If you don’t yet have a blog, chances are you’ve thought of starting one, but just haven’t quite wrapped your brain around how it might be valuable to your business and brand-building efforts. If you do have a blog, congratulations, you’re part of the 53% of marketers who use blogging as their top content marketing priority—but chances are you’re still trying to figure out if it’s worth the effort.
Let’s look at some numbers around blogging (from 28 Little-Known Blogging Statistics to Help Shape Your Strategy in 2018):
- Studies show that B2B marketers who blog get 67% more leads than B2B marketers who don’t blog. If you operate in the B2B space, clearly blogging is a strategy you should be investigating for lead generation.
- Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages than websites that do not have blogs. All that blogging adds up to lots of content, which search engines love to crawl and index. The more relevant content on your website, the better your search engine results are likely to be.
- Make blogging a priority in your marketing, and you are 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI for your efforts. These are the kinds of numbers we like to see, and blogging, while it takes commitment to make it worthwhile, is an effective strategy.
- Leads generated through content marketing (such as blogging) have a 14.6% close rate, while leads generated through traditional outbound marketing (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. In other words, if you write it (post it, record it, share it), they will come.
- Blogs are rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. In this era of #fakenews, blogs are clearly a powerful way to become a trusted and authoritative source.
- The use of paid ads by bloggers to get more eyes on their content has doubled in recent years. Bloggers aren’t replacing organic content with paid ads, they’re just using paid promotional techniques to gain more readers, more leads, and more potential customers.
If you’re still tracking with me, you’re probably thinking, “OK—a blog sounds like a pretty good idea. But how will I know it’s worthwhile for me to do?”
MAKE A COMMITMENT
As the old saying goes, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well,” such are the fortunes of engaging in a successful blogging strategy. Writing or curating quality content for your blog can be time-consuming. Even if you post only weekly (most bloggers post at least weekly), it’s a major commitment.
You need to be prepared and committed to:
- Generate timely ideas, do research, and plan the roll-out of your content
- Create valuable, relevant content in the form of articles, videos, graphics, podcasts, white papers, etc.
- Distribute that content over one or more channels (such as social media, industry websites, resellers, newsletters, email, partner organizations, etc.)
- Commit to a posting strategy that is frequent enough and consistent enough to get views and gain readers who want to consume and share your content.
Do these steps well and you will likely be rewarded for your efforts. Give them only a half-hearted attempt, and you won’t be. It’s that simple.
HOW WILL I KNOW?
As your blog and your marketing strategy matures, you may want to look deeper into the numbers and fine tune some things, but for now let’s stick to the fundamentals—namely what’s efficient to measure and most actionable.
The typical Blog Performance Indicators (BPIs) that we focus on include the following items. In each case, we’d want to look at current numbers, compare them to baseline (pre-blog) numbers, and then track each metric month-to-month and year-over-year to gauge trends. We’d also want to drill down to daily or weekly numbers (or even specific links/URLs) to gauge the efficacy of specific campaigns, blogs, or content.
- Traffic: How many page views and unique visitors are you getting? Which articles (URLs) are performing better than others?
- Shares & Comments What kinds of numbers of social media link shares, “likes,” or retweets are you seeing? Are you getting comments? Are people asking questions?
- Pingbacks: Are you seeing more pingbacks as other websites post links to your blogs or content?
- Engagement: When people visit your blog or website, how long are they staying? How many pages do they view? Is it one and done (indicating they may not be as engaged with the content as you’d like) or do they stick around to kick the tires? Are people leaving comments, sharing your content, asking questions? More importantly, are you responding to comments/questions in a timely manner?
- Retention: Using Google Analytics, you can measure things such as bounce rates (those who view one page then leave), return visitors, and more to get a sense for how valuable your content is, which should relate to higher retention rates and more pages per visit.
- Response to Calls-to-Action: Have you seen an uptick in your email sign-ups, sales, registrations, etc.? Are you experiencing more downloads of white papers and other content? Are you getting more email inquiries or calls?
Let’s be clear, measuring the success of your blog, even for the most basic of metrics (see above), can become a time consuming job. It’s really easy to get so caught up in each and every possible number, that you get lost in the weeds (and the numbers). My advice is don’t measure it if you don’t plan to do something with the data.
In other words, while you could take as deep a dive as you want into the detail of how your blog is performing and how, exactly, it’s impacting your results in numerous ways, my suggestion is that you take a bigger picture view (at least to start with) and focus on several high-level BPIs so you can get a sense of what’s working and what isn’t.
That said, studying search engine traffic and keyword performance can be helpful, as can the use of advanced content marketing platforms and software (such as Hubspot) to determine how blogging is affecting your marketing and sales pipelines.
ANSWER ME THIS
In determining whether your blog measures up, the bottom line is you want to answer some very basic questions important to your blogging and marketing efforts:
- Is my blog reaching its target audience?
- Is my content interesting, valuable, and relevant?
- Are visitors responding to my calls-to-action (sales, registrations, sign-ups, downloads, etc.)?
- What kind of content do people seem to respond to most?
- Are people sharing my content (growing my brand family) and are they coming back for more?
- Should I keep doing what I’m doing (because I’m getting the results I want) or should I change things up to get even better (or different) results?
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Let Barrel O’ Monkeyz provide a free assessment of your current content marketing and blogging strategies to help you answer the question, “Is my blogging contributing to my success?”
You can also check out Barrel O’Monkeyz white papers on a range of topics, from social media and inbound marketing and website development, to digital marketing, brand development, and design. Each white paper is full of ideas and steps you need to take to turn your ideas into reality.
LET’S GET CREATIVE
Barrel O’Monkeyz is a San Diego-based strategic marketing agency specializing in Sports and Active Lifestyle markets. We serve as a seasoned, outsourced marketing team for companies looking to ramp up sales and launch new products. Our barrel is full of talent and creative arms ready to prove we don’t just monkey around! Contact Barrel O’Monkeyz Today