One would imagine that blog post introductions need to be tighter, more interesting, and more relevant to the reader. Instead, most intros sound like college research papers—dry, generic, and repetitive.
And, unfortunately for these brands, I’m not the only one who’s noticed.
Every time I attend a conference or launch a thread on social media, I receive tons of comments from marketing peers who agree that B2B blog posts lack one key ingredient: a unique, attention-grabbing introduction.
I’d like to help with that.
If you’re also sick and tired of the college essay conundrum that’s been plaguing B2B blog posts, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a dozen of the best B2B blog intros I’ve come across as well as time-tested tips to diversify and elevate your copy above the competition.
1. Open with a personal anecdote
One of the simplest ways to improve on a B2B blog post intro is to meet the reader where they’re at with personal anecdotes. A fantastic example of this is a recent Hotjar blog, “How to get UX buy-in at your company (and why it’s so difficult).” By the title alone, one could imagine that a reader searching for this blog is experiencing their own difficulties gaining UX buy-in.
Rather than begin the blog with a generic definition of UX or the importance of company buy-in, blog author, Ioana Teleanu, leads with a personal story about how she also struggled with this exact subject. This approach builds an instant connection to the reader and organically positions the author as a thought leader who can provide actionable insights from personal experience.
2. Lead with honesty
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve rolled my eyes while reading a how-to post from a B2B brand that made one of the most complicated processes seem like a total walk in the park. Anyone with skin in the game will tell you that certain marketing activities are downright difficult, and beginning a blog post with an introduction that says the opposite can quickly lose your readers.
To capture the reader’s attention right from the jump, lead with a bit of honesty instead. Take this post, “How to Use HARO (And Alternatives) to Get Killer Backlinks” from Ahrefs, for example.
Author Jenny Abouobaia pens, “Today, actually getting results is hard work. HARO is oversaturated, and results are not guaranteed.” In this way, Jenny has set an honest scene for the reader upfront. However, she goes on to say, “As someone who has had great success using earned media platforms like HARO…” to indicate she has the necessary pointers to help readers navigate HARO fruitfully.
3. Begin with a bang
While I would never advise a B2B brand to open with a misleading statement (like how “easy” a complicated process is), I always recommend beginning a blog post with a bang. One way to do this is to make a bold claim, like in this “What Does it Mean to Win on Black Friday in 2022?” blog post from B2B eCommerce marketing agency, Common Thread, and writer Taylor Holiday.
Taylor opens the piece with one emboldened line, “This year, survival is a win, and any growth is a triumph. Let me explain …” With this one sentence, Taylor sets the stage for what he goes on to call “a volatile rollercoaster of a ride” for eCommerce that he peppers with recent data. Combined, this introduction packs a massive punch, but also clearly lays out the subject matter of the blog post.
4. Keep it short and sweet
If you want to avoid your introduction looking like a college research essay, please steer clear of walls of text. One of the most aggravating things — both as a content writer and an avid reader — is to click on a B2B blog post that’s written with absolutely no paragraphs or clear division between ideas. To boost the quality of your intros, begin by whittling down the word count.
Consider the blog post, “Looking back: what creators discovered about themselves and their businesses in 2022,” from ConvertKit writer Dana Nicole.
In barely 80 words, this introduction explains the problem (“Not quite knowing what those around us are thinking or feeling”), describes what the reader will learn (“What surprised them about 2022? What lessons are they taking with them into 2023?”), and lays the groundwork for the rest of the blog (“A retrospective peek into the 2022 creator economy”). Short, sweet, and simple.
5. Find common ground
A time-tested method to meet readers where they’re at is to find common ground. Balto, an AI-powered B2B contact center software solution, mastered this approach with its recent blog post, “Lack of Proper Software Cited as Major Issue in Financial Services Contact Centers.”
The very beginning of the blog post reads, “Take a look at your tech stack for customer interactions. Chances are, it’s way more than three applications… or four, or five, or even six.” Unfortunately, that is the case for tons of us, not just contact center operators and agents. By opening the blog by identifying that common ground, Balto places itself in a trustworthy position to provide solutions.
6. Take the list approach
If there’s anything I love in content marketing more than a detailed listicle, it’s a blog post that makes good use of a list in the introduction. Case in point? The blog post, “How to Create a Social Media Calendar to Plan Your Content,” from HubSpot writer Sophia Bernazzani.
Sophia opens the blog post with the lines, “What do cross-country road trips, wedding speeches, and social media marketing have in common? Planning.” Though a unique assortment of items, it’s easy to spot the throughline of planning — the point of the blog post — in this list.
Sophia also goes on to say, “I can’t help you with your road trip or wedding speech, but I have a solution for planning your next social media marketing campaign.” She rounds out the introduction with what readers can anticipate learning in the post, which makes for a robust start to the blog.
7. Reference common knowledge
This next tip for writing better B2B blog post intros is similar to how I began this post: with a bit of common knowledge. In the above introduction, I make mention of how digital marketing experience can lead to an influx of B2B blog posts arriving on your newsfeed, a shared experience for many.
This blog post by the Content Marketing Institute, “A Small Amount of Data Can Do It for B2B Personalization,” notes how the topic of personalization causes marketers to “undoubtedly reference Amazon and Netflix.” It’s true! The introduction then goes on to explain how Netflix and Amazon have mastered personalization and teases how the post will teach marketers to do the same.
8. Break the ice with humor
Humor can be a bit tricky in digital marketing. On one hand, you don’t want a joke to come across as offensive or childish; but on the other hand, you hope that your humor won’t go over a reader’s head and come across as nonsense. Fortunately, there’s a way to be both relatable and funny.
If you need some inspiration, just check out this blog post, “Third-Party Cookies: What You Need to Know” by Drift, a conversational marketing and sales B2B brand.
The blog opens with, “If you’ve ever flipped through your high school yearbook and cringed, you know the feeling: One day, we’ll look back on the era of third-party cookies and wonder, ‘What were we all thinking?’” The humor is subtle but all too relatable for industry veteran digital marketers.
9. Explain the consequence of not reading
If finding common ground or cracking a joke doesn’t feel on brand for your B2B content marketing, you can take the opposite approach with this blog intro tip: mention what could go awry if readers don’t consider and implement the guidance provided in your blog post.
Co-founder of TorchFish, Sue Mizera, takes this approach in a blog post for B2B Marketing titled “The importance of brand personality in B2B – and how to find yours.” Sue ends her brief introduction with the sentence, “If you don’t define and manage your brand personality, somebody else will and you probably won’t appreciate the results.” Consider me hooked and reading on!
10. Create clever questions
As someone who appreciates writers who think outside the box, I enjoy when a blog post begins with an assortment of questions. To me, this conveys that the writer began their research and drafting process with the same queries I had, but now, they’ve gathered the necessary details to compose a well-structured blog post. Questions in the introduction are almost always promising.
You can get a glimpse of what I mean in this Semrush blog, “Zero-clicks study.” Writer Marcus Tober opens the blog with the question, “What if more and more searchers just…aren’t clicking?” He also asks, “And what if the likes of Google are benefiting from changing behaviors more than content creators themselves?” Even if a reader hadn’t had these questions, it sparks immediate interest.
11. Put the ball in the reader’s court
“Do you take a good, hard look at your team’s marketing strategy every year?”
That’s how HubSpot writer, Rebecca Riserbato, opens the introduction for the blog post, “5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan.” For readers who found this B2B blog because they didn’t have a marketing plan, this question will jolt their attention (and nearly guarantee they finish the entirety of the blog post to learn why a strategy is so important in the first place).
Similar to meeting readers where they’re at, this approach immediately demonstrates the importance of the blog’s subject matter. By putting the ball in the reader’s court, a writer has an opportunity to then guide the reader through the optimal steps for ultimate resolution.
12. Leverage current events (wisely)
This last tip for writing a great B2B blog post intro should be used sparingly, but when it works, it definitely works. I’m talking about current events or leveraging something happening concurrently across the industry or among society at large to draw parallels between the blog and the reader.
One successful example of using current events in B2B blog posts is the “What Are You Thinking? How Executive Perception of the Contact Center Makes or Breaks Success” Balto blog by Blair Pleasant, President & Principal Analyst, COMMfusion LLC.
Blair opens the post with the lines, “The direction of a company is largely determined by the vision of the executive suite. Look no further than the recent Twitter takeover by Elon Musk to see how much … leadership can pivot a company’s trajectory.” It’s relatable, tongue-in-cheek, and effective.
How will you elevate your B2B blog post intros?
So, have you gathered new techniques to diversity and improve your B2B blog post intros? If so, which will you use first, taking the list approach, using a bit of humor, or another one of the dozen above introduction tips? If you don’t know where to start, I’d be happy to help.
Drop me a message today so we can chat about (and elevate) your B2B content marketing.