Over the holidays I had a chance to catch up on some reading. I’ve been slowly making my way through Joe Pulizzi’s Epic Content Marketing (I highly recommend it) and he brought up something that I’ve talked about for years – the idea of content being a long tail marketing tool.
We live in an on-demand world. People want stuff and they want it now. Having a bit of patience is for suckers. Marketing isn’t immune to this trend… that’s part of the reason social media has become so popular. We do our best to encourage businesses to focus some of their efforts on content creation. It’s sometimes a difficult battle to win because business owners get caught in the “I want it now” trap.
“Why spend valuable time writing a blog post now when I probably won’t reap any rewards from it anytime soon? Why not just post more on Facebook, get a few comments, send a few people to the website and move on?”
Investing in content is like investing in real estate. If you do your homework, your investment should grow over time.
Let me show you…
Let’s go back in time to April 8, 2011. Duncan thought it would be a good idea to combine his marketing and golf industry knowledge into a blog post. His “3 Great Marketing Strategies for Golf Courses” post was a quick rundown of a few things golf courses could do online to help attract new customers. It wasn’t anything too fancy and it wasn’t really all that long (just under 700 words) but it contained some quality content. We didn’t pump it out on social media or spend money advertising its launch. We just posted it… and it eventually was indexed by search engines… and people found it… then more people found it…
Between April 8, 2011 and December 31, 2015, the “3 Great Marketing Strategies for Golf Courses” blog post has garnered 5960 pageviews. It has become one of the most visited pages on our website. Here’s a closer look at the daily pageviews from this blog post from April, 2011 to December, 2015.
No huge spikes but a slow steady increase over time – from 11 pageviews per month in April and May, 2011 to 250 page views per month in November and December, 2015… all from organic search. Check out where the post ranks for “golf course marketing” on Google…
Not bad for a single blog post. Now imagine if you created quality blog posts on a regular basis… once per week… even once per month. The cool thing about these posts is that they continue to live on (unless you take them down of course) and help bring additional visitors to your website. It’s not necessarily a “set it and forget it” strategy but I think it’s safe to say blog posts are fairly low maintenance once posted. You might need to go in and respond to comments or refresh the content over time but they eventually take on a life of their own.
We decided to put a strong emphasis on our own Strong Coffee Marketing blog in 2015 to see how much regular blog posts mattered. A quick look through our analytics shows that 14 of the 25 most visited pages on our website in 2015 were blog posts. Overall website traffic increased by close to 30% and the number of leads coming in through our website also increased. That’s great… but what about the bottom line? (I’m guessing you’ve asked yourself that at some point throughout this post)
Let’s go back to the golf course post again…
- Let’s say it took Duncan 2 hours @$100/hr to write = $200 investment
- Since the post has gone live, we know it has directly contributed to 5-7 serious golf course marketing leads. To achieve those leads through paid advertising would probably cost us around = $1000
- We know through analytics that the post has generated 5960 pageviews. To achieve those pageviews through Google AdWords would probably cost around = $1300
- The blog post also lead to Duncan being interviewed by Golf Business Magazine about marketing golf courses online = Free media coverage
- We also recently signed a contract to help golf professionals with their online marketing efforts. The lead generator for this contract? You guessed it… the little blog post that could = New client and contract
I’m no math wizard but I think it’s safe to say that this particular blog post has been a worthwhile investment.
As someone that has written a few blog posts in my day, I can tell you that it can sometimes feel like a thankless job. Writing a post today won’t necessarily yield results tomorrow. Some blog posts will go on to do great things and be the stars of your website. Others will fall by the wayside. Just remember that they all count for something. Focus on developing a content plan and stick to it. I think you’ll be pleased with the return on your investment.
Having trouble kick-starting your content strategy? Need ideas and direction? Drop us a line.