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Investing in content: A 365 day experiment

“Where are the leads?”

If you’re a modern marketer, you’ve probably heard this question before and if you’re a C-suite executive or sales leader, you’ve probably asked it. The truth is, with the exception of costly paid campaigns or purchased mailing lists, organic leads take time.

As search engines like Google become smarter and smarter, search engine optimization (SEO) becomes less about the early-2000s tricks about backlinks, meta data, headers, etc., and more about actual content. Google’s mission is to delight their users with the fastest and most accurate information for the question they seek. As a marketers, we often fail to ask ourselves are we creating content our target personas really want to engage with? Does it answer their question and provider value or are we copying and pasting content that already exists. Even worse, is our content just a walking ad?

We decided to put ourselves to the test with a challenge:

Can we deliver valuable content every single day for a year? How much will it cost us to do so? Will it drive ROI for our business?

In typical scientific-method-fashion, we defined some rules:

  • At least one piece of content every single day for an entire year. For the sake of argument, we defined content loosely: blogs, landing pages with downloadable, videos, social media posts, etc. Essentially anything new counted. (Of course we wanted to keep a health mix.)
  • Anything pertaining to this project needs to be logged so we can understand the overall investment. We use Timely.
  • We’ll use this blog post as an ongoing place to log our content (daily) and our traffic (weekly). Although lead generation is a key element in every business, we’re going to keep our eyes on overall traffic. (Although, we expect KPIs to shift throughout the year.)

At the beginning of this experiment (September, 2019) we’re a 2-year old agency, but focused on a small flagship group of customers. With that being said our initial metrics are essentially null. For the sake of transparency, here’s the proof:

A screenshot of our Google Analytics traffic; showing essentially zero traffic

Content log

09/09/19001BlogInvesting in content: A 365 day experiment
09/10/19002BlogA definitive checklist to optimize on-page SEO
09/11/19003Blog4 tips to managing your Hubspot lists
09/12/19004BlogThe DNA of an email signature that works
09/13/19005BlogWriting the right content for your target audience
09/14/19006BlogTips to time-hack a small marketing team
09/15/19007BlogSending Drift leads to a form handler
09/16/19008VideoBalancing content with other marketing initiatives
09/17/19009VideoCheat Sheet: When to email, Slack, text, call, and meet
09/18/19010BlogBalancing content with other marketing initiatives
09/19/19011BlogCheat Sheet: When to email, Slack, text, call, and meet
09/20/19012BlogShould you measure your Alexa rank?
09/21/19013BlogShould you gate your marketing content?
09/22/19014BlogCreating a video content library in WordPress
09/23/19015VideoCreating a studio for video content, less than $100
09/24/19016BlogCreating a studio for video content, less than $100
09/25/19017BlogShould your brand be edgy; are you crossing the line?
09/26/19018BlogTutorial: Sending Drift events into Adobe Analytics
09/27/19019BlogTutorial: Log all browser-side Drift events for debugging
09/28/19020BlogTriggering follow-up actions, nurturing tactics from Drift leads
09/29/19021BlogMatching list of contacts to email addresses you already have in Hubspot
09/30/19022BlogEnriching contact emails using patterns of the addresses you already have

Traffic log

DateDayUsersSessionsBounce RateSession Duration
09/15/1900714317570.29%3m 08s
09/22/19014172850%13m 22s
09/29/19021193063.33%3m 46s

Variables

9/08/19 (Day 000) We relaunched a new website on WordPress. Previous site consisted of a custom landing page and a blog (with only 2 articles) on Ghost CMS.
09/09/19 (Day 001) Added Google webmaster tools to new site and forced re-index.
09/11/19 (Day 003) Optimized structural SEO based on Google’s PageSpeed Insights: enabled AMP, configured async/deferred Javascript, enabled image compression and Next-Gen, enabled Autoptimize to minimize HTML, JS, and CSS.
09/14/19 (Day 006) Added Bing webmaster tools to new site and forced re-index.

Conclusion

This is an ongoing experiment started on September 9th, 2019. No conclusion has been drawn yet.