Does Unconscious Awareness Play a Part in B2B Blog Marketing?

The discovery of unconscious meanings attached to products and services allows advertisers to design appeals to tap those motivations, the authors of Persuasion in Advertising explain. In our last Say It For You blog post, we explored ways in which unconscious awareness plays a role in both the blog marketing of products as compared with using blogs to market professional services…
Is there a difference in the way blog marketing should best be sued to market B2B as compared to B2C marketing? Joshua Nite of TopRank makes a number of observations concerning business-to-business marketing, four of which are very much in keeping with practices we teach at Say It For You:

1.  It’s never been more important for brands to show purpose.
For blogs to be effective, they must serve as positioning statements. The “visit” has to conclude with readers understanding exactly what your particular philosophy or mission is. Effective blog posts must go from information-dispensing to offering the business owner’s (or the professional’s, or the organizational executive’s) unique perspective on issues related to the search topic.

2. On a chart ranking traits that B2B buyers value in salespeople, problem solving is near the top, while creativity is at the bottom of the list.
Business executives (or their staff members) are online searching for answers to their questions or solutions for dilemmas they’re facing.  Or, they might need a particular kind of service and aren’t sure who offers that.  Or maybe they need a product to fill a need they have.  Don’t think of it as business blogging; think of it as providing solutions to someone’s problem.

3.  Business customers see value in maintaining relationships with influencers.
In blog marketing, therefore, the content writer must “interview” the influencer, asking the right questions so as to elicit thoughtful, detailed responses, positioning the company owner or practitioner as a thought leader, someone who defines purpose in a marketplace craving direction.   In a face-to-face (or Skype) interview with a business owner or executive (or professional practitioner), I am able to capture their ideas and some of their words, then add “framing” with my own questions and introductions, to create a blog post more compelling and “real” than the typical narrative text.

4. With news about the COVID-19 pandemic dominating the internet, B2B marketers must be careful not to sound too opportunistic.
Even though today’s most searched-for topic may not be what is most often talked about tomorrow, I teach at Say It For You, you can benefit readers by tying your blog content to popular topics. While the focus of your business blog will be on the business owners and the services, advice, and products they offer, the content can reflect current happenings and concerns.

On the other hand, “content has to contribute value and fit organically within the cultural context of your target audience. Otherwise, you risk appearing opportunistic and losing their trust,” cautions. COVID-19 is a perfect example of a topic that must be incorporated in blog marketing only to the extent it is relevant to the solutions the marketer is offering.
At Say It For You, where we create content to market to both businesses and to consumers, we know that in both cases, our main goal is to raise prospects’ awareness of solutions to the issues that drove their online search. Just as, in marketing to consumers, we are not aiming for an immediate sale, the same is true for B2B marketing. We blog content writers keep on telling our client’s story in its infinite variations over long periods of time, knowing that the readers (whether consumers or businesses) who end up as clients and customers have self-selected rather than having been “sold”.

Business Blogging and SEO – How Strong is the Bond?

SEO and blogs

One of the points Carol Tice lists in comparing blog posts to articles is that blog posts are “built around SEO keywords”.

Does blogging help SEO?  To be sure.  Kristen Hicks of HostGator lists six reasons why:


  1. Blogging keeps your website fresh and current.
  2. A blog keeps people on your website for longer.
  3. Blogging helps target long-tail keywords (half of all searches are for terms four words or longer).
  4. A blog offers opportunities for internal linking.
  5. A quality blog gives other sites more reasons to link back to your site.
  6. A blog helps you connect with your audience (which encourages sharing and driving traffic to the site).

All true, but…. Are blogs – should blogs – be “built around” SEO keywords? “ Every successful blog is built on a solid foundation of content, but it’s consistency that’s the real key to successful search engine rank,” offers top web infuencer Neil Patel. “Using your keywords in a natural way in your post isn’t a bad SEO practice,” Patel says,” “but don’t overdo it”. .


SEO is the practice of optimizing content to clearly define what your webpage is and what information it is providing, explains Elena Terenteva in the SEMrush Blog. Some areas that need to be optimized, Terenteva explains, include:
  • page titles
  • meta descriptions
  • alt-text
  • internal links
  • anchor text
  • URLs

“Above all, your blog post has to be a good piece of writing!” cautions ( The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin is the guide our blog content writers at Say It For You rely on).


So, no, Carol Tice, blog posts should not be “built around” SEO keywords. As the Yoast article so aptly concludes – “The days when a few SEO tricks were enough to get your website to rank well in Google are long gone.  Nowadays, quality content is king.”



Contagion on Purpose Through Blogging

In recent months, the word “contagious” has certainly taken on frightening meaning.  But in his book Contagious, Jonah Berger explores ways to create contagion around good ideas, products, and services. “Regardless of how plain or boring a product or idea may seem,” Berger says, “there are ways to make it contagious.”

Every one of Berger’s ideas for achieving contagion, I found, is directly applicable to blog marketing:

1.  Find inner remarkability (break from what people expect from the experience of using the product or service). For every fact about the company or about one of its products or services, a blog post addresses unspoken questions such as “So, is that different?”, “So, is that good for me?”  

2.  Leverage game mechanics (use elements of a game to keep people engaged, motivated and wanting more. A core mechanic is the essential play activity players perform again and again in a game. Each business blog post should impart one new idea or call for a single action. 

3.  Make people feel like insiders (scarcity and exclusivity drives desirability). Hitting precisely the right “advertorial” note is the big challenge in corporate blog writing. Exclusivity is one of the five “key copy drivers” which business content writers should use to enhance audience response.

4.  Use “triggers” to keep ideas and products fresh in the minds of consumers, associating your product or service with some familiar aspect of life. In your blog content, link your products and services to prevalent trends.

5.  Use emotional content to evoke feelings that drive people to share and to act. Evoking emotion creates a feeling in your audience of being connected with you and the people in your business or practice.

6.  Provide practical information that helps others save time, energy, and resources. Chunking, or breaking down information into bite-sized pieces , allows readers to digest and more easily use new information.
7.  Embed your ideas in stories that people want to hear and retell. Let stories about people tell the story of your company, your products, and of the services you provide.

When it comes to spreading ideas through blogging for business, the word contagious can be a very good thing indeed!

Let’s Be Designerly in Our Blogging

DORIS Research, I learned in the Indianapolis Business Journal, uses design thinking to organize workplaces. As a blog content writer and trainer, I particularly liked two suggestions DORIS founder Samantha Julka offers for being “more designerly”

1.  “Spend time thinking about people. Think about how they would react or feel about the action you are making or the thing you are creating.”
This statement reminds me of a statement I found in a West Bend Insurance promotional piece: “Much like beauty, ‘value’ is in the eye of the beholder.” Because of that truth, success in blog marketing is knowing your particular audience and thinking about how they (not the average person, but specifically “they*) would probably react or feel about your approach to the hand.

For example, while you may point out that your product or service can do something your competitors can’t, that particular “advantage” may or may not be what your audience is likely to value. Are you the cheapest (is that likely to appeal to your audience?) or the most expensive (is your audience on that prizes exclusivity?)
2.  “Simple is smart.  Making something simple for other people is actually much harder than making something complex…When it feels effortless to them, you’ve done your job.”
There is actually a Simplicity Score for writers, based on the idea that average sentence length is a good indicator of text difficulty. In preparing blog content, simple can be the smarter choice.  There’s a caveat, though, we maintain at Say it For You. Given the limited attention spans of online readers, we may need to compromise between interesting and simple.
On the keeping-it-simple side, content writers can dump qualifiers (extraneous adverbs and adjectives), while at the same time, using repetition of key phrases to build “blog muscle”.

To be effective, let’s try to be more designerly in our blogging!


Look-Ahead Words of Wisdom for Blog Content Writers – Part B

This week, with an eye to the year to come, I’m sharing more words of wisdom from ”my bookshelves”, along with the links to the authors and book descriptions…

Sketch out an outline of events leading to a typical client needing you.
Choose a client from a typical demographic you serve, suggests Paul Smith in The Ten Stories Great Leaders Tell. Your sales story, Smith explains, relates what you did for one of your customers that is so impressive, other people will want to buy what you’re selling as well.

Build a blog post or two around a customer success story. Say you’re a realtor, and today you’re blogging about how important “curb appeal” can be when you’re marketing a client’s home to potential buyers. Rather than just offering advice, you can tell the story of how you guided Sam and Susie towards a successful sale by encouraging them to plant colorful flowers and painting their front door an attractive red. As a final touch for your blog, you can link back to the full version of Sam and Susie’s testimonial which is already part of your website. Customer success stories boost your credibility with new prospects, helping them decide to do business with you.

Our core values are… We pride ourselves on… We commit to… We encourage and reward…
The right phrases have the power to engage and develop employees, Laura Poole explains in Perfect Phrases for Coaching Employee Performance. Language has the power to establish personal connections, develop and reinforce strengths, provide constructive feedback, and encourage commitment to the company’s goals.

The best website content and the best blogs give readers insight into a company’s core beliefs in addition to information about products and services that company offers, I teach at Say it For You. Just as it’s important to tell readers what you have, what you know, and what you know how to do, it’s even more important to explain what you believe. Why have you chose to pursue this field or industry? Why do you choose to do business or conduct your practice in certain ways?

Customers want personalized solutions for their unique needs and preferences.
Driven by tighter budgets and dwindling natural resources, companies are now seeking new ways to appeal to their customers, Navi Radjou, author of Frugal Innovation posits. Products and services can be “co-created”, he says, with empowered consumers and external partners.

Try this highly useful exercise – make a list of ways your business individualizes and personalizes services to customers and clients. Drill down, I’d say to everyone offering blog writing services, to actual cases of clients’ personalized customer service, recalling times when unusual problems got solved, and when standard procedures were put aside to get the job done for that one customer..

By now you should have become a convert to the “reading around” habit. Over the past two weeks we’ve sampled a dozen precious gems that can motivate content writers and infuse blog posts with sparkle and meaning. But these represent just a sampling – blogging gems are all around, just waiting for each of us to add our own unique twist!