Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.

Two million blog posts are published on the Internet every single day. Each one represents an opportunity to be found on search results. However, many Xerox Channel Partners still haven’t begun blogging.

What happens if you’re one of them? It’s easy to convince ourselves that coming late to the content creation party puts us so far behind that it’s not worth the time investment to play catch-up. But that’s far from the case, especially for Xerox Channel Partners whose websites are competing for local search rankings.

Content Marketing Drives Sales for Channel Partners

Content is vital to capturing online traffic. In fact, content marketing adopters have a 6x higher conversion rate on their websites than their competition does. Before we dive into strategies for developing local blog topics, let’s review the important role blogs play in integrated marketing strategy and how they help your business rank in search results:

In this article, Andy Hill, Head of Digital Mastery Channel Marketing at Xerox, explains that blogging is critical to inbound demand generation strategy because blogs:

  1. Drive search engine optimization (SEO) by providing keyword-rich content.
  2. Provide interesting content for sharing on social networks.
  3. Help establish authority in a niche or industry.
  4. Provides visitors with the information they need before they buy from you.

How to be Found by Search Engines (four ways that help) is another informative article that covers blogging as it pertains to search results. This article highlights key differences between paid vs. organic rankings, tools to help, and the importance of natural language keywords.

Ready – Set – Blog!

The benefits of blogging are clear and it’s not too late to get started. The next question is: how and where Channel Partners can find topic ideas that drive better local search rankings.

Hardware and Technology Solutions Are Not Your Only Areas of Expertise
Before putting a single topic idea on (digital) paper, think about your audience. Who they are and what are they interested in? For example, the need for lawyers to scan and print likely exceeds the same needs in a marketing agency. Segmenting blogs by categories for capturing interests of diverse audiences across industries is a smart content strategy for Channel Partners who serve many industries.

Of course, it’s important to align blog topics with your business goals, including the products and services you sell. But don’t forget about or negate your knowledge on other related topics such as customer service, office automation, administrative support services, hardware repair, networking, software and apps, productivity tools, company culture, and business development. All of those are topics that are relevant to business customers and can drive local search rankings.

Where to find local topic ideas:

  • Local competitors’ blogs
  • Big box office supply store blogs
  • Blogs written by other Channel Partners not in your area
  • Blogs written by competing suppliers not in your area
  • Ask your team what your customers are asking about
  • Search local LinkedIn groups to find what’s important in your area
  • Search industry related questions on Quora

Types of content to create and curate:

  • Lists of local happenings
  • Regional events
  • Charities to support and why
  • Local guides, how tos, and best ofs
  • Comparisons of products and solutions
  • Buyer’s guides for…
  • Beginner’s guides to…
  • Interviews of local experts
  • Tips for better, faster, cheaper ways to accomplish…
  • Product and other reviews
  • Must read lists
  • Lists of hardware and software solutions by industry

The most important part of content strategy is to get started and be consistent in your posting schedule. It’s better to commit and deliver one blog a month than to attempt to blog weekly and fail to post consistently.

Need more help finding finding topics for your small business blog? Here are three tools you can use and the best part is that they’re free.

For more marketing tips and tricks and to find out what’s working for other Xerox Channel Partners, join and participate in our exclusive partner-only LinkedIn group.

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