Will Blogging Really Help Your Business Grow?
Whenever I'm out and about and someone discovers what I do for a living, it's inevitable that the subject of blogging will come up (I'll bring it up if they don't!). If I were to distill the range of questions about blogging to a simple, recurring query - it would be: What's the deal with blogging?
Short answer: It's the real deal.
There's an increasing amount of compelling data that shows frequent and focused blogging will definitely have a positive impact on a business's site traffic and lead flow. While that statement sounds interesting and might give pause to the non-blogging contingent out there, the real motivation comes from zeroing in on the data.
I've assembled what I consider to be the juiciest tidbits of information. Much of it originates from research conducted by HubSpot, with a few other resources mixed in for good measure.
Initial Traffic Stats
One of my favorite stats is traffic related and comes from HubSpot - companies that blog have 55% more website visitors than those that don't. Now, this stat might not mean much if we're comparing two sites with relatively low traffic volumes but if we move up the scale to sites with thousands of visitors each month, this number starts to take on a different significance.
To add some dimension to this point, let's look at data from blogging.org: of the businesses that blog, 65% haven't updated their blog in a year or more. On one end, you have businesses that have never blogged and on the other end - businesses that have essentially abandoned their blogging efforts. To me, the sum total of these groups spells opportunity - opportunity for grabbing traffic, leads and incremental revenue.
Who's Reading These Blogs Anyway?
Current estimates show that approximately 79% of the US population is online, which is just north of 243,000,000 people. Estimates of daily internet users as a subset of this group range from 150,000,000 to 210,000,000 people. The percentage of daily internet users reading blogs? 65% - or from 97,500,000 to 136,500,000 people. That's a lot of eyeballs.
What's That Mean for Lead Generation?
Going back to HubSpot's State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, we find some very interesting stats:
- B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads than companies that don't
- B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than their non-blogging competitors
And as further proof of the benefits of consistent blogging, companies with more than 51 blog posts on their sites enjoyed a 77% lift in median monthly lead volume.
The Bottom Line
While more site traffic and increased lead volume is good to have, it doesn't keep the lights on and the bills paid. What's the new customer acquisition impact of blogging? Glad you asked.
In HubSpot's State of Inbound Marketing 2012 report, 57% of companies surveyed acquired a new customer through blogging.
Another interesting point in this area - There is a direct correlation between blog frequency and customer acquisition - 43% of companies blogging less than monthly acquired a new customer; the other end of the spectrum showed that 92% of companies blogging multiple times per day acquired a new customer. The key takeaway: increased blogging frequency correlates with increased customer acquisition.
So here's the 90 day challenge for you: if your company doesn't have a blog, set one up and commit to posting a minimum of twice a week. If you can brainstorm the top 30 questions your business fields on a regular basis, you'll have more than enough content for the challenge. Before you begin, get a baseline reading of your monthly traffic and lead count. (You''ll need Google Analytic code installed on each page of your site to get a complete reading.) You should see a nice jump in this trial period.
If your company already has a blog but posts infrequently, commit to increasing the frequency - once again, a minimum of twice a week is highly recommended. Set up the same before and after experiment and closely analyze the results.
In both cases, keep in mind that the more you post the better it gets - for traffic, leads and new customers.
Sources: HubSpot, ComScore, Pew Internet, Blogging.org and Nielsen.