We Published a Poll About Pet Dinosaurs to Test the Value of Content Marketing
Last week we published a poll that asked the question, “Which dinosaur would YOU keep as a pet?” Yep. On our corporate blog – the very face of our professional selves – we decided to discuss dinosaurs and take a break from talk about the finer points of copywriting or of professional blogging, or Indianapolis, or whatever other keywords sit on the strategy list taped to the wall above the office printer.
For those of you interested in the official results (we say official because this poll is never closing – vote now!), Triceratops won. That’s unfortunate because Triceratops only made the list because our intern couldn’t decide for himself which dinosaur he wanted. He was told to choose Triceratops, which wasn’t even a carnivore.
Well, now that the poll has had some time to run wild, I have a confession to make: This whole thing was a setup. I wanted to produce a short study that Metonymy Media can use to pitch corporate blogging, and it looks like we’ve got some useful data.
So, was the test a success?
The Failure – Only 15 People Voted…
The poll was a fun little distraction – did I mention that someone wrote in Chris Bosh? – but you could argue that we should be doing better with our blog. Our social media presence could be “better” too, if that’s something to consider here in the success of our poll. After all, these are just a few of the tweets we sent out promoting the poll:
It’s pretty clear at this point that we aren’t taking ourselves very seriously, and some of our social media strategist friends might advise us to refocus. After all, only 15 people actually took the time to vote in the poll. By most standards, that’s a total failure.
The Success – But, Seriously, 15 People Voted!
But consider this: Whenever we sit down to pitch a new client on our services, one of the most frequently asked questions we encounter is, “Is this going to work?” By “this,” they usually mean “consistent blogging,” and by “work,” they mean “drive traffic or bring in potential customers.” With this short experiment, we can now offer something that’s at least a little bit compelling and suggests that even the most ridiculous content can drive traffic and even lead to a few conversions.
Here is why this poll was a win for content marketers everywhere:
1. In just a few days, this post drove an extra 150 unique visitors to our blog.
That’s not terribly impressive, but, then again, our poll was total nonsense. It had no professional or practical appeal to anyone, and it still attracted new visitors. This tells us two things: First, that the act of sharing content alone (regardless of what that content is) is instrumental to getting traffic on your website. Second, people might actually like some nonsense now and then. We really don’t take ourselves too seriously at Metonymy Media, and maybe it’s a great thing for us to put that out there however we can.
2. If 15 people completed the poll, you could call that a 10% conversion rate.
When we write corporate blogs, we always make sure to include a call to action of some kind. Most of the time that takes the shape of something like, “Share your opinions in the comments section below!” Since we usually try to let blogs be a source of free info and not an aggressive sales pitch, our blogs typically rely on websites that have good calls to action built into the rest of the page. That said, on this post, the one and only call to action was clear and simple: Complete this poll for us. 10% of visitors to the page did just that, even though it offered them absolutely no value. That’s the power of a solid call to action.
The Lesson – Anyone Can Do This
We work with plenty of huge companies with massive budgets to drive keyword research and social marketing campaigns, and they spend money on content marketing because it works. But what about your small businesses, companies without a whole lot of clout (that spelling was very intentional, by the way)? Can smaller organizations see immediate benefits from a content marketing campaign? If we’ve learned one thing from this experiment, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
In reality, most small companies probably have a lot in common with us. Metonymy only has four employees, minimal social media engagement, and not much of a budget for marketing to speak of. Yet, with this one post, we were able to gain 150 new visitors to our website and get 10% of them to act on that content. Replace us with a restaurant writing about their produce vendor, or a dog groomer writing about how to trim a fussy dog’s nails, and replace our poll with a reservation form, and you’ve potentially got some new customers.
Oh, and if we have learned two things from this experiment, it’s that people would love a Triceratops to ride to work.
How’s this for a clear call to action? Contact us right now and learn how we can help you turn your blog into something people will read and share and fall in love with.
Written by Ryan BrockRyan founded Metonymy Media, where he works as an editor and a writer. He walks to the office most days, and is a strong believer in the power of storytelling and good cooking in the pursuit of a better world.