How Far Off-Topic Should A B2B Blog Go?


Share on LinkedIn

As someone who’s been known to stray a little off-topic when blogging for business, Eoin looks at what you can and can’t put in your B2B blog.

When we talk to clients about blogging the same question comes up over and over. It’s not always the first question; clients often come to us with a list of blog ideas in mind. But sooner or later, they always ask ‘what should we write about?’

Finding a topic that you can write well about, and one that will engage an audience, is the biggest challenge in blogging. The actual writing is secondary to the strategy and big ideas that lead in to every topic. That process is even more difficult for a B2B blog. Once you get past blogs that discuss the merits of your products, and diary-style posts about the day someone brought a dog to work, you’re left with very little.

That’s why we often advise clients to look for topics outside their business, even outside their industry, to find inspiration.

But I thought my blog was supposed to be about my business?

It is. The trick is to find topics that allow you to talk about industry factors from a different angle. Or topics that help to make a point about your industry. If you stick too rigidly to your industry, you’ll end up with readers who are sick of hearing about the same topics over and over.

Okay, so maybe industrial solvents aren’t the most exciting topic in the world, but what else can I write about?

It’s not the topic that’s the problem; it’s repetition. If every post reads like a sales lecture on industrial solvents, people will switch off. Even if they’ve previously attended such lectures by choice. By using current events or popular culture topics you give readers a new way to approach your content and give it a feeling of freshness, even if the thrust is still the same.

Why would I write about current events?

The key is to write about your industry in the context of current events or popular culture. Imagine a Google results page for a search for information on industrial solvents or a Twitter timeline filled with your industry peers. If there are five blog posts with titles like “The Importance of PH levels in Industrial Solvents” or “10 Important uses of Industrial Solvents”, and one titled “5 Things The NSA Prism leaks tell us About Industrial Solvents”, which would you read first?

So can I write about anything?

B2B Blogs have three key functions, they need to attract the right readers, hold their attention and encourage them to move further down the sales funnel. All the while they should help you to build a connection with readers and build your profile as a brand they want to listen too. People prefer to read about things they connect with, so what you write about will depend on your market and your target reader. No matter how off-topic you think it is, if you find a subject that you’re confident will engage readers, it’s worth considering.

How far can I go then?

The best way to figure that out is to go back to your target readers. Whenever you engage in inbound or content marketing the first thing you need to do is create buyer personas to help you target your content at the right people.

Before you start writing a B2B blog, no matter how far off-topic you think it is, ask:

  • Would my buyer personas read about this topic?

  • Would they enjoy it?

  • Does this fit with our brand message?

  • Will it encourage our buyer personas to read more content or consider becoming a client?

  • Does it build our credibility as experts?

If the answer is yes to all of the above then you probably have a good idea for a B2B blog. With one note of caution. You can’t write every post on current events or popular culture. Sooner or later, you need to start giving that lecture on your product. Because the ultimate goal of all B2B blogs and content marketing is the same, growing your business.

Once you know what to write about, the next challenge is to engage. Read our 20 Questions for Engaging Online Content and find out if you’re doing all you can to connect with your audience.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eoin Keenan
Media and Content Manager at Silicon Cloud. We help businesses to drive leads and build customer relationships through online marketing and social media. I blog mainly about social media & marketing, with some tech thrown in for good measure. All thoughts come filtered through other lives in finance, ecommerce, customer service and journalism.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here