The Social Media Masters Conference made a stop in Kansas City last week and it was great to be a workshop presenter. The topic I tackled: Corporate Blogging: How to Use Blogging for Leads and Sales, is a perpetual favorite. I speak at conferences several times a month in cities all over the U.S., but it’s always a treat for me to be able to contribute to events taking place in Kansas City and the Social Media Masters Conference is one of my very favorite events.
For those of you unfamiliar with the conference, Social Media Masters is an advanced level workshop series designed for agency professionals or business owners, bringing advanced insights for enterprise level marketing and communications, with an emphasis on engagement and execution and with a view toward helping you deliver results.
Corporate Blogging: A Direct Route to Leads and Sales
I love talking about corporate blogging because it’s something all of us at V3 are passionate about – and something we not only work with our clients on daily, but something that we know, without question, works. The presentation is embedded in this post, but a few of the most important points follow.
Your corporate website (whether your company is large or small) should be the hub of all your business operations;
In today’s web-based world, people do one of two things when it comes to products or services they want to buy: they search the web or they ask their friends (and sometimes both!).
Feeding your website fresh, regular, content is a way to tell search engines who you are, what you do, what products and services you provide. And those search engines – they’re a bit like teenaged boys: they have a voracious appetite. The more content you “feed” search engines, the more often your site is indexed, the more links are created, and the more value your site has in the eyes of the search engine. It’s really that simple. More content really does equate to more leads.
And a corporate blog, with content that’s relevant, informative, educational, entertaining, establishes you and your company as experts in your field and which provides a resource for clients and prospective clients is one of the very best ways to integrate new content into your website.
Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing
All of this – it’s called Inbound Marketing. Traditional marketing – things like direct mail, display advertising, TV, radio, outdoor is great – and still a necessary component of an integrated marketing strategy. And by the way, those things are called Outbound Marketing – because they push your message out to your collective audiences.
But in a web-based world (that world where people rely on search engines and friends to lead them to things they want to buy), in order to be successful, businesses really need to understand the value of Inbound Marketing – and they need to be doing it.
Inbound Marketing includes things like blogging, podcasts, webinars, case studies, white papers and using social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, photo sharing sites like Flickr or Instagram or blogging sites like Tumblr and Posterous. When your marketing efforts include a mix of the traditional (Outbound Marketing ) and strategic doses of Inbound Marketing, you’ll be well positioned to succeed – and grow – your marketshare.
Blogging: It’s Really All About Sales
Oh, and the really cool thing about Inbound Marketing? If you care about things like cost per lead, inbound marketing costs less than outbound marketing. And, in today’s world, it’s generally more effective.
The thing about Inbound Marketing that really gets people’s attention – especially when it comes to corporate blogging – the more pages of your site that are indexed by Google, the more valuable it’s viewed in the search engine’s eyes. The more indexed pages you have, the more web traffic you have. The more web traffic you have, the more leads you get. Leads. You know, those knocks on the door that say “Hey, I need someone to do such and such … you look (and sound) like you know what you’re talking about.”
Inbound Marketing in general, and corporate blogging in particular, are like new business development on steroids. And if you’re any good at what you do, leads lead to sales, and sales lead to more revenue. And more revenue, for just about any business out there, is a good thing. A really, really good thing.
If I’ve got your attention, that’s good. Because this isn’t something I think is true – it really is a fact. This is the basic premise behind good business practices today and if you’re trying to figure out your strategy and budget allocations for the coming year, turning your focus on Inbound Marketing makes good sense.
The presentation is below. The latter part of the presentation covers some of our favorite tools and things that help us not only deliver good value to our clients, but help us report progress along the way and measure growth and influence.
Watch for another post or two about some of the great presentations I got to see while at the Social Media Masters Conference and the next time the conference is in your area, make it a point to go.
For those of you unfamiliar with Social Media Masters, it’s the brainchild of the Social Media Club, the world’s largest organization of Social Media Professionals and Toronto-based Sensei Marketing. Kristie Wells, Chris Heuer of SMC and Sam Fiorella, Brandie McCallum from Sensi and all the other folks who make these events happen are terrific. And being a part of an event that they produce will not disappoint.