We are living in a time when people are hungry for newer and fresher content every single day. For some, this can be intimidating but for the optimistic this means opportunity. An opportunist will see this growing demand for content as a chance to bring more leads to their business.
If you are reading this article, my best bet is you are planning to set up a blog for your company, but uncertain of how to predict and ROI so others can see what benefits it can bring. That is why I am going to tell you, how to forecast ROI for your future b2b blog so you can present it to higher management.
But remember, this forecast is for a blogger who already has experience in SEO or somebody who knows how to create proper blog strategy, otherwise it most likely won’t turn out as I will explain in this article, but still you will get the idea how to actually calculate the ROI for your future b2b blog.
Forecast ROI is simple, first, you need to know how many people you can bring with your blog posts. That you can find out through Google Keyword Planner or any other keyword research tool to see how many people searching your selected keywords. Once you know how many people approximately will come to your blog, then use a conversion benchmark for your industry b2b blog and see how many leads you will get. After, just see your conversion rate from leads to actual close leads and what is the average price of your sold product and service and multiply it with your close leads.
Expenses for B2B Blogging
First, you need to know how much you are willing to invest in your blogging, or how much can cost to create the b2b blog so you have a rough idea of whether you can afford it or leave it for next time.
Don’t worry, it’s honestly not as expensive as it looks. It just requires a bit of preparation and learning, if you have never done it. The rest you will find pretty easy.
So, let’s first discuss how you can be producing consistently blog posts over the year.
This part is one of the most important parts of blogging. I mean without actual blog posts, you can really have a blog isn’t it? So, that is why the first thing you should think of is how you are going to produce consistently good quality content over a long period of time.
Because remember, SEO and blog posts are not a fast game like a PPC, but it pays dividends over a long period of time. It is an investment for your business which can pay for months and years to come IF it is done well.
If you do know how to do SEO, design blog posts and pictures, and other parts of creating a blog then you can hire somebody to help youvwith that. But do not forget to include in the expenses.
How to Produce Content?
Like I already mentioned, producing good quality content with very minimum 1 article every week over the next year or two is key to see positive results from your b2b blogging.
So, before you start, first think if you can commit to it for so long, if not, then I recommend finding something else to bring more leads because this will fail you and you would waste money.
But, before you give up on creating content, I want to remind you of a couple of benefits if you are willing to stick to creating content for a longer period of time.
5 Benefits of B2B Blog
60% more leads than those who not
13 Times Higher Positive ROI on Inbound Marketing
Reduce Conversion Time over Period of Time
Increase Conversion of Leads
Improve Quality of Leads
But again, nothing is for free and there are some challenges. But in my opinion, if you have proper tactics, strategies and you know what to do, you will realize that the amount of effort to create helpful content consistently is minimum compare to the benefits of B2B blogs.
But Let’s look at some common challenges for B2B Content Marketers.
Let’s discuss the two ways how you can create content and what are the benefits and negatives of each of those.
In-House Creation of Blog Posts
The first way how you can generate blog posts for your b2b blog is to create it within your company. Have them written by you, your team, and subject matter experts.
This usually provides very good quality and authentic content which would be identifiable with your brand. Also, people would understand the culture of your brand as it is because when people writing the content then they usually put their experience from the company.
Conversely, it is harder to push people to write the content for you as most of them are busy with the work which you need them to do as well.
Also, they don’t really fancy to write blog posts within 2000 words. Yes, it could be less, but from an SEO perspective, blog posts with 1890 words on the average rank between the tops.
Obviously, it has its benefits and negatives if you want to create your blog posts within your company. Let me summarize it for you, so you can decide what is better for you.
Low SEO aspects
Long creation time
Outsource Blog Posts
In the past few years, outsourcing and freelancing start booming around the world and many companies start using them as it brings fast results, and sometimes it fill-ups the knowledge gap within your company and resources gap as well.
Even the largest companies in the world like Microsoft, Petronas, Oracle, SAP, Walmart, and others are using outsourcing for some of their work.
Nowadays, you can basically outsource the whole business. Friend of mine running a blog with 95% outsource manpower. The 5% is coming from him as he making sure that it goes the way he wants.
Okay, but what about your b2b blog, with high technical knowledge, can it be done by freelancer?
My answer is yes and as I already said, there are plenty of blog freelancers for each industry and you can find the one you like the most and let them write it for you. As for sure it brings certain aspects which are beneficial for your company too.
So, let me explain to you a few benefits and negatives for this type of blog content creation and then I will summarize for you both and when is the best time to actually use both so you can achieve the best result for your b2b blog.
Easy to Read
Not Brand Authenticity
Summary of B2B Blog Posts Creation
Evidently, both have their negatives and positives and you would definitely try to get content from both.
Why? Because each stage in the buyer journey requires different content and certain knowledge within the content piece.
At the beginning of the journey for a buyer, usually, the knowledge level is lower, and it is better to provide a lame man type of content, which is easy to understand and get a good foundation within your industry.
So they can understand actually what is all about your product and services.
As it will give you the power to lead the reader into a firm direction you want. As the direction should be more towards the features and benefits unique to your company.
You know, explain to them what is important and why your unique values fit in and why they should care about that one.
Especially at the beginning of the buyer journey, the reader is highly influential.
In the next part, the buyer already did his research and have a good understanding of your product and service and your competitors.
In this stage, you already need to provide a piece of more comprehensive knowledge/content to show your expertise and establish that you are the expert.
So, to summarize it. In the first part, you create easy to read content, with a strong foundation. This part can be easily outsourced, as the freelancers will do their research and they know how to explain it to the lame man.
And the SEO aspects will attract them, so you have a chance to influence them right from the beginning.
The second part requires the expertise and that is when you better find people within your company and let them write this expertise knowledge articles for you, so the reader gets the feeling of expertise in your company and your brand authenticity.
Recommended Freelancing Sites
Other Possible Expenses
Of course, writing the blog post is not just enough anymore and you might also invest in a few more things which are required to get good ranking on search engines. As that is actually the whole point of creating a blog.
Whether you are creating a personal blog or b2b blog, you want to attract people to come to your website and read it and somehow influence. Whether to buy your product or to see you as a subject matter expert.
For you as a company, you want to educate them, and show you are expert in the industry and your product and service are worth purchasing.
So, other expenses could:
Graphic designer for your pictures
SEO Expert to make sure you provide good quality SEO for search engine
Blog Content Calendar – trust me, it makes a hell of the difference if you have this!
Those are the main other expenses you might calculate within your budget if you are planning for a b2b blog. But not necessarily you need it as you, or other people have the knowledge. It is just for you to have an idea what else is there to create a blog post.
How to Calculate b2b Blog Expenses
After looking at the main expenses you can evaluate how much it can cost you to create and run a b2b blog.
First, decide how many blog posts you want to have in the first year. I recommend you should try to aim for 100, but the very least minimum is 50 for the search engine to start ranking you.
Then once you decided how many articles you want to create, then how many of them would it be done by people in your company, the in house content, and how many of them would be outsourced.
Here is a great article on how to actually calculate in house content creation for your b2b blog from Convince&Convert.
Outsource are pretty easy to calculate, usually, they provide calculate on the website so you can see how much would it be for each article.
Then just put all the numbers together, also do not forget to put other expenses if you are going to outsource something else.
What B2B Blog Results to Predict?
Okay, now you have a clear picture of what it will cost you if you start creating and b2b blog for your company, but how can you actually forecast the results? Can you predict whether you can make money and how much?
You know, there are many aspects you need to consider as it is your industry, knowledge, size market etc. But if you will try to consider all of those, you might actually find out that the prediction is wrong, and you would just waste your time.
What I rather do is a quite simple straight forward formula to calculate the ROI.
Let me show you 3 few steps on how to do that.
Step 1: Each blog post will bring approximately 1k visitors. Some less and some more. That is average. This 1k visitors only apply if you have 50+ articles, as you need to create enough content for a search engine to sees you.
(That is a lame man explanation and there is more than just that but for now keep the number 50 is the minimum, later in the next article I explain more about that.)
Step 2: Find the conversion rate for your industry
Step 3: Calculate, let’s say, you outsourced the first 50 articles and posted them. (Remember, it usually takes around 35-40 weeks to get 90% of the traffic for the blog post.)
50 Articles post on 1.1.2020
40 weeks from that is 7.10.2020
90% from 1,000 is 900 visitors
50 articles and each bring 900 visitors is 45,000 per month.
The conversion rate for your industry (example) is 3.15%
So now you know all data, again this is just a benchmark, but usually, it brings me to a very similar number to the actual one.
So, let’s calculate:
3.15% from 45,000 in 1,417 people converted into leads.
1,417 leads and 20% conversion into an opportunity Is 283 people are actually very serious.
283 opportunities and 5% bought your product and service that is 14 close deals.
The average deal size is $50,000 so multiply by 14 is $700,000 and that is how much you should make your blog per month.
You know you have 3 months until the end of the year, which are the months of October, November, and December and each will bring similar results. So $700,000*3=$2,100,000 and this is your gross revenue for the blog for the year.
Again, those numbers are highly dependent on your conversion rate, for each of those, so make sure you get these numbers from your sales department and others.
But what if you do not post all articles at the same time?
Well as I said blogging takes time and most likely you won’t see the result the year you started. For example, my company starts b2b blog in 2020 in January and I expect the first revenue in the year after.
Exactly the same way the calculation, but it starts from 2021 the predicted ROI.
That means that in our example, my first $700,000 I should make in January of 2021. So that makes easy for me to show the board of directors when and how much we make. I got a good gap in between to set up everything properly and hit the target without over-promising.
Obviously, I know, the first revenue will come much earlier, but I can prove it to directors, but this prediction is proven with benchmarks from my industry and benchmarks from SEO.
Summary – Is Organic Traffic Actually for Free?
I would like to summarize the whole article that creating organic traffic is not for free! It requires some work and resources to get the results. But on the other side, the ROI is higher than PPC and events and not just in the finance part, but in other aspects like improved closing rate and shorten the sales cycle.
And that is the whole reason why I have created this article for you to actually calculate the expenses and ROI from the blog. Many people saying that organic traffic is free, and you don’t pay for that, but that is not true.
I mean, of course, you can create all by yourself, but with the amount of competition and work that is required it still costs you money and time anyway.
So forecast your ROI from the blog you just need information that you can find on the internet and create this prediction. Most of the data are pretty accurate and you can showcase very similar results to actual in the future.
So make sure you research properly and convince your company to starts b2b blog this year as it can bring you a lot of leads consistently with minimum investment.