Content is at the Heart of ThomasNet.com's Audience Development Strategy
These things were promoted via social media and other channels, resulting in over 100,000 downloads. In addition, we distribute/co-brand a "Search ThomasNet" functionality to partners with the same or related online audiences.
Our e-mail newsletters are an important part of our communications mix, and they often include original content related to a product initiative. For example, when we launched our RFP tools, our e-mail newsletters included informative pieces about various purchasing tools. They were also promoted in our online forums, a growing user community on ThomasNet.com.
Inbox: How is content development coordinated with audience development efforts?
Mehl: They are one and the same. In fact, content development is part of our audience development group.
Our staff writes a bi-weekly newsletter, covering issues and trends affecting business people across industries. This same content is available in a blog, and we invite users to make comments on that content. Snippets of content are also featured on our homepage and elsewhere on our site. All of this is coordinated by one team, so the integration is a natural outgrowth of the way we work.
Inbox: What's the most important tactic for keeping audiences engaged with ThomasNet.com?
Mehl: A quality product -- it's all about delivering a superior experience on our Web site to ultimately help buyers connect with suppliers. Thomas has been successfully doing this since 1898 -- first as Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, and today, 100-percent online as ThomasNet.com.
Each time we deliver a good user experience, it strengthens our brand, builds repeat usage and fosters word of mouth recommendations. In fact, ThomasNet.com is reaching more people than ever with over 2 million users per month accessing the site.