As important as we understand content marketing to be, many chief marketing officers do not have a clear guide on how to set proper blog frequency and goals around their blogging program. Setting clear and realistic expectations is extremely important to the success of your blog and marketing program as a whole.
The following is a simple guide, along with a free calculator, on how to plan out the blogging frequency, goals, and show how the blog contributes to the business' bigger picture.
Step 1: Talk to Your CEO and Head of Sales
In order to create effective blogging goals, we must first take a step back and look at the overall business goals. If you don't have these numbers already, you will want to touch base with your chief executive to get an overview of the business goals. You will specifically want to find out the revenue goals for the business.
Once you know your revenue target, you will want to talk to your head of sales to find out what their sales goals are in order to hit those revenue numbers. Find out these key metrics:
These metrics will give you a good idea of how many leads your marketing team needs to produce and hand off to the sales for them to hit their sales numbers.
Step 2: Set Your Marketing Goals
Based on the metrics of the sales teams, you will then want to start creating your goals for the overall marketing team.
Start with the total number of leads generated based on the feedback from the sales team and their conversion rates. Then look at the empirical makeup of the marketing team's lead generation based on all the major different channels: advertising, web, direct, trade show, etc.
Continue to break these goals down until eventually you get to the goals specifically for the company's website.
Step 3: Determine Current Blog Metrics Baseline
If you don't already have these blog metrics, you will need to establish a baseline of performance which you can use to gauge what needs to be done to hit your goals. These include:
Once you have all of these questions answered, you can then start plugging numbers into this easy formula to figure out all the specifics with your blogging goals.
Step 4: Plug-n-Chug Into the Formula
Once you have all the above information, you can now plug all the numbers into the formula:
To help with this calculation, I have created a basic Blogging Frequency Calculator you can use to find out the blogging frequency for your business.
After you run through this simple equation, it will be clear how many blogs you need to create to reach your goals. This can then be broken down to find out exactly how many you need to be blogging each week.
Please keep in mind, at a certain point blogging starts to become a game of diminishing returns. Although this is different for everyone, in general, according to HubSpot, those who post more than 15 blogs per week start to experience the diminishing return with each post. However, I would suggest testing this to find what the point is for you and your audience.
Set Goals on Conversion Rate and Average Views
It's also important to understand that the above formula assumes that the visit to lead conversion rate and average views per blog are staying constant to their empirical average. In reality, you will want to plan in initiatives and set goals to improve both of these metrics. As they improve, your overall lead goal will improve and get you closer to success.
It's important that you also take into consideration empirical and industry data to help develop realistic growth goals. This will help you adjust for historically slow periods or holidays where there may be a dip in blog readership.
For those marketing leaders out there, it's important that your entire team understands each one of these steps in the process including the business and sales goals. This will give them a better understanding of how their individual contributions (such as blog writing) will help contribute to the company's overall vision of the future.
With this simple formula, you can finally gain clarity on how each one of your blogs contributes to your overall business goals and why it is so important. If you have any other ideas or comments to add, please comment below and let's chat.
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Luke is an industry leading inbound marketing specialist and an expert in progressive strategies integrating content, relationships, automation, and communities to drive lead generation and build brands people love.
He is the Director of Inbound Marketing at Savvy Panda where he helps lead web and marketing success stories for medium to Fortune 100 companies. Additionally, Luke is also the head instructor of Master Inbound, a comprehensive online inbound marketing training course. Find Luke on Google Plus.
March 19, 2014