Blogging for business: It takes time and patience

I got a first-hand lesson recently in how information moves in the new media.

My marketing agency has a blog that we update five days a week. You’d be surprised at how uncommon this is among marketing and advertising agencies. Many Twin Cities agencies don’t blog, and of those that do, it’s fairly rare to see them post more frequently than a few times a month.

But we believe we should be fully immersed in new media, so for nearly two years, we’ve kept to our Monday through Friday posting schedule. During that time, we’ve slowly grown our regular traffic to more than 400 visitors a day — not dazzling, but respectable. And it’s quality traffic, with a low bounce rate (people who leave the site immediately) and a long average time spent per visit.

Last week, our office assistant mentioned that she had a bunch of photos of Target Field, the new Twins stadium, on her Facebook page. Her aunt works in the team’s front office and had recently taken some family members on a tour of the nearly completed ballpark.

We put up a blog post with Lindsey’s stadium photos, tweeted about it and put a link on our Facebook page. Soon, the hits started rolling in. People were interested in seeing the inside of the ballpark. Before long, we heard from SportingNews.com, which had somehow found out about it and wanted to use the photos on one of its blogs.

The day we put up the original post, we had our biggest traffic day ever, with nearly 600 visitors. And that traffic has held up in succeeding days, as more people pass along the links to our Target Field photos, both on our blog and on the Sporting News site.

It’s not exactly a viral Internet sensation, but it’s boosted our traffic by almost 50 percent, and I think it will have legs — it will continue to draw people to our site for some time to come.

Plus, it’s pertinent to our business. We do sports marketing for several clients, and giving fans a sneak peek at the new ballpark is the kind of thing we’ve done on other occasions as part of an outreach program.

Building Web traffic is challenging, as anyone who’s created a blog or a Website knows. You can always grab eyeballs with something freakish or disturbing — there’s a great appetite on the Internet for bloopers, tirades and the bizarre.

But while posting an obscenity-laden rant or a motorcycle crash on a business Website might garner viewers, it wouldn’t do anything to further the business goals of the organization. Earning viewers with meaningful, pertinent content takes more time and patience.

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