To round off the year, we wanted to take a look at our most viewed blog posts from 2018. It’s not just a cynical attempt to re-use old content either - we want to show you what works, and why. So, what do our most viewed posts have in common that makes them so popular?
Ember’s target audience is organisations who want to promote themselves, communicate effectively and educate their customers. As a content marketing provider, we want to educate our clients on how to get more customers themselves - I touched on the benefits of this approach in my last post.
It’s no surprise then, that our most popular blog posts seek to answer the questions that business owners and marketing teams might have, about content in particular. So, we try to write based on what we think people might be searching for in relation to content production and marketing. We’re doing what we think everyone should be doing - addressing the ‘how to’ questions of our industry.
Answering your customer’s questions and addressing their needs is something we’ve been banging on about for years now, so hopefully the fact that all of our most popular blogs are in this vein shows that it’s worth doing. You can do a lot worse than asking a question as the post title, then answering it below.
Three of our top five posts are over 1000 words in length, including the 2 most viewed. 1500-2000 words are as long as our posts tend to get, so the fact that our most popular post is around 1700 words is compelling. This tallies with findings over the last couple of years which have concluded that longer posts are indeed more effective, including this study from Hubspot which found that articles with a word count between 2,250 and 2,500 earned the most organic traffic.
I don’t think it’s necessarily helpful to obsess over word counts though. The quality and the look of your content just as important. In fact, the longer your post, the more attention you need to pay to its readability. Looking at our top five, three of them use headings, lists, and images to break up and augment the text.
Although blogging can be quite a personal medium, a content marketing post shouldn’t solely be an excuse for the author to waffle on about their own opinions. Your readers aren’t necessarily going to trust your expertise straight away, so it helps to use other sources and indeed bring in other contributors, as evidenced by our top five.
Number four includes a brief Q & A, a format which is a great way of covering a topic you might have written about before, from a different perspective. The format is also clear and easy to read, with readers able to scan and skip to certain questions they might find more interesting.
Three of the five posts include numerous visual examples, and statistics linked to their source. These give authority to any claims you might be making, particularly when talking about industry trends or the effectiveness of a certain strategy. You do need to be a bit careful though - always try to make sure any data or external sources you use are as up-to-date as you can find, as you’re not going to come across as an expert by linking to a study which now has no relevance, or has been superseded by something more recent.
Three out of our top five use more than one image, either to show the reader how to do something, or simply to emphasise a point.
In our most popular post of the year, images were an especially important part of the blog, which made a point about the transparency (or lack of it) of influencer advertising by encouraging the reader to spot which ads were paid for promotions, and which were not. This post in particular is a great example of content which is made immeasurably more engaging and fun to read by its use of images. It also demonstrates that in some cases, text alone would not be able to deliver the key points.
Without any further delay then, here are our top 5 blogs in 2018 (1 being the most viewed):
It’s still going to be some years before the majority of business decision makers, and even marketers, fully understand social media analytics. In the grand scheme of things it’s all still relatively new, and it’s not a given that businesses will invest in training their marketing staff in this area. So, we decided to write this to try and help.
A recce can be a vital part of the video production process, but it’s a term not everyone understands. So, we explained it with this post, which uses a very quick Q & A with our director of photography to give it some added authority.
This popular post taps into a subject that many marketers will have thought about this year, namely, what makes a good video?
Number two looks at the ever increasing use of visuals in the media, explaining why this is the case and calling on a range of authoritative sources.
Our most popular post asked readers to look at some instagram posts and decide whether or not they were paid promotions, which was more difficult than I for one expected!
Not for the first time then, our most popular posts have been those that address the common questions of our clients and readers. For the majority of businesses, producing content that answers these concerns can be the cornerstone of an effective content strategy.
Thanks to all of our readers in 2018. When you find one of our posts useful or informative, please share it!