By Sharon A.M. MacLean who invites your comments following this blog. You can also find more modern marketing strategies for business here. http://bit.ly/1cKPcjn
“Don’t bring up the word ‘blog’ to me anymore,” said a rather ruffled wealth management CEO,” in a discussion about 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 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 in my print magazine for clients 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, at all. You want an appointment? Protocol says to ask for a meeting—either on mobile, by Skype, or in person—through email or a business platform such as LinkedIn. Except you don’t have their email address…and they’re not about to answer a query from someone they don’t know or trust. Your message falls into junk mail.
Yes, prospecting for new customers is 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% 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.”https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindarutherford
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…”https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeromehiquet
High quality blogs establish credibility
Blogs are 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 over time. 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. I recently noticed a business client who launched a new service. They decided to promote the initiative 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 here is they don’t attract visitors because the people they want to reach don’t really know you so well.
Here’s 3 steps to remember when you start a blog.
- It’s not about you, your products or your services: People won’t buy from you just because you think they should do so. Writing for your audience is harder than it sounds say many pros. Great content helps your audience and engages them in a human or emotional way. Most marketing content is self-promotional and boring, and that’s why it largely gets ignored.
- Strive for reliability: Writing with regularity suggests that your audience can depend on you and trust the source. It shows 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.
Blogs mean business
Need more evidence? HubSpot http://bit.ly/18Ave8O is a company that tracks relationships between marketing activities, the volume of traffic, and leads that correlate with those activities. CEO Brian Halligan (pictured above) saw his company’s 2014 revenue score of $115.9 million–up 49 percent compared to the year prior–show these sample 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% increase in traffic after growing total blog articles from 100 to 200 total.
Think you don’t have time to blog? Try trading in the time you spend trying to connect using old-school methods with some new ways that work today.\
Need help with modern marketing? Contact me through LinkedIn or by email:email@example.com.
Life-long communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a traditional print magazine over 21 years for business people. She now applies her enhanced knowledge in digital marketing to the needs of her clients and believes in the value of combining the best of both worlds.