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Indium hot on blog portfolio

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Blogs have become a standard way for b-to-b companies to reach constituents with specific interests, but electronics assembly materials company Indium Corp. has recently taken the concept to a new level.

The Utica, N.Y.-based firm has just expanded its roster of blogs to 85, covering such microtopics as clad preforms, pop flux and copper Indium gallium. Those terms may sound like Greek to most of us, but they're everyday language to the electronics manufacturing engineers whom Indium hopes to reach.

Indium makes specialty alloys and solders for use in electronics manufacturing. Its materials are finely tuned for the needs of an industry that measures success in thousands of an inch. The population of engineers who care about its products may be small, but they exert enormous buying power in a high-volume manufacturing business.

Indium set out to become a premier source of information to its customers under the idea that “content leads to contacts that lead to sales,” said Marcom Director Rick Short. The company started blogging more than five years ago and learned over time that advice generates sales leads. Its bloggers, most of whom are engineers or product managers, deliver wisdom under the theme “From one engineer to another.” Advice drives visitors to register for white paper downloads or customized answers to their questions. In capturing the lead, Indium also captures insight about what brought the visitor to its Web site in the first place.

“People identify with a certain interest or challenge,” Short said. “When they download a white paper, they're ultra specific and we know a ton about them.”

Because its industry is so specialized, Indium gets a lot of search engine traffic from engineers looking for solutions to often complex problems. Keyword targeting underlies the strategy. Marketers know that certain keywords drive leads, and Indium's blogs are optimized to perform well on a list of 85 keywords the company wants to dominate.

Indium has just 15 employees populating its 85 blogs. Software from Compendium Blogware automatically assigns entries to one or more blogs depending upon keywords. The same entry may appear in multiple places.

Short declined to provide specifics on results, but said the recent expansion from a dozen to 85 blogs testifies to the value of the keyword strategy. The 500-person company also just launched in its initial foray into Facebook and Twitter (@solder).

The company has few limits on who can blog. It turns out that engineers love engaging with others who share their professional interests. “We are blessed to have engineers and technologists who are quite social,” Short said. “When you give them a technology to help people, they say, ‘Let me at it!' ”

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