This is some thing I have been observing over the past couple years and after reading some materials for one of my marketing classes it confirmed it. Traditional forms of direct marketing where you email blast, cold call, buy leads, or direct mail huge amounts of people to fill the top of the funnel are changing. The vast majority of buyers no longer rely on companies for information which is why there has been a shift to inbound marketing. Because of the Groundswell movement, they are doing their own research and finding all the information on their own rather than relying on companies and institutions to do so.  Now with that said, you cannot completely discard these direct marketing techniques. I think they are still important to generate awareness and get the ball rolling. The key is to guide people’s research process in the direction of your products.

The major change from the past is, sales people would prospect, generate interest and after a few meetings, sell the product or wait for people to contact their company. A trend I have been noticing now is, once the awareness is generated, people wait to talk to sales until they are completely ready to buy. The amount of time buyers are discussing with sales people has be decreased dramatically. Essentially sales people are only there to discuss pricing and close the deal rather than do a whole lot of selling. This is because there is an abundance of information on the internet for people to do their own research. This coupled with peoples widespread trust issues with salespeople leads to a change in the way sales organizations operate. Because of this, the lead funnel looks more like this:

New Lead Funnel

New Lead Funnel

This is why you see such a shift to inbound marketing which is what I spend my day-to-day doing. With all that being said, there are ways your company can help combat this change and make sure your sales people are using their time more efficiently, because lets face it, they are never going to listen to that voicemail you left them.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

This is probably the most important. When people take to the internet to do their research, they will not spend hours fishing through the hundreds of pages of Google results. In fact according to Search Engine Journal 75% of users don’t scroll past the first page. This means it is paramount for your business to rank within the top results.


To aid with search engine optimization you must create content. The more stuff your site has pertaining to your offerings, the more Google will find when it crawls the web and the higher you rank. You must also be clever about how you curate this content to make sure its set up to capture leads. Landing pages with forms in front of whitepapers and other assets are a great way of doing this. This helps get people into your awkwardly shaped funnel.


This is a great thing to add to your inbound marketing strategy. The way it works in a nutshell is; say a person visits your site while in the process of researching a certain solution then they leave without doing anything. When they go to your site, a cookie (small piece of magical internet data) get stored in their browser. Now when they visit sites with display ad space, you can advertise whitepapers, offers, and other information pertaining to what they were looking at on your site. Again, you would want to put a landing page with a form in front of this content to capture them and poof they are in your funnel.

Now for you sales guys that thought you were off the hook, its your turn to step in and seer the convo. Us inbound makers look to get rid of the need to cold call people and spend time prospecting. We generate and warm up the leads so you can call or email them once they are in the funnel to move them along. Offer help and statistics to aid in their research efforts because at the end of the day, the information they gather will ultimately lead to their purchase decision.

With all that said, there are still companies that prefer the traditional buying process. I have noticed a lot of the bigger companies, and fortune 500’s go through this process because they have trained buyers on their staff to help evaluate these decisions and have the bandwidth to talk to hear every prospective vendors pitch. The majority of companies don’t have the luxury of having seasoned buyers on their staff so thats when these inbound marketing tips really pay off!

There are many different “best practices” out there for blogging, whether it be for a personal blog, the b2b audience or the b2c audience. The one constant spelled out in the book Groudswell that is consistent across all these audiences is that

“The prerequisite for starting a blog is to want to engage in dialogue with your customers.”

I think this rings true across all social communications as well. Too many companies take to social media and blogging solely to push their products and brands. You wouldn’t follow or friend someone who constantly talks about how awesome they are all the time…right? Blogging for a business should be the same.


Blogging is growing like wildfire across all industries. Its an integral part of our marketing strategy at my company and it appears as though it is across many other companies in my industry as well. The glory about the tech industry is that it is very easy to connect with customers via the internet. They are all tech savvy, connected and are not shy about engaging with brands. I’ve noticed a few best practices that I thought I would share to help you on the quest of taking over the blogsphere!

1. Be Genuine & Honest

This should be a no brainer but its important to be noted. In order for customers to want to engage with your blog and subsequently your company they must be able to trust the information you give them. It can be easy to exaggerate and tell white lies when writing blog posts. It is important to keep these in check because at the end of the day transparency is key. The more information you can share with your audience the better, it will make them feel like they are well informed and keep them coming back.

2. Relate To Current Events

One major benefit to blogs is that they contribute to the SEO rankings of websites. The more relevant content the better it will rank. One way to tip these scales is to connect current events or things people are searching the internet for at the time to your company. Dyn does this all the time, most recently was our Olympic post. Now you may be saying, what does a Tech company and the Olympics have in common? Truth is not a whole lot but this is where you get to be creative and make connections that may not be obvious.

3. Update Often

There is a fine line between too many updates and just the right amount. Most companies in the tech industry update it a few times a week which is a safe bet. Too many posts and your content gets lost in the noise, not enough, and you lose that connection with your customers. When people come to your site to do research and notice your blog hasn’t been updated in a while, they can lose trust in a brand. Truth is, it all depends on what you are looking to accomplish, outlines this pretty well in their Blog Post Frequency Overview.


4. It’s Not All About You

Like I said earlier, blogs shouldn’t only be about your company and your products. No one wants to read a blog full of product sheets! For higher engagement, focus on industry topics, market education and helpful topics that will be beneficial to your customers. Once your doing all these things, then go ahead and mix in product and press releases as well as business cases surrounding your products. blogs can also be a great way for companies to showcase their company culture. This helps in two ways; people like doing business with companies they like and this can help them decide whether they like them and it can help get talent in the door to fill job positions. Check out the variety over at my company’s blog.

5. Sharing Is Caring

Blogging is social and should be easily spread over social channels. Be sure to add social share links to all your posts to make it simple for your readers to share your post. The more shares the more eyes on your site and thats what we started this whole blogging thing in the first place, right?!? It is also important for your readers to be able to easily connect with the author of the blog itself. Adding a little blurb like the one pictured below helps foster that connection and make it easy for readers to ask the author directly.

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 6.19.21 AM

I hope these points can help you in your Blogging endeavors. Remember blogging is to communicate with your customers, not to boast about your achievements like that conceited jock in high school. Don’t be that guy! It’s a two way conversation, talk about things people want and need and don’t forget to join the conversation if they leave comments.

Gunelius, S. (n.d.). Http:// Blogging. Retrieved March 2, 2014, from
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.