If you want to overhaul your defense firm's website into a business development machine, the most important part to include is a blog. Here's why.
Market Connections has released its sixth annual Federal Media & Marketing Study™. The report analyzes media usage of 3,700 federal decision makers, as well as their demographics, job function and purchasing habits. Just over one half of the respondents are in a defense- or military-related government agency.
One of the key findings with marketing implications for defense contractors is that the popularity of reading blogs continues to grow amongst government decision makers.
Blogs are simply articles posted to a section of your website (in reverse chronological order) that include the ability for readers to make comments and use social media to share the content. You’re reading a blog right now.
Every week new defense contractor websites are launched. Some are for new startups, but most of the websites are for existing companies who are redesigning their websites.
While many contractors will offer business reasons for redesigning their site, what’s usually driving the redesign is that they are "tired" of their existing site. Maybe they inherited the site from a predecessor. They want a fresh look. Another contractor has a really cool website. You get the idea.
Defense contractors are spending a lot of money on website redesigns with the mistaken belief that just having a site makeover will somehow improve things for their business development efforts.
Sadly, many of these defense firms are missing a crucial element of making their website an engine of company growth – a blog.
A blog is by far the most important means of increasing the right kind of traffic to your site, converting visitors to contacts and nurturing those contacts toward becoming a customer.
That's why a defense contractor's website without a blog is like a jet without fuel.
Internet software company HubSpot defines a business blog this way:
A collection of articles that provide helpful, valuable, educational, and remarkable content to your target audience. By providing this value, blogs can easily and effectively draw prospects to your website.
It’s important to remember, however, that a blog should be helpful for your prospective customers. Talking about your contract awards, new hires and annual picnic is not going to be helpful and of much interest to your prospective customers.
Instead, your blog needs to address your buyer persona's interests and challenges. Help them. Teach them something for which they would say "thank you."
Here are a few of the most important reasons why a blog is essential to getting your website found and company growing:
- According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing report, 79% of companies with a blog reported inbound ROI. With blogging you’re creating content that is going to provide long-term results.
- Blogs boost site visits, leads and customers. Blogging is a fundamental way to attract more qualified website traffic. If the traffic is more qualified, they are more likely to convert to a lead.
- Each blog post you publish provides an opportunity for you to educate your potential visitors by ranking on a search engine results page. So every time you publish a blog post, it’s being seen as an indexed page on your website. The more indexed pages you have, the more opportunity you have to get found online.
- Each blog post is an opportunity to generate new leads. Once a visitor finds your blog, this opens the door to them wanting to learn more.
- Blog posts are going to help you starting closing customers. According to HubSpot’s research, 43% of companies have acquired a customer through their blog.
- Blogging helps you become an industry thought leader through education. Through those blog posts, you can start building authority and trust with your prospective customers.
If you're undergoing or planning a website redesign, make a list of measurable goals you have for the site. Ask what objectives you're trying to achieve. If gaining more traffic from specific audiences is one of your goals, the one thing that will have the greatest impact is to create a blog that those audiences will find informative and helpful.