Well folks, it happened. For the first time in 17 years, the United States federal government officially shut down today. This means that roughly 800,000 nonessential public sector employees were sent home from work without pay as legislators work toward a solution for implementing a new spending bill -- an extremely unfortunate situation for the workers filling those roles.
Through reading about all this, I learned that the longest period of time the federal government has ever been shut down was 21 days.
Wait ... 21 days without being in business? Whether you're reading this as a business owner or a marketer, I think you might have already wondered something along these lines yourself ...
What would happen to your lead generation if your marketing team shut down for roughly one month? Would you fail to attract new visitors to your site? Would you still generate leads? How many?
(Note: If you're an ecommerce business, we've written a post over on our new Inbound Ecommerce blog that outlines exactly how today's shutdown could affect your business. Read it here.)
I thought about it for our own team, and it seems that if you've been relying heavily on inbound marketing tactics like business blogging, SEO, and content creation (which our team obviously does -- we're an inbound marketing company and all), you would probably be able to weather a marketing shutdown no problem. Here's why ...
The Lasting Effects of Inbound Marketing
Sure, you wouldn't be able to create any new content, but if you've been at inbound marketing for a while, luckily, a lot of your assets will continue to work for you.
Traffic Will Continue to Flow
Here's some food for thought. 69% of HubSpot's blog post visits in July were to posts published prior to July. In other words, just 31% of the overall traffic we generated to blog posts in July was to new posts. How is this possible?
Search engines, my friends ... search engines. Every blog post you create, since it's a new page on your website, provides another opportunity for your site to get indexed in search engines. And if you're doing a good job of creating high-quality, search-friendly blog content (especially evergreen content) -- chances are, you'll reap the benefits of your blog content long after it was initially published. Awesome, right? It's your version of what publishers refer to as a "backlist" -- older content that's still available and still selling.
And the more you create, the better. In a benchmarking study of HubSpot customers, we found that companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5X more traffic than companies that don't blog at all.
And it's not just search that can create inroads to your website time after time -- it's social shares, too. If your content is optimized with social sharing buttons, people are probably also still sharing your older content with their social networks, continuing to generate traffic to your website from social, too.
Leads Will Continue to Generate
Okay, so your investment in inbound marketing will continue to get you traffic if you stop working. But marketing departments can't survive on traffic alone.
So here's some more food for thought for you: 56% of the leads generated by HubSpot's landing pages in August came from landing pages and offers we created prior to August. That's right -- more than half of the leads we generate on a monthly basis come from old offers whose landing pages are just sitting on our site, waiting to be discovered.
Because those offers' landing pages are in and of themselves indexable in search, and because they're being promoted through calls-to-action on other parts of our site and in other content -- like blog posts that also continue to generate traffic through search and social shares -- those landing pages continue to get traffic, too! And you know what comes from traffic to landing pages? Leads!
Okay, so this is obviously a very hypothetical situation that will probably never happen to you. The point is, inbound marketing is a reliable, sustainable way to do marketing that stands the test of time. And that's pretty awesome.
So ... how well would your marketing fair if your team were shut down for a month?