Blogging has become a powerful platform for B2B companies to attract and engage their target audience. And it plays a critical role in a company’s overall online marketing efforts. But to be successful, a B2B blogging program requires the right approach.

Building a Successful B2B Blogging Program

According to Demand Metric, 59% of B2B marketers consider blogs their most valuable online channel. And that’s not surprising. Blogging is a cornerstone of content marketing; it builds thought leadership, fuels SEO, propels social media marketing, drives website traffic and helps to generate and nurture leads. So what does it take to build a successful B2B blogging program? Here are 5 key steps to follow.

1. Develop a game plan

Don’t make the mistake of running a blogging program without knowing where you’re going. Instead, develop a game plan that dictates who you’re writing for, what messages you’re trying to convey and what you’re trying to accomplish. And understanding how your blog fits into a larger content marketing strategy is crucial and will greatly impact everything you do on your blog.

Define your blog’s niche
Don’t try to cover everything you could cover. Instead, you need to carve a niche for your blog­—such as key Industry verticals you want to address or specific areas where your firm has the most subject matter expertise. As the saying goes: aim small, miss small.

Focus on your audience
We recommend developing buyer persona profiles to help you visually picture the type of people you’re trying to reach and understand them on a deeper level. So think about your typical customer and look for topics that would be informative or helpful to them.

Set goals and metrics
Be sure to set specific goals and objectives for your blog. What do you want to accomplish? What does success look like? You’ll want to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and create a dashboard of metrics to measure regularly.

2. Create remarkable content

Getting your content right is half the battle and arguably the most challenging part of building a successful B2B blogging program. Content is after all the reason people will visit your blog, so its paramount to make sure when they get there, they like what they read.

Focus on quality
The purpose of your B2B blog is to engage your audience, so be sure you always keep them in mind when developing your content. Remember, content is the whole point, so if your content is either not customer-focused or lacks quality and substance (or both), your blog simply won’t be successful.

Stay organized
Planning plays a critical role in the success of your blog. So with your game plan in mind, create an editorial calendar that at a minimum identifies the target audience, topic, author, due date and publish date for each post you plan to publish. This should be a running calendar and it’s best to plan at least a month out, ideally 2-3 months out if possible.

Optimize your posts
Your posts need be well crafted from top to bottom. That means everything from a compelling title, a solid introduction, engaging body copy, supporting visuals and a closing paragraph. And you’ll want to make it easily skimmable by breaking up the text with sub headlines, bullets and short paragraphs that get to the point quickly. Be sure to consider on-page SEO best practices as well.

Recruit help
Depending on your company, you may or may not have a lot of marketing resources, but you’re definitely going to need to recruit help. So seek out subject matter experts in your company who are willing to contribute. If you simply don’t have the internal resources, you might want to consider enlisting the help of an agency.

3. Publish regularly

One of the keys to successful blogging is consistent and regular content creation. You should aim to post at least one blog per week but ideally you should try to aim for 2-3 per week. You also need to maintain consistency in publishing even during the holidays and vacation season. So you simply have to set the necessary time and resources aside to get it done.

4. Get the word out

One of your top goals is to generate web traffic and have your articles read by as many people as possible. But you’ve got to get the word out first. So be sure you share your blog posts on all your social media channels and have your employees do the same on theirs as well. You should also include a subscription feature on your blog so visitors can sign up to receive regular blog updates. And be sure to include social sharing buttons on each article to encourage your readers to spread the word and promote your blog posts on their social channels. You’ve worked hard to create great content and it deserves to be read, so look for as many ways as you can to spread the word and drive traffic to your blog.

5. Commit to the program

If you’re going to get serious about blogging, and you want your B2B blogging program to be successful, you have to commit. And part of committing means you make blogging a corporate priority. Your blog should be viewed as an ongoing program, not a campaign. So everyone from the CEO down to the marketing department needs to buy into not just the benefits of blogging, but the understanding that it’s going to demand persistence and patience to do it successfully.

Many B2B companies just aren’t prepared for what managing a successful blog is going to involve. Blogging represents a huge opportunity for B2B companies, but you’ve got to have the right approach for it to be successful.