We believe in Inbound. That's pretty obvious: it's a massive part of what we do and we've committed to it fully here at New Breed. But just to play with the staying power of Inbound, we decided to do a little experiment to test momentum.
We posed the question: what happens to our lead velocity and website traffic when we slow down our blog and social posting cadence? Here are the answers.
Is the Power of Inbound Enough to Carry You?
First, let's clarify. We didn't pause blogging completely. That would be ridiculous. We still like to publish and wouldn't let our experiment hold us back from sharing the good stuff. But we did slow way, way down.
The experiment time period ran from around December/January 2016 through March/April 2016 — just one quarter. We went from publishing new content regularly to trickling posts out only sporadically. And what we learned was pretty cool.
Can you guess what happened?
Nothing. Our lead generation machine website chugged right along.
We still continued to get a similar amount of traffic and leads. At times during the experiment, we even got more traffic and more leads than our previous average. What does that result mean?
Inbound momentum is everything.
Once you're fully engaged with an optimized Inbound strategy, the momentum your website, blog and resources have to keep driving traffic and generating leads will keep you rolling, even with publishing hiccups. In fact, some of the blog posts that still bring in the most traffic for us are a few years old and still holding strong due to their evergreen nature. As long as we keep the information within those posts relevant using brief refreshers, they retain their power, pushing new traffic to our site and encouraging that traffic to convert.
And HubSpot has experienced the same type of traction; old posts generate 92% of blog leads, due to their ability to attract new visitors from organic search.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: Inbound is a long game.
Our experiment helps prove that you won't immediately stop generating web traffic and leads even if you skip a few blog posts — as long as you've done the upfront work to create a critical mass of quality content.
However, you must remember that the long game is also an invaluable annuity. Until you build that critical mass, you might experience what's called the "gap of disappointment." Working through it is a must. After all, you can't get the momentum without the buildup.
We still don't recommend having big gaps in your content strategy once you do have Inbound momentum. But it's clear that even if you take a slight misstep, the power of your existing content will continue to pay traffic dividends — provided that you're implementing a solid keyword strategy that appeals to your customer's pain points and goals.
Also, keep in mind that there are some things our experiment didn't reveal. Though it's not a likely outcome, we don't yet know if the slowed cadence for a given period will negatively influence future blogging results. If you're doing your own experiment, you may want to track long-term results of blogging, not just the results during the experiment period, to get the full picture of all possible effects. We're willing to bet your momentum will stick around, especially if you take on a refresh and optimize effort.
Have you experimented with adjusting your posting cadence in the past? If so, we'd love to hear about your experience in the comments section below!