Sometimes More Is Better – Hubspot Research Shows Impact Of Volume On Reach And Conversion

Whenever I speak to an audience and I ask the question:

What is more important? Quality or Quantity?

100% of the time, 100% of the audience says “quality!”

But we all get the answer wrong. And here’s why. If an amazing piece of content falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, it does not make an impact.

Of course this is what we call a “false choice.” The real answer is:

Quality or Quantity? You Have To Do Both!

But how often should you publish new content for your business?  How many pieces of content do you need to publish to meet your traffic and lead gen goals?

I always start by saying that publishers publish every day.

CNN doesn’t wake up one morning, decide that there’s not too much going on in Europe, and not publish news articles about Europe that day. No! They publish articles every single day about every topic they cover.

But if you’re looking for more solid proof, we can look to the annual study by Hubspot on article volume and frequency. As you can see from the chart, the bottom line of the study:

More Frequent Blogging = Higher Traffic and Leads

Based on blogging data of their 13,500+ customers, Hubspot found that companies who published more than 16 blog posts every month got almost 3.5x more traffic than those who only published between 0-4 posts. Both B2C and B2B companies saw more inbound traffic to their websites the more blog content they published.

Companies who published more than 16 posts a month also saw a 4.5x increase in their leads than those who published between 0-4 posts. For B2C companies, those who blogged more than 11 times a month got more than 4x leads than those who blogged less than 5 times a month. For B2B companies, they saw a 1.75x and 3.75x increase in leads compared to those who blogged between 6-10 times and 0-3 times per month, respectively.

One of the main benefits of blogging is that your posts will continue to generate traffic and leads for you even when they become old content over time. In their study, Hubspot found that 90% of their leads came from old blog posts.

Surprising, isn’t it?

Additionally, the study found no diminishing return.

Layman’s terms: the more you post, the more traffic you will see averaged out per post. This means the rate of growth increases. Now I’m sure there is a point of diminishing return.

But based on the study, posting content a few times a day is a great idea, if you like traffic and leads.

Relevant, Valuable Content = More Short and Long-term Traffic

While quantity is important, quality still matters. To grow your blog, you need to publish relevant, valuable content your readers will enjoy reading. When you do so, even over time new visitors will find your old content on social media, in search engines, or through other websites, and they may convert into leads for you.

Earlier this year Hubspot ran an experiment to compare two content marketing strategies – publishing blog posts with more intensive research and at a lower frequency, versus publishing less comprehensive posts and at a higher volume.

They found that there’s only so much content your readers can read. Anything more than 35 posts a week appeared to be too much for most readers. You can’t replace relevance with frequency, particularly when it comes to short-term traffic.

While Hubspot found that publishing less comprehensive blog posts at a higher volume generated more leads, they also saw a higher number of unsubscribes to their email list. Publishing more research-intensive posts at a lower frequency, on the other hand, saw a drop in traffic and leads, and the lower unsubscribe number wasn’t enough to make up for the dip.

Hubspot concluded that their current editorial strategy of posting 23 blogs per week was most effective, and they would focus on publishing “high return” content that would drive more traffic and leads.

“High-return” Content You Should Be Publishing

In their experiment, Hubspot found the following types of content generate the most traffic:

  • Top of the Funnel (TOFU): These blog posts are usually related to latest internet trends, business topics, and are lighter in nature with very few takeaways or lessons learned.
  • Deep Tactical: These posts are in-depth blogs, usually over 1,500 words, which teach people how to do something or inform them about specific marketing topics. These blogs often include current data and stats, original quotes, and relevant examples.
  • Infographic/SlideShare: These content pieces usually feature a few short paragraphs to introduce the infographic or SlideShare content, and not much else.

For lead generation, the content pieces that generated the most leads were Promo blogs, which are very short pieces with a gated offer to materials like ebook or webinar, and Tactical posts, which are higher level coverage of Deep Tactical posts, with lessons learned and recommendations for readers to implement.

Hubspot’s key takeaway here was that there isn’t a type of content piece that would be a silver bullet for both website traffic and lead gen. So you would need a mixture of different content types to reach your traffic and lead gen goals. Another interesting finding was that if a blog post did well in traffic or lead gen in its first month of publication, it will continue to perform well over time.

What about traffic sources?

Which channels should you focus on for each post type?

Hubspot found that certain types of posts performed better on certain platforms. With emails, TOFU posts received the most traffic, followed by Deep Tactical and Infographic/SlideShare posts. However, almost all traffic went away after the first month.

Similarly, social traffic for all post types spiked in the first month and diminished afterwards. With social, the content types that performed best were TOFU, Promo, Infographic/SlideShare, and Deep Tactical posts.

Direct also drove most traffic to all post types in the first month, primarily for Deep Tactical and TOFU posts. Referral traffic, on the other hand, drove very little traffic for all posts. The first month also saw the most traffic for all post types, with Infographic/SlideShare and Deep Tactical posts receiving the most traffic.

TOFU posts received more traffic over time than any other post types in terms of organic traffic. The other post types received similar level of traffic over time. What’s noteworthy here is the only traffic source that really drives long-term traffic is organic, which goes to show how important your content marketing efforts are in lead gen. You don’t get the same kind of traffic and ROI anywhere else.

Quality Content Drives More Leads and Sales

Content marketing helps your business attract visitors and convert them into leads. Every time you publish a piece of relevant, valuable content, you create an opportunity to connect and engage with potential customers, to be found in search engines and shared on social media.

It’s crucial your business commits to a content marketing strategy now. Publishing quality content regularly drives traffic, leads, and ultimately sales for your business.

Ready to get started with your content marketing efforts? Contact me and we will help.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.