By Rachel Foster, Business2Community Contributor
Blogging is now one of the top content marketing strategies for B2B marketers.
According to research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 76% of B2B marketers are now using blogs – up 11 percentage points from two years ago.
While 62% of the survey’s respondents think their blogs are effective, an amazing 79% of best-in-class* B2B marketers rank blogging as their most effective content marketing tactic.
While these numbers are exciting, they also show that there’s more competition in the blogosphere. With this new competition, how do you compete with other best-in-class B2B marketers and get more targeted leads to visit your blog and opt in for your premium content?
Here are three B2B blogging trends you should pay attention to this year if you want to make blogging your #1 content marketing strategy:
1. B2B marketers have opportunities to customize their content and reach a wider audience.
The B2B Content Marketing Report revealed that less than 42% of B2B marketers segment their content by buyer personas or verticals. This means that you might have the chance to create blog posts that appeal to different audiences and bring more targeted leads to your blog. Do you have an important buyer persona or vertical that you lack content for?
In addition, while blogging is usually seen as a great way to attract early-stage leads, you might look for opportunities to engage leads who are further along the sales cycle. For example, think about the questions that mid- or late-stage leads ask your salespeople, and answer those questions on your blog. You can also post more case studies and webinars on your blog, as these items appeal to mid-stage leads.
2. More B2B buyers rely on video when they make purchasing decisions.
The popularity of video content is on the rise and shouldn’t be ignored by B2B marketers. According to IDG, 82% of B2B technology buyers post, forward or share tech-related videos. In addition, IT Business Edge revealed that 70% of B2B buyers view product demo videos before they select a vendor.
If you want to engage B2B buyers, then add more videos to your blog. These can be video case studies, webcasts, video tips or demos. You can even do something as simple as film a slide presentation while you add commentary.
3. Google is shaking up SEO and making keywords less important.
For example, Google now penalizes bloggers who stuff posts with keywords, and Google Analytics no longer shows us which phrases people use to find our content. Instead of obsessing over keywords, obsess over whether you are producing high-quality, relevant content.
You should also get active on Google+, as this can greatly improve your findability. Studies have shown that the more +1s a post receives, the higher it ranks on Google. In addition, Google quickly indexes Google+ posts, which can also improve your SEO. Be sure to promote all your blog posts on Google+.
And finally … trends come and go. If you follow trends, don’t forget the #1 rule of great blogging – focusing on your target audience and providing them with posts that educate them and help them solve their biggest challenges. When you put your audience first, the results will follow.
What about you? What B2B blogging trends do you think matter? Please leave your comments below.
*According to the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report, best-in-class B2B marketers are more likely to have a documented content marketing strategy, someone to oversee their content marketing and a larger percentage of their marketing budget dedicated to content.