Brainstorming B2C and B2B Blog Topics for SMB: Electrical and Data Contractors

In our recent 2016 Content Marketing: Back to the Basics post, we riffed on at least thirty dozen questions which you can ask yourself — and your team, your partners, your clients, your friends, your mammy, your pappy, and your dog — and which you can answer in the form of a blog post. Those are great seeds to building a list of good blog topics. But wait, there’s much more to the story…

Why subject yourself to the tedium of blog development?

Because you’ve been told at least thirty dozen times you absolutely have to (OMG you so totally should, you just have to, geez) for SEO reasons. Otherwise no one will ever find your website.

And, therefore, it follows that you’ll die penniless in the gutter, wrapped in your favorite piece of cardboard, muttering nonsense biz jargon unto the last:

… disruptive tech going forward but at the end of the day we should top of mind and buy in. BUY IN. It’s all about BUY IN… game changer, green field, first mover, revolutionary, new tech, new, new, new.

Oh God. The possibilities. The possibilities.*

* With regrets to Mr. Conrad.

To Figure Out Possible Blog Topics for Your Business

For this exercise, let’s dig right in. We’re going to look at blog topics for a super niche business: electrical contracting, specifically data communication installation.

Why look at this niche business for brainstorming blog topics?

  • I lost a bet.
  • It accomplishes our objectives because:
    • It’s solidly within our wheelhouse — small to medium business. (Depending on the shop, it could be a national chain. Or it could be a local Mom and Pop with sweat equity in and deep ties to their community.)
    • It could be B2C or B2B or both, depending on the shop.

Who cares if it’s B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business)?

Let it be said, I am firmly in the big tent camp that all marketing is P2P (person-to-person). It’s a real-live human who signs the check, or the purchase order, or the requisition, no matter how big the check or the project purchased.

Nonetheless, even though we’re all just regular folks here — we don’t all realize it, right? There are proprieties and etiquette, manners and expectations, egos and chains of command, committees and sign-offs. After all, do you talk to your mama with the same voice, style, tone, and word choice that you use with your homies?

Content marketers care about B2C vs B2B because it changes our audience.

For example, using our super niche business of data comm installers, they could be writing blog posts pitched at ritzy residential home owners who want to do a full infrastructure makeover because they’re totally jazzed to have a Jetsons-level Internet of Things experience. That’s a B2C post.

Then, their very next blog topic could be B2B. Our friendly neighborhood low voltage electrical contractors might write 500-600 words aimed at regional general contractors (GCs) to highlight the shop’s unique sales proposition, their staff, their training, their secret sauce, whatever. GCs bring in sub-contractors for all aspects of getting the built environment, well you know, built.

So, data comm contractors and installers, huh?

You, dear reader, may or may not find this personally relatable. And, that’s okay. Actually, it doesn’t matter. You can extrapolate for your own circumstances, especially if you’re B2C or B2B. That should cover about all of us, right?

Also, I’m writing this for my buddy, Sparky.

Sparky started out as an electrician, paid his dues, worked his way up the ladder for a well-known regional electrical contractor. Their business bids on projects and works with general contractors on new construction as well as maintenance, upgrades, and retrofits for existing buildings.

As telephony, telecom, information technology, and this whole interwebs / cloud thing converged and evolved like a house on fire, the job of the IT folks and the job of the electricians — well, let’s just say that they kept bumping into each other in the same places. Like so so many fields touched by tech, yet another new discipline was born with new job titles, new roles and responsibilities, new version of the old scene.

This realm is still new enough that, as an outsider looking in, it seems they’ve not agreed on a name for themselves yet. I did more than my usual amount of searching for this post, believe me — and I’ve found these titles seem to be interchangeable: integrated systems contractors, low voltage contractors, data comm installers, network integrators, and now technologists.

About a year ago, my buddy Sparky (guess why they call him that) was tapped to start, staff, and run a new division within his company to offer Data Comm Services.

He rang me up and said, “Pop quiz, hotshot, what should I blog about?”

And, in next week’s post, I’ll tell you what I told him.