Running a standalone editorial site for your industry is the next modern best practice in content marketing. As an expert in your field, you have the power to start an online trade publication with fresh B2B content that doesn’t overtly sell your services. It won’t happen overnight, but this strategy will win you more SEO authority, a stronger reputation, and more clients.
Become your own journalist
A recent chat with a PR expert friend convinced me that becoming your own trade publication is the best idea ever. She cited open source provider Red Hat, a company that purchased the OpenSource.com domain a few years back and started a blog there. Today, it’s the original trade publication in the open-source development world, sloganed as “a Red Hat community service.” You won’t find many overt mentions of Red Hat in the content, and they welcome guest bloggers from around the industry.
Essentially by accident, I started doing the same thing about a year and a half ago. I thought about how we could deliver content to self–storage business owners that fulfilled an information demand not being met elsewhere. What do you wish you could read about in your market? Write it yourself.
Give away your secrets
We started The Storage Facilitator from scratch with the goal of providing the best web marketing education available to our audience. Web marketing is our bread and butter, so our writers are experts. Think about your area of expertise, how you can hand down that knowledge to potential leads. Give away your secrets— if you can show your audience how hard it is to do what you do without you, imagine what a relief your product will be later.
Our tone is modern, fun, occasionally snarky to set us apart. Over the past year and a half, we have expanded to also cover intriguing news, operating tips and personality profiles of industry heroes. So we got up and running with a simple premise that naturally fit us, but now we’re striving to hit Red Hat’s level.
Why it’s worth it
A standalone blog allows us to stay out in front of B2B clients and potential leads. We’re squarely positioned on their team, sharing the same concerns and experiences. A goal of our business is to become the “thought and tech leaders” of self-storage, and this publication is one way we project authority while barely mentioning the brand or products at all.
For SEO, we cross-link to our directory city pages and other pages around our site within blog posts, when it makes sense. We also set up content partnerships to provide guest blog posts like this one to relevant third-party publications, and have worked our way up the rankings for terms like “self–storage blog.”
For lead generation, I set up a subscription functionality on our blog to collect the name, company affiliation and email address of Storage Facilitator fans who want the news delivered to their inboxes. We recycle the content in our newsletters to add value for existing clients, and use blog posts as a sales conversation-starter. I’m now researching new strategies for promoting the blog as its own product.