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In the first part of our blogging series, we examined how to build the business case for blogging in an e-commerce environment. In part 2, we feature tour booking software company Rezdy, which has successfully used blogs as a way to increase conversations, as well as to help solve its business customers’ problems. Marketing Manager Christa Tani, who writes Rezdy’s blog posts, explains more.
“We’ve been blogging since the business started – for about three years now. I used to work in a content marketing agency, so I was familiar with blogging and the benefits of blogging. Rezdy didn’t want to take a hard-sell approach, but instead wanted to attract leads through useful content. We are a B2B platform, so our prospects take some time to become customers. It isn’t an impulse buy, so we need to educate people and position ourselves as a leader in our area.”
“Inbound marketing is much cheaper for start-ups than pay per click [PPC], which is very expensive and not very effective. With blogs, you build value over time … we can see that some of our most popular blog posts are from years ago.”
“We have been slowly building up the blog. It is never an instant payoff. Over the past three years, we have created great content that has really helped our prospects. We have at least 10 downloads of our various e-books a day. Half our prospective customers come through organic search, so content is important for us.”
Useful links and tools
Rezdy is an online booking solution for travel companies that sell activities or tours. It is used in over 70 countries around the world.
“I advise them to complete a content worksheet and audit to help them figure out their buyer’s journey. We did that and figured out our prospective customers needed content that could answer their questions. We were able to see which gaps needed to be filled.”
“We have two blogs – one aimed at prospects and one for customers, which provides answers once they are using the product. Our blog for prospective customers is updated twice a week and our customer blog is updated once a week. I come up with and write all our blog posts.”
“I think it’s useful having one person writing the blog – it helps that I’m the only one doing it because I know everything about our content and can figure out how to maximise its use in all of our marketing materials.”
“We re-use our most popular content topics and make them into e-books, for example our Online Marketing eBook, which we find works well for generating leads. While most prospects who download our Online Marketing eBook just want to learn about marketing, we also have a Buyer’s Guide to Booking Software, which is for prospects that are nearly ready to buy.”
“We started with HubSpot, but we recently moved our whole website to WordPress. You can configure WordPress different ways and it is easier to use. We use Google Analytics for stats.”
“We use social media and emails to drive traffic to the blog. We send one monthly email driving traffic to the blog and we also do a lot of social posting in LinkedIn Groups and Facebook. LinkedIn Groups are the main driver of traffic.”
“Definitely do a content audit first – that helps you to know what problems your prospective customers have. And make sure their problems are issues that you can solve as a business. Talk about the problems and not just the solutions – if you want to talk about the solutions, make sure it’s just one line, otherwise it’s too pushy. Look at what topics resonate with your readers and re-use content related to that as a lead generation tool, like an e-book. Remember that all content needs to fit into the bigger picture for lead generation for the business.”
There are many blogging platforms that allow users to easily create and manage their own content without any technical knowledge. We take a look at five of the best for business blogs.
WordPress: Freemium or paid
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world and powers nearly 19 per cent of the web. WordPress has a “freemium” hosted service, which allows users to use their own domain for a fee and some customisation. In addition, there is a free.org version that gives users complete control.
Blogger is a Google product that is easy to use, especially for people who are new to blogging. Blogger offers limited customisation and requires a Gmail account to get started. It is connected to Google’s AdSense offering, which can help bloggers to earn money from their blogs.
Tumblr is owned by Yahoo! and combines blogging with social media by allowing users to curate content from other blogs. Tumblr allows for blog customisation, is built to be mobile friendly and allows users to use their own domains.
LinkedIn isn’t a blogging platform as such, but it offers a publishing capability within the LinkedIn social network itself. This allows any LinkedIn member to create “long form” updates. Publishing on LinkedIn is best for professional people who have a large LinkedIn network, and no customisation is offered.
Squarespace is a powerful, paid-for blogging platform that allows users to easily format and layout content in an appealing way. Squarespace also offers an e-commerce capability and blogs can be customised. It offers various monthly paid options, depending on your blogging requirements.
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