Are you worried about running out of content for your defense firm's blog? Fear not – here are seven ways to keep a constant resupply of idea ammo.
In Market Connections' sixth annual Federal Media & Marketing Study™ the media usage of 3,700 federal decision makers was analyzed, along with their demographics, job function and purchasing habits. Just over one half of the respondents are in a defense- or military-related government agency.
Blogs are simply articles posted to a section of your website (in reverse chronological order) that include the ability for readers to make comments and use social media to share the content. You’re reading a blog right now.
A growing number of defense contractors are beginning to understand that blogging can be the key to getting found online, capturing business development leads and nurturing them toward a winning contract. That applies to prime contractors selling to the government, but also subcontractors who are trying to develop more business from the primes.
One of the most frequent questions I get from defense contractors is "what should we blog about?"
It's all about the reader you want to attract. Mice aren't attracted to mouse traps. They are attracted to the cheese on the mousetraps.
The first things you need to determine is who you want to attract with your content. Who is your buyer persona, or the type of person (or people) you need to influence as they research their contract requirements? Pro-tip: it tends to be the person doing the research, not the procurement official.
So let's say you've identified the buyer persona and started a blog. Your blog posts are helpful and educational. The content is focused on that buyer persona and their challenges. Your site traffic is increasing, your email newsletter subscription list is growing, you content is getting shared on social media and you're hearing from new potential customers and contract partners that you didn't know existed.
Then panic sets in. How can you possibly keep creating blog posts that will continue to engage and delight your readers and attract more traffic, subscribers and business development opportunities?
Anxiety about not being able to come up with blog topics is common for just about every person tasked with creating content.
For your blog to be successful it needs to be an educational hub of high quality content. It needs to have a sharp focus and a clearly defined buyer persona.
Then, you need to keep delivering fresh and relevant content. You can do it - here are seven ways to develop an endless supply of high-powered content for your blog:
- Long-tail keywords – By doing keyword research, you’ve identified a number of long-tail keywords that you want to rank for on search engines. Your company has expertise in those areas and your buyer persona is searching for them online. Review that list of keywords on a regular basis and measure how your rankings are improving or need more work.
- Recent industry related news – This helps ensure your blog has particularly fresh and relevant content. It also helps to position your blog (and your company) as an industry authority.
- Common customer questions – This can form the bedrock of your blogging foundation. Gather your business development and program managers and brainstorm a list of the most common questions they receive. Within just a few minutes, you can likely generate 25-50 blog posts ideas.
- Respond to blog comments – The great thing about blogs is that people can leave comments and questions. Make sure to respond to the blog comments promptly and then generate a post about the topic. If one person is leaving a comment or question it is probably something many more are interested in. And you can also look at comments on other industry blogs (or even your competitors. Similarly, respond to questions being asked on LinkedIn Groups and on Quora.
- Take a stand (go negative or positive) – It’s OK to have a strong opinion about a topic of interest to your buyer persona. It should be thoughtfully and factually supported, however. Taking a stand on your blog also tends to generate more comments and social sharing, which can increase your traffic and subscribers.
- Hot industry topics – Similar to taking a stand, blogging about hot industry topics can generate a lot of reader interest and emotional involvement.
- Invite guest bloggers – Not only does this create additional content and save you time, it can help your company build lasting relationships. As your blog’s readership and authority grows, it becomes easier to recruit guest bloggers (and you’ll start receiving more guest blogging requests).