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[VIDEO]10 Steps to Starting a Manufacturing Blog

Video Transcript:

So, you're thinking about starting a manufacturing blog?

Don't do it! 

Just kidding! I couldn't agree more. I think it's one of the best steps you could take for your marketing. One, it's going to help you to pull in and attract really high quality visitors to your website,
and two, you're going to be helping your prospects along the way. It's a complete win-win.

So, in this video I'm going to walk you through ten steps to making sure that your brand new manufacturing blog starts off on the right foot.

#1 - Pick a Great Blog Platform and Use Your Domain

I really don't think that this is the number one most important aspect in the 10 steps of setting up your company's first manufacturing blog, but I know many of you were going to jump into this right away, so I wanted to address this first.

We recommend HubSpot or WordPress, and most of our clients do use HubSpot. We also use HubSpot. It's a fantastic, very intuitive, step-by-step blogging platform.

WordPress, especially if you can combine it with some of the very popular plugins that help with search engine optimization and other things, is also a good solution. But, if we had to pick one, it would be HubSpot.

The other consideration to have with your blog is to make sure it's on your domain. For example, our blog is protocol80.com/blog and that's perfectly acceptable. Blog.protocol80.com would also be acceptable.

What you DO NOT want to have is somebody-else's-domain.com/YourCompanyNameBlog. Don't set up a free wordpress blog on the wordpress.org website and have your blog live there. The main reason being, as you gain inbound links, which are very very helpful for search engine optimization, you're really building inbound links for wordpress.org. Not your company website.com. So, you really want your blog to live on your domain.

#2 - Establish Benchmark Metrics So You Can Set Goals

You want to establish some metrics and benchmarks so that you can set goals for at least three months out. Some of these metrics might be views, increases in visibility in search engines, etc... You have to get clarity around where you're starting to understand if you're improving and set targets that you're trying to aim for.

One thing I will encourage you to do if this is a brand new blog and you really don't get much
website traffic, is to be very conservative with your goals. In fact, I'm probably going to encourage you to kind of keep your eyes off the data for at least the first couple months as long as you're
staying consistent with blogging.

#3 - Create Your Buyer Persona(s)

You have to set up and create your buyer persona. If you check out the description below this video,
there will be a link to a free guide that will walk you through establishing your buyer personas, including doing some research and interviews with past buyers, and current buyers to understand what really makes them tick. What do they want to see on your blog? Don't write about yourself. Your main website pages probably already cover that. Do some research establish your buyer personas.

#4 - Establish Your Buyer Persona's Buyer Journey

Establishing the buyer journey for each of your buyer personas. If you're just starting with your blog and you don't have a buyer persona yet, I would start with one and then figure out the buyer
journey for that specific persona.

What do they do in their awareness stage? What do they do in consideration stage? What do they do in decision stage? What information do they need and you can be the provider of that through your blog?

If this is brand new blog, as I'm assuming it is, you want to focus on the awareness stage and
consideration stage, and then leverage your website which is already heavily about you and why prospects should go with you. You really want to focus on the awareness stage and consideration stage with your blog posts, especially up front, because you're probably missing that right now.

#5 - Treat Your Sales Team to Lunch and Pry Common Questions & Problems Out of Them

Make sure you take your sales team out to lunch. Probably not McDonald's, but it doesn't have to be steak. Something decent. Then, really drill them with questions.

  • What are the common things that they hear from prospects on the phone?
  • What are their considerations?
  • What are they thinking about?
  • What are the problems that they're having?
  • What are the specifics of those problems and can you write content around those?

If they're asking your sales people they're already hopping online and searching around those problems and questions anyways. That's a goldmine of information for your new blog!

#6 -  Plan Out 1 Blog Post Per Week for 1 Quarter (90 Days)

Compile all of this research. Your buyer personas, your buyer journey, the sales conversations or the conversations you've had with sales people, and put it all together and start creating a list of topicsThey don't have to be perfect right now.

What we want to do is create some themes. What are some of the common questions or common problems that we know we can write a wealth of content around? Then we want to kind of prioritize that list and see which ones we think we can knock out in one quarter using a cadence of at least one blog post a week.

So, we're going to create titles at the very least for at least one blog post a week, for a quarter. If you can do two, even better. Three, mm-hmm, I would love that. At least one per week for one quarter. So, we're talking 90 days of blogging.

Really keep in mind what this potential prospect might be thinking when they hit Google. What is their search intent? Are they trying to answer a question? Are they comparing maybe a couple of materials if you're a manufacturer? Are they curious about the best process to use? Really try and understand what intent they have when they search and use that intent in your title.

Also, make sure that these blog posts are pure education. Your website pages are all about you and they tend to really promote how great you are as a company, as a manufacturer, your history and your experience. Early Blogs need to be pure education.

Remember if we're talking about the awareness stage and the consideration stage. We really want to provide education, not a sales pitch.

#7 - Spread the Word and Share Your Posts

So, you've written a blog post. Now it's time to spread the word. It's not going to be found in Google
right away. You may put it on the homepage of your website and link to it so people there might find it. But really, you need to focus on social channels and email. If you don't have an email marketing
platform, HubSpot is a great tool to send email campaigns. There're also free tools like MailChimp that will work.

The idea here is you want to take past customers, and maybe even prospects that have opted in
and given you permission to send them information, and take that once a week opportunity to just send them your educational content. You're gonna get more eyes on the content and it could help
past customers, and reinvigorate them into becoming a customer again.

In social media you want to make sure that you're using all of the platforms that you're on. So maybe Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to promote the fact that you have some new content. You don't have to do this just once. I would recommend feeling it out. Maybe doing a
couple times a week. You want to get some eyes on this content using other channels aside from Google.

If you happen to have mentioned anybody else or any other organizations in your blog post, be sure to tag them in social to get their attention and maybe they'll share it and get some additional eyes on your content so.

#8 - Link to Non-Competitive Websites

Speaking of tagging others, number 8; if you have an opportunity in your content to link to a non-competitive website, so somebody who doesn't compete with you but maybe has a great source of information, and you can link to that, do it. Over time, you know it may not be immediate, they're gonna notice and hopefully they'll reciprocate at some point and link back to you.

That's always a plus and helps with search engine optimization.

#9 - Stay Consistent and Ignore the Data for the First Couple Months

So, number 9. I've already alluded to this but it's really really important that you stay consistent with publishing at least one blog post a week on your blog, and you avoid the data for at least the first
couple months, especially with a brand new blog, because if you don't you're going to be frustrated.

You have to understand that blogging is a compounding thing, so over time as you write more and more blog posts, some of them are gonna rank really well. Some of them aren't, and you have to be willing to accept that. But understand that the ones that do rank really well in search, and really get high visibility; they're going to be key drivers of prospects for your sales folks over time. Especially if you're using inbound marketing.

#10 - Review Your Metrics and Plan For Q2

As the quarter is winding down it's really important that you take a look at the data now. It's okay. It's still probably going to be painful and you may even feel a little let down, especially only after one quarter of blogging. But, it's important to take a look at the data and see

  • what performed best?
  • what blog posts throughout that quarter had the most views?
  • were any of them shared in social media?
  • what were some of the positives?

Next, can you do more of the positives? So take those topics and those types of topics and apply them to maybe a different material in your manufacturing company or a different process or a different type of question that you know a prospect might ask. Duplicate your effort in the next quarter.

So shifting gears a little bit... the ones that didn't perform real well, maybe change the title. You know try changing the title. Reread it from your buyer personas perspective and ask, "Is this really valuable?". Did I consider the personas search intent when I wrote the title for this? Give it another shot. Maybe adjust it a little bit.

I would not probably mail it to your list again, but you could re-promote it in social and see what happens. Keep an eye on it for the next quarter and you also need it's time to use all this data
to understand what you need to schedule for at least one blog post a week for quarter two.

Free Resources

So, that's been ten steps to make sure that your brand-new marketing blog starts off on the right foot. Again, there's resources in the description below that are gonna help you with your buyer persona, with blogging, with SEO, etc...

These are free resources you can download right from our website.

If you like this video, please give us a thumbs up and subscribe below, thanks!

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