Steve - Agree heartily. Blogging is certainly another valuable and cost-effective media channel for brand content. I once worked where the need for and the management resistence to, diving into the blogosphere was challenging. However, once management has been persuaded that thought leadership and market engagement via blogging are good ideas, perhaps after the competition has begun doing it, then it becomes a question of "what" and "who?" Content topics should be laid out based on what the market (your target audience/business community) is interested in. Listening to what other bloggers are talking about at first and then replying to those ideas are useful first steps. The topics you select may be existing ideas of fresh ones designed to generate controversy. Being contrary and pointing out what's wrong or what's needed, if well supported, can boost interest. Topics or an "editorial calendar" of potential blog posts can come from a variety of perspectives including engineering (naturally), marketing, sales, customer service and perhaps even finance. Since there are multiple decision-making people on the customer side, it makes sense addressing ideas of importance to all buying influencers.
Next, I suggest creating a solid team of informed, enthusiastic bloggers who will consistently support customer engagement with some of their time as bloggers. This is essential to answering the question of who will blog. Laying it all on one person may not be the best approach. Hoping that various people will volunteer is also unlikely for success. As a company grows, a key blogger may arise as the main voice, as occurred at Microsoft, National Semi, Comcast and others. Enlisting a team with clear assignments and deadlines is best.You're in the publishing business, so some discipline is essential to the job.
There's been a ton written about how and why to blog, so I won't go further than saying its a natural way of deliving valuable content, raising brand credibility and customer interest. Not the only way but one many companies can benefit from.
Great article. I agree that content is an important approach to Tech Marketing, and as you say, it's been around for a while. The interesting thing is that it's now much easier and more accessible to create and publish.
For anyone wondering how to get started, you should consider starting a blog on Wordpress. It's an easy way for multiple members of your technical marketing team to contribute and can be used to highlight unique benefits or applications of your products, to answer common questions, or discuss trends in the industry, The rules for engaging content haven't changed - must provide value and not be too "salesy".
We've been using this approach for a few months at www.PIDTechInsights.com for some Panasonic products. We still have a lot to learn, but it's a good way to get your feet wet. I would say the toughest part is convincing people that they have something useful to say, and giving them the confidence to put it in writing. But it's well worth the effort.
Twitter has proved very useful to companies in distributing links to content, whether it appears on the site, blog, or YouTube. Hashtags are very helpful in drawing the attention of people interested in related topics.
Syedzunair - I believe we agree. As mentioned, keeping it short and perhaps even entertaining are keys to maintaining engagement resuling in persuasive effects. Suggest any video, no matter how compelling, won't be the only factor that helps move the various B2B purchasing decision-makers to the close. Videos, perhaps even a series of them, as well as print, blog content, speeches, articles in relevant media, Web site copy and direct sales contact will all contribute to marketing and sales success. There aren't any silver bullets in B2B content marketing, since there are a variety of customer buying interests and perspectives. Marketers need to understand who the influencers and decision-makers are and appeal to them all with various forms of content applying a range of media.
Video content can prove to be valuable for companies if they can keep the users engaged throughout the video. The content should be such that it appeals to the consumers plus also instils in them the urge to buy the product.
Making the consumer go the last mile, i.e. making the buying decision is the most difficult part and only a strong conceptual and engaging video can do it effectively.
Yes. Video is certainly a form of content that any organization can now cost-effectively apply. In addition to demos, customer comments (endorsements), how-to-use or educational clips, expert chalk talks and conceptual (thought leadership) segments are all valuable. The trick is keeping them very short, informative, not boring and perhaps even entertainling. Weaving a story into what you want to say makes a huge difference rather than straight, factual delivery. (Think "Once upon a time"..."Far away and long ago"). Also, humor, when done well, can be a great asset. However, many companies have difficulty NOT taking themselves too seriously. Its quite refreshing and disarming when there's some fun injected into business communications. Does your company have a senses of humor?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.