Revealing the Secret Sauce to Blogging Success
When TSL Marketing started working with Oxford Networks, one thing was clear: Oxford Networks had a huge military grade data center in Maine, and they needed to prove their data center, disaster recovery, and cloud authority to potential customers outside of their locale. Oxford Networks' dilemma was that they were mainly known as a telephone and cable supplier. By proving their IT authority in other strategic areas of focus, Oxford Networks would have a greater chance to capture more qualified leads, and bring those leads through their sales funnel.
Establishing the Right Fit for Inbound Marketing
At TSL, we love a challenge like this. Right off the bat, we know the client wants to bring their business to the forefront of social engagement. We geek out over all things social, and in turn, all things Inbound.
Oxford Networks is a fantastic fit for Inbound marketing and TSL. We immediately identified a need to build online authority and position the Oxford Networks team as thought leaders in the New England technology landscape. We started by recognizing their three main B2B service offerings in disaster recovery, managed IT services, and cloud computing, and began devising a plan for delivering the content.
The Inbound ideology teaches us that the best way to build authority is to show off your knowledge within your industry. Providing insightful, educational, and authoritative thought-pieces on a consistent basis could accomplish this.
It all Starts With Strategic Targeting Through Persona Building
After developing an internal strategy to present to Oxford Networks, we pitched the idea of a weekly blog series. The series would tackle the latest IT trends, events, and developments impacting the business world. TSL would own the copy and development of the weekly blog series, and would also bake in offers using CTAs for campaigns that centered on the blog’s core messages of disaster recovery, data storage, and IT-as-a-Service. The success would be measured on the expansion of regional brand awareness for the B2B IT solution space and on-page analytics — blog views over time, blog subscribers, and leads/contacts generated from the blog series.
( Some example CTAs that currently live on the client's site.)
One Last Roadblock Before Inbound-a-go-go
One major client concern was the investment of time from their senior S.M.E. (subject matter expert) in providing feedback and approval for each blog post.
In response to that challenge, TSL devised a plan to minimize revisions by dedicating one technology blogger who could learn their message and act as almost an extension to their internal voice.
The Tech Talk Tuesdays Blog Series is Born
Here’s how this worked:
We brought together a senior copywriter with expertise in B2B, a seasoned and HubSpot/Inbound/Partner-certified Inbound marketing manager, a COS-certified developer, a strategist with HubSpot know-how, and a proofreader with the eye of a tiger. Together, they would tackle this long-term engagement that required an initial blog listing page built on the HubSpot COS, a cadence of weekly copy submissions, weekly social postings to drive traffic to the blog, weekly blog builds within HubSpot, monthly blog topic intake discussions, and quarterly Inbound marketing campaigns. Sound like a lot? That’s only the cliff notes.
(The TSL team enjoying a night out together. Teamwork = Dreamwork.)
Knowing the Oxford Networks Audience
Through a series of intake and development calls with various members of the Oxford Networks team, we developed three personas to target:
- IT Technician Tom
- IT Director Hector
- CTO/CFO Flo
After developing our personas through interviews with the Oxford Networks' sales team, we identified some key goals to focus on to show the business value of IT-as-a-Service to the C-Level persona, and to show the IT Director that the service could be a great tool to keep his department from becoming bogged down with day-to-day IT management issues.
Ready, Set, Action!
We decided with the Oxford Networks' sales and marketing team that we would craft entries working closely with a thought-leader on their team. Our copy team and Inbound marketing manager met with the thought-leader a number of times to develop a uniform voicing for the series and a list of 20 long-tail blog topics to start. Our copywriter and proofreader worked with the thought-leader to develop the blog until the copy was ready to go live, then our Inbound strategist built the blog within the HubSpot tool and applied SEO optimization tactics.
Over the past year-plus, we have seen great success in our partnership with Oxford Networks. Our success comes in both the metrics (an overall increase in blog views and an increase in blog subscribers), as well as the relationship with the client. Our ability to establish client trust right from the start was key to keeping client hourly investment down. Trust was achieved through our industry knowledge and expertise, combined with consistent weekly communication. The pace was set for an impactful relationship for both parties.
We have been able to launch numerous Inbound campaigns over the past year in which we measure our success in the leads qualified and the steps completed within a funnel.
To date, we have generated over 230 Inbound leads through use of the blog series, our social management, and quarterly campaigns.
As our weekly checkpoint calls continue, we’ve also been given opportunities to develop ongoing Inbound strategies and collateral pieces, along with continous blog development and social management. The strength of the TSL Marketing and Oxford Networks partnership is rooted firmly in the HubSpot software, which keeps our tactics moving along.
(July 2014 blog views vs. July 2015 blog views)
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*This blog post is a finalist in the 2015 HubSpot Partner Impact Awards: Best Blog Series Award