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Should you even have a vendor blog?

January 10, 2019 - Marketing, Practitioner Marketing -
By: Chris Riley

The impact of a successful vendor blog is huge — and the time wasted on a weak one is just as significant. Most companies we encounter are not meeting the bare minimum requirements to make a vendor blog a success. If this describes you, maybe you should give up on your blog altogether.

Maintaining a blog is like a lot of marketing activities. Most do it because “it’s what you are supposed to do.” You hire a PR agency, you run ads, you have a blog. All of these activities can really pay off. But part of the challenge is that because these are considered standard activities, they don’t get the attention they deserve. So people find shortcuts in response.

With a blog, the hope is to get some content, populate the blog, and voila! it’s doing its job. But it won’t, unless:

  1. You are publishing twice a week
  2. 60% of the content is practitioner related
  3. You are keeping the branding and CTAs in check
  4. You publish value.

If your blog is less than high-quality, your effort could be better spent elsewhere. We believe blogs often fail because:

  1. People underestimate the complexity of getting a blog post done.
  2. They did not create a strategy.
  3. They don’t have a backlog to fall back on.
  4. “I am marketing, thus I am distracted.”

The rising stars that do make their blog a focus have seen huge success (for example, SauceLabs and Twistlock). Their blogs are destinations, not just vendor billboards. Their content is focused on value, it’s produced by practitioners, and they publish. Publishing often is the biggest challenge for a lot of organizations.

The net result of a successful blog is that people actually consider the concepts that companies put out there. It makes a company’s brand something more than a product. It shows they have a point of view, and they are speaking their target market’s language. Techies love and demand this.

Creating a great blog is a big challenge. And this is why content marketing agencies like Fixate exist. Product marketing managers, developer relations professionals, and content marketing managers have much more to do than chase content and queue posts. They have campaigns to manage, and their time is best spent on strategy. So finding outside help to execute a good blog strategy is a smart way to make sure you have a blog that works.


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Chris Riley (@HoardingInfo) is a technologist who has spent 12 years helping organizations transition from traditional development practices to a modern set of culture, processes and tooling. In addition to being a research analyst, he is an O’Reilly author, regular speaker, and subject matter expert in the areas of DevOps strategy and culture. Chris believes the biggest challenges faced in the tech market are not tools, but rather people and planning.

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