What is the value of Content Marketing in uncertain times? We answered that question with real data from Rock Content

We are going through a delicate moment, which requires the establishment of certain priorities

If your work involves marketing efforts, you probably spent the last few weeks deciding which ones are worthwhile at this time and which ones are not.

After all, a lot is changing. The global economic situation directly affects your consumer behavior and thus forces changes in Digital Marketing strategies. 

However, how is it possible to generate marketing results with a budget that may even be shrinking?

Companies around the world face difficulties in maintaining their sustainability. At the same time, several employees have to move to a home office routine. 

Within such a serious scenario, how to keep your brand relevant?

Part of the answer to these questions lies in an efficient Content Marketing approach. Unfortunately, however, not all companies understand the relevance of investing in a content strategy.

If you’re trying to convince your business managers of the importance of a content budget, this post is for you. 

If you’ve bet your cards on face-to-face events, digital ads and other media that are no longer delivering results, this post is for you.

If you are curious and want to know the changes we are noticing in our audience because of COVID-19, you should keep reading as well.

The goal of this article is to present real data from Rock Content blogs that demonstrate the results of a well-done Content Marketing strategy, even in times of crisis. 

The certainty of being in the same place as your audience

On March 26, The New York Times reported that Internet traffic is growing so much that it’s slowing down. 

Because of that, companies like Netflix and YouTube have committed to lower the quality of streaming in an attempt to avoid service outages.

Those who already worked with a Digital Marketing strategy before the COVID-19 pandemic had to compete for public attention with offline channels. 

However, now that everyone’s more online than ever, many companies are already starting to position themselves exactly where consumers are.

Following the increase in overall Internet traffic, the access rate of all Rock blogs rose in the last two weeks of March.

Our blog in Spanish grew 37% compared to the first half of March, reaching 239,000 sessions. 

The same happened with our blog in Portuguese (+6%), the Rock Content Community blog (+5%) and the Rock Content Intelligence (+19%).

This print from Google Analytics shows the growth of the Rock Content Spanish blog throughout March.

This print from Google Analytics shows the growth of the Rock Content Spanish blog throughout March.

On March 30, our Brazilian blog, which has been active for more than 7 years, reached its record of the highest daily traffic. 

We received 101,000 sessions that day, which was maintained the following day and is still holding until the moment of this publication.

The same happened with the Community Blog and the Rock Content Corporate Intelligence, which also saw daily session records.

On March 30, our blog in Portuguese reached a milestone in daily sessions.

On March 30, our blog in Portuguese reached a milestone in daily sessions.

Thus, if you already have an online presence, our experience tells us the importance of keeping an eye on your websites and blogs in these uncertain times.

Especially because companies that weren’t so present online suddenly found themselves forced to act quickly and invest in Digital Marketing. Now, the competition is even higher than before.

The right time for informative content

Of course, it’s important to produce sales materials that are common in every marketing strategy. 

However, one of the major premises of Content Marketing is the production of content that informs the persona.

Many companies don’t understand how this top-of-the-line content, which may seem a little distant from the solutions your business sells, will increase revenue results at the end of the month.

If you’ve consumed any marketing content in the last two weeks, you already know what every expert is recommending: this is not the time to sell. It’s time to create relationships and strengthen your brand’s image.

And the informational content does just that, positioning your brand as a market authority. So, whenever the audience looks for something on the Internet, they will trust the company as a relevant source.

In the last 15 days of March, our portuguese post about Tik Tok had a 430% jump in traffic coming from Google searches.

The chart shows the evolution in organic traffic of our post about Tik Tok throughout March.

The chart shows the evolution in organic traffic of our post about Tik Tok throughout March.

The article “Image sizes for Instagram,” posted on our blog in Portuguese, went up to the most accessed post. The runner-up was “Fonts for Instagram,” followed by the “Complete Guide to Image Sizes for Social Networks in 2020“.

Notice that all these blog posts mentioned aim to bring useful information to our audience.

In our blog in Spanish, the post about hashtags rose from the 76th position of the most accessed to the 10th place. All of this because of an increase in organic searches.

But Rock’s audience wants more than just satisfying queries about social networks.

The post on corporate social responsibility, in the blog in Spanish, had an increase of 117% in organic search sessions. 

Following the same theme, the article that addresses the values of a company saw an increase of 98% in organic traffic.

When growing a brand through Content Marketing, it’s essential to have the right content at the right time.

When you do consistent work to achieve this goal, you’re letting the audience know that you’ll be there when they need you.

The proof that educating can also be a business goal

Over the years, Rock Content has been concerned with producing content that not only informs but also educates.

Today, we are reaping the benefits of this effort by seeing our content being used as support material by various educational institutions.

In the last half of March, referral (traffic that comes as a reference from other sites) was the traffic acquisition channel that grew the most in all blogs. Much of this is due to online educational platforms using our content.

The article on Content Marketing ROI, for example, which is used in USP’s Digital Marketing course (available through Coursera), has presented a boost in the volume of access in the last two weeks.

To better understand the relevance of this shift, consider that in January and February (together), we received 1,800 sessions from this course. Only in the second half of March, there were 4,000.

The graph shows the number and evolution, day by day, of the views in the article on Content Marketing ROI.

The graph shows the number and evolution, day by day, of the views in the article on Content Marketing ROI.

All blogs have grown thanks to materials used by teachers who are teaching from a distance. 

We’ve seen a significant increase in sessions coming from platforms like Google Classroom, Edmodo, and Geekie One.

Educating is one of Rock’s most important values, and we are happy to see that we can contribute during this time.

Even on the weekends, we’re getting an increase in blog accesses. Before the quarantine, the traffic used to drop an average of 39% between Friday and Saturday. 

Now, this value is only 24%, an indication that more people want to learn about online marketing.

Rock’s educational content has always brought consistent results and has been responsible for the growth of our authority. If the time is not for sales, invest in building your brand.

The possibility of aiming at short and long term results

“Plant now to harvest later” is one of the mottos of Content Marketing that has not ceased to be true. 

Unlike other digital strategies, such as ads, in which you invest expecting to see short-term returns, a Content Marketing asset, such as a blog post, will bring results for a long time.

Tom Tunguz, Redpoint’s Venture Capitalist, explains the composite effects of Content Marketing very well in this article.

Analyzing the traffic data from Rock’s blogs in March, we came across two amazing examples, both of them from Rock Content Corporate Intelligence.

Intelligence is the blog where we least invest in SEO. That’s because we use the channel to publish content that neither targets hot keywords nor focus on reaching users through search engines.

Still, our post about Zoom’s history, which was published in March 2019, had 3 times more sessions coming from organic searches in the last two weeks. Even more: in March 2020, it reached the peak of monthly views.

The graph shows the monthly evolution of our article about the history of Zoom. Published in March 2019, it reached its record number of views in March 2020, due to growing demand on Zoom.

The graph shows the monthly evolution of our article about the history of Zoom. Published in March 2019, it reached its record number of views in March 2020, due to growing demand on Zoom.

Besides, the article we published in 2018 about challenges in the automotive industry, which now has even more challenges than it had when we made that analysis, also received more views.

While in the first half of March, it had only 16 sessions, it received 179 hits in the second half from organic traffic alone.

These two are examples of investments we made more than a year ago and that are allowing us to reap results until today.

But not everyone can afford to invest in the long term. Sometimes we need quick results.

So let’s go back to the example of Rock Content Corporate Intelligence. While our other blogs focus on the traffic that comes from organic searches, Intelligence needs to generate results in other channels, such as social networks.

Also, it requires quick results, as it often deals with issues that have “expiration dates”, like news.

It’s no coincidence that Intelligence was the only blog that grew with social media accesses in the last two weeks.

In regular weeks, Intelligence usually receives 685 sessions from social networks, mainly LinkedIn. In the last 15 days of March, we saw that number increase to 1,000 sessions per week.

Much of this is due to two posts that were extremely relevant to our audience, released with the right timing.

They are: “Concerns, challenges, and solutions: 7 marketing leaders talk about the future post-coronavirus” and “How to quickly adapt your marketing in a coronavirus world (and overcome this crisis) — the last one translated to this blog”.

These two articles were the most accessed from Intelligence in the last weeks of March, proving that, with a good strategy of dissemination, we can also plant now to harvest later.

If the last few weeks have been challenging for your company, and you don’t know what to do to sustain your customers and keep brand authority, consider focusing on a content strategy. As we’ve shown, this can positively impact your results.

If you have any questions at this time, count on Rock Content to help you!

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