In a recent issue of NJTechWeekly.com I read about an up-and-coming NJ tech company that caught my eye. When I checked out their website, I was intrigued not only by their expansive product offering, but also their full suite of dynamic marketing activities. In particular, their blog section features a variety of relevant, well-written entries—a refreshing departure from what I more commonly see: a scanty handful of blogs that are cobbled together.
Enter Jackie Chalet, marketing director at Tetherview, an all-inclusive, fully managed private cloud-based “Digital Bunker” firm in Oceanport, NJ. I picked Jackie’s brain to uncover her best tips on not only writing the blog itself, but also how to start and maintain one that adds value to a company’s business development efforts.
Q. Why would a NJ technology organization want to create a blog? What are the benefits?
A. Not only can a blog position you in becoming an educational source for prospects, customers and industry colleagues, but it can also open a conversation with them and create engagement with their online community. One of the top trust-building marketing activities a business can have, blogs can also serve as an icebreaker.
Q. What tips do you have for an IT company that wants to start blogging?
A. Start by asking this question: “How can I boil a product description down to layman’s terms?” Don’t assume your target market will understand your industry. Using a lot of fancy words can be daunting to the reader, so I use terms that ensure a quick and easy read. I find that many of us often try so hard to use the correct nomenclature in our industry. But what we may actually be doing is confusing prospects who may not understand our buzzwords.
Q. How do you select blog topics?
A. I like to start with the end goal in mind: to educate and contribute valued knowledge to those whom we serve. For example, our products deal with data breaches, so we do an analysis of the cost of a data breach and develop that into a compelling story. I like to hit on the simple things that people don’t understand.
One topic that we use is called “How Much IT Really Costs”, which discusses the importance of how to properly calculate your cost of IT, including those hidden fees some companies forget to mention. It’s a very popular subject.
Q. How do you structure your blog?
A. First determine your key bullet points, then write a sentence to each point. Those will become the beginnings of each paragraph. Find content by drawing on in-house expertise, then researching your topic(s) to fill in the paragraphs.
We also tap our engineers to write up a few paragraphs on specific concepts. We call it "Tech Talk" and it’s on our website blog, plus it gets email blasted and shared on social media.
Q. How do you promote your blog?
A. We use GoogleMyBiz to upload the blog content and hyperlink it to our website, which gives us additional SEO power. We also distribute the blog bi-weekly to our subscriber database, followed by employees who are also encouraged to publish it on their own personal LinkedIn accounts as an Article. This gives us instant amplification so we can optimize our potential readership.
Q. In 2019, there is no shortage of information for IT pros to read. How do you promote your blog to get more eyes on it? Talk about both your internal and external communications.
A. We use individual employees’ social networks, as well as Tetherview’s social networks and email marketing. In addition, it never hurts to boost the post through LinkedIn’s social advertising offerings.
Q. Any other advice that will help a company get started?
A. What keeps me motivated here is having my CEO’s support and understanding that it may take a while until you figure out what works. I recommend that people identify and focus on how you are going to get subscribers to make it all worthwhile, whether you’re promoting through employees, email marketing, social media, advertising, whatever.
Q. What is your favorite NJ shore critter?
A. I like sand crabs—you have to work to find them, and they’re tiny
I'm looking for NJ IT firms that do great marketing for my upcoming articles. Are you a best practice IT marketer? Contact me.
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