Yes, it's the end of a week, and right in line with our weekly Friday morning blog, and since it's been a blogging kind of week, I thought that I would share a couple of insights into why we consider blogging the most critical #1 Inbound Marketing tool!
First, some basic definition, and although I live in an Inbound Marketing world and personally love blogging, I frequently get asked "just what is a blog?". More often than not, I find out that the vast majority of small and mid-size companies don't blog at all...although a senior manager I might be talking to "has been thinking about it" for some time.
Wikipedia gives a pretty good, but very formal definition. Always good to read first at least for structure.
Hubspot is a much better source of information. Always timely, constantly comfortable and easily consumed, and I like the simplicity of their definition. More and more, in our practice, at Tufts and MIT, and just in my day-to-day work, I am asking people to "not overthink things", so this recent definition from Hubspot is perfect:
"Nowadays, a blog is a regularly updated website or web page, and can either be used for personal use or to fulfill a business need."
Caroline Forsey, Editor, Hubspot Marketing Blog, provided that quote above, and also wrote just an excellent blog on "What is a blog?", which I highly recommended that you take a look at, you read again and then you file in an easy-to-remember folder.
In thinking about blogs...and "regularly updated" communication, one can easily identify Benjamin Franklin, the well-known revolutionary often defined as "The First American", as the first American blogger. We know him today mostly for his statesman role (along with the kite and electricity thing), but at the time, he was much better known for his entrepreneurial success in publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette and, of course Poor Richard's Almanack, my definition of the first blog in the US.
- easy to consume
- colloquial in its style
- a call to action
- widely distributed
- marketed by word-of-mouth literally
- an appeal to ordinary people
When I first started our consulting firm 30 years ago with zero budget and more-than-zero understanding of how a management consulting firm specializing in sales and marketing productivity should be marketing itself, the two answers were:
1. Align with business associations and become an active and heavily engaged volunteer, which proved to be both a lot of fun and very beneficial to our business with my board involvements at SBANE, the MIT Enterprise Forum, the Association of Capital Growth and Associated Industries of Massachusetts.
2. Write a monthly newsletter, "The Competitive Edge", which entailed writing content, which was the easier part, and then having Kinko's print 500 copies so that I could fold them into envelopes, stick on labels and stamps and drop everything into the mailbox the next day...and then sit back and hope. Rarely did the wait produce direct sales, but after a few years, I found that certain things did stick whether they were specific to our consulting practices or stories about the hills Vermont or the beaches in New Hampshire.
Fast forward to today:
- we blog weekly
- we have an active subscription of about 19,000
- we know within two hours the interest rate in that specific blog
- we know open rates, pass throughs, and click through rates
- we know that the process drives business every week
- our readers tell me what they like, don't like and, of course, when I make mistakes
- ...and most importantly, it gives us an active voice with our customers and associates
We love Hubspot !!!
I've been very positive and open about our long 15-year relationship with Hubspot.
- We are active hourly users of the platform from CRM to blogs to social and training.
- We sell the product, train in the product, and conduct boot camps with the product.
- I teach both my marketing and sales courses at Tufts using the platform.
- 100% of my students must be Hubspot Certified in CRM and Inbound.
- I love their unique culture winning them year-after-year the #1 Best Place to Work
- 71 of my own personal alums currently work at Hubspot in very rewarding careers.
...and to answer the question of "Why?", the simple reason is that it just makes everything easier having all of the necessary sales and marketing tools all organized and tightly integrated into one wicked smart toolbox which identifies, categorizes and tracks tool usage.
Not to overthink this, but the data says that blogging works...perfectly!-80% of internet users interact with both social & blogs. (DemandMetric)
-59% of marketers find blogging valuable. (DemandMetric)
-Blogs can result in a 434% increase in indexed pages and a 97% increase in indexed links. (DemandMetric)
-Blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don't blog. (DemandMetric)
- Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don't. (HubSpot)
- Marketers who prioritized blogging received 13X more ROI than companies that did not in 2019. (HubSpot)
Some basics on Blogging for you to think about
Brian Bresee, one of my best Tufts alums, and now Hubspot Director of Sales for NA Partner Programs, guest lectured in our Wednesday class on blogging. One of the very best part of my professor job is to bring back alums from this course to lead detailed instruction on their sales and marketing expertise, and Brian knocked the cover off the ball with his engaging style and detailed information and instruction. As a follow up, he supplied the class with the following, which I thought would be helpful to pass on this morning.
So, what can I do know to learn more?
Hopefully this was helpful for those of you who have been wondering about blogging, and to that point, given that we teach in our blogging camps and at Tufts and MIT that there the best times to blog, I need to get this out before 8:00.
If you want to learn more about blogging or sign up your or you team for a free 30-minute Zoom either basic or advanced, just connect with me, and we will sign you up
Have a great day selling today as we push forward into embracing the changes of this fall and Q4
CONFIDENTIAL SOUNDING BOARD
If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board in business planning or for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time. Text or email me, and I will quickly set up a call.
I'm a pretty good listener. Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.