Nuts & Bolts - Social Media: Pointers for B-to-B Blogs
Attorney Peter A. Mahler knows he's no Matt Drudge. Then again, the Drudge Report has a different purpose and audience than Mahler's New York Business Divorce blog.
Mahler, a partner specializing in commercial litigation at the Uniondale, N.Y. law firm Farrell Fritz, says "know your audience" is one of the most important tips he can provide others who are interested in starting a professional services blog. David Deal, vice president of marketing at Seattle-based digital marketing firm Razorfish, provides additional advice.
- Determine a blogging strategy through self-examination. "The strategy should address some critical questions, such as, ‘Who is your audience, and why should they read your blog?'" Deal asks. "What are your company's business and marketing objectives, and why is a blog an appropriate way to help meet those objectives?"
- Review the strategy with a few trusted colleagues. Deal suggests adding in a few bloggers to that mix of trusted colleagues, as peers will critique any widely read blog.
- Find a niche. For professionals who, for instance, want to write about corporate law, they should read other blogs on the same subject. After that, they should find their own angles on the subject. For Mahler, it was specifically writing about New York law relating to business breakups.
- Use keywords in catchy copy and e-mail teasers. Mahler found he used copy containing keywords likely to be unique to his site, which brought in the readers he wanted. He says 65 percent of his readers reach him after plugging terms into search engines.
- Think of the blog as a marketing tool rather than an end in itself. Mahler refers prospective clients to his blog so they understand a bit more about his area of expertise and as a way of continuing the conversation. He continues the dialogue in person with blog visitors.