One of the most common questions about blogging is, “What’s going to be the return on my investment?” That question is the basis for our upcoming Content ROI Series, starting next week. But as far as businesses who publish branded content are concerned, according to a study by inbound marketing firm, Hubspot, the more content you publish, the more leads you get.
Image by ky_olsen via Flickr
The study, a compilation of lead-generation data from more than 4,000 companies using Hubspot’s platform (mostly small businesses), concluded the following:
Companies that blog 20 or more times in a month see the most return in traffic and leads.
Companies with over 400 indexed pages generate the most traffic and leads.
Companies with over 31 landing pages generate the most leads (nearly 10 times that of the lowest, ‘less that 5’ category).
Of course, the producers of the study include a caveat that splitting content into small pieces in order to increase the number of pages published, “will leave your website ridden with sparse descriptions, inconclusive arguments, and sketchy lead conversion paths.”
That’s a detailed way of saying:
“Content is worthless if it’s not useful, no matter how much of it you have.”
The reason a high volume of quality content converts readers to leads is simple: the more useful things people learn from you, the more they trust you. Content marketing is about building trust and earning a reputation among your target audience by publishing entertaining or useful material.
At a certain point, the volume of content you produce will see diminishing returns. How much is too much will depend on the size of your audience. The best advice I can give to beginners is start with a few posts a week and ramp up. Gargantuan publishers like Mashable, Thrillist, and Gawker started small and expanded as their audiences grew.
On the flip side, blogs like OkCupid‘s OkTrends adopt the philosophy of “less is more,” publishing infrequently and making a big deal out of each release of a new post. However, if OkTrends posted its thoughtful, data-rich, signature blog posts every day rather than once a week, it’s likely the blog would increase its lead volume significantly.
According to Hubspot’s hard data, and scads of anecdotal evidence across the web, the verdict for lead-hungry publishers is this: when in doubt, publish more!