These days, more and more businesses know that blogging is one of the best ways to connect with potential customers.
Blogging offers numerous benefits that old-timey marketing activities like advertising and direct email do not — from driving traffic to your website, to turning visitors into leads, to establishing your authority.
One of the coolest benefits of blogging, as Corey Eridon of HubSpot explains in “The Benefits of Business Blogging,” is that it’s the marketing gift that keeps on giving.
Even after a blog post is written and published and the initial interest dies down, the post will get out into search engines and keep delivering traffic for months or years into the future:
Extreme focus: blogging as narrow-casting
So blogging is a good way to reach lots of potential customers. It’s also a good way to target a certain group of customers, and to narrow down your audience to just those people most likely to buy from you in the future.
According to “What’s Your Niche: Creating Focused Content,” publishing blog posts with advice that solves the problems of people in a specific industry can get the attention of those people, who in turn, will learn to trust you and value your expertise.
But can you narrow your focus even further, and use your blog to reach not just an industry niche with a few hundred members, but just one single person?
And even if you could target just one reader with your blog, why would you want to?
As Troy Dean of WP Elevation explains, “David Kadavy wrote an epic blog post to try and get a speaking spot at SXSW and instead landed himself a book deal with Wiley to write Design for Hackers (which went on to debut at #18 on all of Amazon).”
As it turns out, Kadavy didn’t get the speaking gig.
But he did reach another very specific audience, the editors at the educational publisher John Wiley and Sons. As a result, Kadavy became a best-selling author.
Not a bad result for one blog post.
Blogging to reach your member of Congress
Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky says that blogging is a sure-fire way to get the attention of a busy public official.
I had the chance to meet Rep. Massie at a conference held in the fall of 2014 where we both were speakers. There, he gave his advice on how citizen-activists can make their message stand out from the numerous contacts that any Congressional office will receive each day.
And Massie’s advice boils down to what works best to get through the office gatekeepers to reach the elected official directly.
Don’t send emails or fill out online forms, Massey says. Those passive forms of communication arrive in bulk and carry little weight. Online notes don’t usually reach the eyes of the Congress member but are instead handled by an aide, who will add the note’s opinion on an issue to the “pro” or “con” column on the issue addressed and then send back a computer-generated form letter in response.
Massie says that calls are much more effective to reach him because, if there are enough of them in one day, then they’ll keep the office staff on the phone long enough for him to notice. “Why are people burning up the phone lines today?” he’ll ask, and then he’s more likely to get involved in the issue.
But perhaps the best way to get the attention of a member of Congress is to write a blog post naming that member. Massie says that he set up Google Alerts to send him any article where he’s mentioned by name. He suspects that other members of Congress have also set up alerts for mentions of their name in online articles, including posts on established blogs.
Now, since Massie is relatively young (he was born in 1971) and certainly more tech-savvy than colleagues who’ve been in office for decades longer than he has, Massie’s experience may not be typical.
But even tech dinosaurs in the House or Senate are likely to employ aides who monitor Google Alerts for their boss’s name. And as Massie’s generation of Gen Xers takes over leadership from the Boomer old guard in Washington, blogging is sure to become an even more effective way to reach members of Congress.
Will it work for business?
Of course, politics and business have their differences. For one, politicians are directly responsible to their constituents in a way that business management is not. Members of Congress even care what bloggers outside their constituency say about them.
For example, I don’t live in the 4th District of Kentucky that Massie represents. But if he gets this post in his Google Alerts some day soon, then I send him my greetings along with my thanks for his good advice — advice I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing.
Like elected officials, well run businesses have always made it a priority to respond to published articles about their company or its management. And in today’s world of Web 2.0, businesses are finding that they ignore at their own peril the larger community on social media too.
I was able to find little on a Google search about how to reach a single business leader through blogging. But my guess is that CEOs and company managers all over the world have Google Alerts set up just as members of Congress do. If that’s true, then blogging about a particular company or even its leader would be an excellent way to get past the usual gatekeepers.
Soon, I plan to give this strategy a try. And when I do, I’ll post my experiences on the Curren Group blog. Meantime, I’d love to hear from anyone who’s already tried to reach one organization or one person at an organization by writing a blog post about them.
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group