What a year.
Before we close this chapter, let’s revisit our top-10 most-visited marketing articles published, or extensively updated and republished, in 2020, including lessons learned that you can apply to your own content marketing strategy.
No surprise here, but our number 1 most popular post of 2020 is an update of an evergreen post on webinar creation. In mid-March, as the world shifted to remote everything, I dug up this post and gave it a reboot, with new tips, images, and other details. It went from an okay performer to the most popular post of the year.
Key Lesson: Updating and repurposing old content can give your website a bigger boost than publishing a brand-new post.
During the start of the pandemic, I was hesitant to cover COVID-19 on the blog because we aren’t a news site (never will be either), and most of our content focuses on marketing strategy that tends to be evergreen. I didn’t want to be stuck with a glut of outdated content.
But once it became clear that coronavirus was the new normal, I published this post from contributor Ann Smarty, and it was a huge success in terms of organic traffic, becoming our #1 most popular piece of content directly mentioning the pandemic.
Key Lesson: As the world shifts, so must your content strategy. Covering news-worthy topics can result in a serious amount of organic traffic too.
Jay started writing these podcast statistics posts based on research reports way back in 2015. Every year, as new reports are published, he writes a new version of the post.
This year, I tested leaving the 2019 version live after we published the 2020 version. I wanted to see if both articles would rank organically for “podcast statistics” because 2019 statistics are still interesting for certain people. I monitored the results for roughly 4 months, and the 2020 version never overtook the 2019 version in the SERPs, so I finally setup a 301 redirect and, as of today, this post is position #3 for “podcast statistics” (this changes all the time).
Key Lesson: Rewriting content on an annual basis can deliver a steady stream of organic traffic.
Here’s another great example of how updating and republishing content can improve your rankings and give your content new life.
This post, originally written by Nathan Ellering in 2015, was getting some decent organic traffic and ranked around position 10 for “content ideas” and related phrases. But it was woefully out-of-date (it mentioned Google Plus) and not a great first impression of the Convince & Convert brand.
I asked C&C strategist and content extraordinaire Anna Hrach if she could update and add a fresh spin. She narrowed it down to 101 ideas (it was originally 105) and added new, fresh examples. I made Anna a co-author, and organic traffic increased significantly. The post also performed well in our weekly newsletter, with the highest number of clicks in all of 2020.
Key Lesson: Make sure your existing content delivers a great first impression. If your content ranks but is stale, it’s time for a refresh.
Once it became clear that COVID-19 wasn’t going to end anytime soon, our fearless leader Jay Baer immediately sprang into action and assembled a panel-discussion webinar on Social Media During Coronavirus with C&C social media strategists Zontee Hou and Lauren Teague.
Not only did this webinar generate over 1,500 registrants and exceed our Zoom webinar limit, but it was an easy, excellent starting point for written content. Shortly after the webinar, Jay turned the same content from the webinar into this blog post, becoming our 5th most visited new post of the year.
Key Lesson: The fastest way to create new written content is by turning your video or webinar content into a written asset. We call this content atomization, and it is a no-brainer.
The first piece of pandemic-related content Jay created was a page on his speaking website, 7 Virtual Event Success Factors. I knew this would be interesting to our Convince & Convert audience, so once I got our post on “How to Create a Webinar” republished, I did keyword research, made some updates, and published an updated version of the article for this blog on March 23. It ranks well and still receives considerable traffic. It also performed in our weekly newsletter.
Key Lesson: You don’t need to always re-invent the wheel. Updating existing content for different audiences can help you achieve quick wins.
Before COVID-19 was a thing, contributor Brandon Anderson pitched this article to me based on research he did in his company’s content tool, Ceralytics. Admittedly, the topic of “marketing tactics” wasn’t exciting to me at the time, but he was convinced it would perform well, and he was right!
He used Certalytics to find a topic that people are searching for but there isn’t a lot of content on, and it worked.
Key Lesson: Make sure your content creation is backed by keyword research.
This is the post that inspired the webinar that inspired Jay’s post on social media changes in the age of Coronavirus (whew). Published on March 18, Lauren Teague wrote this based on advice she gave to her clients on what to do in mid-March.
Key Lesson: Write what you know. Talk about what’s happening in your business. If it’s relevant to your current clients, it will be relevant to your prospects and future clients, as well.
People love data. They love facts. And they just love statistics. If you’re in martech content marketing, you know there’s a big competition over who can own all the marketing-related statistics searches. And this post owns some of them.
Key Lesson: Take another company’s research and add your own spin and angle. They’ll love the publicity, and you’ll love how much easier it is than creating a report from scratch.
The only thing marketers love more than statistics are examples. We created this post to showcase our client work and other work we love. It ranks number 2 for “best content marketing examples”, and I think it would have been higher on the list if we published it earlier in the year (we published this post in October).
We also turned it into a nifty PDF download.
Key Lesson: Everyone loves examples (not just marketers), AND they’re a great way to highlight your partners and clients.
Our site has been around forever (in digital marketing years), so a significant portion of our organic traffic is from content that is 1-10 years old. But this post focuses on new and republished content that performed in 2020.