How does a B2B Blog Create Leads?

Transform your B2B blog into a lead generation machine! Read our definitive guide on how to generate leads through B2B blogging here for tips and tricks.

Picture of George Linley George Linley

Published: 14 Dec 2015

5 minutes read

How does a B2B Blog Create Leads?

The almighty B2B blog – an essential element of B2B lead generation. Through regular blogging, you can inrease your website traffic and produce regular content that search engines love, while giving prospects a reason to frequently visit your site and engage with your business. Furthermore, blogs act as the stepping stone for lead conversion. As HubSpot highlights, B2B marketers who blog receive a staggering 67% more leads than businesses who don’t! 

Being a B2B marketer, chances are you’re already blogging in some form. However, are you using your B2B blog to its full potential? For a successful blog that brings in quality leads you need to dedicate time. It isn’t enough to post a blog here and there. Your blogging efforts need to be consistent, targeted and most importantly need to offer unique value. Think you can take on the challenge? Read the rest of this guide and you’ll be operating a B2B lead generation blog machine in no time! 

1. Plan 

When it comes to blogging, slow and steady does win the race (at least during initial planning stages). Frequently, marketers ask this very important question: how many blogs should I write? Well many will debate this answer, a common opinion being the more the merrier. We personally try and blog at least three times a week. 

HubSpot’s research indicates that businesses who blogged 16+ times per month received almost 3.5X more traffic than businesses who published four blogs or less. It’s safe to say that quantity is a key ingredient for success. However, if the thought of frequently churning out high quality blogs fills you with dread, don’t fear! It can be achieved with strategic planning. 

A well thought out plan that covers between a month and a year of content can minimise the risk of dreaded writer’s block. To begin, identify your website’s keywords – either ones you’re currently ranking for, or ones you think are relevant to your service and customer pain points. Once these have been identified, you can strategically create a balanced content plan, crafting titles based around these keywords. If this sounds difficult, don’t worry! It is a lot simpler than you may think to brainstorm blog topics in bulk when you already have your keywords in place.

2. Target

During the planning process, it is borderline impossible to create great content if you have no idea who you’re writing for – common sense right? In the B2B space, it can be tempting to target as many people as possible in a bid to generate more leads. However, the B2B buyer by nature is a lot more difficult to sell to than a typical B2C prospect. Their buying decisions are based on logic and risk assessment, while their reasons for using your service will vary considerably, even within the same organisation. When content is broadly targeted, most buyers will fail to identify how your service solves their specific pains and will likely seek advice from a competitor instead.

Niche persona targeting is therefore essential. We’ve discussed in previous blogs what personas are and why you need them (read more here). However, in layman’s terms, a persona is a semi-fictional character based on your typical customers and prospects. A persona will encompass your typical customer’s pains, challenges, goals and job function. But persona research isn’t simply a box-ticking exercise. It’s important to use persona research to craft every single blog you create.

So how do personas impact your blog in real life? Firstly, picture your persona. Let’s say your company offers cloud-based supply chain protection and transparency services. A typical persona may own a well-established fashion brand. As supply chains become more complex, typical pains for them may be the rise of shrinkage (loss of inventory throughout the supply chain) and ensuring ethical working conditions. 

A blog titled: “why supply chain transparency is needed to protect garment workers” would firstly help a persona identify the issue of ethical working conditions. Secondly, the blog successfully solves this problem by offering supply chain transparency as a solution. Through using this targeted problem-solution blog structure, relevant prospects are more likely to progress to the next stage of the buyer’s journey, in contrast to a prospect who has been presented with generic, un-focused blog content. 

3. Integrate into an inbound sales funnel 

To instigate successful lead generation, a B2B blog cannot be successful in isolation. A blog is but just a piece in an extensive inbound sales funnel. 

First things first, you need to get prospects to actually read your blog content! While in an ideal world your blog would receive a flurry of traffic for just being that amazing, in reality you have to work for it! 

Engage with social media 

Social media is the perfect platform for driving traffic to your blog posts and kick-starting the lead generation process. For B2B, LinkedIn is the best of the bunch, bringing in more than 80% of a business’s social media leads, as discovered by Kissmetrics.

Before you begin promoting your blogs like a fog horn, take into consideration LinkedIn’s audience and purpose. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional social network, built for networking and discussion. Blatant promotional posts that offer no significant value will not resonate well with other users or group administrators. Similar to your blog’s structure, LinkedIn posts promoting blogs should present a common problem and offer a solution, i.e. reading your blog post. Alternatively, LinkedIn posts could pose a question that encourages discussion around your blog topic, while creating buzz for your business. 

LinkedIn’s main selling point is its focus on individuals rather than companies. Posting into relevant groups as an individual is more likely to result in blog traffic, with blog posts given more authority by your job title and perceived expertise.  

Encourage conversions 

So a prospect has read your blog post, identified their problem and is looking for a possible solution. This is where a well-conceived Call to Action (CTA) can either make or break the B2B lead generation process. A CTA is simply a banner that sits at the bottom of your blog post that promotes additional content (usually a guide or e-book), that expands on the blog topic and offers your service as a solution to prospect problems. This additional content download should require information from a prospect, such as their name and email address, in order to convert them into a lead and offer further nurturing content. 

It’s therefore essential that your CTA hits the mark. A successful CTA will follow on naturally from the points raised in the blog. A CTA should pass the ‘blinker test’ i.e. its value should be immediately obvious in five seconds or less. This can be achieved by using action-orientated copy such as ‘download now’ or ‘get your free trial’, highlighting to prospects that there is an action to be undertaken. Most importantly, keep CTA copy short and sweet. Copy should be uncluttered, simple and straight to the point. 

Now you’ve learnt how to optimise your blog for B2B lead generation, find out how to integrate your blog into a strategic inbound marketing strategy. Simply download our free guide below, which includes helpful tips, and best practice advice for planning your B2B blogging strategy. 

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