The Role of Blogs in B2B Content Marketing

April 19, 2023

A staple of today’s internet, the blog has been around since the late 1990s, when programmer Peter Merholz coined the term by breaking the phrase “weblog” into “we blog” on his personal website.

Less than a year later, the blogging service Blogger was launched, becoming the first tool to officially use the term “blog” as both noun and verb.

Since then, blogs have proliferated. Most businesses and many individuals create them, providing commentary on their activities or a theme of interest.

Why are they so popular?

Are they a valuable piece of the content marketing puzzle or a noisy distraction?

Time for a meta blog post about blogs.

But before we dive into their applications for B2B content marketing, here are some definitions.


What is a Blog?

A blog (short for weblog) is a frequently updated webpage, usually arranged in reverse chronological order so that the newest posts appear at the top.

A blog can be a section of a larger website (typical for a company blog), or a website unto itself (more common for personal blogs).

A blog post is a piece of content in a blog. Each post covers a subtopic of the blog and is usually linked to other posts covering related material.

A blogger is a person or business that creates and manages a blog. For better or worse, anyone can become a blogger.

Common characteristics of blogs are that they adopt a conversational voice and tone, convey opinions as well as facts, are frequently collaborative, and usually include a comment section for reader interaction.

This differentiates blogs from wikis, which are usually organized by topic rather than in chronological order, focus on communicating facts rather than opinions, use anonymous writers and editors, and don’t allow comments.


Why Write a Blog?

Irrespective of what your content sets out to accomplish, you face a critical challenge: how to get it noticed by the right people.

The solution comes in three parts:

1.    Figure out what your target audience needs/wants to read about.

2.    Produce engaging content that satisfies some of those audience needs.

3.    Persuade the algorithms that determine what content each of us sees to show your content to the right people.

Step 1—topic identification—is a subject for another day but these posts on ideal customer profiling and creating a content gap analysis should prove helpful.

For Step 2, blog posts are a very convenient vehicle for conveying relevant, helpful information in an engaging way.

They are longer than social media posts, so you can make them meaty enough to satisfy the reader’s appetite.

They are shorter and less involved than guides and e-books, so you can publish them frequently and cover a wide range of topics in bite-sized chunks.

By hosting them on a dedicated blog, you can—over time—build up a library of relevant information in a structured manner.

Step 3—how to get your content shown and seen—is also beyond the scope of this post but involves prioritizing the digital channels that your target audience frequents and using a combination of paid, earned, and owned media to engage their eyeballs.


Blogs for Each Aspect of Demand Generation

Seen through a company lens, blogs can impact several different aspects of brand building and demand generation.

Let’s consider brand awareness, credibility, relevance, authority, trust, authenticity, and thought leadership.


Brand Awareness

Generating demand for your company’s products and services requires making prospective buyers aware that your company and its solutions exist.

This is less trivial than it sounds.

Amid the torrent of information pouring onto and through the internet each day, how can a new entrant make themselves seen and heard?

Three words: attention, differentiation, and money

Three words: attention, differentiation, and money.

Use eye-catching (but credible) headlines to grab their attention.

Invest the effort to write stuff people want to read that’s different from what’s already out there. Generative AI can brilliantly and rapidly summarize existing content; writing original material is where humans still shine.

Make it engaging, so that they stick with you, and offer compelling calls to action that encourage your readers to learn more.

Finally, be prepared to pay for eyeballs.

With exabytes of information being produced each day, the internet is impossible to navigate without the help of algorithms.

They parse our search intent and study our reading behavior to serve up content that they believe we will find relevant and engaging.

To get seen, you must persuade the algorithms that your content is worth sharing.

Generating brand awareness is when these investments matter most. Until you have a large enough following for clicks, likes, comments, and shares to signal your relevance to the algorithms, you must pay to jump the queue.

Get this right, and you’ll capture a slice of mind share among your target audience—the critical foundation on which future sales can be built.



The Google Search algorithm places an increasing emphasis on E-E-A-T: experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

I’m going to cover each one in turn, starting with experience, which I prefer to call credibility.

Does your content demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about?

Does your content demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about?

Have you included unique examples based on your company’s activities in the sector?

It’s tough when you’re a startup and your track record is short, which is one reason why building a strong leadership team with deep sector experience pays dividends.

Writing based on the experiences they’ve accumulated throughout their careers is a good surrogate while the new company is building up its storybook.

Well written blogs can significantly strengthen your company’s credibility by showcasing the experience your team brings to bear on its customers’ challenges.



When I purchase a product or service, I want the vendor to be an expert in the field.

As a rule, we prefer specialists over generalists, whether we’re talking about individual tradespeople or corporations.

Blogs are an excellent medium for showcasing expertise in an area that’s important to your target audience, writing about topics that are specific and relevant to them.

This doesn’t just mean knowing everything there is to know about your product.

Show potential customers that you know a lot about their situation, the challenges they are facing, and how to solve them

You need to show potential customers that you know a lot about their situation, the challenges they are facing, and how to solve them.

They’re hoping to lean on you for advice selecting the right solution, as well as extracting maximum value from the solution they purchase and troubleshooting any issues that arise.

Write blogs that compare different solutions available in the market.

Provide guidance on how to evaluate and select a solution that’s right for them and what questions to ask to get the information they need to make a smart choice.



Algorithms establish authoritativeness by rating the quality of your content, the reputation of the site where it is hosted, the links you provide, the reputation of sites that reference your content, and the credentials of the content creator.

To drive up the authority of your brand, be consistent in the quality and cadence of your content production.

Sites that publish quality content on a regular schedule are ranked more favorably than those that publish erratically.

And, although backlinks (i.e., links to your blogs from other websites) count for less than they used to, it still pays to persuade credible third parties to link to your content.



What does it take to establish trust?

It’s easier to ask, what does it take to destroy trust?

Information that turns out to be inaccurate, plagiarized, or misleading.

Sources that are missing, masked, or misrepresented.

A propensity for baiting the audience with appealing content only to switch into sales mode once they’re engaged.

Failing to show up when the audience expects you to—another example of why consistent publication is so important.

Each of these things can destroy trust in a heartbeat and, once you lose a reader’s trust, you’ve almost certainly lost that reader for good.



I find this one of the most powerful yet underrated elements of brand building and demand generation.

In combination with the factors we’ve just described, authenticity is what separates truly powerful content from the rest.

When someone reads your blog, can they tell (without knowing) that it came from you or your company?

Are the opinions consistent, reflecting your company’s personality, beliefs, purpose, mission, and vision?

Content that’s cobbled together from multiple sources generally lacks authenticity

Content that’s cobbled together from multiple sources generally lacks authenticity because it mixes other authors’ authentic voices into an inconsistent soup.

Content that’s predominantly generated by AI runs into the same problem.

Yes, AI tools are great for generating content topics and ideas, but authenticity will only happen if a human writes about those topics in the company’s unique voice, tone, and style.


Thought Leadership

Lastly, blogs can help establish thought leadership.

This means more than just writing clever articles about relevant topics. It means taking the conversation in a whole new direction.

Whether it runs counter to the prevailing narrative or provides an extension to it, thought leadership must be original, helpful, and invite discussion.

Not every business has a thought leader in its midst. It’s a common misconception that the vision required to start and lead a successful business inevitably translates into thought leadership.

But if you’ve got it, a blog is a fantastic place to showcase it.


Blogs help provide relevant information to prospects at each stage of their buyer's journey

Blogs for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Now let’s briefly shift our focus and look at blogs through the eyes of your target audience.

To do so, I’m going to examine each stage in their buyer’s journey: Awareness, Evaluation, Selection, Implementation, and Loyalty.


The Awareness Stage

At the awareness stage, prospects are trying to better understand the challenge they are facing and what solving it might mean for them.

Blogs that describe similar situations and how other customers have gone about solving them are most helpful here.

Explain how to quantify the impact of leaving a relevant challenge unresolved, as well as the benefits of solving it effectively.

This tackles head-on one of your fiercest competitors: the status quo.


The Evaluation Stage

As they move into the evaluation stage, prospects are seeking to identify and compare potential solutions to their challenge.

They’re still not ready to make a purchase. Instead, they want to know whether there’s a viable solution available to them and what it might cost to obtain in terms of effort and capital.

Successful blogs for this stage provide product comparisons and information on how to best evaluate the available options.

Blog posts describing the pros and cons while remaining product agnostic—i.e., not explicitly promoting your own solution—are a great way to build authority and trust.

If your target audience is prone to believing a solution will be too difficult or costly to obtain, publish case histories showcasing the relative ease with which other customers have navigated the process.

If there’s uncertainty whether a solution can deliver as much value as the prospect hopes, publish data showing the range of possible outcomes, so that it’s clear what a best- and worst-case scenario might look like.


The Selection Stage

Also known as the Purchase stage, this is where prospects become customers.

Finally, you can publish content that’s specific to your product or service!

Most companies generate an abundance of content for this stage since it’s the material they know best. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s of a high quality.

Focus on answering your prospects’ frequently asked questions.

Be transparent about your solution’s limitations and shortcomings. This demonstrates a high level of authenticity and trustworthiness.

Focus on what makes your solution most attractive in a buyer’s eyes, which might not be the same as what you think is most cool about it.


The Implementation Stage

Many company bloggers focus exclusively on the pre-purchase aspects of demand generation. This is a mistake.

Even though a customer has made their purchase, they’ve yet to realize any value. Considerable uncertainty remains about whether it will do what they expect, what issues they might run into, and how your team will support them.

Blogs are a great place to publicize the ease with which your solution can be implemented

Blogs are a great place to publicize the ease with which your solution can be implemented, ways in which it can be configured or customized to suit individual circumstances, and the lengths to which your team will go in helping customers optimize their experience.

Blogs can also include troubleshooting information, although I prefer to make this part of a knowledge base or FAQ section.

Ask yourself, how can we help our customers extract more value from our solution than they expected?

Tips and tricks, often based on testimonials from other customers, are a great way to foster an ongoing relationship with your customer base.


The Loyalty Stage

But wait—there’s more!

Loyal customers who become advocates for your brand are a valuable source of low-cost marketing, especially if you arm them with ready-to-share information.

While case histories are predominantly written to support the evaluation and selection stages of the buyer’s journey, they play an important role here, too.

Guest posts co-authored with flagship customers are a great way to make those VIPs feel recognized and valued, while simultaneously encouraging other prospects to emulate their success.

Blogs reporting on your latest product enhancements and features give customers a reason to tell their peers about your solution.

Finally, be sure to showcase the range of situations in which your solution has been deployed, as well as how different solutions can be combined to solve even more complex challenges.

Blogs like this help to drive cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, increasing the size of existing accounts at a fraction of the cost of winning new ones.


Summarizing the Essential Role Blogs Play in B2B Content Marketing

As you can see, blogs play a vital role across the spectrum of demand generation and throughout the buyer’s journey.

They are a great vehicle for conveying relevant helpful information—longer than a social media post, so you can get into the details, but shorter than an e-book, so you can produce them regularly on a wide range of topics.

Use them to intentionally boost brand awareness, showcase your credibility, relevance, authority, and trust—a.k.a. EEAT (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness)—and to demonstrate authenticity and thought leadership.

Direct blog posts at specific stages in the buyer’s journey by addressing the questions prospects and customers are asking at each stage.

And don’t forget to write posts that help customers get the most out of their purchase (implementation phase) and tell others how great you are (loyalty and advocacy).


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Image credits: Adobe Stock


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