Getting a return can mean investing time
A little over four years ago, Kevin Hourigan, president and CEO of Bayshore Solutions in Tampa, made a commitment to blog on a weekly basis.
People look for content when making product or service purchase decisions, whether they’re part of a business-to-business or a business-to-consumer audience, he said.
A blog can provide this information, as well as visibility and search engine optimization for a company.
“The blogs I read on a daily basis educate me,” Hourigan said. “Effective blogging is sharing good content.”
Practicing what you preach
Hourigan launched Bayshore Solutions’ blog with three other executives. Today the majority of the 60-person staff contributes.
Bayshore Solutions updates its blog once a week at a minimum, covering topics like LinkedIn advertising, advertising ethics and Pinterest use.
As an interactive marketing company offering blogging assistance to clients, it is necessary for Bayshore Solutions to blog effectively.
“Part of the mission and culture of Bayshore Solutions is to practice what we preach,” he said. “Blogging can be an effective way for companies to share information about products and services. We drink the Kool-Aid through a fire hose.”
All about economic development
For ROI Commercial Property Brokerage Inc., a commercial real estate services firm with a handful of agents, blogging is a way to compete with large, national firms that produce large volumes of press releases.
Eric Odum, president of the Tampa firm, started his blog “Tampa Commercial Real Estate News & Commentary” in 2009.
It now gets more than 100 hits a day, while Odum’s Twitter feed, which links to the blog, has close to 1,300 followers.
The blog covers commercial real estate and economic development, “because they go hand in hand,” he said.
Odum spends about 10 hours a month on the blog. The most time-consuming aspect is conducting interviews.
"I dedicate time to it on nights and weekends when I could be out socializing with friends and family,” he said. “If you stick with it, it’s a valuable tool.”
The majority of bloggers give up after a year because they realize it’s hard work, he said, but it can take a year to get traction. For ROI, this traction comes in the form of new clients or prospects.
“You don’t think anyone’s paying attention to you and that you’re in an echo chamber. Then someone pops up and before you know it, you’re on the path to a new client.”
Legal blogging for a big audience
For a lawyer who’s built a practice on speaking and writing, blogging is a natural extension of past experiences.
Blogging allows David Brittain, real estate and lending practice group leader with law firm Trenam Kemker, to share developments with clients.
It also builds credibility and eases the exchange of information in networking situations.
Brittain began “Florida Real Estate Alert” about seven months ago as the primary blogger. “It shares what you and your firm are capable of doing and provides assistance to clients. It’s an excellent marketing tool and a value-added service in a lot of ways,” he said.
Powered by JD Supra LLC, a legal marketing company that helps with SEO, the blog is approaching 100 subscribers.
“The biggest challenge for a law blogger is to strip the prose of legalistic jargon and not to assume the audience knows what you’re talking about,” Brittain said.
SEO boost provides return
An active blogger for more than three years, Tony DiBenedetto, chief executive and chairman of IT services provider Tribridge, aims to produce a couple of blogs each month.
The blog provides a platform to connect with team members as well as readers outside the company.
It doesn’t take long to write down the thoughts, but it does take commitment to keep content fresh, he said.
“I don’t want to blog just to blog. It has to come naturally and be authentic,” he said.
DiBenedetto said he sticks to subjects that are important to him, such as entrepreneurialism, leadership and business growth.
He works closely with his marketing department to produce the blog.
Social media, including blogging, is a major part of the company’s marketing and PR strategy, he said
The blog has boosted SEO, which leads to the return on investment.
Average monthly traffic to the Tribridge website has increased 160 percent since the inception of the blog.