5 Ways to Make Your Industrial Marketing Blog More Successful
If you’ve been trying to figure out ways to engage with customers and prospects through social media, by now you probably have a Blog (and if you don’t, you need to!) In addition to being a fantastic SEO tool, a Blog is one of the keys to having a fresh supply of content to lace throughout your social media channels.
If you’ve been blogging and wondering why nobody ever comments on your posts, perhaps you could use some tips for creating more compelling content that provides value to your target audience.
1. Plan ahead.
Create an actual editorial calendar for your Blog. Start by filling in significant dates that you are currently aware of, and that will affect or impact your company. These are all potentials for content. Examples might be: trade shows you’ll be attending; new product introductions; an open house or other special events such as a Crawfish Boil; historic dates for your company or industry; webinars; dates that are specific to your industry, such as Plant Turnaround Season – you get the idea. Once you’ve laid out the significant dates on your calendar for the year, you can start penciling in ideas for blog posts that relate to the calendar.
Decide on the frequency of your posts. It’s better to underestimate what you can do rather than overestimating, especially if you’re just starting out. It takes time to get an entire organization on board with blogging, so be realistic.
2. Fill your calendar with articles that are categorized proportionately.
Primary: Roughly 70% of your posts should deal with your target audiences’ needs and how your company can specifically address them. They should not, however, be sales pitches. Provide answers and real value. Your readers will understand that your company is able to provide the solutions you suggest.
Secondary: 20% of your posts can relate to topics that are relevant to your industry or customers, but don’t necessarily cover the products or services that your company provides. For instance, if one of your target customers is a refinery Turnaround Planner, you could write some posts during Turnaround Season about scheduling, organization, management, safety, or other aspects of the turnaround.
The Human Element: About 5-10% of your Blog posts can actually go well outside of your Primary and Secondary topics. They can be personal; reflective; or even humorous. I call these “The Human Element” because they are the posts that bring true personality to your Blog.
3. Develop a monthly theme.
Trade publications have monthly editorial themes, so it stands to reason this should work for a Blog, as well. Having a theme for the month doesn’t mean that’s ALL you write about; however, it should be the main focus of your posts for that month. For example, if your company repairs rotating equipment, a theme could be “preventive maintenance”: anything and everything that keeps rotating equipment running and minimizes downtime. Create “on brand” continuity by having videos or webinars .also carry the editorial theme.
4. Reflect the voice of your customer.
You may THINK you know what’s important to your customer; but have you actually asked any of them? Too often, industrial companies assume they know what will resonate with customers and prospects. Whether you do it formally – email surveys; letters; or other direct communications – or informally – asking sales or customer service staff to engage customers as they carry on their day to day business – find out what information you can provide that would be helpful to your customers. Once these ideas begin trickling in, fully commit to addressing the issues your customers have told you are important to them.
5. Dedicate resources.
Good Blogs don’t just happen. They’re not the result of knee-jerk reactions or unrealistic expectations. In fact, those kinds of Blogs usually last a few months and then go into Blog oblivion. If you don’t have an internal marketing professional who can coordinate your editorial calendar, hire a company that can. If you are committed to writing the Blog posts yourself, it has to be a priority. Set aside an afternoon each week, or every other week, and make it a sacred pact with yourself: this is Blog writing time. Too often, the best marketing intentions get thrown out the window because of the customer. Yes, customers are important and must be Numero Uno. If you find you are consistently breaking your pact it’s time to find outside help.
Use these tips and before you know it you’ll have a Blog that is getting attention and helping you establish your company as an expert in your field. Not only that, you’ll have great content to post on your social media pages which will spread your message even further. Now THAT’s what I call getting the most bang for your buck!