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Best Blogging Practices for Manufacturers

In the age of video and increasingly diverse social media, manufacturing marketers may wonder if blogging is still effective. In fact, today’s promotional tools and refined search engine algorithms allow you to get more out of a company blog than ever before. Unfortunately, blogging is often a missed opportunity for manufacturers.

Let’s review the who, what, when, where, why, and how of creating a manufacturing blog that delivers solid ROI.

Why Have a Blog at All?

The most important reason to have a blog is to help potential customers with free information. Content which makes their lives easier and their companies more successful not only shows off your institutional knowledge, it also creates a desire on their part to reciprocate by giving you business.

In addition:

  • Regularly updated content (blogs included) improves your search rankings.
  • Two-thirds or more of major B2B purchases begin with a search engine query. Blogging helps ensure you turn up in those searches and potential customers come away with useful information.
  • Blogging can increase customer engagement.
  • A blog can establish industry thought leadership and also humanize your company.

Who Should Create It?

There’s no substitute for consistency in blogging, but the internet is littered with the husks of company blogs that died after two or three posts. That’s why you need to be sure a specific individual or small team takes ownership of the company blog and keeps it updated.

However, the best company blogs get many members of the team involved in a contributing role. More on that in our next section.

What Should We Write About and How Often?

Make sure your blog is updated at least monthly, and decide on subjects, due dates for drafts, etc., as part of a quarterly or yearly content calendar that also includes your scheduled social media posts.

For subject matter, try these tips:

  • Remember we said get the whole team involved? Questions—and sales objections— that your customer-facing employees are fielding will be perfect subjects for blog posts.
  • The same goes for examples of problems you’ve solved for customers. Case studies make excellent posts.
  • Once you have posts answering those questions on your content calendar, brainstorm for even more subjects! Almost any subject you come up with can benefit your target audience with the right angle.
  • When you create other forms of content, remember you can either repurpose them for blog posts or use the blog to promote them.

How Should We Write?

Avoid selling and focus on value for the reader. Your task for now is to help them, which leads to your solutions being top-of-mind when they are ready to buy.

You should also try to have a consistent tone. Even if you’re aiming for thought leadership in your industry, your best tone will be one that’s conversational and relatively light, what marketing guru Michael Katz has called "the likable expert."

Even though you’re avoiding sales-y copy, include a call to action at the close of each post. Just because you’re being helpful doesn’t mean you can’t ask them to take the next step.

Where Should We Promote It?

Everywhere! Make use of your social media accounts to link to each new blog post, but make sure those channels have plenty of their own content, rather than being a monthly message about your blog. You can also promote it with news releases covering the launch and important posts, mentions in your trade advertising, etc. Look for opportunities to guest post on other industry blogs, which will give you access to their audience.

When Is the Best Time to Launch a Blog?

The best time is the same "best time" for everything that helps your bottom line: Right away! There’s no better or worse time to launch or relaunch as long as you have processes in place to keep posting and bringing value to your readers.

If you could use some assistance getting your blog up and running or creating a strong inbound marketing strategy, we can help. Get in touch with Cain & Company for thoughtful, strategic marketing that boosts your bottom line.

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