Home Runs of the Year
As 2012 comes to a close, we're spending some more time than usual looking over our inbound marketing analytics with a goal of continual improvement in 2013. As a result, we've decided to shift the focus of our weekly content round-up a bit. We're actually going to take you behind the scenes of our HubSpot dashboard to discover what we learned from a year of content marketing. We'll review our five most popular and best-performing pieces of content marketing from the year, and take a hack at determining why:
You Can't Eat a Facebook Like
Who wouldn't click on a title that made so little sense? Once you start reading, it gets even weirder when IMA President Bill Faeth compares himself to late comedian Chris Farley. Who knows why You Can't Eat a Facebook Like remains the most-read piece of IMA blog content of all time with a lead of several thousand views? I'd hazard the guess that it's related to the element of inane that's apparent throughout the content. Would any of us take the time to click through from our Twitter feeds if it was titled How to Get Lots of Facebook Likes? Probably not. In an era of information overload, you've got to be a little surprising.
7 Tips on How to Use Hashtags on Twitter
The analytics don't lie, and it turns out that Social Media Strategy: 7 Tips on How to Use Hashtags on Twitter is one of our content MVPs. The third most-read and our fourth-largest generator of inbound links, it also ranked for 9 keywords in Google search. The value of this content could have to do with the fact that it's pretty bite-sized. The readers knows exactly what they're getting into before they click. Would it have performed as well if it was 57 tips on How to Use Hashtags on Twitter? Probably not. Not every piece of content you publish needs to be the literary equivelant of a 12-course meal.
Top Secret: Google+ Seriously Sucks
Sometimes, being a petulant brat will win you fans, followers, and lots and lots of clicks. The second most-read piece of content we published this year, Top Secret: Google+ Seriously Sucks, was also probably among the most enjoyable things I wrote. It wasn't entirely filled with a temper tantrum about how the look of the interface bugs me. It actually evolved into some thoughts on why none of us can really avoid using Google+ much longer. While there's some serious do's and don'ts about how to approach taking a hard stance on your blog, it can be a pretty effective tactic if used every once in a while.
It's pretty impossible to tell what's going to go viral and what's going to get a few hundred views. Here's the thing: no one knows the formula for viral. If they did, they'd sell it for a great deal of money and their clients would have the most-read content on the internet. We can only guess at what's going to be relevant to our buyer personas. However, it's no secret why this content is one of our top lead-generators of all time. The topic of the content, which is how to intelligently fill out and optimize your content calendar, is perfectly aligned with the call-to-action button (a free content calendar). When there's a logical transition between blog article and CTA, it builds trust in marketing. Blogging for leads means making your prospects really interested in your TOFU.
How to Use Humor to Build Brand Personality
Most of the analytics I uncovered while writing this content were no surprise. How to Use Humor to Build Brand Personality is the exception, and I was downright shocked to discover that it was our single biggest generator of inbound links during 2012. There are plenty of pieces of content that I'd have expected would beat it out, due to fresher data or a more original take. Was it the real-life examples or memes that inspired other website owners to use it as a reference? I'm still not entirely sure, but I guess it just goes to show, once more, that you can't game Google. Quality content prevails, and it would seem other bloggers put a high value on the funny.
What did you learn from your 2012 content marketing analytics?
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