April 07, 2022
By Chantel Hall, Marketing Content Specialist
In 2021, 76% of marketers used blogs to distribute content.1 Blogging is a foundational content marketing asset because it’s free to publish and can help you achieve multiple goals simultaneously, such as reaching organic search result goals, creating a bank of educational content for attracting and nurturing leads, and building credibility and thought leadership in your industry. You can even use blogs to engage current customers and improve your relationships with them.
-Content Marketing Institute
Having varied, engaging content on your blog is essential, and the blog post formats we discuss in this post can be used to generate content that intrigues leads and helps you meet different goals throughout the marketing and sales process.
Explainer posts are common in B2B marketing because of their usefulness in attracting leads that are interested in the issues you help your customer solve. They’re used to educate readers on high-level concepts and issues pertinent to the “what” and “why” of industry-specific issues, best practices, and important concepts.
Explainer posts can also educate readers on their pain points and introduce solutions to meet their business goals. These blog posts can help you build trust and develop relationships with readers.
These are especially useful for leads early on in the research process who are just beginning to look for solutions or who may not know how exactly to articulate their problem. They can also be used in lead nurturing campaigns to continue educating and engaging leads with content about a topic they have shown interest in.
A few examples of Ironpaper explainer posts include:
A Closet of Visuals: What is a Mood Board?: This blog post explains what a mood board is, how it’s used in marketing, and how to decide whether you need a mood board for a project you’re working on.
Copywriting vs. Content Writing (And Why You Need Both): This blog post describes the differences between two types of marketing writing and explains why they are both important to successful marketing.
Why Do Marketing Plans Fail?: This blog post explains the most common reasons marketing plans fail and educates readers on how to avoid those pitfalls.
How-to posts take educating leads to the next level by providing a process, framework, or guide on how to do something. Since readers seeking how-to content are already looking for a solution or guide, these posts can be great for generating leads who are likely to be interested in your product or service.
These posts should always include a call-to-action (CTA) encouraging the reader to visit a landing page, download a content offer related to the post’s topic, or contact your company for more information on the problem they’re researching.
These posts can also help nurture leads and can be sent in automated emails or by salespeople to leads interested in a specific topic or trying to solve a particular problem.
Ironpaper has published many How-to articles, including:
How to prevent a line break with an H1, H2, H3 tag: This blog post teaches readers how to get rid of the automatic line break that typically accompanies header tags.
How to Create a Great Thank You Email after a Webinar: This blog post provides a guide for writing a thank you email for webinar attendees that capitalizes on attendees interest and encourages further engagement.
How to Generate Leads for Software Development Projects: This blog post teaches B2B software development companies how they can use content and other marketing tools to generate sales leads.
Thought leadership blog posts are typically written about significant issues, changes in your industry, or a unique perspective your company has. They can help you build trust and credibility with buyers, which is vital in B2B selling, but thought leadership can be tough to get right.
To be effective, thought leadership needs to include a unique viewpoint or analysis that provides value to readers — not just a sales pitch for your business. This makes thought leadership a valuable type of content, but also a potentially difficult one to create successfully. Seventy-one percent of decision-makers who responded to a 2021 LinkedIn survey said that less than half of the thought leadership content they consumed gave them valuable insights. 2
Interviews with subject matter experts (SMEs) in your company can help you develop impactful thought leadership content. Product experts and salespeople can even provide insight into what makes your solution unique and what messaging will help you set your company apart from your competitors.
Thought leadership content can help you build trust with leads and establish your expertise throughout the entire marketing and sales process, from the first time a lead visits your website to the conversations happening with a salesperson just before prospects make a decision.
A few examples of Ironpaper’s thought leadership blog posts include:
Is Your Sales and Marketing Tech Stack Weighing You Down?: This blog post details how more marketing tools doesn't always translate to success and some indicators that a marketing team may be experiencing issues with their tech stack.
Marketers Should Make Content Interesting, Not Sales-Focused: This blog post touches on Ironpaper’s approach to writing and optimizing marketing and sales content.
Using Effective Market Research to Inform your B2B Messaging: This blog post doesn’t just educate readers on market research, but shows what effective market research can accomplish and how it should be used to inform messaging and content.
Statistics are a powerful tool for backing up your assertions. Publishing blog posts on original research and data collected by your business can help you build credibility and trust with prospects.
These posts can be especially effective when you use data to support and tell a bigger story by providing some kind of analysis or outcome that readers can’t get on their own. Using your industry insights and input from SMEs, your data can provide full-color, unique insights into the industries you serve and their challenges.
Here's one example of an Ironpaper thought leadership blog post:
Reallocating Event Budgets to Feed Your Sales Pipeline: This blog post details findings from an Ironpaper survey and what they indicate about changes in B2B selling.
The Top 3 Challenges in Nurturing Leads for B2B Companies: This blog post discusses the responses to an Ironpaper research survey and how B2B companies can overcome to most common challenges they experience.
How B2B Marketers Can Close the Lead Generation Gap With Sales: This blog goes into more detail about one specific finding from our research and gives concrete advice for overcoming a challenge presented by the results.
Whatever blog post formats you decide to use, each one should be well-researched and optimized to ensure you’re producing high-quality content to support the rest of your marketing efforts. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
Ensure you’re doing SEO keyword research for each blog post and tying the keywords you choose back into your website’s pillar pages. You should also be using your blogs as an opportunity for internal linking and creating resources that will get external links from other websites citing your content.
Additionally, consider ways to repurpose and reuse your content to take full advantage of it. You might turn a series of how-to blog posts into an e-book that salespeople can share with prospects to explain a complex process your product simplifies or expand on a few thought leadership posts to generate content offers for landing pages. Updating and republishing old blog posts is also beneficial — search engines will re-crawl the content and often rank freshly updated pages higher than older pages.
Blogging has many benefits and can support your overall content marketing strategy by drawing in more educated, qualified leads. Try out these blog post formats today to add variety to your regular posting and create content that helps your company reach your growth goals.
1Content Marketing Institute, 12th Annual B2B Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, 2022
2LinkedIn and Edelman, 2021 LinkedIn-Edelman B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report, September 21, 2022
HubSpot, Which Format Is Right for Your Next Blog Post?, August 21, 2020
3 Aspens Media, The Dos and Don’ts of Blogging for B2B Buyers, June 17, 2021
Marketing Insider Group, Truth or Dare: How to Use Statistics in Your Content, August 24, 2021
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