2015 was an exciting year for HiP and the HiP Blog. Among some other notable changes, we debuted a totally redesigned website and blog, gained more personalization and management capabilities by implementing a powerful new marketing automation system, and added a talented writer to the blogging team. Somehow, during all this, we also found time to publish a record 114 original posts.
Not bad for a year’s work.
To celebrate this success – and to generate insights for the future – we chose to crunch this year’s numbers and highlight the most successful posts of the year. As some of our more long-term readers might remember, we also did this last year.
In keeping with tradition, we’ll start off with some overall metrics from the HiP Blog in 2015. Last year, we managed to grow our overall readership (unique users) 39%. This is especially impressive considering traffic was effectively reset when we debuted the new site last January. Growth continued throughout 2015 as we reached a stable level of about 4,000 unique visitors per month.
On a post level, the blog averaged 118.8 unique views per post, up from 89.6 in 2014. As was the case last year, there was some significant variation from post to post. Thankfully, this made choosing our list of top posts fairly easy and gave us some good food for thought in planning for 2016.
Without further ado, here are HiP Blog’s top five posts of 2015 (as defined by your viewership).
5. “7 Tips for Email Subject Lines that Actually Get Opened” (June 29th, 2015)
Businesspeople get a lot of email. Marketers are constantly fighting for attention in the inbox – and they have a limited set of tools to work with. Luckily, there are some simple steps marketers can take to make the most of their impact in recipients’ inboxes. That’s the basic premise for “7 Tips for Email Subject Lines that Actually Get Opened.”
A couple of things make this post work. The first of which is the topic. Subject lines are kind of an inexact science. There’s a lot of variance between different audiences and it requires quite a bit of testing to get things right. This makes subject lines both a popular and often-debated topic (both of which are good for viewership).
In addition to the topic, this post does a good job being scannable. The headings and graphic examples break things up nicely and make it easy to quickly pick out key points.
4. “21 Surprising (and Tweetable) Lead Generation Statistics” (June 22nd, 2015)
Though, technically, this post was originally published in 2014, it was updated and transitioned to the new site in June. There, it enjoyed newfound success, actually surpassing the numbers from its original publish.
“21 Surprising (and Tweetable) Lead Generation Statistics” is part of our popular statistics series, wherein we scour the web for interesting facts on a given topic. In this particular iteration, we explore various facets of lead generation, including channels, qualification, typical outcomes, and common mistakes.
This post works because it’s a great quick reference. It’s easy to read through the post and find an interesting fact or source a reference. The click to tweet links also add an element of fun and share-friendliness to the statistics.
3. “7 Content Marketing Myths Your Boss Probably Believes” (December 28th, 2015)
Everybody’s had that boss. The one with strongly-held misconceptions about what you do. “7 Content Marketing Myths Your Boss Probably Believes” is a post for content marketers in these frustrating situations. The post sets the record straight on seven common points of confusion in content marketing – and hopefully provides some clarity for those misinformed bosses.
The key to success for this post is the funny, relatable angle on the topic. It would have been easy to call this post “The 7 Myths of Content Marketing” or some such thing, but, more than likely, that post wouldn’t have been as successful. This post is a great example of an interesting approach that helps to give the information more appeal.
2. “These 7 Steps Will Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors” (December 10th, 2015)
Seven just might be HiP’s lucky number of 2015, as yet another 7-point post makes our best-of list. Like “7 Content Marketing Myths Your Boss Probably Believes,” this post was a beneficiary of our audience growth toward the end of 2015.
“These 7 Steps Will Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors” offers readers a comprehensive guide to help brands benefit from employee advocacy. These steps range from simple things like defining roles, to larger investments like benefits, perks, and incentives.
This post succeeds for a couple of reasons. Again, topic selection is key. Internal advocates and employee brand ambassadors have become a very popular topic. It’s a facet of the “young tech startup environment,” that many companies try to emulate.
In addition to the topic, this post benefits from great depth. The post has a little bit for everyone. Those who just want to dip their feet into the waters of brand advocacy can give some of the more basic steps a try. At the same time, those who want to make wholesale changes, have enough information to start developing a more robust program.
1. “What is a Lead? What is a Prospect? What’s the Difference?” (October 13th, 2015)
“What is a Lead? What is a Prospect? What’s the Difference?” is another example of a successful post that was transitioned to the new blog and enjoyed continued success. In fact, “What is a Lead? What is a Prospect? What’s the Difference?” was last year’s number one post as well. Month after month, this post continues to be the most popular article on the site and significant driver of overall website traffic.
This post is a great example of the power of evergreen content, that is, content that’s informative, comprehensive, timeless, and broadly applicable. Evergreen content rises above the typical post (hence the name) to cement thought leadership, rank highly in search, and act as a dependable source of traffic.
In a nutshell, this post succeeds because it has a low bar for entry without compromising depth of information. On one hand, I could hand the post to someone who has never been involved in the lead gen industry and know they would walk away with a solid baseline. At the same time, it has the depth and visual support that someone who has more industry knowledge can confirm existing notions, foster debate, and maybe even rethink their previously held views.
Let us know what you think:
- Do you agree with this list?
- What’s your favorite post of those listed?
- What post(s) would you add to the list?