Did you think that because you’re a B2B SaaS company that no one would be interested in your blog? Well, that’s not true.
In fact, content marketing can be hugely successful for B2B companies because the industry thrives on knowledge sharing.
If you’re publishing useful, actionable posts aimed at your target audience, you’ll slowly but surely grow a loyal following of potential customers.
In a previous blog, I talked about how to increase conversions for your B2B software company with a blog, and now I’m going to go into a bit more depth about how to do it.
The best bit about B2B content marketing with a blog is that there is no trickery involved, and bombarding your customers is not advised. It takes time and intellectual investment, but the content you provide means that your audience will be exactly the sort of people looking to buy your products.
You can use your blog to build awareness of your brand as a thought leader and expert in your field or industry. This creates trust in your products and services. You can also market to your blog followers later down the line – in a relevant, tasteful way, of course.
To make your content marketing efforts a success, you need to make sure you create a blog strategy and define your brand. I’m going to break this down into 1. Brand and 2. Strategy for you so you can apply this technique to your own company blogging efforts.
How to define your brand
This first part is important to your blog strategy but is more about context than actionable steps to creating your blog.
You need to include your definition of your 1. Brand and 2. Purpose at the beginning of your blog strategy to give your blog context and direction.
1. Defining your brand
Each company is different and you will know your brand best. Have you ever taken the time to formally sit down and decide on a brand proposition? If not, now is the time.
For the purposes of your blog strategy, this doesn’t have to take ages. Sit down a write a description of what your brand means to you. Here’s an example from user experience researcher Nielson Norman Group’s website ‘About page’:
Since 1998 Nielsen Norman Group has been a leading voice in the user experience field: conducting groundbreaking research, evaluating interfaces of all shapes and sizes, and guiding critical design decisions to improve the bottom line.
Our clients rely on us to help their websites, applications, intranets, and products realize their full potential for both businesses and their users.
It describes what they’re about, what their focus is, and how they provide value for their customers. Try to do the same thing for your brand.
Ask yourself: What do we do? Why is it important? Who do we help and how?
2. Defining your purpose
A part of defining your brand is clarifying your purpose. You will already know this intuitively but putting it down in a document will help steer your blog in the right direction and also help other people to understand.
You need to think about exactly why your company came into existence, and what need it fulfilled which no other company was doing at the time.
For example, you may have created your software because of a change in user needs, which no other software in existence was fulfilling at the time. Now, you keep doing what you do because you’re the best in the industry.
If your company is successful, your purpose will be unique and interesting. Capture what that it is and include it in your blog strategy, so it can guide your content marketing efforts.
How to lay out your blog strategy
Creating a blog strategy is simple but it requires you to know your company inside out. There are 7 key parts to include in your blog strategy and I’m going to go through each one to make sure you understand what to do.
1. Blog name
This part is really important because it helps your audience remember your blog. For SaaS companies, the tradition is to have your company name as your blog name, but you can get creative with it.
For example, the Trello blog (Trello is an organisational app for teams) is called ‘Across the Board’, which is witty and memorable.
Brainstorm a few potential names before deciding on one you like.
The tagline is a short explanation of your blog and what it’s about. You want to try to make it succinct and catchy in order to help your audience decide if your blog is for them.
Capterra are a B2B software review site, and their blog’s tagline is ‘The latest business-to-business marketing advice for software companies’. It’s short and sweet, and explains exactly what their blog offers.
3. Benchmark blogs
Taking inspiration, benchmarking, scoping out your competitors – definitely not ‘copying’ – you’ll want to create a list of blogs in your niche that are doing similar things.
This is partly so you can get inspiration for ‘what works’, see how you’re faring in comparison to similar blogs, but also to make sure you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes. You don’t want to repeat any of the same content – the aim is to be as original as possible.
This is where you describe what following your blog is actually like – it could be a combination of insightful, actionable, inspirational, or thought-provoking.
Try to think about how you’d like people to feel when reading your posts and what they would take away from it. The key is to add value in some way.
This part is really important because it orients your whole strategy. You need to have a clear vision of exactly who your blog audience will be, and this will most likely be the users of your products.
You can focus on current or prospective customers, or both. You can think about details like age, gender, background, economic level, interests, location or anything else you can think of.
What are their professional interests, challenges and aspirations?
Different to theme, the aim of your blog is the quantifiable outcomes that will result from your efforts and translate to business success.
For example, one of your aims could be ‘Increase traffic to the website from general search queries through SEO’ and you can also set targets to ensure you stay on track.
You can also include operational aims for your blog, such as how often you are going to post and what channels you will promote your posts on.
Defining your aims is important because it helps you decide what posts to follow up with and what direction to take your blog in. If you’re not hitting your targets, you can change tactics with your blog until you do.
Often, a B2B software blog URL is just your website and a forward slash. The Kayako blog (Kayako are a helpdesk software company) is just kayako.com/blog.
You want to make sure your URL is standard and as descriptive as possible – that’s why /blog is the perfect choice.
Some companies use /news or some other variant, but I personally think blog is the best descriptor as people will naturally understand this.
If you follow these steps in creating your blog strategy then your B2B SaaS blog is much more likely to be a success. Your blog will have direction, energy and momentum because you will know your focus and be able to achieve consistency.
Anyone can create a blog strategy, but I have lots of experience working with B2B SaaS companies. I can create your blog strategy for you, which will keep providing return on investment as you refer back to it throughout your content marketing efforts.
Please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can work together.
Or, find out how to create consistently original blog content to turn your audience into paying customers.