It’s That Time of Year...When My Thoughts Turn to Ice Fishing...And of Course, B2B Marketing!

When my thoughts naturally turn to winter sports; hockey & skating, snowshoeing, skiing and ….what ice fishing can tell us about B2B marketing!

Because I can’t stop thinking about B2B marketing.

Specifically, how many blog posts might it take to achieve your business goals?

Intrigued?

 Pretty soon, El Nino willing, this is what it will look like in front of my  house.

ice fishing vt.jpeg

Or, if you aren’t from around here…it’s true, you may see this…

truck through ice

Crazy right?

Will somebody please tell my dad to get his truck off the ice?

We grew up doing some ice fishing as kids so I’m familiar enough with it. And I can tell you, that publishing B2B blog posts is a lot like ice fishing.

Really?

Yup. Here’s how.

I get asked a lot, ‘how many blog posts will we need to do before we start seeing some business results’? Or, ‘how many should we do in a week, a month, a day’ or whatever.

There’s a conventional wisdom stock answer of 52 posts that are strategically written and posted and Persona focused. I’m not sure where this number came from, but I can tell you from experience that around this number of posts, the needle typically does tend to start moving for B2B marketers. This is assuming of course that you have well constructed CTA’s in place, high quality content offers and solid landing page design.

The real answer of course is, it depends. However, it is possible to do some very rough ballpark analysis that you can initially use for planning to allocate resources against, strive toward and benchmark to.

I recently did a study across 7 HubSpot portals. These portals were selected because they were all B2B tech product focused, they were a variety of very niche highly technical solutions and broad based business solutions and they all had a body of blog posts that were done to best practices and they had been posting for at least a year.

 HubSpot will allow you to get at and export pretty much any data that you might find useful. In this case, I pulled the number of views a post has generated since posting. Using this data and having Googlesheets figure out how many days since posting, you can do a spreadsheet that will tell you what the average pageviews per day are across all of the data. I took this average and multiplied by 30 to make it easy  (# views per month) and you can see the results here.

blog traffic 1

Side – You’ll see the ‘Best Case’ numbers reported…

I think that it’s important to note that every B2B blog that I’ve worked with has a few rockstar posts that really pull and a few dogs. This is part of the reason that for demand generation you need a decent number of blog posts running over a reasonable amount of time to really get a sense for your results. It’s also important to think of your blogs as having an ROI associated with generating revenue, but that you should also be thinking in terms of Sales Enablement Tools as well as Content Amplification to extend the reach of posts that you think are really valuable but that haven’t pulled their weight in terms of generating search visibility.

Why B2B Blogging is Like Ice Fishing 1 –

when ice fishing you can sink a number of holes that produce nothing, and then there’s one or two that will keep you busy for hours. (You don’t drill holes for some reason you ‘sink’ them. Don’t get this confused if you ever get to, or are forced to, go ice fishing. Also, don’t put the fish eyes in your mouth to keep them warm, it’s nasty).

 

the 2017 state of inbound marketing report download

So a potentially safe range for projected views per month per B2B blog post is 8 – 98. This is predicated upon a very small data set, so I’ll ask HubSpot if they’ve ever looked at this at scale and hopefully get back to this post!

So what happens if you use the rule of thumb and plan on producing 52 blog posts within a defined period of time?

We do know that across a large number of B2B websites that the average conversion rate from Visits to Contacts should be at least 2% plus or minus. So with 52 blog posts in place, you can see a potential rate of new contacts you might be getting monthly from a typical B2b blog.

blog traffic 2

 The beautiful thing that happens now is, that a solid analysis from here starts with your business goals. By building a Predictive Marketing Model, you can work up the funnel from your business goals, through a bunch of well reasoned assumptions for conversion rates at each stage of your funnel to estimate what you need to accomplish for your ToFu (Top of Funnel) activities to be successful. It’s a first guess based upon a lot of experience and industry data, but at least it’s a safe benchmark to get things going.

Why B2B Blogging is Like Ice Fishing 2 – 

What on Earth does this have to do with ice fishing? Well, every hole you sink is a chance to put a piece of bait in the water. You use a particular type of bait to catch a particular type of fish. So, if you want to catch a certain number of a certain type of fish, the more holes you sink and the more you use the right bait, the more successful you are likely to be. Every blog published is like another fishing hole sunk. Using the right bait (Persona focused content) increases the likelihood of that hole (blog) producing the right type of traffic.

More importantly, in ice fishing you get ‘runs’. That is, schools of fish that come by and loiter looking for food. As you publish more blog posts, each supports the other in terms of domain authority and you are more likely to attract larger crowds of visitors over time, and your average views per post will often increase.

So there you go. Put on your heavy boots, toque (‘too – k’ for all of you non-hockey fans) and gloves and start ideating new blog posts! Using strategic best practices of course.

Now that I’m looking at this data, I think that this may lead to our next topic …How Much is a B2B Blog Post Worth Anyway? 

Lookie here!

Interested in what Strategic B2B Blogging looks like? Reach out to us and we’ll take you through a short online presentation. We’ll leave you with your very own Best Practices B2B Blog Editorial Calendar format for you to get started with! You can also get started on your B2B Personas which is the first step anyways by clicking on the Call To Action below.

You have to take the first step though. The CTA down there is a good place to start.

 PICTURE COURTESY OF MY FRONT PORCH.

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