Creating a blog on an e-commerce site for the purpose of revenue generation and branding is a complicated idea. For starters, it’s a blog. If you’re going to do it right, you need frequent and quality posts. That takes time and money.
Then, there’s the issue of content. What will you post about? Will your posts focus on your company, its products, and the employees? Do people really want to read that? How can a company’s blog be profitable as well as achieve marketing goals?
Tweets and Facebook posts focused solely on your products and offerings will get old fast. Linking to sites with relevant news about your industry means you’re giving away traffic that could be yours. You worked hard to build a social following, why should you send clicks and shares to someone else?
How We Did It At ZAGG
Taking these questions and concerns into account, we launched the ZAGGblog in January 2011. The idea was that we would create content and drive traffic to ZAGG.com via social media, email, and search. While engaging with the ZAGGblog, hopefully customers would click around ZAGG.com, learn about our products, and make a purchase.
One early hurdle we had to overcome was the fact that none of us on the Internet Marketing Team had time to dedicate to regular blogging and content creation. We solved this problem by creating a journalism/new media/marketing paid internship.
The interns earned a stipend, worked offsite, and committed to write multiple posts each week for three months. We instructed them to write posts on tech-related topics. Obviously, we weren’t going to break news, but the interns could research topics, stay updated on current events, and use their experiences to create original content.
How It Worked
After launch, we found that customers were coming to the blog, engaging with the content, and making purchases. The direct ROI over the three months was 111% and 50% of visits to the blog were new visitors to ZAGG.com. We had found a way to drive revenue and engage potential customers who are less familiar with the brand. Today, after improvements to the blog and intern program, the blog’s direct ROI is 179% and 67% of visits to the blog are new visitors.
The #1 referrer to the blog is our email channel. About twice each month, we compile the best posts in an email and send it to our list. Generally speaking, these content emails get a significantly higher CTR than our traditional emails. After email, Facebook is the #2 referrer, followed by organic search, Reddit, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Below are 5 of our most popular ZAGGblog posts of 2012. Note that none focus on ZAGG or its products. Posts about the unique aspects of gadgets, social networks, and apps tend to perform the best:
- This exists. And it’s disgusting: The iPhone umbilical cord charger
- Here’s why the cost to legally send web URLs in text messages is $750,000
- This is why 12-year-olds aren’t excited about Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram
- Does The new iPad Have Siri? No, But It Has the Best Part
- Top-Secret Texting Apps
Today, more than 10% of all visits to ZAGG.com are a result of the blog. It has been tested, tweaked, and measured in an effort to maximize the content to benefit search, social media, and email channels. A rising tide lifts all ships — espiecially in e-commerce.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.