Data is a tried-and-true way to build the credibility of content marketing. But what happens when the data itself is bad?
B2B Blog Post Ideas: 5 Steps to Develop Endless Topics
B2B blogging can be a headache for busy marketers. To get results, you need to be consistent – but that’s a difficult feat when you run out of topics. Here’s how to come up with endless B2B blog post ideas.
An active blog shows B2B buyers that you’re smart and capable of solving their problems. Not to mention, consistent blogging is a huge organic SEO driver.
Writing the blog post itself is one thing. But you can’t write a post without a topic idea. While writing can be challenging depending on the subject matter, it’s really the blank page and lack of ideas that make marketers feel stuck.
That’s why many small marketing teams turn to content marketing agencies to help keep up with content creation, so you can focus on other important activities.
Speaking of which: As we (somehow already) approach the mid-year point, it’s about time for our content team to develop the next six months of B2B blog post ideas for our clients. Here’s how we approach it.
How to Develop Endless B2B Blog Post Ideas
#1. Create a Content Strategy
First thing’s first: The best B2B blog post ideas come from a data-driven content strategy. A good strategy answers the following questions in five key areas:
- Audience: Who are your buyers and what do they want to know?
- Content: What do you need to create to reach them?
- Channels: Where should you distribute content so buyers will find it?
- Tactics: What should you actually do, how often and where do you start?
- Reporting: How do you know it’s working?
Blogs have a natural place in the content strategy. As you develop your list of topics, refer back to this document—your source of truth for all things content—and make sure they align. Otherwise, what purpose are your blogs serving? If you’re writing consistent blogs on topics that serve an audience other than your target buyers, any positive traffic you gain won’t meaningfully impact your business.
P.S. This also means you shouldn’t be writing for yourself!
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#2. Don’t Overthink It
At the end of the day, readers want good, solid, actionable information. So, don’t overthink it. Just provide good answers to a range of questions, one at a time—and Google (and your prospects) will reward you.
Consider what you do. What problems you solve? What questions are potential buyers asking your sales team?
Then, it’s simple: Answer those questions. It doesn’t matter if it’s a basic question that you can answer in your sleep. Answering basic questions won’t negatively harm your reputation as a thought leader and subject matter expert. In fact, it will help. If you provide an answer to any and all potential questions, your audience will learn to trust you (and ultimately think about buying from you).
Start with core, foundational topics that relate to your business. Make what you do clear to your buyers and Google.
For example, we’re a B2B marketing agency with strategy, content marketing, digital marketing, web development and design services (among others). So, our blog topics answer common questions relating to marketing strategy, content marketing, digital marketing, web development, design and more. From as high level as “5 Building Blocks of an Awesome B2B Content Strategy” to more specific topics like “SERP 101: Using Google Results Pages to Boost Your SEO.”
Other topics will build off of the foundational ones you start with. Many of them will overlap with each other, and that’s okay. There are many different ways to ask and answer the same question—cover them all.
#3. Do Keyword Research
What keywords and search terms does your audience use to ask questions?
Once you have a general topic theme from Tip #2, do some keyword research to see how people are actually searching for that topic on Google.
You can try Keywords Everywhere to see what people are typing into the search results and at what volume. Type in a few variations of a specific topic and see what populates in the search. Keywords Everywhere will return search volume and provide other long-tail search suggestions within the search results. This helps you understand the search intent behind the topic, so you can then respond with content that matches that intent.
Other tools that will help you identify search terms, volume and competitiveness that can inform specific B2B blog ideas include Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush.
#4. Schedule Out B2B Blog Post Ideas
For busy marketers, it’s really helpful to batch your B2B blog post ideas into each half of the year.
This is probably one of the only good and encouraged scenarios of “set it and forget it”.
Reason being, you have a lot on your plate. But if you already know what you’re writing every month, you can tackle it that much easier.
In December, plan out topics for January through June. Depending on how frequent you plan on posting, you can develop six, twelve or more topics. One blog per month is a great starting place, but the more you post, the better. Then, in June, plan out topics for July through December. And so on. (You can start this at any time throughout the year, though.)
Once you have a list of ideas and approval on the first six months, you can schedule them out on your calendar or project management system. Be sure to schedule out any interviews or research stages that you need ahead of your planned draft date, too. Now, you don’t have to spend anymore brain power worrying about blogs for the next six months–until it’s time to write, of course.
#5. Keep an Eye on KPIs
We say scheduling out topics six months in advance is a “set it and forget it” approach—but only within reason. It’s important to keep an eye on key content marketing KPIs to see if what you’re doing is working.
It’s a good idea to track KPIs—like organic website traffic and number of organic keywords—once a month. After three months, about every quarter, dig even deeper. What do traffic trends look like? Are there any immediate page one keyword opportunities you can go for? Have business goals or priorities shifted?
The answer to these questions might lead you to having to change a few planned topics—or inform the next round.
Developing B2B blog post ideas can feel daunting especially for the busy marketer. But this is usually because marketers tend to overthink their topics. Don’t worry about having the “perfect” idea. As long as it relates to your business (but not in an overtly sales-y way, of course), ties back to your content strategy and is based on solid keyword research, you will be in good shape. Even better if you schedule out your topics for half a year. Then, you won’t have to fret about coming up with anything new for a while.