- What type of articles worked best
- How often they should be publishing articles
- How important was the quality of the content contained in them.
These are important questions for any business, and you may think you know the answers to already. After all, isn’t it obvious? People have limited time to spend reading blogs, so they will only be interested in reading articles that are of high quality. Therefore, we might assume, high quality blogs, less frequently would work out better than churning out less in-depth posts in high volumes – that makes sense, doesn’t it?
Well, that’s not exactly what they discovered!
But before we get into a summary of their findings it might be helpful to look at Ginny’s references to different types of posts:-
• Tactical: They teach people how to do something or inform them about a marketing-specific subject.
• Deep Tactical: These in-depth posts cover topics using relevant, recent examples, original quotes, and current data.
• Infographic/SlideShare: Usually, these feature a few paragraphs of introduction, the embedded media itself, and not much else.
• Editorial: These posts cover a trend or issue that pertains to marketers, using original interviews, hard data, and examples.
• Promo: These posts are very short and directly promotional of a gated offer (like an ebook, template, webinar, or download).
• Syndications: These posts always have an italicized line of text that says “This post originally appeared on …”
• TOFU: These posts are usually related to larger internet trends or business-related topics, and are lighter in nature.
• Misc. Team Initiatives: We’re blogging to support a business, so these posts support the larger HubSpot goals, which may not relate to visits, lead gen, or subscriber gen. These also include posts that don’t fit into any of the above categories.
That’s a really useful list for you to consider for your own blog, categorising them in this way helps to bring variety and interest to keep subscribers coming back for more.
Another interesting list from Ginny concerns the objectives of these blog posts. What is it that you can measure to indicate how successful they were? Here are three metrics that Hubspot track:-
• Views: A view is counted every time a blog post is loaded.
• Net New Leads: When someone who’s never filled out a lead gen form on a landing page actually fills out that form, they become a lead.
• Subscribers: These are people who opt in to receive instant, daily, or weekly notifications from the Marketing Blog.
These are pretty standard metrics that maybe everyone with a blog should be using to track their own success rates, but you might have some others of your own to add into the equation too.
So, by varying the proportions of these different types of posts and by playing about with the numbers of posts per day that they published, Hubspot defined a Benchmark, a Low Volume High Comprehensiveness (LVHC), and a High Volume Low Comprehensiveness (HVLC) set to test against each other.
After the tests their conclusion was that LVHC wasn’t a viable option for them. The traffic to their posts went down and there were fewer new leads generated. The number of subscribers unsubscribing went down but this was not enough to compensate. Even HVLC wasn’t significantly different to their Benchmark, since, although there was slightly more traffic generated and a few more leads, given the amount of work necessary to produce the Higher Volume of posts it was not enough to justify the extra time taken.
The second part of their test revealed that:-
- TOFU, Deep Tactical, and Infographic/SlideShare posts generate the most traffic
- Promo and Tactical posts generate the most leads.
This is an important result to remember as it tells you what to focus on to get more business. Traffic is one thing but generating leads is what business is all about!
Over at Moz, Trevor has a slightly different story to tell.
They realized that they had become completely obsessed by sticking to their regimen of having a high-quality blog post every day. Yet, through their study they discovered that it wasn’t necessary to stick to this discipline and that their followers would not depart if they occasionally missed a day.
There are some important lessons for us to learn from these studies.
Blogging can be a great way to stay in touch with the people who count, your public. By building up a following, people will visit your site regularly if there are some interesting topics for them to learn from. They will also be interested in promotions and downloads if they are useful to them. You need to build up followers by posting regularly but once you become established there is a limit to the number of posts that are worthwhile. It is better to make them useful and informative than to churn out posts simply for the sake of it.
So get blogging – it is worthwhile – but don’t get too obsessed about it!