One of the most important things manufacturing companies can do to drive traffic to their website and generate leads is blogging. Yet, relatively few actually commit to a blogging strategy.
Surveys show that companies that blog regularly generate more leads. Just Google 'blogging and leads' or 'blogging and site traffic' or something similar, and you will find loads of studies and data saying that blogging drives lots of desired results for companies.
Yet when I tell a business owner to start a blog they universally look at me like their 11th grade English teacher had just assigned a big term paper on Billy Budd. I am sure it stems from one of the following:
So how did we convince every one of our manufacturing clients over the past 14+ years to start a blog?
By convincing them that they are already discussing the topics published in a blog daily, all day, every day.
The problem is that they need to look at the content of those conversations as the content for a blog.
So instead of telling them to start a blog, I follow a line of conversation like this:
Of course they do!
These are questions they answer all day, every day.
Well, guess what?
The answer to the above questions in each possible infinite unique combination is a blog post. Hat tip to my friend Marcus Sheridan for his book "They Ask, You Answer."
So I tell them they are creating blog posts every time they answer one of these questions; we just need to develop a template and method for documenting the answers and then formatting them into blog posts. Once we have the template filled in, the rest is easy.
Blogging is a proven, low-cost way to generate website traffic resulting in leads that turn into sales, driving what business owners really care about - revenue.
But blogging is so 2014, isn't it? Aren't there better ways to connect with prospects and engage them?
Maybe, but if you are not creating regular content now and relying on outbound calling, email blasts, buying, lists, paid ads, and trade shows for generating prospects and only have a product-focused website, then I'll bet you are seeing diminishing returns from your marketing budget.
The best first step into the world of inbound marketing is to start a blog. And then, commit to it for at least 18 months and do the work of posting regularly.
A blog is the foundation and source for much of your marketing and sales outreach because:
And most importantly, it helps your team build muscle in understanding your target audience and their needs and concerns. Blogging takes you out of the product-centric, internally driven mindset and forces you to think more about your customers and their world.
Anything that does that is a good thing.