As seen in Inside Trucking
Web logs (blogs) became popular in the early 1990s—more and more Internet users started sharing thoughts, opinions and advice online. Over the course of nearly two decades, blogging became so widespread and manifold; it was easy for even an Internet beginner to participate in blogging. It wasn’t until around 2009, however, that blogging became a popular practice for businesses.
Now, many commercial organizations take advantage of blogging technology on their web platforms. It’s an easily updatable way of keeping the content on your website fresh and engaging. Blogging is a way to showcase achievements made by your staff, spotlight specific departments in your company and create content for your social media platforms.
When organizations use blogging as a way of keeping a stream of content flowing to their web platforms, it’s called “content marketing.” The ultimate goal is the same as any form of marketing and promotion—finding ways to engage with your audience and build your business. Maintaining a web blog is such a fluid, multi-faceted thing; often, content marketing isn’t as cut-and-dry as, say, sending an email blast or developing a new tradeshow banner. There are many ways to do content marketing right on your company blog, especially in the transportation industry.
Perhaps the biggest mistake organizations make when they try blogging is not keeping their content current. This is absolutely essential—it’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of having an easily updateable medium for broadcasting company news across multiple platforms (like, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). But, as any pro-blogger will tell you, maintaining it takes commitment and planning. Not much, but there is an element of dedication involved in content marketing if it is to be successful.
As a case study, a mid-size freight forwarding company decides to re-vamp all their web platforms. They sink significant marketing dollars into creating a beautiful, new website that really communicates their company mandate and draws new business from a younger, more web-savvy generation of consumers. They also update all their social media platforms, begin running a successful recruitment campaign on Facebook, respond in real-time to customer feedback on Twitter and network with other industry professionals and companies in need of freight solutions on LinkedIn.
Now, they want to really step it up. They decide to incorporate a blog into their website. The plan is to update it twice a month with company news, events, environmental initiatives and employee spotlights. For the first couple of months, it’s going really well… then, things start getting busy. The designated on-staff blogger goes on vacation and no body comes forward right away. A few people volunteer to write something, but nothing substantial happens. All of a sudden, three months have gone by and the blog is left with stale content. This is a death sentence for effective content marketing.
“Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell. In other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like and trust you enough to do business with you.” (Copyblogger.com)
There are several really easy and effective ways to make sure your blog stays fresh and your content marketing strategy stays current! Coming up with content regularly doesn’t have to be daunting…
Content marketing is an alternative form of engaging your audience and building your customer base. People like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold. Original, interesting content spreads through social networks, creating an invaluable source of digital word-of-mouth marketing. As an added bonus, Google loves new content. The more you update your content marketing platform, the higher-ranked you’ll be in web searches.
Try blogging for business—it’s a great way to build authority within your industry, generate new and interesting content and engage with a community of existing customers and new prospects.
Image Source: http://moderncommonplacebook.com
My last blog was in August and I just came up for air now. Where did September go? Pretty easy to get behind these days. It’s time to put some extra effort into catching up and staying caught up. It’s a better way to operate.
So you had a game plan and you fell off the wagon, like me? Does that mean the plan was flawed or that you just lacked the discipline to follow through? Based on my experience, I would suggest the latter.
I think we are all capable of laying out an achievable plan that could improve our communication, finances, health or relationships. The trick is to try and avoid too much change at once. Start with something you can manage and make it a habit, then take the next step towards where you want to be. After all, life is a marathon not a sprint. It takes time to get off track, so it’s going to take time to get back on top.
Lee’s Quote for the Day
In November of last year, I wrote a blog about the folks at Zet’s who took over a Derry Road restaurant, just north of the airport. It was a dubious location, where multiple enterprises have failed over the last decade. After my first visit, my thoughts were “I think they did it right and will be a success. It’s well marketed and manned and I believe their attention to detail will make the difference in keeping their doors open and their business prospering. Time will tell.”
It appears, 9 months later, they indeed have made it a success at a location where previous endeavours have closed their doors in short order (no pun intended). Execution, consistency, financial resources and experience in the industry, were able to overcome a long history of failure. As important as the right location is, the right people with the right thinking can overcome hefty obstacles.
It’s something to keep in mind for any of us in the job we do or the business we run. Doing it right can take you a long way. It doesn’t have to be over the top, as long as it is above average…even a little bit and consistently so.
Congrats to Zet’s on Derry Road for turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse. A job well done!
Lee’s Quote for the Day