Anyone who’s written a blog post understands when it comes time to hit “publish” and promote it on social media, competition is stiff. This is likely due to the fact that there are more than 2 million new blog posts to compete with each day.
However, using what I see every month putting together client content reports as well as information gathered from one of my favorite tools, Buzzsumo, I’ve outlined some shared elements of B2B blog posts that stand out among the competition.
Hopefully this “blueprint” helps you put together blog content that’s well-received among your audience. Let’s get to it!
I’ve always told people that I’m a “visual learner.” I tend to soak up the most information when someone shows me how to do something, or shows me someone that is doing something well. Apparently, I’m not the only B2B marketer who feels this way.
As I analyzed our client accounts and the B2B industry’s blog content at a high level, I saw that posts that compile the “best of” a specific topic are the most frequently shared on social media (and most visited overall).
Here’s a list of KoMarketing blog posts that follow this format and have led to an abundance of success since being published.
- 6 Great B2B Business, Marketing, and Strategy Books
- 10 of the Best B2B Facebook Pages
- 10 Examples of Highly Impactful LinkedIn Profiles
Honorable Mention: If the topic you’re writing about doesn’t align with a “best of” post, think about focusing on “tips and tricks.” It should come as no surprise that these two content themes are the most successful.
Looking at the types of content used in the past 12 months to make B2B purchasing decisions, white papers, webinars, and case studies top the list. In other words, content that shows examples of success (case studies) or explains the best way to do something (webinars and white papers) resonates best with buyers.
The way the content is formatted can be just as important as the copy itself. If you’ve written great content, but have omitted stylistic thinking, you could lose your readers before they even begin (we have all been scared away from a giant block of text).
When looking at Buzzsumo data for a number of B2B-related domains and keyword phrases, it becomes apparent that lists generate the most social shares. Here’s what the breakdown of social shares by content type looks like when searching for “B2B marketing” on Buzzsumo:
For specific examples of list-style posts that have performed well for our site, take a look at these:
- 10 Marketing Trends That Should Influence Your Content Strategy
- 15 Key Visualizations & Diagrams From #MarTech 2016
- 50+ Statistics Designed to Influence B2B Marketing Budgets in the New Year
Honorable Mention: Sometimes a list isn’t the best format for the topic at hand. With this in mind and considering the fact that more than a quarter (27 percent) of all Google searches are done in question formats, focusing on creating content that relates to the 5 Ws (who, what, where, when, why + how) or provides a detailed explanation has proven to result in social shares and satisfied readers.
You may think short-form content might be the most effective for B2B social media shares thanks to the number of funny memes or cat photos that come across your social feed. However, the B2B audience turns this theory on its head, and it appears the exact opposite might in fact be true.
Again when looking at the domains of B2B content production leaders and B2B-related key phrases, a trend can be uncovered. Longer-form content, specifically between 2000 and 3000 words, seems to be the most frequently shared. Here’s a look at the breakdown (last 12 months) provided by Buzzsumo for the “B2B marketing” keyword phrase:
Here are a few KoMarketing blog posts that fall within this word count range and were well-received by our social media circle:
- 9 B2B Marketing (and Life) Lessons from #Inbound15
- 8 Key Google Changes B2B Marketers Need To Know In The New Year
- 30 B2B Social Media Tips for 2016
Honorable Mention: It’s unrealistic to expect every piece of content to fall within the 2000 to 3000-word count range. It’s also important to remember you should never write with a specific number of words in mind.
If your content isn’t quite in this range, we’ve also seen pretty good success on social media with content that’s between 1000 and 2000 words.
The key takeaway here is to remember there is much more short-form content floating around on the web than in-depth, well-thought-out pieces. This imbalance opens the door for those that take the time to put together longer blog posts.
After the post has been written and published, it’s time to promote via social media. But, what network is the best for B2B marketers looking for social shares?
After analyzing the data, it appears LinkedIn gives us the best chance to draw social media attention to B2B blog content. Here’s a look at the sharing landscape by network for the “B2B marketing” keyword phrase:
These are the top three KoMarketing posts ranked by LinkedIn shares in the past 12 months:
- 15 Key Visualizations & Diagrams From #MarTech 2016
- What Were The Most Effective B2B Marketing Tactics of 2015?
- 10 Digital Marketing Trends That Should Influence Your 2016 Content Strategy
Honorable Mention: LinkedIn leading the way should come as no surprise as research shows 40 percent of B2B marketers rank it as the most important social media platform for their business.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account (get on that!), Facebook and Twitter are also effective social media channels for B2B content promotion. While Twitter follows behind LinkedIn in the chart above, 37 percent of B2B marketers put Facebook on the top of their list when it comes to importance.
Before you post to social media, it’s important to understand the day of the week’s impact on sharing frequency. After looking at Buzzsumo data and taking our own experiences into account, we know that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days of the week to promote content.
Again, here’s a look at social shares by day of week for the “B2B marketing” keyword phrase:
Honorable Mention: If you can’t promote your content on Tuesdays or Thursdays, we strongly advise you to avoid trying to promote on the weekends or on Fridays, as engagement rates tend to be very low. This infographic is a good resource to reference so you can promote with confidence:
Combining any (or all) of the strategies listed above will increase the chances of your B2B blog posts getting shared on social media by your audience, or even better, new prospects that you’ve yet to connect with.
What types of posts and post elements do you see having the most success in the B2B community? I’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter!