Anyone close to the Hydration Summit, or within earshot of me in the last few months, knows how strongly I believe that content lives on even after the initial campaign is over.
Digital marketing is more than social sharing, publishing posts, or commenting. If it’s done right, it can provide a platform for an ongoing dialogue.
The Hydration Summit is the perfect example. We brought some of the best outdoor bloggers together to explore hydration at the trail level. The stories and shared experiences resonated with a lot of outdoor readers which the initial metrics showed. The project was more than just a one shot deal to sell packs or have a quick chat about hydration. It was about laying a foundation for something bigger.
We wanted to create a platform where hikers and backpackers could learn, share experiences, and discuss the process and science of hydration in an ongoing capacity. We wanted to create an environment where our content lives on.
What the initial metrics didn’t show
What the initial metrics couldn’t show was how content lives on after the initial campaign was over. How would the content rank for relevant keyword searches on Google? How many readers would find the site months after it was over and still find value? Would there be value in continuing to publish interesting content?
From my very first conversations with the team at Geigerrig I made it clear that our hope was to create a knowledgebase for anyone that wanted to learn about hydration and the content creation process would be charged with that task. And the team certainly delivered.
Organic traffic is increasing
It’s been about two months since we published the first discussion topic on the Hydration Summit website and 45 days since we concluded the initial campaign. As expected, the organic traffic to the site has been increasing each week and people are still coming to the site to read up on the topics we explored.
What we were unsure of was the speed with which our content would climb the ranks for search. It’s something of a mixed bag. Some posts are climbing the rankings more quickly than others. The competitiveness of the search term, the quality of the writing and its keyword density, and the length of time it has been published certainly influence this.
What we can see at this point is that the content created on the Hydration Summit, including discussion topics, gear reviews, and user submissions, has performed well as a whole and people are finding the site in search.
Impressions from search queries are promising
Another promising indicator of potential future traffic is the trend in impressions from search queries. When a user searches Google for a keyword or phrase it gets logged. As site administrators, we can look at the trends in searches for keywords relevant to our content to see what the future may hold for the site as our content climbs higher and higher in the search results.
- Total impressions – up 300%
- boy scouts – up 681.25%
- hydration – up 525%
- geigerrig – up 700%
- hydration system – up 1354%
- cross contamination – up 3900%
- hydration packs – up 1150%
The list goes on which isn’t surprising considering the Hydration Summit team published a substantial amount of content in a 25 day period.
My thoughts for the future
Today’s metrics review was a great way to start the week. But I’m not celebrating too much. Content can drop in the ranks too. The relevance of the site can only be maintained by a sustained content strategy which we have been exploring with Geigerrig and a few other interested folks.
If nothing else, the numbers show that the effort that went into the initial campaign delivers value well beyond the date of last publication. I think it makes a solid argument for digital marketing campaigns that seek to create a venue for an ongoing conversation not just a one and done.
We’re anxious to apply what we’re learning to our other campaigns moving into the near future.