Retrofitting Blogs and Converting Industrial Websites into Blog Sites

I am seeing more manufacturers and industrial companies willing to try inbound marketing with content. A sure sign of that is the number of conversations that I have had recently with my current clients and new leads. They all want to either add a blog to their static industrial websites or convert them into dynamic blog sites.

Retrofitting a blog into an existing site is quicker and less expensive than recreating the site on a blogging platform. However, a blog site with a fully integrated blog has many advantages over the retrofit option. For a full list of benefits, refer to my earlier post, “Build Industrial Websites as Dynamic Blog Sites.”

Some companies need help setting up their business blogs but for most, the biggest obstacle is creating content. One way to get over this hurdle is to repurpose some of your existing content into blog posts.

Here are some suggestions for repurposing existing content and quickly turning them into blog posts that are more reader-centric:

  • Convert your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) into individual “how-to” blog posts. Weave in a link to a specific product or product line within the text of the answer to drive traffic back to specific product page(s)
  • Pull a few key points out of an existing technical article or a white paper and expand on those points in your blog post(s). If it is a big topic, break it up into a series of short posts to encourage first-time visitors to come back for more. After sampling your content, your blog readers are more likely to download the complete article/white paper in exchange for their contact information (lead generation)
  • Blog about your online cross-reference guides that help design engineers and industrial specifiers find the closest substitute for “End of Life” components from your current product line
  • Publish charts and graphs of Performance and Characteristics data. Write a brief summary of the data shown and their implications. Add links to download full PDFs from your site
  • Write about the availability of your data sheets and product catalogs in different languages (where applicable)
  • Use your blog posts to deliver “proof of results” by summarizing your case studies. Link back to the full case studies on your site
  • Product announcements and application notes make great blog posts. Make them even more engaging by adding videos and photos. Expand on additional capabilities, improvements, available options and sizes and how the new product can solve problems that others just can’t
  • Explore if some of your content can be turned into slides and/or videos. Post them to social sharing sites like SlideShare and YouTube. This will increase exposure to your new blog and attract more qualified traffic
  • Blogging can a be a two-way street. Compile individual posts and comments into a comprehensive white paper or a “Best Practices Guide.” Use these as valuable free content for lead generation and nurturing

Another option is content curation. This is a topic unto itself that deserves a few posts of its own. For a quick overview, see my post, “Is Content Curation an Easy Way for Content Marketers to Do More With Less?

In my opinion, content curation alone is not enough if you want your industrial blog to establish thought leadership and highlight your company’s expertise. The best way forward is to create some original content and mix in a healthy dose of content curation using the best of human skills and automation techniques.

Many of my industrial clients ask me to set up their blog and get them started by using my blog content creation service. After a while, they get the hang of blogging and are able to maintain their blogs using their in-house resources.

Does your industrial company have a blog site or did you add a blog to an existing one? What are some of the challenges you face in creating blog content?

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