When will Atlanta’s startups stop smoking crack?

Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey (now closed) over the last few weeks about why you do or do not blog for your brand.  The winner of lunch at Chipotle is Andrew Bate of SafelyStay, who was decided by this totally random twitter method.  Andrew will receive a $25 gift card good at any Chipotle.  Last Friday at StartupChowdown, I confirmed with Andrew that he does indeed love Chipotle. Congratulations, and thanks to everyone for participating!

 

The findings of the survey were interesting, to say the least, and a bit surprising to me.  I’ve detailed the results and some conclusions below.  The single sentiment that sums up the survey as well as the tech industry’s general consensus about blogging for your band is fully encapsulated in the following quote from the CEO at one of Atlanta’s fastest growing startups.

 

crack_blog_quote_linkedin

 

In case you don’t understand why he is so enthusiastic about not smoking crack, it’s because his startup built up a huge audience through massive amounts of awesome content marketing before they ever launched their product.  They taught Sales Development and Predictable Revenue while building the very tools that enable sales organizations to implement this sales methodology.  Today, this startup remains consistent in teaching their audience the ways of the SDR, how to implement the process, and how to make it sing through their own content marketing. To see how it’s done, I highly recommend you read, subscribe to, and otherwise study the Salesloft blog.  Much like David Cummings and John Saddington have set the bar for personal blogging, Salesloft sets the example for blogging for your startup brand.

 

The Survey

After surpassing 3,000 Atlanta tech startup blog posts on Atlanta Tech Blogs, I decided that I needed to be more specific about how we go about curating and recommending blogs in, from, and about the Atlanta tech startup ecosystem.  So, we created this survey to find out who blogs, who doesn’t blog, why or why not, and the general consensus on blogging for your brand.  Kyle Porter’s epic response really sums it all up, but here are the results of our survey and research into Atlanta tech startups and blogging for your brand.

 

  • 58% of Atlanta Tech Village and ATDC startups do not have a blog. Therefore, they smoke crack.
  • Of the 42% that do have a blog, it’s been 98 days, on average, since the last post, so they are just starting to smoke crack.
  • Those who don’t blog said that they don’t blog because the don’t have time or bandwidth, or the don’t have good enough content. But they have the time and resources to smoke crack.
  • The vast majority of those who do blog do not measure, and therefore do not know, the impact of their blog on their business.
  • The average readership of those who do blog is 3,500 / week. Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter shared that the Salesloft blog gets more than 20,000 readers per week.
  • We discovered 3 “digital marketing” firms who had no blog. These cobbler’s children are, apparently, also smoking crack.
  • Active bloggers post, on average, 1 – 2 times per week.
  • On planning or using an editorial calendar:

    • 40% have a high level plan to blog regularly, either daily, weekly, or monthly
    • Less than 10% maintain an editorial calendar
    • 15% have attempted to implement an editorial calendar in the past

  • The most popular methods of promoting a blog (in general) or specific blog posts were, in order of popularity:

    • Email newsletter – this method fits well, because your blog posts become the content for your newsletter.
    • Targeted email campaigns – demonstrating how you tailor blog posts to your specific customer segments
    • Twitter – for tech startups, twitter dominates.
    • Linkedin – did you know that LinkedIn is the #1 place on the web to share content?
    • discussion forums – What better way to introduce yourself to a new audience than to share your expertise?
    • Facebook – Your company should have a Facebook page, for no other reason than the 1.3 Billion Facebook users.
    • Google+ – You may love it or hate it, but Google uses it to get content for their search engine. You need to be here.
    • Pinterest – if you sell or market using visuals, you should seriously consider marketing on Pinterest.

  • Most interesting omission? Instagram.  Not one mention of Instagram to promote a blog. Big, big mistake, especially if your product or service is visually appealing.

 

Conclusions

Many startups are simply missing out on a very simple method of marketing their new business to their target audience for two primary reasons:

  1. They think it takes too much time/bandwidth
  2. They don’t think they have good enough content

Both of these perceptions – and that’s really what they are, perceptions, not facts – are incorrect.  I’ve addressed them both previously, here, here, and here.  And, the incorrect perceptions are far outweighed by the benefits of blogging for your brand, aside from not smoking crack.  To learn directly exactly how you can consistently publish high quality blogs for your brand, please contact me. It’ll take less than 10 minutes of your time, and you’ll likely come away with a new perspective on content marketing.

 

Also, I’ll be teaching a 2 hour class for General Assembly on January 8th called “Blogging for your brand”, in which I’ll teach you the very specific things you need to know in order to start blogging for your brand, keep blogging for your brand, build your brand through blogging, and, of course, stop smoking crack.  The class is from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at General Assembly, a couple of doors down from Dancing Goats, at 650 North Ave NE, Atlanta 30308.

What do you think?