How Effective Is Content Marketing for TEM – Really?

It’s all well and good to talk about how capable you are of writing a blog, or that it really does make it easier to post to social media, or allows your prospects to get to know you and your company better.

But practically speaking, what does a blog really do to grow your business?  How does a blog really provide return on investment?  How well does content marketing for TEM (or any B2B business)  buy Lyrica tablets really work?

It does this through  http://fleurdelissalon.net/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=http://fleurdelissalon.net/brittany/ attracting leads.

That’s not exactly an earth shattering statement.  You’ve probably read that in more than a few blogs before.

You’re not convinced, though.  Blogging is all well and good for those  buy priligy priligy online other guys.  Your business doesn’t get leads from blogs – who reads telecom expense management blogs, anyway?  If you’re not in TEM, then fill in that spot with your niche industry.  It’s a common enough thought among B2B businesses that I’m sure you know someone who’s said it – blogging and content marketing works, just not for you.

Except you’re wrong.  It  does work.

To actually see results from blogging (and the subsequent marketing efforts related to blogging), you need to approach it a bit differently than you probably have been.

Why Write a Blog?

First, you need to actually ask yourself: What’s the point of writing this blog post? 

The purpose of the post you’re reading now is to explain to you, my dear reader, that blogging works.  Particularly, that blogging works for telecom expense management, or other niche B2B industries.  This isn’t a selfless effort, I’ll be honest.  I’m trying to convince you of how effective blogging is for your industry because hopefully, maybe, you’ll consider Tyrannosaurus Marketing as an option should you want to outsource your content marketing work.

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I can easily blog about things like snakes biting me, or lizards, or my favorite social media tools, but what really gets you, the potential prospect, to visit my site and consider my team and I as an option to help you…isn’t blogs about what I like and find interesting.

I need to write about content that you find helpful and interesting.

That’s the same kind of thought you need to put into what your blog topics will be about.

Sure, it’s easy to write about what comes easily to you.  Whatever topic comes to mind that you can easily put out 300 words or more about – that’s probably what your blogs have been about leading up to now.

The kicker is those types of blogs aren’t likely to be the ones that will convert readers into prospects.

You need to demonstrate knowledge in what you’re trying to convince them to buy from you.  Conducting audits, what differentiates a great management tool from an average one, how to determine if you should hire an in house team or outsource to specialists for specific tasks…these are all topics that you probably know a lot about, but never thought to write a blog post on.  That’s what effective content marketing revolves around. 

Think about what’s commonplace for your business, and what your prospects or clients usually struggle to make a decision about.  What knowledge could you give them that would help them make a better or faster decision to buy (or not buy) from you?

That is what you should write blogs about.  Provide information to help your prospects make a decision for themselves.

Imagine how much your salespeople would thank you if every prospect that came through their funnel had already started to qualify themselves.  Most buyers have already made at least part of their decision before they ever speak to a salesperson.  That doesn’t mean your sales team doesn’t have anything to do – but it does mean that any digital content your leads read should help them further along that buyer’s journey.

Fine Tuning Your Topics

Still stuck with some writer’s block?  Not sure where to begin or what would really help your prospects make a decision in your favor?

Or, not sure how to write that type of content without coming across like a sleazy self-promoting ad?

First, talk with your sales team.  Sales and marketing need to be closely aligned to determine exactly what constitutes a qualified lead, and ensure that the prospects your marketing team is sending to sales are actually what sales needs.

So talk to sales.  Ask them for their qualification checklist.  What questions do they ask to qualify a lead for nurturing?  What disqualifies a lead from being worth pursuing?  Create a list, and look it over.

Do the companies need to be a certain size or make a certain annual revenue to be qualified?  If so, does your company target existing companies, or do they target companies that have recently hit that tier of size or revenue?

If you’re targeting existing companies, consider if they’re likely to already have a solution similar to what you offer, or if they’re probably getting those services or products from a competitor.  What would make them switch?  Tah dah, you’ve got a blog post.

In fact, you can probably break that down into an entire month’s worth of posts.  Write a post about each facet of what you offer that would be a compelling reason for your prospects to switch from a competitor to your products or services.  Avoid making it salesy; instead, discuss all the details of your offering without humble-bragging that your offer is exactly what’s so perfect.  Your goal with this type of content is simply to put it in your prospect’s mind that something better is out there.

Conveniently, the place where they learned about that better option is also the place that offers that better option. 

It takes time for a prospect to make that connection, but if you continue to detail what makes an offering better than average (particularly the aspects your business excels at), eventually prospects will start reaching out to see if you can provide those offerings for them.  A TEM company in particular can see impressive results from content marketing – if done right.

Maybe you’re targeting prospects that have only recently reached the size or revenue that you’re targeting.  They may or may not realize they need a solution like what you offer, but when they decide on something, you want to be their choice.

That’s when you write content detailing when they should make that decision, and what they should consider before committing to a contract.  Businesses just reaching a size to need an outsourced solution often appreciate, deeply, when a business provides help to make that decision easier.  They appreciate it so much they’ll often go with the business that was the most helpful (and put the least pressure on them) in finding that solution.

Additional topics can be pieces that help your customer support team or sales team easily answer common questions.

Do your customers or prospects often ask you the same question?  Is there a question that often precedes a prospect making a buy decision?  What onboarding questions do you commonly have to ask?

Each of those is a great blog topic – or two, or three!  Answer the questions in different ways, with different long tail keywords incorporated in the posts.

On the subject of long tail keywords: each long tail keyword you’d like to rank for can and should be a blog post of its own.  “Best telecom expense management audit”, for example, can be at least one blog post.  It could be four of them, actually – turn it into a blog post about your local area and audit considerations for your state, or for your country vs other countries, or “tricks” that make an audit a smoother, faster process.

See?  Tons of blog options that all help your prospect become more educated in what you offer and come to the decision on their own that you’re the best option.

How Long Should the Blog Post Be?

I mentioned earlier in this post that it’s often easiest to write 300 word posts about whatever comes to mind.  Those posts often fail to do much besides sit on the website and are rarely, if ever, read by any of your site visitors.  This means they are next to useless as a way to attract and convert the leads your business needs.

That’s usually because of poor topic choice, and not as often a result of length.

If your topic is one that can be covered in a mere 300 words, then by all means – keep your posts short!  300 words is the absolute minimum a blog post should be.  To give you an idea of just how short that really is, however, the first section of this blog post (Why Write a Blog) was 401 words.

In my opinion, it’s nearly impossible to write an introduction, discuss your topic, and then conclude the post in only 300 words.  I’m a bit long winded, so I rarely write blog posts with fewer than 1,000 words – but you may be able to adequately cover your topics in 500 – 750 words.

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There is no maximum length for what makes for an ideal blog post, although you shouldn’t try to extend the length of your post simply to make it seem more informative or to sound smarter.

Research varies in what length is “ideal” for a blog post.  Buffer notes that blogs that are read the most (94%) take 6 minutes or less to read, with 74% of those posts being under 3 minutes.  This makes for a word count of about 1,000 to 1,600 words in each blog post.

Longer blog posts, however, are shared much more often, and attract much more organic search traffic.  Extremely long posts of 2,000 to 2,500 words are becoming the trend, although it should be noted that each reference I’ve linked to makes a point that adding length for length’s sake has the opposite effect.

So try to write longer posts, but don’t force them to be longer than what comes naturally.

Your goal is to write posts that your prospects find helpful, informative, and are likely to share.  It’s the sharing that becomes valuable; you want them to share blogs within their organization, and with others in their industry who might find the topics helpful.

Okay, great – do I need to write 2,000 words every single day now?!

You don’t need to write a post every day to see the benefits. If it’s difficult for you get enough content to post multiple times a week, don’t force it!  

What matters more than frequency is consistency.  If you start a posting schedule of once a week, stick to it, even if you happen to get extra blog posts from your team one week.  

Data shows that blogging about twice a week tends to have the best impact on your website traffic, no matter what size your company is.  Smaller companies, with fewer than 25 employees, saw the most gain in leads by blogging more often, while companies with more than 25 employees saw the biggest gain by blogging 6 – 10 times per month. 

That gives you an idea of where to aim, even if to start you focus on just a few blogs a month.  That’ll give you a leg up compared to the companies only barely managing a single blog post every few weeks.  

Always remember that quality is more important than quantity!  What you won’t see in data like what I linked above is what happened to the companies that blogged less often, but focused on extremely valuable content.  

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