According to recent research by Orbit Media Studios, a staggering 7.5 million blog posts get published every day. So how can technology marketing teams make sure their blogs stand out? The keys include targeting the right audiences and finding a way to cut through the fog of all the other marketing copy created by the technology sector.
In short, how do you get and retain the attention of CIOs, IT directors, and others who make the buying decisions for the technologies their companies purchase?
Start by Identifying Customer Pain Points
A good place to start is your sales team. What are the pain points they’re hearing from your current customer base? These are the messages to work into your blog headlines and opening paragraphs.
Taking this approach sets you up to talk to your audience through their perspective. It also shows you understand and empathize with what they’re going through. Try to connect the pain points and challenges to real-life scenarios. Talking about them within the context of a story will help keep the attention of your readers.
Leverage SMEs to Uncover Solutions
Next, get some time with your subject-matter-experts. Yes, this is a challenge in itself, but you probably need only about 15 minutes for each blog. Perhaps pick their brain while they’re driving!
Your SMEs can tell you what the answers are to the challenges the sales team has identified. SMEs also likely know if there have been any recent developments in your industry that change the way your audience can solve their issues. Also see if they can point you to any potential third-party research that might reinforce either the pain points or the solution.
If possible, ask your SMEs to draft the blogs so that they are authored by someone with technical credibility. This is even more difficult than getting their time on the phone, so you might want to ghostwrite the blog for them, and then ask them to review to make sure it’s on target.
As you blog about the ways your audience can solve their challenges, avoid talking about your product or service, or if you do, leave it until the very end of the blog. Think of your blogs as mini white papers that give readers valuable information—regardless of whether or not they do business with you.
By setting yourself up as a neutral expert, they will realize you know what you’re talking about. And by not pushing your solution at them, they will be more likely to contact you, realizing they could use the help of experts like you.
Also work in SEO keywords based on the terms your target audience uses when searching for solutions to the pain or challenge you are writing about. And keep your blog short. 500 words or less is ideal. If you find yourself going beyond 750 words, you probably have material you can save for a second blog and another opportunity to reach your audience.
B2B Blog Content Advice from an IT Industry Expert
During a recent Zoom interview, we talked to Scott Campbell about creating blogs that stand out. He’s an editor-at-large for CompTIA, the organization that advances IT industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy.
“We adjust our content to match any events we host and the news that’s going on within the IT industry,” says Campbell. “We also look for topics that our audiences care about, and we provide insights on how to take on their challenges. We want to help them grow their businesses, improve IT efficiencies, and find ways to protect their businesses from cyberattacks.”
The CompTIA audience is broad, spanning IT resources at SMBs to large enterprises across the globe. But many blogs target specific groups such as corporate members, business leaders, and senior IT pros. Other niche audiences include tech vendors, solution providers, MSPs, distributors, educators, and consultants.
“When writing for a specific audience, we write to what they specialize in, such as a vertical market or a specific geography,” Campbell points out. “This creates context that resonates with the audience and helps us identify with their challenges.”
Blog Strategies to Attract Readers
As to developing a blog strategy that attracts readers, Campbell recommends using titles that offer tips or opinions on the “Top X” solutions, trends, or myths in a particular technology category. (e.g., 9 Tips for Choosing the Right ERP Solution or The 5 Hottest Technologies for 2021).
Another type of blog that’s helpful is one that starts with “What Is…” to help readers understand a technical concept. Readers also tend to tune into blogs on the latest technology trends. “When providing rankings or top choices, be sure to provide your criteria,” Campbell recommends. “This helps give validity to your findings.”
And to rank high in the Google SEO algorithm, Campbell says it’s important to stay away from templates and always use unique content in addition to telling the right story and using the right keywords.
“If you reuse content, Google may realize it and downgrade the search engine rating of your site,” Campbell warns. “It’s better to take something you have already written and advance the story by building on top of it so you have unique content.”
Emulate Leaders to Get Near the Top
To see an example of a B2B website that ranks high in Google searches, check out the HubSpot blog section. You can also visit I Wanna Be a Blogger to see the traffic statistics of the most popular 100+ blogs. Emulating the practices presented above and those used by HubSpot and others is critical if you want to find your way near the top of all those 7.5 million daily blogs!