Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why Your Manufacturing Firm Needs A Blog

Post by Social Wordsmith, Robbi Hess

When you look at the options of social media available to a manufacturing firm -- Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, to name a few, you may think there is no reason for your company to have a blog, right? I disagree. Blogging should be the first choice when it comes to marketing a business and sharing your expertise.

Other social media platforms can be fed by the content from your blog. When I meet with clients and we discuss a content strategy, there are reasons I share with them for why I believe that blogging is not dead and in fact needs to be front and center and a vibrant part of a marketing strategy.

As with any marketing strategy you implement for your business you need to understand not only why you
should be using it, but how. Before we get into the reasons why you should be blogging, you need to have a clear understanding of why you're blogging and for whom.

Ask yourself:

  • Who is your target market? Chances are in the manufacturing realm you know exactly where your audience is and how to reach/market to them. If, however, you don’t know where or who your potential clients are you won’t be able to utilize any social media or print advertising platform to its best advantage. 
  • Do you understand the issues facing your potential clients? Do you know how your products or services can meld with their problems and provide a solution? 
  • Do you know where your potential clients virtually gather? ie don’t market on Facebook if your potential clientele congregates on LinkedIn or industry-specific sites.
  • Why are you considering a blog? You need a reason other than the fact that I told you so. Do you want a blog as a platform to share your expertise and unique talents? Do you need it as a way to increase brand awareness and increase sales? Do you want a blog as a place to announce and launch new product offerings? Understand the reasons behind a blog and you will then be able to understand how to effectively utilize it. A content strategy session can help you narrow that focus. Remember, too that if your blog is attached to your website, it will be a source of continual updates to your website and this will help your rankings in Google search engines
  • Where will you find content? The stumbling block faced by many business owners is they understand they need a blog, but they are not writers. If you’re not a writer and your core competency lies in making widgets, struggling to find a blog topic is not the best use of your time. There are many ways in which to source content that range from hiring a blogger to do it for you, looking at industry news and re-purposing it (always citing the original source), and blogging how-tos or best business practice tips.
  • Do you want to start a newsletter as a way to reach more clients and to stay front-of-mind with current clients? A blog can help you garner subscribers to your newsletter because a blog post will help drive visitors to your site.

Now that you understand the nuances behind blogging, here are my seven best reasons you and your business will benefit from blogging: When you blog you are essentially updating your website every time you make a post go live. Google loves new, fresh content and therefore blogging will help create exposure for your business by helping your search rankings. On another note, you will need to make certain you are utilizing correct SEO terms for your industry, but that’s a topic for another post.

Sharing your expertise through your blog posts could lead to new client connections and help you be seen as a thought leader in your field. Rather than standing outside with a megaphone and calling for new clients, an active blog may help you draw in potential clients that have already pre-qualified themselves. They’re coming to your website because you have something of value to offer. Once you have a website with a blog component, you will find that a blog is a relatively inexpensive marketing tool.

Your blog and website are a 24/7/365 business card and updated blog posts give your readers a reason to keep coming back.

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