The other day Pete Caputa, Sales & Marketing Manager for the VAR Program at HubSpot, tweeted on the impact of content quality and quantity on inbound marketing traffic and leads.
Pete went on to cite us as an example of how this works.
I immediately thought, "well, in the interest of earning a bunch of money, we should probably back Pete's claims up with some data." Over the past two years, we have worked hard on our own inbound marketing, in addition to our efforts for clients. In fact, we have raised both website traffic and inbound marketing leads by over 900% during that period. Here's the data. Chart 1 shows website traffic (bars) and lead conversion rates (line graph) over the past two years. Chart 2 shows lead volume of the same period.
It's a little hard to read the charts, so I'll give you the spread:
Visits Per Month: May 2009 - about 900; May 2011 - over 9,000
Leads Per Month: May 2009 - 0; May 2011 - over 250
Lead Conversion Rate: May 2009: Avg. 1%; May 2011: Avg. 3%
Overall, by consistently blogging, engaging in social media and periodically publishing e-books, whitepapers and webinars, we have been able to steadily build a following of subscribers and leads via our inbound marketing content. Starting this year, however, we have taken our efforts to another level. We are now blogging every day and publishing at least two types of advanced content per month. In addition, we are hosting at least one webinar per month.
You can see the impact of our accelerated content marketing strategy in the data. Starting this year, we have seen a significant up-tick in both website traffic and leads. If you look at the proportions of different sources you can see a steady component from social media (teal color), while both search (green) and direct traffic (lavender) have increased significantly. We think that most of the direct leads are actually coming from Twitter clients, such as Tweetdeck or Seesmic.
What about the quality of our content? Is publishing more frequently enough? We don't think so. In fact, we have paid more attention to the quality and relevance of all of our content, and I think you can see that reflected in the improved lead conversion rates over time.
If you want to take your inbound marketing ROI to the next level, you have to get serious about creating, publishing and promoting quality content more frequently than you do now. You can see the effects directly in our data, and our clients' data reflect the same trends. It isn't easy, because we're talking about a serious investment in time and money, but sales leads fuel your business, and as HubSpot has shown each year, leads are less expensive using inbound marketing than they are using conventional marketing techniques.
If you would like to learn more about the impact of blogging and other content on inbound marketing ROI, please subscribe to our blog. We talk about this stuff all the time!