I’ve been thinking on the sidelines about the ROI OF BLOGGING (nobody asked, but I recall one of our declared missions is to be more accountable about RESULTS), so here goes.
Part 1: I took a 5 minute BlogPulse review (short attention spanners can skip to conclusions at bottom):
Fallon Planning Blog vs Fallon.com
Our Planner blog is getting buzz volume on par with the main website (we work largely outside the margins with no PR flack “promoting”, just planners talking and people talking about what we talk about). We take the hit in being cited among traditional (ie mass audience) press sites (though we have scored a mass media mention or two throughout last year).
Fallon Planning Blog vs Fallon Worldwide
What’s more interesting to people: Fallon Thinking or Fallon Accomplishments (new spots, new book)? Kinda neck and neck (I remind you, planners have no PR team flacking daily). Interestingly, most of the Agency buzz is fueled by Pat+Fred’s “Juicing the Orange” book promotions.
Fallon Planning Blog vs Juicing the Orange – 6 months
“Juicing the Orange” takes it! But planners ain’t no slouches in this race…do note, that Agency Buzz verbatims reveal a tendency to be mostly Book buzz with the agency buzz basking in that association, so those could be considered duplication of the same buzz. And that note only shows that Agency Thinking is the bigger draw, add JuiceBook buzz and PlannerBlog buzz and we easily trump Agency Accomplishments buzz.
Fallon Planning Blog vs Fallon.com vs Juicingtheorange.com – 2months
Eh, the JuiceBook Dotcom ain’t really pulling them in to the extents that the AgencyBrochure Dotcom or even PlannerBlog Dotcom is…interestingly, the JuiceBook Dotcom was intended (I think) to be an ongoing conversation continued beyond the book…a blog format could have been a better reworking of that thesis (compared to a promo microsite that may not work as effectively at fueling revisitation). Note too, I don’t have the JuiceBook Dotcom metrics since day one, so there was likely a big flurry of buzz back in the day that trumped all of us (I would have to check Alexa for that measure). Needless to say, today, the JuiceBook Dotcom is not quite up there.
– but JuiceBook ain’t doing so horribly when you take the 6 month view.
CONCLUSION: The F* I knows.
OK, so I’ll try a few:
1) Metrics are fun!
2) Planners rule. Fallon Planners rule the mostest.
3) Blogs can definitely reinforce (even take the lead) building the overall experience of the brand…note that Agency and Book Buzz is propaganda. Hey, I got nothing against corporate propaganda at all, but it is a different POV than our blog which (allegedly) is our thinking (on a good day). And technically, GOOD THINKING IS THE FALLON PRODUCT IN TRADE (NOT JUST ADS)…but that is a different debate for a different day.
4) I could also conclude that the blog reaches pretty damn far (comparatively) with half the resources (did I mention we got no PR team flackin’ us daily?). PlannerBlog buzz is produced from simply harnessing the thinking we do everyday – recorded in posts in real time and opening our thinking process up for people to see. For us, thinking is easy, it is the merchandising of our thinking that is the hard part (the important part?).
5) Fallon Planning Blog is “Juicing the Orange” in action…mmm, tasty. We’re putting in action, daily, the corporate ideal of being outsmart in lieu of outspending.
6) Buzz about the book and buzz about the work (ie New Ads and Clients) is prob getting the bigger mass audiences, though. Do we like that? To be honest, Planner thinking ain’t landing in Fast Company and BusinessWeek everyday…but that is a matter of time, and prolific content, and striking the timing on a hot topic and the responsive discussion and insight from us.
7) Blogpulse metrics depict a snapshot of levels of buzz, but admittedly it lacks a bit in defining the audience whose buzzing. Planner Blog was always intended to speak primarily to Planners (we told you that at the title)…and secondarily to internal Fallon teammates, then tertiarily (that a word?) to whoever cares to peek inside our heads and contribute or gawk (whatever’s your pleasure). Number 1 and 3 are our biggest viewers. We should boost internal Hive Mind around our blog (get your AEs and Creatives on the same page with you – this webpage – and stop complaining that they never “get it”). So much of our chatter may be amongst other elite thinkers (discounting the occasional blog cite in CNN.com and CBS News et al). Is high buzz amongst elite thinkers good or bad (I pretend to speak rhetorically, but I certainly have a POV)? We can change any and all of these, blogs are flexible like that. JuiceBook buzz is targeted squarely to prospective clientele. Technically, PlannerBlog can just as effectively (perhaps more effectively) target
prospective clientele, too. That is up to us to get it in the clientele channels (perhaps starting with our own clientele). **We may have an offline conversation about who actually reads Planner blog, but you’d be surprised what domain names I see checking us out, consistently – and it ain’t just planner geeks at other agencies I’ll have you know.
8) Time matters. Blog buzz and readership (currently at almost 300 readers a day) didn’t just blast off at day one, so don’t expect to light fireworks with your blog – it’s a Long Nose strategy that builds up. The traditional buzz tactics (press release about new work debuts, a new book debut) spikes and drops, spikes and drops, spikes and drops – like a crackhead scrambling for the next hit. Buzz tactics such as the book provides a long tail that at least keeps it going a bit longer – like a slow baked weedhead coming down from a good high (Like these colorful metaphors? “This is your blog on drugs”). But without doubt, the Plannerblog keeps our brand buzz steady, steady, ongoing, like a heartbeat – as long as we commit and continue to contribute and stimulate and surprise. Blog demands that we deliver the goods (good thinking) with each and every post.
So while I hardly want to make a better than/worse than inference, the money shot could be that BOTH BLOG AND TRADITIONAL APPROACHES ARE VALID, BOTH MAY INTEGRATE NICELY, BOTH MAY COMMUNICATE THE BRAND VISION IN BROAD(ER) DIMENSIONS TO COMMUNICATE WHAT AND WHO WE ARE. WE ARE FALLON.
I will soon post further thoughts and analysis on ROI OF BLOGGING throughout coming weeks and conclude a magic formula for easy success.