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How Blogging Can Help Aerospace & Defense Firms Sell More

In an era where buyers now find vendors, aerospace and defense companies keen on commercial diversification can increase awareness and preference by blogging.

how blogging can help aerospace and defense firms develop new business

In  CSC's annual Aerospace & Defense Market Survey, most challenges facing aerospace and defense companies were not surprising in the face of "defense cutbacks, program cancellations and uncertainty." One challenge, however, was indicative of a changing defense industry where many contractors are embracing commercial diversification. Specifically, "Defense companies seeking new relationships with commercial suppliers to sell unused capacity and assets."

 

CSC A&D 2013 Report Click to enlarge

 

Here is the survey question with all answers from each of the two primary respondent groups.

 

A&D Challenges and Priorities Click to enlarge

 

This pivot toward commercial diversification for aerospace and defense companies also comes at a time of transformation in the wider marketing and business development fields.

Fading in effectiveness are the traditional business development tactics of advertising, direct mail, cold calling and trade shows to get known by your prospective customers and business partners. It has become much more difficult to reach prospects, particularly with interruptive marketing tactics.

Now, buyers want to do their own research and are overwhelmingly finding their vendors first. This was affirmed in a MarketingSherpa study:

marketing sherpa 2007 study-resized-600

Further, in a business-to-business (B2B) purchase, buyers are now at least 57% through their purchase before they first contact the seller, according to a Corporate Executive Board study. Every other study on this phenomenon maintains the number is actually higher than 57%.

Corporate Executive Board Study

That means that sellers have to become part of the buyer's due diligence, even before the buyer is ready to talk to the seller. The vendors must now get themselves inserted into that first 57% of the buyer's research.

And the most effective way they are doing that is with content marketing, particularly blogging.

A blog is 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.

The most important thing to remember about blogging, however, is to publish information that is useful for your prospective buyers. Don't talk about yourself if you want to have a successful blog.

So is blogging effective? Well, let's talk about something aerospace and defense contractors love - numbers:

  • Companies that blog get 55% more website traffic than those that don’t blog.
  • Companies that blog get 70% more leads than those that don’t blog.
  • 57% of companies have acquired a customer through their blog.
  • 71% of companies said blogs affect their purchase decisions (all data from HubSpot)

But the benefits of blogging don’t stop there. Another marketing benefit is the impact blogging has on search engine optimization (SEO). When a company  zeroes in on a prospective customer's problems (and Internet search terms), a blog can quickly turn into a magnet, drawing organic (non-paid) search traffic. An effective blog usually becomes the most-trafficked section of a website.

Why? Because over 90% of B2B purchases start with an Internet search, and people are more interested in finding solutions to their problems than in reading about your company (no offense). When a prospect finds your site, and gets educated on possible solutions to their problems, they quickly come to know, like and trust your company. Only then does a prospective customer become interested in doing business with you.

Starting a corporate blog can seem like an overwhelming, unachievable task. But it doesn't have to be.

To begin, think about who your real buyers are. Who are the people at your prospective customers, the buyer personas who instigate the research for a solution to a problem that a company like your's solves? To whom does the due diligence fall to? Hint: talk to your business development and sales people for insights into how your product or service gets researched.

Then draw up a list of the top 25 questions that your prospective customers ask. Congratulations, you now have working titles for your first 25 blog posts.

You can do it - the secret to success is getting started.

douglasburdett
douglasburdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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