Is Blogging Essential in 2014?
One of the top questions marketing agencies are asked these days is whether or not having a blog is essential. While business blogs were still just entering into the commonplace arsenal of marketing tools five years ago, more than 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are now blogging. This is up from 23 percent in 2010. These percentages are considered to be even higher for smaller-sized companies.
Still, many businesses are reluctant to launch into creating a blog strategy and committing to posting content on a regular basis. In most of these cases, leadership is still not convinced that there is a calculable ROI for blogging.
This year, the upward trend in blogging certainly will continue. This is because more and more businesses are seeing calculable benefits to it. Still not sure if it’s right for your business? Here are some of the valuable reasons why you may want to jump on board the blogging bandwagon in 2014.
According to a study from HubSpot entitled “The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing,” 56 percent of businesses that blogged at least once a month acquired customers through their blogs. Those that ramped up their efforts to three times a week saw this percentage jump to 70 percent. Daily blogging produced new customers for 78 percent of businesses.
Obviously the more valuable content you publish on your business blog, the more credibility you gain with customers and prospects. By positioning yourself as a thought leader, you’ll gain valuable trust that helps to build a brand and generate referrals.
Search engines reward websites that add fresh content. And, this is exactly what a blog enables you to do. By regularly blogging, you’re giving search engines what it is specifically looking for to enable you to rank higher in results. Higher rankings directly translate into more website traffic which ultimately means more sales.
Search engines crawl and index sites with regularly published content far more often than those that are stagnant. By peppering content with relevant keywords and linking between your blog and your website pages, you can improve your rankings even more. Get others to repost your content, and you’ll see an even bigger boost.
How to Calculate Your Return on Investment
While there are some marketing experts that claim that every business should be blogging because it’s free, this is utterly inaccurate. There is a definite cost to blogging. It requires a substantial amount of labor to be successful. While it can be costly, it can deliver a big opportunity. Thus, it’s important to calculate how blogging will affect your bottom line. Here’s how you can do this:
- Determine how many hours will it take to write, edit, track, and manage the blog.
- Calculate the cost to your company in salary or contractor time for these hours.
- Add the cost for the design and technology fees for the blog (divide by 12 if this is an annual amount).
- Add the cost in hosting, maintenance, and additional app fees (divide by 12 if this is an annual amount).
- This total amount is what your blog costs per month.
- Evaluate how many revenue-oriented actions are created per month. This should include calls, clicks on your subscription sign up button, or who contacted you through your “contact us” page. For calls, you will need to verbally inquire about the blog’s role unless you utilize a special tracking phone number for the purpose of tracking customers from the blog.
- Determine a value for each revenue-oriented action.
- Multiply the number of each action by its associated value to calculate the revenue created from the blog.
Your return on investment is your revenue divided by the investment. This will give you a monthly ROI for your blogging efforts.
Hopefully, this has provided you with both some concrete proof that blogging works and how to determine what you can gain from adding it to your existing marketing mix.
What have you learned after calculating your blogging ROI?