I get a lot of questions like this from prospective clients:
I don’t have a lot of money, but my marketing is pretty ineffective. What should I do to get things moving?
The problem with marketers is that we usually give an answer related to our area of expertise. Web designers will suggest a better web design. The SEO specialist will suggest optimizing your web site. Campaign managers will suggest new campaigns. Content developers like me will suggest…you guessed it…content!
Actually, none of these are bad places to invest. If, for example, your website looks like it was designed by your nephew as a high school project (or, if indeed, it was) that’s as good a place as any to start.
But if you don’t have any glaring issues, such as a klunky website, let me give my plug for starting with content. Not just any type of content. A blog.
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know blogging is dead, but the people who tell you usually have something new to sell you.)
The reason I suggest starting a blog as opposed to other types of content like white papers or case studies is because they are easy to do. You can set it up in an afternoon. You don’t have to be a professional writer to create a post. Like the “family project” that brings everybody closer together, almost anyone in the organization can submit a post.
Quick tip: I recommend that one individual be responsible for review and approval! I’m all for keeping it real, but you want to put your best foot forward. A rambling, poorly written post by one of your experts, probably isn’t the best first impression.
But the best thing about a blog is that touches on all those areas of improvement mentioned above and then some:
Website/SEO – A blog is a great way to add SEO optimized pages quickly.
Campaigns – Blog content makes for great nurture campaigns. If you’re really on a shoestring budget, these campaigns can be as simple as emails from your sales team pointing them to the latest opinion piece on your blog.
Social media – It’s easy to repurpose blogs on whatever social media platform you’re using. Post them in facebook and Google+. Start a discussion around the post on LinkedIn. Tweet them (several times) on Twitter. A few months past since you wrote the post? Tweet it again.
List building – People don’t subscribe to receive emails, but they will subscribe to receive blog content.
Credibility – Well-written posts by a number of people within the organization do more to establish an organization’s credibility than any number of white papers created by some industry guru.
That said, I do have one word of caution. Blogs are not a quick fix to all your marketing problems. You have to execute – frequent posts, well-written and educational content, etc. In addition, it may take some time to build a following, but it sure beats the half of a percent return rate (if that) most companies are seeing on their non-subscriber email campaigns.
Questions about blogging? Add your comments below or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.