Backbone Media B2B Marketing Blog
But when you take on a content marketing program for your company, it can be frustrating to pluck away at your keyboard, typing up post after post, waiting to land a potential customer, a comment, or a backlink.
And when time passes…. and nothing happens… you’re not quite sure your employees are keeping up with your blog, let alone your customers.
There’s good news and bad news. The bad news? It’s probably your fault. The good news? You can fix it. Here are four reasons your customers aren’t reading your B2B blog posts and how to fix them.
1. Your Topics Don’t Resonate with Your Customer Persona
Starting your first company blog can be confusing. And far too often, companies embrace that confusion by posting the same-old content they use internally, such as quarterly updates, “Interesting things I’ve read on the Internet,” or new promotions.
Here’s the first major paradigm shift you must embrace for a strong content marketing program: You can’t write what you want to write about or what feels natural to you. You’ve got to write what your ideal customer wants to read.
All of your blog post brainstorms should begin with a customer persona and a goal to relieve one of that persona’s pain points or needs. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon any of your favorite blog topics — it just means you need to pivot those topics to align with your customer persona and his or her most pressing need.
For example, if you want to share three must-read blog posts, make sure they’re three must-read blog posts that apply to your customer’s situation. Already you’ve turned the table to give them a reason to read the post and a reason to share it.
2. Your Style and Tone Doesn’t Mesh with Your Industry
Once you’re writing about the right thing, you’ve got to make sure you’re writing about it in the right way. Once again, this comes back to your customer persona.
Buzzwords and trends like hyper-personalization are only as valuable as they are effective with your target market. And far too often these trends can mix up your message and the tone of your B2B blog, creating an inconsistent brand experience.
Instead, evaluate your customer personas and identify the most effective tone that speaks to them and also speaks for your business. Create a check-list for this tone (also known as a Blog Style Guide) and make sure that each of your posts meets these criteria. Staying true to your brand is more important than any trend. That’s what will give your posts a unique voice that draws in readers.
3. Your Headlines Could Be Stronger
When your reader comes across your blog post, they take about eight seconds to decide whether to click, read, and share. And if your B2B blog post headline is lackluster, they’ll have no problem skipping right along. That’s why headline writing has blossomed into an art and science that’s worth your time.
When you’ve finished writing your post, you need to spend time on writing a unique, effective headline. It needs to identify the ideal audience, the reason to read, and a hint at what they topic will be.
The post you’re reading now could easily have been called “Write Better Blog Posts.” But it would immediately be lacking an audience (“Your B2B Customers”), the reason to read (“Aren’t Reading Your Company Blog Posts”) audience, an incentive, and a hint at what the reader will get (“4 Reasons”). By including these things, you take the mental load off of the reader and provide them incentive to click through to the post.
4. You Write More Than You Promote
Finally, there’s a simple but popular understanding in content marketing circles that no one will read your blog post if they don’t know it’s there. However much time you’ve decided to dedicate to writing, it’s time to switch it up: spend 20 percent of that time writing and 80 percent of that time networking manually and building a readership one person at a time.
When you first start networking manually, you’ll need to tap into your network of influencers and advocates. This person-by-person approach may seem too time-consuming, but when you take the time to contact people personally and explain why you think they might like the post, the ripple effect can be powerful. Suddenly you have a team of friendly, esteemed peers who are helping to promote your content and let their own network know it’s there.
Content marketing works. So if yours doesn’t, it’s time to do something about it. Take one hour this week to sit down and consider your customer persona, then apply that knowledge to your content marketing blueprint using these four steps. Your blog stats will thank you!