School’s out, the graduation ceremonies are over, and your elusive ol’ pal Spring Cleaning finally managed to make his way over to your house for a weekend visit. Not to mention you’ve just returned from traveling all over the place to witness about half of your friends and relatives get married over the past few weeks. The crazy, busy life you lead seems to finally be winding down, if only for a couple months (you know, before the other half gets hitched in the fall).
You’re so ready for a well-deserved break, and you might have even opened up the pool! At last, it feels like summer, doesn’t it? And you know what that means… it’s time for SUMMER BARBECUES.
Sure, your best friend might have already thrown a Memorial Day extravaganza to end all other extravaganzas. But that doesn’t count! (Or at least for the sake of this article, it doesn’t.) We’re talking about firing up the grill with all your favorite summer ingredients – and then firing up your blog posts in EXACTLY the same way. In fact, 9 out of 10 inbound marketing specialists agree that B2B business blogging and barbecuing are, indeed, bound together by natural laws. It’s science. Tweet this stat! ;-) So right here… right now… we’re throwing a blogbecue (oh yes, this metaphor is going full throttle).
According to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report, 80% of B2B firms surveyed deployed blogging as a content marketing tactic (up from 76% in 2014). Blogging won’t be taking a hiatus anytime soon, so if you haven’t joined the partay already, it’s high time you showed up. Need help cooking up content? Start by revving up your B2B BBQ with these 8 fixings for writing a blog post that will not disappoint…
A mouthwatering blog post needs substance – and it needs to be fresh. Talk to your sales team about the pressing questions qualified prospects are currently asking on a regular basis, or interview your prospects themselves. It’s important to first identify your target buyer personas, and then serve up content that caters to their needs and interests.
Spinach salad. Zucchini medallions. One of those veggie trays encircled with broccoli florets. There’s always at least something healthy and green at a barbecue. In this case, think evergreen. Evergreen content is content that will remain relevant long after it has been published – sometimes for years! Evergreen blog posts require little to no upkeep, they’re great for accruing inbound links, and they can easily be recycled into other content marketing material, like an eBook or tip sheet, for later use. Not every post needs to be written to last forever, but having evergreen articles in your marketing basket can help you generate leads over and over with minimal effort. Just don’t eat any spinach that’s been hanging around as long as your blog post has.
Grilling some pork chops? Try an orange bourbon dry rub. Salmon? Break out the brown sugar! (Trust me…) A grill master takes into account the impact of distinctive flavor combinations. And the seasonings of the season! A master of blogging does the same. What theme pairs well with the present season? Creating content around holidays, special events, your busiest buying season, or even a bit of breaking news will help drive traffic to your blog if you leverage that topic in social media. Prime example? You’re lookin’ at it!
Don’t be afraid to make a mess. Be saucy! A little intrigue or attitude never hurt anybody, right? Pick a voice or style that works for you and run with it: sweet, sour, bold, whatever floats your boat. Personally, I chose hot and spicy today. BAM! That one’s for you, Emeril. But most importantly, keep in mind your secret sauce is what makes you relatable and memorable to your customers. So be yourself!
Oh, potato salad. Everyone has a grandmother or college roommate who makes literally the best potato salad you’ve ever tasted. But the point is that with so much content out there, yours needs to be unique. So whether you highlight an interview with an industry influencer, touch upon an unusual topic, or put the word ‘bacon’ in your headline, make your blog post stand out.
Ironically, potato salad is also the thing that no one seems to really care about until it’s not there. Crazed barbecue attendees will lick the shrimp skewers and smoked sausage platter clean, while the potato salad bowl is always sadly left behind a quarter full. There’s ALWAYS leftovers. And yet when it’s missing, I’ve heard “Where the hell is the potato salad?!” more times than I can count. Is this because I grew up in Maine (the land of lobster and potatoes)? Possibly. Regardless, when it comes to blogging, you might think that one particular aspect of your industry isn’t worth writing about, but every prospect FAQ missing from your site is an opportunity squandered.
When life gives ya highly competitive keywords, make long tail keywords! Long tail keywords are simply lengthier phrases incorporating the head keyword term (ex: barbecue sauce vs. best barbecue sauce recipe). Though they sometimes yield a lower (yet still prominent) search volume, the level of difficulty to rank for these keywords dramatically decreases in comparison. Integrating a solid keyword strategy into your blog posts is essential for driving organic traffic to your site, so freshen up your posts by optimizing them with popular search terms. Then sit back and relax with a cool glass of lemonade as the SEO leads pour in.
Corn on the Cob
And what kind of barbecue calls itself a barbecue without some corn, huh? Be a cornball every now and then, even if you’re in a “boring” business. It’s no secret that humor goes a long way – it might even keep your readers laughing all the way to the bottom of the post where you leave a little enticing CTA button to click on, ultimately helping you generate some interested new leads. (4 Best Practices for Your Content Marketing Program? I don’t know what you’re talking about… but seriously, it’s really helpful – you should download it.)
Whelp, this one is just for the sake of sharing a hypothetical cold beer with our readers (or some wine, cider, or a cocktail – we don’t discriminate here at PMG). Here’s to your next awesome blog post! And your next summer BBQ, of course. Cheers, marketers! Until next time…