When it comes to prospecting for new digital print business, talk is about inbound marketing. That means drawing people in (largely online) rather than pushing information out. That translates to social media, SEO, and blogging. But what should you be blogging about? Is just having a blog “out there” enough? Do you need to have the right content? If so, what is it? Is anyone reading it? Or do you just have your blog up for SEO purposes?
I’ve been asked these questions by a number of clients recently, so I decided to do some poking around. I posted questions on some LinkedIn groups for designers. I did some interviews. The more I poked around, the more interesting it became.
Here’s what I’m hearing from designers.
1. If your blog is largely self-promotional, they aren’t reading it.
2. If you want designers to read your blog, post content of interest to designers — lots of images, unique typography, innovative use of color or design techniques.
3. If your blog is up for SEO, then it’s probably being read by production managers or print buyers looking for sources, not by designers. If so, add links to your posts leading to the related areas of your site that show your expertise or capabilities in those areas.
4. Make sure your website tells what you do. Many printers have become so marketing-focused that prospects going to their websites might have trouble determining exactly what their services really are. Don’t be afraid to talk about print. That’s how these folks came by your company to begin with — they were searching for a printer.
5. Humanize it. Mix in real stories from real people in your company. They want to hear “a funny thing happened on the way to the press” or “here’s how not to screw up this kind of file.” Give them information they can’t get anywhere else and that actually helps them in doing business with you.
I’ve talked about most of these issues before, but it’s been very interesting hearing the design community weigh in on this, as well. After all, their opinion counts a lot more than mine!