One of the challenges we face at Weidert Group is convincing clients in industrial and manufacturing segments just how valuable a blog can be.
They are intrigued by the blog, but often don't see how it can possibly benefit them because "that's not how people in our industry work." You can point out all the benefits a blog brings to their marketing efforts, from establishing expertise to improving the company website's SEO - all of which are important to attracting prospects, leads and customers - and often times they just can't see the value.
Especially if no one else is doing it.
I recently stumbled across a blog on ProBlogger by Dominick DalSanto of Baghouse, a California company that sells industrial dust collection systems that illustrates our point. He was a doubter when his company decided to invest in online marketing efforts that included a blog. His company lacked experience with the web and blogging, faced stiff competition from some Fortune 100 companies and, at least from his vantage point, had a very limited audience of industry professionals.
Now, after some learning and adaptation along the way, his company ranks #1 for five of the best keywords in the industry when it comes to search results, and Baghouse has seen an overall increase in traffic, qualified leads and conversions.
Here are the lessons he says can help you do the same:
Study your topic enough to be able to inform, educate, and motivate your readers: You can do this by reading trade magazines, subscribing to blogs and sites, and asking others in your field and learning from them.
Learn all you can about SEO, but find a pro to help, allowing you to use your time pursuing the most valuable things. You can do this by: Reading, and studying about SEO online, and in print.
Find an SEO firm that fits your company size and scope, and that can provide their services at a reasonable price with reasonable expectations.
Find creative ways to network with other industry professionals and potential customers: you can do this by digging deep to find directories, news outlets, and other sites that deal with your niche. Utilize LinkedIn to the fullest, by creating complete profiles for both personnel and the company, and by joining Groups that fit your niche.
Use guest posting to increase your prestige, improve SEO, and attract new visitors: You can do this by identifying all blogs and content publishing websites in your niche, and broadening your scope of your content as much as possible to take advantage of “nearby” niches and their blogs.
DalSanto and Baghouse succeeded because the Internet is now where people start their search for solutions, whether it's a consumer looking for a new product, or an industrial engineer looking to reduce dust particles in emissions. By regularly blogging and working on its SEO, Baghouse was able to establish itself as a leader in both its marketplace and the search rankings.
The bottom line: your business can benefit from a blog even in the toughest of industry niches. And if it happens to be a market space where no one else is making these efforts, wouldn't you want to be first?