We’ve decided to make a big change to our marketing strategy. Here’s why, and how we’re going to do it…
I couldn’t believe it.
There we were, eight months after publishing our first post on this blog, and everything had changed.
The Groove team was on our weekly call, and we were reviewing the previous month’s numbers.
Now, we’re far from a success story, and as a founder, part of my job is never being satisfied with where we are, but it was unmistakable: things were looking pretty good.
And it was (almost) all thanks to this very blog.
To be sure, it wasn’t a “magic bullet.” There is no magic bullet.
It was months and months of hard work, committing many hours each week to producing the very best content we possibly could. It was grueling, and it cost us a lot of opportunities to attack other growth strategies.
But it certainly paid off.
So when it came time to talk about how we were going to develop a strategy to meet our 12-month goals, one choice, among many, was obvious…
Five Big Wins From Content Marketing
I’ve said this before, but it’s worth noting for anyone thinking about their own business growth: content marketing has been, without a close second, our most effective strategy for growing Groove.
We’ve grown our:
There’s no question that the blog has delivered huge traffic for us.
The numbers speak for themselves, and don’t really need much of an explanation. Here’s a look at our numbers back in April of last year, before we started taking blogging seriously:
And again this April, a year later:
2) Thought Leadership
When we started, virtually nobody knew who Groove was.
Now, I get almost daily emails with interview and speaking requests, and bloggers asking for info about Groove that they can feature in their content.
The thought leadership we’ve built through the blog has scored us many thousands of dollars of free PR.
3) Trial Signups
As our traffic grew, our trial signups grew, too.
Here’s a snapshot from a 7-day period last April:
And another one from a year later:
The community that lives in our blog comments is an active and passionate one. We have folks from every corner of the world who come to participate on every post, sharing their own insights and reflections on whatever we’re discussing that week.
We’ve gotten some powerful advice from commenters that has given us new ideas for our own growth efforts.
5) Bottom Line
The most important benefit of all: the blog has helped us go from $28,525 in monthly recurring revenue to more than $81,000 as of this week.
That’s nearly triple the revenue, and it’s all organic: no ads, no promotions, nothing but careful planning, hustle and persistence.
Where This Blog Falls Short
To be sure, this blog has been amazing for our business.
And we have no plans at all to take our foot off of the gas here.
But as we’ve grown the blog, one interesting challenge has become very clear.
Thousands of businesses now know about Groove.
That’s a very good thing.
Many of them, unfortunately, still don’t know what we do.
That’s not so good.
One recent blog post described us as a “CRM company:”
When I read that, I couldn’t help but wince.
And while it’s always the responsibility of the writer to get their facts right, I couldn’t blame them, because it was our fault.
We’ve done very little on this blog to get people to think of Groove as a customer support company.
So as we look to double down on content, the natural direction for us to go seems very clear.
We’ve Tried This Before (And Failed)
Back in April, we introduced the Customer Support Academy.
For a while, we published weekly support “tips,” sharing the strategies we’ve used to deliver better customer support.
Eight weeks later, we had a whopping 500 subscribers.
But that’s not the bad part. If we only had a handful of subscribers, but great content, I’d be fine with it, because I’d know that we have the experience and skills we need to grow our blog to success.
What made us abandon the blog after two months was a simple, but painful truth: we weren’t proud of it.
It was an inexcusable, shameful half-assed effort.
Our posts were short, shallow and less-than-interesting.
The blog had no name or voice behind it. With the $100K blog, I didn’t have time to write a second blog, so the support blog was a sloppily cobbled together team effort from all of us.
We didn’t employ any of the influencer engagement strategies that we knew worked.
Thinking back, the decision not to promote it was probably subconscious, as we weren’t creating content that we were excited to share with the world.
The blog had no heart, and the shitty results made that clear. We didn’t succeed because we didn’t deserve to.
This blog is successful because each week, we work hard to earn our right into people’s inboxes, reading lists and Twitter feeds.
Looking back, there’s no way we could say the same about the Support Academy.
This Time, We’re Swinging for the Fences.
This new blog hasn’t been a few days in the making, or a few weeks.
We’ve been working for months to put together actionable, useful and interesting content to help startups and small businesses get better at customer support, and understand how to use it to grow their bottom line.
We’re investing our time and resources in high-quality content, art and promotion.
The new blog also has a new voice: Len, our new content marketer, is heading up the support blog.
It’s his baby, and he’s going to be giving the blog the time and attention that it deserves, but that I don’t have.
I’m thrilled with the content he’s put together, and I’m confident that it’s going to be a valuable resource for anyone interested in building better relationships with their customers.
We’ll be publishing new posts every Wednesday, and also trying new types of content that we haven’t explored on this blog. For one thing, we’ve got some incredible guest content lined up from top entrepreneurs and support experts. If you’re interested in contributing, email Len (Len at groovehq.com).
I hope you’ll go read the first post, and let us know what you think in the comments.
We’ll be taking every piece of feedback seriously, and appreciate your help as we get this new effort off of the ground.
To read the first post, click here: What Is Good Customer Service? Three Principles for Getting Customers for Life.
How to Apply This to Your Business
Will this work?
I have no idea.
But we’re not doing it half-heartedly this time. We’re taking the same approach that worked on this blog, and putting everything we’ve got behind building the best customer support blog on the planet.
If anything, I hope you’ll learn from our failure: if you’re going to try anything, it makes no sense to half-ass it.
Releasing anything that sucks doesn’t count as “testing.” The results you get from a poor effort tell you nothing about the results you’d get if you did something right.
Go big or go home.