A B2B Marketing Fail With Positive ROI

In late July I began a month-long mission to increase my contribution to our Atlanta based agency’’s content marketing efforts. I wanted to prove something to myself, to my coworkers, and to my clients and prospects.

The point I was hoping to make was “If I can find the time, so can you.”

I set multiple goals for myself and was determined to achieve measurable marketing results. What were the results? Well that’’s been kind of interesting, and rewarding.

A B2B marketing fail results in positive ROIDay 30 arrived and I failed.

I fell short of my primary goal of writing 30 blog posts in 30 days, way short.

I only completed 10 blogs. It was early in the first week that Martine Hunter, our creative director of inbound marketing, reminded me that our agency blog has a strategy, a schedule and a team behind it. My grand plan was flawed from the beginning because I failed to collaborate!

Goal: 30 blogs in 30 days
Actual: Fail. 10 blogs in 30 days. Cumulatively, the number of blogs our team posted in August increased over July by13%  and June by 50%

I was much more successful with my efforts to increase my engagement on Social Media. I’’ve averaged about 10 twitter posts per day (Retweets of others at about a 9 to 1 ratio to tweets with my links) and at least once per day, I’’ve updated my Linkedin status with something that I felt would be of interests to my contacts.

Goal: Engage daily on social media
Actual: Success. Completed at average of 30 minutes per day reviewing and “curating” remarkable content along with occasionally sharing links to MLT’’s original content

I began almost every day reviewing the great bloggers I follow, reading those of most interest to me and making more comments in agreement or friendly debate.

Goal: Read and contribute comments on more of the great blogs I follow
Actual: Success. I estimate I doubled my blog intake (4-5 per day) and tripled the amount of comments (approximately 30 this month)

While I did dive in more ambitiously on Linkedin, I only started a couple of
discussions and commented on less than that. I neglected to contribute on the
Focus network at all.

Goal: Be more active in discussions on LinkedIn and Focus.
Actual: Fail. I can do much better and I plan to.

I was able to increase my engagement on social media and contribute to our agency’’s inbound marketing success without falling behind on any client deadlines and our agency enjoyed some big new business wins I participated in.

Goal: Keep up with all paying work, do our best at it and win some new business too.
Actual: Success. August was a great month for MLT Creative!

Lose 30 pounds. I wasn’’t any closer on this goal than I was with the blogging goal.

Goal: Lower my weight 30 lbs.
Actual: Fail. I only lost 10 pounds. I really love cold beer in August.

New business wins including two that were helped by collaborations with strategic partners that I first met via Twitter, and another with a new client who found our agency through organic search, and another that began as lead converted and nurtured by one of our inbound marketing campaigns.

My failure came with good fortune because I learned from it.

Now it’’s a new month and I will recalibrate my goals and get back at it. My experiment did at least prove to me that I can keep up a busy pace of paying work while also investing time in blogging and social media to contribute to our agency’’s inbound marketing efforts. This also helps to grow my network, expose myself to different perspectives, learn from industry experts, keep up on the latest B2B marketing news, reports, studies and insights.

Here are some metrics for August:

Inbound links: Our new inbound links for August were equal to the previous two months combined.
SiteTraffic: Site traffic for August was 11% higher than July and 13% higher than June.
Conversion Rate: The number of qualified new business leads generated on our site for August dropped slightly from the previous two months. Since we weren’’t running any new campaigns compared to the previous months, we are satisfied that our blogging and social media engagement served to drive leads without supplemental campaigns such as webinars or email.
Klout Score: Rather than list individual increases in followers, friends, retweets, mentions, etc. I’’ll just note that my Klout score increased by 5 points. It had been dropping the previous month due to my inactivity.

Next month: Explore Google+, Blog 10 times, Keep up my newly heightened engagement on social media, and lose another 10 pounds. And don’’t miss any deadlines. I can do this and I’’ll bet you can too.

Have you set any goals for the next 30 days?