Updated Electrical Market Overview Now Available

Information on electrical market trends, key trade shows, industry associations, buying groups, training providers, top distributors, industry publications, blogs, online forums and more.  

At Sonnhalter we pride ourselves on working only in the B2T, or Business-to-Tradesmen industry. And that means not only being up to date on what our clients are doing, but with their industries as well.

To that end, we have developed comprehensive Market Overviews for relevant industries, and continually update them. Our latest update is for the Electrical Market. Please feel free to download, review and share, and if you have any questions, contact us. 



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Forrester Report: Most B-to-B Blogs Fail

bwblogsA report by Forrester Research found that most corporate blogs kept by business-to-business (B2B) firms failed to energize their intended audiences and engage them in meaningful conversations about trends and products.

Corporate bloggers are apparently struggling to sustain a conversation, while many B2B marketers are failing to realize that good blogging style should resemble a coffee shop conversation, not a whitepaper.

As a result, most B2B blogs are dull, drab, and don’t stimulate discussion, according to the Forrester report.

More than 70% of the corporate blogs it reviewed stick strictly to business or technical topics and don’t share much personal insight or experience.

74% of B2B blogs receive a minimum of commentary or trackbacks because readers fail to find conversations worthy of their involvement.

Successful blogging, Forrester insists, is not a one-way street, but most corporate bloggers yak away about their companies and products, seemingly oblivious to whether their audience is listening or not.

56% of blogs we examined simply regurgitate company news or executive views, while relatively fewer blogs work to establish thought leadership by enlisting internal experts–with deep, specific knowledge of a particular topic–as their primary blog authors.

“B2B marketers should embrace strategies prominently used by mainstream bloggers to attract readers, build conversations, and engage community members in sharing their experiences with their online peers, the report’s author advises.”

If you can’t get excited about what you do, then please don’t start a blog. It takes time and commitment, and without passion, it’s going to be impossible to move it forward. Your readers will soon spot the lack of passion in what you write.

This isn’t a school project that you do for a set period of time and then it’s done. It’s an ongoing dialog with your audience and it takes planning and managing content and having the right contributors. If you’re organized and have a road map of where you’re going, it will lessen the daily time commitment each of us has. I’ve said in other posts that if you can’t allow 1-2 hours a day to your blog, then don’t do it or find someone who can.

Lee Odden recently gave a presentation, Tips For Better Business Blogging, where he outlines 4 tips for developing a successful blog:

  1. Develop a practical purpose for your blog
  2. Plan your editorial and source content
  3. Socialize by utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Trackbacks to generate traffic
  4. Measure and promote success to that committee

Conclusion: Social media isn’t going away and businesses will sooner or later figure that out. The key is those that do it first will have a competitive advantage.

Have you had  a similar experience you’d like to share?


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4 Tips to Target Tradesmen Online Using Key Word Research

connect-a-desk-laptop-standIn the B-to-B  marketing world, most companies have specialties or niche markets that they serve.

In our case, most of our clients target the professional tradesman which makes our task a bit easier than others. To reach, for an example, Electrical Contractors or Electricians, there are very specific key words that would drive them to your site like IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), side-cutters or power bender.

Key words and SEO have long been associated with web sites. But blogs are actually more SEO friendly and much easier to update  from information from your analytics.

Twitter isn’t there yet, it’s only a matter of time and search will be one of its most important elements.

Consistently using key words that your target audience would use to find your company will generate significant online traffic.

Companies make the mistake of assuming that once the initial search for those key words and phrases are done, they won’t have to go through that again. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Key words and SEO have to be a part of a continual process of monitoring and updating.

Tools like Google search allows you to type in key words and phrases to see what kind of activity levels there are. Especially in this economy where everything is being measured, SEO/organic search engine marketing has proven itself to be a good ROI.

Here are 4 tips to consider when developing your key words:

  1. Understand your audience. Since you’re in the business of making stuff, i.e. for Electrical Contractors, you should know their slang and buzz words. You should also know what’s going on in the industry. Don’t focus on marketing terms, focus on what the contractor would be typing into Google to solve his problem.
  2. Keep it simple. Because you’re talking to a specific audience (electrical contractors), you don’t need 1000 key words. The rule of thumb for key words is to have one key phrase per page. Having 6 or 8 only confuses the search engines so they’re not able to determine the focus of the page.
  3. Evaluate your competition. There are few companies that don’t have some sort of competitors. Look at their site and blogs if they have them. See what key words/phrases they’re using.
  4. Treat key word searches as an ongoing process. At least once a quarter, take a good hard look at the metrics and make tweaks where necessary.

What tips can you share to help improve your SEO performance?


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