We’ve all been there, staring at a blank screen willing great blog topics into existence. The writing isn’t usually the hard part. It’s the idea generation that’s tough. Don’t worry, we’ve got a few easy-to-follow tips on how to build a calendar of delectable topics for your B2B blogging strategy.
And let’s get past the idea that B2B blogging is boring because it isn’t if you pick the right topics.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
I know this will come as appalling news, but no one besides people at your company cares about your company. Before you say, “That’s ridiculous,” let me explain. While your future customers will come to see the value of the products and services you offer, they don’t care during their discovery phase. Rather, they are focused on what matters to them (their own needs and challenges).
Central to any great B2B blog topic is the target audience. A topic that your target reader can’t resist is one that they care about and will impact their life, work, and relationships.
When drafting topics, ask yourself:
- Who is my target reader? (Is it a CEO pressed for time? Is it an engineer who needs technical information? Is it a marketing manager who needs data to back up their recommendations?)
- What are their pain points? (Do they need to convince their boss to purchase a new software tool? Do they need to show proof that a new service will streamline their process? Do they need to justify the cost of your services versus a low-cost competitor?)
- How can you help them be better at their job/more successful/grow their company? (Determining what value you offer is essential to crafting quality blog topics)
We’ve discussed buyer personas before. These are crucial for drafting blogs that will resonate with your target market. If you can picture the person you are writing to, your blog copy will be more impactful.
Get more tips on Content Planning Basics.
Talk to Sales and Client Support
You have a wealth of great topics at your fingertips (or in the nearby office or cubicle). Tap into your internal knowledge bank for blog topics. Ask the sales team (not just the sales manager) about common questions or concerns that they hear from prospects. Talk to your client support or onboarding team to see what questions they typically hear throughout the process or anything that clients struggle to understand as they become a new client.
While these topics may not be groundbreaking or earn you the Nobel prize, they will be relevant to your audience. Irresistible blog topics are often ones that answer questions that are looming in your prospect’s or client’s mind.
Give Away Your Expertise
One of the many reasons to implement a B2B blogging strategy is to build up the perceived (and actual) authority of your brand, which thereby engenders trust from people who need your products or services. This is why your blog topics MUST give away your expertise. Not all of it, but a good portion.
Draft topics that aim to tell your prospects or clients how to do certain things, like streamlining processes, saving time, reducing spending, creating effective products or services, etc.
Earlier I mentioned that B2B blog topics don’t have to be boring. The best way to ensure that they aren’t boring is to draft topics you or your subject matter experts are passionate about. For example, at Bop Design, we are passionate about inbound marketing. Why? Because it works and we’ve seen it work for companies in all types of industries: finance, accounting, recruiting, software, manufacturing, and biotech to name a few. As such, we can put together a ton of topics on inbound lead generation and share a million tips for B2B firms.
Chances are your firm is passionate not about your products or services, but about the value or benefits of those products or services. Create topics that relay that passion to your target readers.
Pick a Side, Any Side
When in doubt, take a stance.
- X is the wave of the future
- Y is a dying strategy because of Z
- Our favorite process is A because it does this
- Why B will boost your productivity (or efficiency or sales or whatever!)
What makes stance topics so great is that they attract people who support and people who are against what you are taking a stand on. It’s better to be part of the discussion rather than watching on the sidelines as others are talking about your industry. The only warning is that you must understand both or all sides of the topic to intelligently discuss them with readers or prospects.
Cover Topics That Aren’t About Your Products/Services
It’s common for brands to want to focus on their products or services. While it’s OK to share blogs that discuss how to use your products or why clients use your services, these should be minimal and only sprinkled in a blog strategy here and there. Yes, you want to build the value of your products and services, but you do not want your blog to turn into another ad for your company. You can still create topics that are relevant to your audience and related to your products or services – but not ABOUT your products and services.
B2B Blogging Topics – Idea Starter List
At this point, you should have jotted down a few potential topics for your B2B blogging calendar. If you haven’t been inspired just yet, here are a few ideas to start off your list:
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions About ____
- 3 Most Popular Industry Trends
- What’s Working: A Business Case
- Predictions for Your Industry
- New Technology or Tools in Your Industry
- A Review of Favorite Industry Tools
- Major Events Impacting Your Industry
- Tips & Tricks for Improving Efficiency or Processes