Should ARM Firms Blog?

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Ugh. Blogging. The idea of giving just about anyone a platform to write whatever they please sounds quite terrible. This is, after all, why some detest “microblogging” formats such as Twitter or Tumblr – they allow the most untalented, boring writers to spew forth the minutiae of their lives on a regular basis, not to mention providing a platform for unsubstantiated comments about anything and everything—including your company.

Surely, blogging is best left to basement-dwelling trolls, illuminated only by the glow of their monitors, clicking away in silence aside from the methodical crunch of potato chips and sips of Mountain Dew, right?

A typical blogger.

The blogger in his natural habitat.

Of course not. A quality corporate blog can work wonders for your company’s reputation and marketing efforts. It also presents some nice side effects that positively impact your SEO (search engine optimization). For most B2B firms, a blog serves as a way to proactively reach out to prospects and develop a reputation as a solid company.

For the ARM industry in particular, it can also be a strong effective tool for establishing your standards of quality and a communication channel to tell your customers that you are dedicated to those standards by actively discussing the issues that matter to them.
What does blogging do for my company?

In short, it can do a lot. Blogging gives your company a regular controlled message that can be cited by your marketing materials and salespeople as a sign of credibility and expertise. The twist is that your blogs should not be sales-focused or pitchy – rather, they should present you as a resource or font of knowledge about your particular product or service in a given market segment or the ARM industry as a whole.

Blogs also help you to set expectations for your customers and prospects. If you’re producing quality content, you’re proving your expertise and demonstrating that you have an edge over your competitors. As a marketing channel, your blog can also deliver a sense of who you are as a firm. In a landscape of rather monotonous marketing copy, an interesting blog with real personality can make a big difference in terms of getting eyeballs on your products and services. You’ll stand out as a firm in ways that are important to potential clients as they evaluate your business.

Finally, and possibly most important for ARM firms, is the concept of controlling the message about your company. ARM firms too often enter the battle against negative consumer perception after the damage has been done. Your blog is a chance to actively engage with an issue and diffuse it before it becomes a larger problem and forces you to put out more PR fires. You can also leverage your blog to promote your company’s sense of corporate responsibility. Are you donating to good causes? Providing consumers with the right educational tools about their accounts? If so then you should be writing about it.

How does blogging help ARM firms with SEO?

If you create a fresh cycle of content and get it linked by authoritative sites, you can effectively push down negative search results about your company. Your static website (meaning, one without a consistent stream of fresh content) isn’t doing you much good in this fight, is it? A blog gives you a system to churn out positive, controlled messaging.

Getting it linked in the right place, such as online industry news publications, blogs, and other highly-visited sites will get it the “link juice” your blog article needs in order for Google’s webcrawlers to place it at the top of search on your company name. Of course, this process requires proper keyword targeting and best practices, but the effects are well worth the effort.

It's all about the link juice.

It’s all about the link juice.

What should ARM companies blog about?

Everything and anything that can demonstrate the following:

  • Your firm’s expertise in whatever services you provide.
  • That your firm is made up of real human beings; it’s not just a faceless corporate entity.
  • And that you are not just trying to shove your product or service down someone’s throat; you genuinely want them to find something useful in your blog.

While the method of your posts may vary depending on the tone and message you want to present as a company, blog topics can range from instructional to analytical. Just remember that you always have to strike a balance between being a helpful resource and nailing down the key points that reinforce your firm’s value to your prospects.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Buyer’s Guide to [ Product You Sell ]
  • How to Avoid a [ Problem You Solve ] Meltdown
  • Meet Your Support Team

And remember, these don’t have to just be text articles. If you’ve got the time and resources, using different media formats (such as video or podcasts) can help make your post stand out a bit. These don’t need to be epic, large productions. A simple video of your marketing guy talking to the camera can be enough grab a prospect’s attention and demonstrate that you’ve put some thought and effort into your communications.

American Profit Recovery does a great job at highlighting their employees as a resource to prospects and clients.

American Profit Recovery does a great job of highlighting their employees as a resource to prospects and clients.

That’s all great, but…

I know what you’re thinking. This is going to take a lot of effort, time, and resources. I don’t make money from blogging – I make money from sales. Blogging is not going to be a serious sales lead mechanism for any ARM firm. It is just another marketing channel for you to present expertise and control the message about your company. The real value is that blogging solves a lot of problems for ARM firms in one fell swoop: reputation management, SEO, and marketing.

Corporate blogging can indeed require resources, but the right strategic approach can give you a mechanism for actively combating negative search results, while also providing a helpful batch of web collateral for your sales team to cite as evidence of your expertise.

About the author

Naveen is the senior marketing manager for Kaulkin Media and has experience in both B2B and B2C marketing arenas. He writes and illustrates articles for insideARM about marketing in the ARM industry. If you’d like to discuss your company’s marketing, you may reach Naveen at 240-499-3826 or visit the Kaulkin Media Creative Services page.

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Posted in Debt Collection News, Opinion, The Science of ARM Marketing .

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