In spite of AI and TikTok-related fears, blogging is still a great strategy for growing a B2B brand. In 2023, some of our clients 3Xed their influx of organic leads with under 30,000 words of content per month.
But blog posts are more expensive and time-consuming to produce than other types of content. And not all content programs are created equal. If you’ve never invested in blogging before, or if you’re working with a limited budget, you may be especially worried about the possibility of burning money on content and getting no results.
Is that the case with you? If you’ve only got budget (or time) to create a limited number of blog posts, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll explore the 10 content formats you should invest in to get some early wins. Finally, we’ll also share some tips to make sure your content has the impact you’re looking for.
10 Essential Blog Posts that Get Results
We recommend creating:
- 5 how-tos centered around 5 top pain points
- 2 mistakes analysis post
- 2 product showdowns
- 1 success story
These blog post formats are impactful because they’re:
- Evergreen - they don’t require constant revamping and updating
- MOFU & BOFU - they target leads that are ready to buy, or may be ready to buy soon
- Product-centric - learn more about this concept on our pieces about content-market fit and product-led content
5 pain point how-tos
Title template: How to [achieve X] [minus pain point]
Title example: How to send cold emails that get replies
Minimum recommended wordcount: 1,500 words
Pick the top pain points that your product addresses, and create a how-to article for each. Center the piece around providing unique value to the user. But don’t hesitate to mention your product from the get-to.
Your goal should be to have users understand that adopting your solution is the no-brainer way to get from point A to point B.
2 mistakes analysis
Title template: [X] reasons why [effort] [fails] + How to prevent it
Title example: 5 reasons why cold emails land in Spam + How to prevent it
Minimum recommended wordcount: 1,500 words
What are your potential customers struggling with? What are their most intense pain points? Analyze them and suggest concrete steps to prevent them. Spoiler: Adopting your product should be one of them. You get extra points if you can turn that “how to” section into a step-by-step tutorial.
2 product showdowns
Title template 1: [X] best [category] tools for [profile]
Title template 2: [X] best [category] tools for [use case]
Title example 1: 10 best collaborative product roadmap tools for SaaS startups
Title example 2: 5 best spend management tools for cutting costs
Minimum recommended wordcount: 2,000 words
You can adapt this format to:
- Meet specific customer expectations
- Address high-intent keywords
- Highlight your competitive advantages
For instance, if you’re competing against expensive tools, and customers are looking for an option under $100/month, you can write a piece titled “5 best [category] tools under $100”
A success story
Title template: How [Company] solved [pain point] with [product]
Title example: How Acme, Inc. increased their speed-to-market Tooly
Minimum recommended wordcount: 1,000 words
This post doesn’t have to be long. It just has to tell how your product transformed one of your clients. It can be a small transformation or a large one. Some of our success stories are about our 6-digits revenue increases. Others are about bringing clarity and meaning to previously convoluted and ineffective processes. But there’s always a transformation.
Tell your success story in a way that helps your readers to put themselves in the successful customer’s shoes. At the end of the piece, the reader should feel that “if this could happen to [X], it could happen to me.”
How to Guarantee that Your Blog Posts Are Impactful
Ready to start creating your first blog posts? Don’t forget to:
- Shorten your time-to-value
- Mention your product as soon as it’s reasonable
- Stay aware of your content’s competitive advantages
- Include a lead magnet
Shorten your time-to-value
Content experts usually recommend keeping your posts’ introductions short. But that advice is a bit insufficient. Don’t focus on making your introduction short. Focus on minimizing your time-to-value.
The concept of “time-to-value” refers to how long a user will have to read before they start getting value from your post.
Here are a few strategies you can use to shorten your time to value:
- If most of your qualified readers should be aware of a concept’s definition, leave it for a FAQs section, at the end of the post
- Include a bold and original observation in your intro
- Add fresh research to your intro
- Use images and pull quotes to anticipate important concepts
Mention the product as soon as it's reasonable
Let's say you're at a party and someone starts telling a very funny story. It's about something that happened to them in a dentist's waiting room. It has all sorts of whacky characters and outrageous turns. You're hooked. But as the story progresses, you realize you're not quite sure what the point is. The storyteller keeps you in suspense, building up to a grand ending... and then they start pitching you a brand of toothpaste. It feels icky, it's a bait-and-switch, and it's disappointing - isn't it?
When you mention your product early on, you're setting the context and not leaving the audience guessing about your intentions. It feels more genuine and less like a sales gimmick. Plus, let's not forget about those readers who may not stick around until the end. You want to make sure they know your product's value from the get-go. So, don't hide your product - make it an integral part of your narrative.
Be aware of your content's competitive advantages
Every piece of content should have a unique "competitive advantage" - something that sets it apart from the rest. Why? Because in the vast sea of information that is the internet, originality is the lighthouse that helps your content stand out to readers. Additionally, if you make this competitive advantage very obvious, you may get more clicks.
This unique value may be:
- Unique insight from your own experiences
- Unique insight from experts that you recruited
- Exclusivity of information - such as original research
- A fresh perspective on a well-trodden subject
Include a lead magnet
Including a lead magnet in your content is a powerful strategy to capture leads from your blog posts.
Lead magnets offer value — such as exclusive content, a useful tool, or a special discount — in return for users' contact information. They work because:
- They're freebies
- They're usually perceived as low-stakes
If possible, create a lead magnet for at least 2 out of the 10 essential blog posts.
Don’t know how to get started? Here are some lead magnet ideas you may find useful:
- Pair your strongest “How-to” post with a webinar
- Pair your “Mistake analysis” posts with cheatsheets & checklists
- Add a savings calculator or quiz to your product showdowns
- Use your customer success story to promote an async demo
- “How to send cold emails that get replies” could be paired with a webinar on how to write email campaigns that get results.
- “5 reasons why cold emails land in Spam + How to prevent it” could be paired with a deliverability optimization checklist.
- “10 best collaborative product roadmap tools for SaaS startups” could include a quiz that helps users choose the best tool for their team, depending on certain relevant traits.
Leave Your Essential Content in the Hands of Experts
At Postdigitalist, we collaborate with founders & founding teams to build sustainable organic growth levers.
Don’t have the time or the know-how to start your content efforts on your own? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Best case scenario: We’ll help you create the 10 essential pieces you need to grow.
Worst case scenario: You’ll leave the meeting with 45 minutes worth of actionable advice from a 5-star content agency.