The trend hasn't really caught fire in the plastics market yet, but blogs are becoming an important tool in business marketing. For evidence, check out Hubspot's 2011 State of Inbound Marketing report -- a majority of the companies represented in its survey now have a company-sponsored blog, and 27 percent reported that the blog was "critical" to the firm's success. If you don't have a blog, how should you get started? Lisa Barone has a post today that should help, courtesy of Pilot Fish, the search engine optimization and website development division of Polysort LLC. Her post, 6 Tips for Launching a Business Blog, includes some basic help for anyone just starting out on the social marketing highway. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Set guidelines and enlist help - Successful blogs are updated frequently and unless business is particularly slow (and we hope it's not!), chances are you'll need more than one writer to keep the blog moving along. Decide on your goals for the blog and enlist help from other trusted staff members. You can still ultimately approve posts but at least you won't be the person solely responsible for the ideas.
- Plan ahead - Sure, you can launch a blog in a couple of weeks but you shouldn't. Plan well ahead. Build up content ahead of time so that even when the market is quiet or you're low on inspiration, you've got something to pull out of your sleeve and post.
- Promote, promote, promote! (And don't forget to interact!) - "If you build it they will come" may have worked once upon a time but these days, with the influx of blogs online, you need to make sure you reach your target audience... and simply building it isn't enough. Link to your blog from your corporate website, send out an e-newsletter, and ask your staff to add it to their e-mail signatures. Promote it through your association affiliations, when you attend tradeshows and when you talk to people. Your blog is your new baby and it needs lots of attention! Make sure it's getting it by telling as many people as possible about it.
- And then, be there. Respond to the comments and engage with the folks who are kind enough to come to your site and see what your company has to say. Hopefully they will be your customers one day soon.