Are you struggling with writing blogs for your B2B technology audience? This task is often challenging for those who are used to writing for a more general consumer audience, and for writers who are not technology specialists. It may be a relief to know that whether you’re writing about APIs or home remodeling, the same general rules apply. Here are some basics= tips and how they might apply to your B2B technology blog articles.
Define the Audiences in your B2B technology sphere.
My number one blog writing rule is to focus each article on a narrow, well defined segment of your audience. Trying to be everything to everyone just doesn’t work. For instance, it’s easy to see that a CEO’s concerns are very different than those of an IT manager. Similarly, the challenges faced by an IT manager at a cloud hosting company are different than those of an IT manager at a company producing computer components. There may be overlap, but knowledge of the differences matter.
A common technique for writing to a specific slice of your audience is to create different marketing “personas.” Each persona represents an ideal prospect or customer, defined by title, function, company size, or other identifier. You’ll write each article for a specific persona, considering what they care about, what will make their lives easier, and the correct tone and language. Let’s look at why this is important by considering these two different personas.
- Erin: Erin, an IT Manager, is a current customer who works in the cybersecurity group at a mid-sized cloud hosting company. Erin needs to understand various cybersecurity technologies and make recommendations to her superiors in a persuasive, authoritative manner. She must also be able to communicate priorities and tasks to the IT group.
- Eric: Ericis a product manager at a small CPU manufacturer who is researching companies that provide your company’s services. He supervises a cross-functional team from engineering, marketing, sales, and support groups. He must coordinate, communicate with, and support all members of his group while juggling a wide array of priorities. Improving soft skills, customer outreach, business knowledge, and technical skills will help him become more successful.
It’s easy to see that Erin and Eric have different work responsibilities, professional goals, day-to-day concerns, and professional interests. Trying to write a single blog article that appeals to both of these personas will be less successful than separate articles tailored to each of them.
Identify the Topic of Your Blog Article
Once you audience is clearly defined it’s time to select your topic. Often, this is based on addressing their “pain points,” providing information that makes their jobs easier and helps them to be more successful.
Just as you identified a narrow audience segment, you need to select a topic that is narrow enough to be concise and focused. For example, say you are writing for developers in the mobile market. A broad article titled “What You Need to Know About APIs” is going to be less appealing than an article titled, “How to Efficiently Develop a Great Mobile API.”
Writing original technology articles can be time-consuming, especially if you’ve never written about the topic before. If you’re in a pinch, consider modifying an article you’ve already published on a similar topic. You could build out a particular section, present new information, or change the format. If you go this route, make sure all information is up to date. You’ll want to recheck your facts and figures against more recent data and also understand how the topic fits into the current technology landscape.
You want people to read your article and come back for more. The key here is building trust with your audience, which means assuring that your article is valuable, timely, and relevant. Becoming a credible resource will make people more receptive to your articles, sharing them, and becoming a subscriber; use fluff and outdated information and you risk losing your readership—and your reputation.
Conducting some amount of research is usually an important part of writing a credible B2B technology article. Data points, quotes, and industry examples can help frame a topic, punch up your article, provide it with additional gravitas, and lend credibility to the content. At the same time, beware of creating data overload; while a few data points are interesting, too many can cause a reader to click away.
For facts, figures, and quotes, make sure you provide a link to your source material or describe where the information came from, such as, “According to a 2020 report from CIO Magazine…” Make sure your source is credible. If the source quotes a report or study, it’s also a good idea to verify the data by checking against the original source.
Think About Structure and Readability.
Time is often a scarce commodity, so you want to make it easy for the reader to stick with your article. A B2B technology blog is not a white paper or a research report. Readers tend to scan blog articles; if they like the gist they may go back and read specific portions or the entire article.
In addition to the content and language itself, you’ll want to think about visual elements. Articles that are too dense are unappealing and difficult to read. In addition to photos or other graphics, creating some white space makes it easier on the eyes, improves the ability to scan, and increases comprehension. Some formatting tips for readability include:
- Short sentences that are easy to digest, free from jargon, and without overly complex language
- Logically ordered subheads, with two or three closely related paragraphs under each
- Short paragraphs of no more than four sentences
- A conversational, professional tone
- Using bullets or numbered items
- Graphical elements, such as photos or simple charts
You’re Ready to Write.
You have defined your audience, chosen your topic, included authoritative elements, and understand how to plan your article for readability. If you still feel blocked, there are a number of tips for spurring your creativity. But remember that there’s no time like the present. If you’re simply too swamped, hate writing, or feel a professional writer will create a more engaging article, call on a professional. Westebbe Marketing is ready to help with original content based on your marketing strategy—delivered on time and within budget. Contact us today at (617) 699-4462.