BizTech: 3 Alternatives to Blogging that Your Company Needs to Know
I previously wrote about the pitfalls of business blogging and why you might want to exclude it from your marketing plan. But if blogging doesn’t fit with your marketing and business strategy, what should you be doing to rev up traffic to your website?
In this article, I want to give quick overviews of three solid alternatives to blogging. Blogging has its place, and it’s often the go-to source for kicking up a website’s marketing efforts, but it’s no the be-all solution.
Alternative #1: White Papers
White papers are somewhat of an oldie. But it’s an oldie that still works wonders. For those who are unfamiliar with white papers, they’re executive style reports that can range from a couple of pages to hundreds of pages. Their purpose is to distill thought leadership as it pertains to a particular service, technology, idea, or some other topic important to organizations.
White papers are popular with technology-focused businesses. For example, McKinsey & Company regularly posts white papers on the subject of healthcare technology.
One important thing you might notice on the McKinsey website is that their white papers are under lock and key. You must fill out a form to gain access. This is where marketing comes into play. In exchange for some of your information, McKinsey hands over their documents. I expect McKinsey would then use that information to facilitate product and service offerings to anyone who fills out their form. It’s completely legitimate, and it’s a win-win for both the reader and the company providing the white papers.
What could you write a white paper about? Think abut trends in your industry – perhaps some underlying currents rippling through the marketplace that the general public doesn’t know about. Topics such as those entice your potential customers to want to read more, especially if the information holds something of value for them.
Check out the SBA’s website for more useful tidbits on using white papers to market your business.
Alternative #2: eBook
Yes, the dreaded eBook. Where white papers might be a remnant of the past, eBooks are the thing of the future. Amazon has exploded as a marketplace for these electronic books, offering a stage for newbie authors to express their ideas and stories in an economical fashion.
How can you take advantage of the eBook concept for your organization? It’s easy. Write one and offer it to your customers and prospects.
Okay, so it’s not that easy. But eBooks are certainly a new and exciting way to engage your target market. Essentially, an eBook is what it sounds like: a book that revolves around a central theme that is offered in an electronic format for consumption. For businesses, an eBook will focus on a non-fiction subject that addresses a problem a target market experiences and tells a compelling story on defeating that problem. Take Dave Ramsey’s Entreleadership book as an example. In this book, Ramsey expounds on the virtues he’s adapted over the years to build his own business. The book aims to address the problem of business failure and it does so in an enticing way. Entreleadership is a marketing vehicle for Ramsey’s organization, and I have no doubt it has worked wonders for him and his team.
An eBook will solidify your and your organization’s depth of knowledge in a particular field, and the eBook offers a legitimate platform on which you can launch a packaged source of information your clients and prospects will value.
Alternative #3: Podcasting
Podcasting may sound like a bit of a stretch, but it’s definitely a viable alternative to blogging. Podcasts are still going strong, and the technical know-how needed to get up and running is minimal.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of podcasting, a podcast is essentially a periodic audio release featuring one or more people talking about a specific subject. For example, there are running and nutrition podcasts, there are financial and economics podcasts, there are football podcasts and music podcasts – there’s a podcast for just about everything.
If you’re in a trade that can lead to captivating stories or interviews, a podcast can be the perfect channel. And unlike blogging, podcasting enjoys a more central publishing platform: iTunes. You can submit your podcast episodes to Apple’s iTunes network and receive free exposure.