Blogging in 2020 – Is it Still Important?

The new year and a new decade; 2020 has been quietly approaching while we’ve all been distracted by the colossal mess of the past decade. Things will change, and things will stay the same as time beats on disregarding our human construct of systems.

Your B2B marketing strategy is likely well planned and ready for execution. You would have planned your social media outreach, your advertising mediums and your lead outreach strategies. Hopefully, you have a diverse and engaging editorial calendar that includes vlogs, podcasts and at least one blog a month? If you don’t, why not?

Content is still king at the dawning of the new decade. While content type is likely to shift towards visual mediums in the coming years, right now, you still need great blogs to attract customers. Your B2B partners, the decision-makers you meet for 5-minute meetings at an airport lounge, are not the people who read your blog.

It is the assistants, managers and workers who research innovations in and for their industry. These people are Googling, reading, watching YouTube videos and listening to TED talks. These people are searching for answers – and then filtering their findings in reports to decision-makers. One of the best ways of getting the attention of those busy researchers is by providing content that they can copy, cut and paste and refer to fast; and that can be provided in your blog.

So how do you make your blog an indispensable asset for those seeking B2B solutions?

  • Formatting
  • Typography
  • Accessibility
  • Tone
  • Reliable statistics
  • Links

Formatting

One of the most important things about your blog is how it looks. You need to ensure that it has visual appeal. Choosing the correct layout and images takes time. You need your blog to be professional and polished, easy to speed read and locate key points.

Use paragraphs, bullet points, headings and images to break up the text. Include white space, and, where possible, make sure your first paragraph is above the fold. While you might not have total control over these aspects of publishing, it is important to keep in mind that your presentation will have a huge impact on your readership.

Typography

Research which fonts are trending, which are considered the easiest to read and what message different fonts can convey. Your font choice is more important than you might first realise. While many people find Times New Roman boring on a resume, many people prefer to read reports and official documents in the font. Arial is the default text for most word processing software, making it easy on the eye

Your font choice should be well considered. If you look to a reputable newspaper you will find that there are usually three type sets from the same family used for hard news, and sometimes a different font used for sports or even local news. It is very subtle, but it can have a big effect on how the reader feels. You can choose to do the same with your blogs, using one font for white papers and another typeset from the same family for regular blogs.

Accessibility

If your website is still not accessible on mobile channels then your business is unlikely to continue. Your blog should be compatible with all devices.

You should also follow accessibility advice.

Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economic restrictions on bandwidth and speed. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, generally, all users have equal access to information and functionality.

Tone

Choosing a voice for your blog can help you engage an audience. You can choose conversational, informative or formal tones simply by implementing a style guide. If you choose a consistent tone, your readers will know what to expect when referring to your blog and this makes it easier for them to read.

Reliable statistics

Depending on what level of information you want to convey in a blog, it is a good idea to find reliable resources to support your arguments, just as you would writing any piece that is more than just your opinion.

These statistics should be verifiable and identified. If you can include links to the statistics or data that you are citing it gives your work credibility. You can choose to insert a bibliography for longer pieces that you feel require the backing of experts in the field. Blogs are not peer-reviewed pieces, however, you can present your work more professionally by citing and referencing. These works also tend to become valuable evergreen content, so it is worth the time to consider going deeper with your research.

Links

In-text links are a great way for your reader to be able to understand your position better. If you are linking to products, they might see that your piece is about marketing and networking. If you link to scholarly articles or blogs of other industry experts, your reader can see that your blog is a source of knowledge and engagement. How you choose to incorporate links is up to you; they can have an impact on your SEO.

The only real right way use links to is:

  • Make sure they work
  • Make sure they open in another tab

Links can be distracting if they open on the same page, and the reader might disregard your blog if they are offered too early in your piece. Make sure that you review links in blogs regularly; perhaps include it as part of your monthly QA. And ensure that the links you use do not create a conflict of interest for your business, you don’t want to send a customer to the competition by mistake.

Conclusion

Yes, blogs are still relevant. They will remain relevant, however, blogs that offer no value will wilt and be forgotten. Now is the time to invest in content that is well researched, written and edited. Now is the time to learn about presentation and engagement. Now is the time to create evergreen content that stands out above the billions of option pieces and informs your industry leaders and buyers so that you can secure your eCommerce future.

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