I have witnessed some aha moments recently as the coin dropped for me and some clients about the value of blogging in the marketing mix.
And one common thread between the moments is they were all evidence of thinking strategically about blogging, not thinking primitively.
I liken the aspect of ROI I’m discussing today as more like the return of a disciplined investment over time rather than the quick fix of an ATM withdrawal.
Cash vs long term investments: The key is the right mix
As a long time advocate of blogging, I have been attracted to its core requirement of discipline; regular contribution routines are crucial for maintaining momentum.
In fact, the discipline of investing a little something of value, regularly over the long term, has long been the key to building wealth and prosperity in the realm of finance.
It is within this context that my first ROI insight has arisen.
In the crunching of data regarding our standing with Google for keywords important to our business, I saw that we had gained much ‘authority’ because people with good ‘authority’ had deemed my blogs worthy of linking to from their websites.
It would seem that much of our Google ‘authority’ has come from learned people discovering our blogs and sharing them as part of their articles on university websites.
Even with Google’s perpetual refining of SEO ranking factors, crafting material of interest to authoritative authors to the extent that they cite your work, helps build your reputation with Google and increases its trust in your body of work.
Furthermore, we did nothing specific to attract such interest from universities (and it could be argued it’s best if sharing by others is completely voluntary and merit-based rather than stitched up by some back room quid pro quo deal) except follow the usual after-publication tasks of sharing links to my work through social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, where readers with connections throughout academia graciously chose to share or comment upon the blogs exposing them to wider circles of influential readers.
So while a professor citing my blogs does not open the ATM today, it all goes towards building the presence and availability of my work so that potential new clients can find Baker Marketing and ask us to help them employ marketing strategy to grow their businesses or organisations.
And a bonus reminder about using blogs for follow up
Finally, a conversation with a client today was doubly pleasing when she recounted a story about a presentation she delivered to a room full of prospective clients.
She got some interesting questions towards the end of her talk and said it was at that point that she remembered my advice of using blogs to answer questions and share value in an enduring way.
So she has taken down a number of email addresses now and has been able to compose some follow up emails to her attendees with links to relevant articles she had previously written.
The compounding interest will be at work here, too, because not only will these recipients have heard her speak, they will have received helpful, valuable communication from her within 24 hours AND when looking at that information will have been right on her website and able to browse other offerings, subscribe for an ongoing connection and/or click to connect right away.
I hope this reflection has helped broaden and inform your approach to measuring the ROI of your blogging efforts.