Blank screen. Blinking cursor. Looming deadline. Sound familiar?
If you’re like most B2B manufacturers, starting a new blog includes all of the above, plus the overwhelming feeling of how to start the whole process in the first place. Which blog topics should you write about? How long should the whole process take? Is anyone really interested in what you have to say?
We’re here to reassure you that starting a blog is not rocket science – unless you happen to manufacture rocket boosters – but even then we can help! With strategic SEO research and editorial planning, B2B blogging will help you attract qualified traffic to your website. Regular blogging can also help to position your company as a thought leader in your manufacturing sector, and a resource to be relied on for helpful, relevant information.
As Dharmesh Shah, cofounder of HubSpot, said in our recent Lunch & Learn, “If you don’t have a blog, you should have a blog.” We’re here to help our B2B manufacturing partners with 5 kick-off blog topic ideas:
1. Hello, My Name Is __________________
Let’s start at the beginning. Once you’ve chosen a name for your blog, we recommend that you begin by introducing your company, your vision, and your goals for this new resource on your website. Mention the influencers who will contribute to the space. Who are they? What are their key areas of expertise? How are they qualified to help readers? By communicating these key points, you’ll set the stage for future content. Introductions should be compelling, but brief (think elevator speech). Remember that a primary goal is to become a resource for your manufacturing audience, so encourage readers to comment and submit the topics they would like to see covered.
2. Just the FAQs, Ma’am
Now that you’ve introduced yourself, let’s start by answering some FAQs. What are the key questions beings posed to your sales and support teams? Are you fielding questions about product performance? Operating conditions? Comparing the benefits of one solution vs. another? For instance, a medical device manufacturer may be asked about sourcing FDA-certified components, prompting a post such as, “How Can FDA Compliance Increase Manufacturing Output?” A manufacturer of aerospace equipment may have frequent inquiries about the weight or temperature tolerances of certain assemblies. These questions are all good fodder for starter topics. By aligning these common industry questions with a high-search, low-competition keyword, you’ve got an excellent foundation for a series of Q&A posts.
3. What’s Hot Right Now?
What’s trending in your industry? How does it impact your prospects, your company and the industry in general? For instance, an auto transmission manufacturer might blog about how hybrid cars or changing emissions standards are impacting future product designs. Check out discussions in your industrial niche on LinkedIn, or peruse manufacturing blogs. Which topics are your competitors posting about? Even the calendar can be a good source of inspiration. National Robotics Week and Earth Day were both celebrated in April, while May brings National Safe Boating Week. B2B manufacturers can leverage these events to build relevant blog content.
4. Interviews: SMEs Are VIPs
Your SMEs, or Subject Matter Experts, are excellent resources for blog topics. Ask them some targeted questions to let them share their expertise. What are their best training tips? How have they helped a manufacturer overcome a common problem? Your SMEs are in the trenches, and can add real-world credibility to engage your ideal buyer persona. Here are a few tips for effectively pairing up with them to develop premium content.
5. Solve, Don’t Sell
Our final blog topic tip is to develop content that helps your prospects solve their problems. Remember that a technical audience does not want to be sold to, but rather solved to. Share key technical tips and relevant statistics with your audience. How did a manufacturer in the same industrial sector solve a tough challenge? Did they increase production by X% or reduce waste in the production stream? These are all excellent blog topics for a manufacturing audience. Ideally, you want your blog topics to build awareness by solving problems, not selling products (leave that task to your optimized product pages!).
Are you ready to start your B2B blogging journey? Want more B2B manufacturing content inspiration? Get the guide: Content Marketing 101 for Industrial Manufacturers. Or contact the PMG Team!