blog content.’
In 2016, half of all business bloggers spent less than two hours creating a post. In 2017, that figure is down to a third. People are spending more man hours writing and promoting their blogs now. The amount of bloggers spending 6 or more hours per post has doubled and the average blog post now takes a full 3 hours and 15 minutes to write.
The results? Orbit asked 1,055 bloggers to rate how effective they thought their blogs were for them. More than a third rated posts that took longer than 6 hours to produce as giving them ‘strong results’. While just 23% of people who spent under 6 hours reported the same. It seems that the extra time pays off.
B2B blogging tips #2. ‘Make your blog posts longer.’
Blog posts are getting longer. 19% longer than this time last year, in fact. In 2014, the average business blog post was 808 words long. A year later it was 887 words long. In 2016? 1,054 words. And this years it’s set to rise again. The number of new blog posts being produced that are under 500 words is now half of what it was two years ago. 2000+ word posts have doubled in number too. The trend now is very much for longer, wordier posts.
The results? Length isn’t necessarily linked with quality. It’s better to produce an interesting short post than a waffling long one. But bloggers that write longer pieces are seeing better results. The meatier the post, the higher the percentage of ‘strong results’ were reported.
B2B blogging tips #3. ‘Include as much relevant visual content as you can’
Be it images, infographics or videos, use of eye-catching visual content is on the rise of late. And it seems to be well worth the extra effort. Half of bloggers use lists now, 15% feature videos regularly and almost all use some kind of photo or graphic.
The results? A quarter of bloggers using an average of one image per post report ‘strong results’. That number rises for those using more. The inclusion of videos seems to work too, with nearly half of bloggers embedding videos claiming to see strong results from their work.
B2B blogging tips #4. ‘Pay more attention to your analytics.’
You’ve created your blog post and promoted it. How do you know if it was worth the effort? Well, with analytics, of course. But not everyone actually checks them. 70% of business bloggers do and the number of people who ‘always check’ has gone up recently (an increase of 18% in 3 years), but that figure isn’t as high as perhaps it should be…
The results? There is a direct and obvious correlation here. Bloggers that check their analytics see far better results from their posts. More than a third of those asked that ‘always’ check analytics report strong results. Whereas it’s only just over 10% of those that never look at analytics report strong results. Mind you, how would they even know?!
So those are the main B2B blogging tips that really seem to be worth paying attention to. The ROI is there, it’s just a case of working out a plan and schedule that suits you. If you enjoy blogging and you have a knack for it – do your due diligence and get publishing. If you’re not a natural scribe but understand the need – maybe hire a professional.
Whatever you do as a business, blog. Regularly and with enthusiasm. Do it effectively and before you know it you’ll be able to sit back watch the leads fly your way!