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EDMONTON, AB Jul 13, 2015/ Troy Media/ – “Don’t bring up the word ‘blog’ to me anymore,” said a rather ruffled wealth management CEO.” We were discussing sales and marketing. “I don’t have time.”
I hear the complaint every day. This executive knows that writing is time-consuming and he’s not clear about top-line results for all the effort. He would rather pick up the phone and make arrangements for lunch or have his assistant set up a list of appointments for an upcoming sales trip.
It reminds me of a high-end retailer who once told me that he didn’t need to advertise for clients in my print magazine because his relationships were developed on the golf course. He was right, of course – until his funnel of golfing clients started drying up due to retirement or company “right sizing.”
Of course, younger executives are not in the habit of answering the telephone. You want an appointment? Protocol says to ask for a meeting either on mobile, by Skype, in person, through email or a business platform such as LinkedIn.
Yes, prospecting for new customers today is a lot more complicated.
Southwest Airlines VP of Communications and Strategic Outreach Linda Rutherford said, “The way the world used to be, when you tuned into television news, 90 per cent of the population saw it. That’s simply not the world of today. There are so many different ways to reach people, to share with them, and to tell them about your brand.”
Jerome Hiquet, Vice-President of Marketing at Club Med North America, agreed with her in the same discussion: “Customers are multi-channel, they use lots of channels to reach us . . . To engage, we must be everywhere . . .”
Starting a blog is an integral channel today because every new piece of content helps to index your company website pages on Google. It’s how your website gets placed at the top of a Google search without paying for advertising. And if your blog, website and social media are set up properly, you’re able to capture email addresses and mobile numbers of those who may want to stay in touch with you. Blogs also help to convey professional credibility on LinkedIn and Twitter.
There’s a catch, though: The content is not about you or your products and services. It’s really the opposite of old-school selling.
Here’s an example of what that means: A business client decided to promote a new service by launching it on their website. Great, right?
But this particular business never blogs. The only time they promote something is when they have something to sell. Trouble is their website doesn’t attract visitors because the people they want to reach don’t really know you so well.
Here’s three steps to remember when you are starting a blog:
- Keep your audience front and centre: People won’t buy your products and services just because you think they should do so.
- Strive for reliability: Writing with regularity suggests that your audience can depend on you and trust the source. That you’re trying. If it’s October and your most recent blog post is two years ago, that’s a problem. It makes readers feel like you don’t care about your business.
- Find your own voice: Writing with regularity helps develop a style. Again, individuals cannot begin to know and trust you if you show up late or when the mood strikes. Relationships are strengthened when your friends know they can count on you.
Need more evidence? HubSpot recently researched relationships between marketing activities, the volume of traffic, and leads that correlate with those activities based on their 7,000+ customers. Here’s a sample of their results.
- Companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don’t blog
- The average company with 100 or more total blog articles is more likely to experience continued growth in prospects.
- B2C companies see a 59 per cent increase in traffic after growing total blog articles from 100 to 200 total.
Maybe it’s time to trade in the time you spend trying to connect using old-school methods with some new ways that work today, including starting a blog.
Communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a print business magazine for 21 years. She now works to assist clients in digital marketing.