Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet, now? Still no.
As we learned as kids, good things often take time. In the world of content marketing, blogging results are no exception. Learning about your audience, creating content for them, promoting that content, and having readers engage regularly, is a long-term game. But often one that produces massive benefits if executed correctly. This post will attempt to answer the question, how long will take before I start to see noticeable results from my blogging efforts.
Content Marketing: Blogging Results are a Single Piece of the Puzzle
Firstly, to attempt to answer the question, you should understand that blogging is only a single part of content marketing and B2B search marketing. If you create a blog, even writing regularly, but fail to promote the content, or work it into a more cohesive strategy—you will likely see limited results. Without the use of other tools in your approach, such as social media, email, or external collaboration, you will attract a limited readership. Before you consider devoting significant resources to regular blog creation, we suggest performing the necessary groundwork.
Defining Success in Blogging
With the creation of a blog, success will often continue to build as more readers are drawn in. There will never be an ending point as long as you continue to serve your audience. In his book, Content Inc., Joe Pulizzi, explains how valuable developing a strong audience can be. A strong blog not only enhances your brand, but can become an asset in itself. One of the most difficult aspects of content marketing is accurate attribution of revenue. It can be hard to answer the question,” how much revenue has my blog generated?”
SEO Analysis: The Cost of Traffic
One way to measure the performance of blogs is to see how much the traffic would cost to acquire on a paid basis. Tools such as SEMRush, can provide an estimate as to the cost of this traffic. Top blogs, such as HubSpot’s, produces over $10+MM worth of traffic per month. That’s in the US alone!
Blogging Revenue Attribution: Easier with HubSpot
Measuring lead generation related to blogging results is made possible through tools such as HubSpot. Specializing in inbound marketing, HubSpot tracking tools allow you to see all of the pages a prospect has visited once they have completed a form. While not always 100% accurate, due to different device use and blocked cookies, it can provide a great look into your buyer’s journey.
In the world of B2B, where information is king, buyers typically read three to five pieces of content before speaking with a rep. HubSpot’s tools allow you to lift the veil on your customer’s journey to see how long they’ve been a reader and what content they viewed. With some careful data aggregation and attribution, you can begin to see how many sales were generated as a result of your blogging efforts.
Powering Your Marketing Flywheel
One overlooked part of blogging is the number of ways that content can be repurposed. Beyond simply publishing a blog, sharing it on social and waiting for SEO traffic, there are many other opportunities. Once a blog post has been created, you can then repurpose the blog post into a podcast, video, short text snippet, infographic, image, and so much more. By employing creativity, you can take a single piece of content and turn it into many opportunities, often generating massive results.
As one of the original pioneers of content marketing, GaryVee, has a very helpful post on how to make 64 pieces of content in one day. While his example may be a bit extreme, it provides some very relevant ideas. Not everyone in your audience will take the time to read an entire blog post. Perhaps an image, slideshow, tweet, or video will serve them better. By taking the work you’ve put into your blog and repurposing content strategically, you can create massive ROI.
Blogging Results in Sales: Driving Deeper Relationships
One underlooked use of blog posts is in the sales process. Instead of having each rep try and build a relationship solely by meetings or email, blog posts can be a helpful tool. Often, prospects will have questions that your sales reps will touch on briefly. By providing them with further reading material, or sharing blog posts, you empower the buyer to make a decision. Not only does this build trust, but also shortens sales cycles by reducing the amount of back and forth.
Answering the Question: How Long Does It Take to See Results With Blogging?
Now that you understand how the results of blogging can be measured, we can finally dive into the original question. In the context of content marketing purely, without an existing audience, ROI from blogging can sometimes take 12-24+ months. If you have an established social media following, or email marketing list, this process can be much quicker. By sharing your blog posts with your existing audience, you reduce the amount of time it takes to establish a dedicated audience, often within a 6-12 month window.
Beyond simple content marketing metrics, blogging can have a massive impact on your brand when it comes to sales, engaging current customers, or building trust. By ensuring that you incorporate your blogging efforts across your organization, chances are you’ll see massive improvements to your ROI.
With blogging— quality and consistency are key. With the right approach and dedication, you can start on the path towards positive blogging results. Start blogging today.
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