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Published in Content Marketing category on (11/30/2016)

2016 Best Blogs From Certain and What Marketers Can Learn

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The Top-Performing Certain Blog Posts of 2016 and Why

Today, I will be talking about Certain’s 2016 best blogs and the reasons they were so effective. To begin, 2016 saw huge shifts in the marketing industry. Strategies changed and companies took priority of different areas of marketing. A survey conducted by Smart Insights concluded that in 2016, content marketing was predicted to have the highest commercial impact for companies. Nowadays, content marketing is present in all parts of the funnel, from more top of the funnel content like infographics and blog posts to meatier assets like whitepapers and guides.

To go a little deeper, let’s take a look at blogging. B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not. Blogging is important in today’s marketing landscape because it builds trust with your brand, increases consumer awareness of your company, and only costs you the time it takes to develop a blog post and your blog strategy.

To start, we need to talk about what makes an effective blogging strategy. Successful programs consist of a wide variety of types of posts. “Sneak peek” posts, tip sheets, contests or giveaway posts, entertaining posts, infographics etc. Pumping your blog full of similar content can bore your audiences. It is important to mix it up and offer different types of helpful content.

Knowing this, the question arises: what makes a strong blog post that drives engagement?

Below are Certain’s top 7 best-performing blog posts (from highest to lowest) and why they were/are so effective.

1) What the “Be Like Bill” Meme Can Teach Us About Events and Marketing Automation

The Be Like Bill blog post racked in 879 shares. That is a lot of shares! This blog post utilized the viral meme “Be Like Bill” which, at the time, took Facebook by storm. The blog post uses that meme to express what marketing and Event Automation can do to help marketers do their jobs better. In a fun and humorous way, this piece was able to connect marketers from all walks of life together. They were able to relate and laugh about their jobs, and at the same time learn what to do and not to do as a marketer. This post would definitely be considered entertaining and educational. It is fun to read and packed with useful information.

So, find something entertaining and relevant and connect it to some useful information. That way, you can create a high-performing post.

2) How to Take Your Corporate Events From Rock Bottom to Rocking ROI [Infographic]

This blog post received 418 shares, making it our second top performing blog post of 2016. This blog post takes the time to teach readers how events can help increase ROI, and different ways to approach leveraging them. Tips include using event apps and utilizing marketing and Event Automation. Aside from tips and tricks for making your event successful, there is also an infographic, which takes valuable information on marketing and Event Automation and summarizes it in an eye-catching way.

Infographics can increase traffic by up to 12% and by using them, you can grab readers attention and summarize complex data into easily digestible bites. In short, use infographics in your blog posts. Right here is proof that it actually is an effective blog strategy and appealing to audiences.

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3) MarTech 2016 Recap: Is the Marketing Technology Stack Dead?

Any kind of post-event recap is always a good idea. This one goes into more detail on Scott Brinker’s presentation on the MarTech stack and whether it is dead or alive. This piece of content goes on to put into summary what was said and learned during MarTech. Talking about Scott Brinker’s supergraphic and discussing the rapidly changing marketing landscape, and giving takeaways on it are the reasons for the positive results of this blog post. It gave details to those who weren’t able to attend the event and thoughts and insights for those who did attend.

The post didn’t stop there! It also went on to discuss 10 of the top technologies to utilize for building the ultimate marketing tech stack. This post provides a quick list of marketing technologies that can be used to help marketers succeed in their jobs.

The success of this post came from a rapid MarTech event follow-up and the educational content. While the event was fresh on people’s mind, the post was published. Making this another post relevant to what was happening during that time.

Consider doing pre- and post-event blog posts, it can create buzz around an upcoming event, and afterward, right after the event ends, a post has greater reach. 

4) What is MarTech 2016 and Why Should Data-Driven Marketers Be There?

Well look at that, this post is the pre-MarTech event post. As said above, it’s important to do this in order to create some buzz around the upcoming event. The post sums up what MarTech is going to be and gives those thinking of attending some more information, hopefully swaying their decision.

Not only that, it also provided readers a sneak peek into what Certain would be doing there. Doing something like this makes readers feel more exclusive like they are getting information that not everyone will know about. Which is a great tactic to get people more engaged and wanting to share with friends or colleagues.

This post also gives readers a chance to learn 3 tips for effective marketing at any event, using MarTech as a prime example. For instance, at MarTech, Certain was engaging attendees by gamifying the experience. Like I said above, giveaways and contests make for good blog posts. These scratchers fused gamification and giveaways together and were given out at the booth. How interesting is that? 

The next tip was an educational infographic about event marketing. “Did you know that high-quality infographics drive engagement and social shares 3xs more than any other type of content?” Knowing this, it solidifies the point that successful posts include infographics!

And finally, Certain had a live quiz for their booth visitors. Quizzes are the most read content and are a great way to get information about attendees without being too pushy. By including information about all three of these content strategies, it’s no wonder this post is one of the top 7 highest performing blog posts of 2016!

5) How to Define Your Marketing and Event Automation Readiness for Event Success

Quizzes, quizzes, quizzes. They are a great way to get your readers engaged on your blog and collect rich data. This post is all about how you as a marketer can plan and decide which technologies to implement for your company’s success. It goes further to discuss the importance of adopting both marketing and Event Automation and the benefits.

Take note, this is not a sales pitch or promotion for Certain as a brand, it is a genuine quiz to help fellow marketers make an important decision, no matter what company they work for. That is what makes this post so successful. It’s out there only to help. Oh, and the quiz is kind of fun!

If you’re curious about whether or not you are ready for Event and Marketing Automation, you can take our quiz here (DISCLAIMER: You will not be able to win 2 tickets to Oracle MME, an Xbox, Apple Watch, or Beats… Sorry!)

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6) How to Optimize Buyer Engagement with Personalized Lead Scoring

Last but not least, this is another post-event blog post. Following Marketo Summit 2016, this post covers a general recap for all those who missed it, and those who want to see other’s opinions on the event.

In particular, it focuses on the experience had at Marketo Summit and goes further into detail about a specific study on Generation Z. Included in the post are images taken from the event, each having an interesting fact on them. By using the insight from Marketo Summit to teach readers personalized lead scoring and how to carefully manage data, this post is was able to provide educational insights. It even gives some great tips and tricks on how to execute a multi-channel acquisition nurture track and gives 4 main criteria for a good lead scoring method.

Such rich information all within one post, using Marketo Summit as the centerpiece.

7) 3 Tips to Develop a Successful Partner Marketing Strategy for Events

To be honest, this piece isn’t fun, it doesn’t gamify, nor does it provide an infographic or quiz, but it is well-written and provides readers with a step-by-step “checklist” on the different aspects of partner marketing and how to use it for event lead generation. You’ll see that it is broken down into 3 sections, co-marketing campaigns, giving information on what to establish in order to create a positive partner marketing strategy. The next section being how to co-present sessions at events, providing the most successful types of sessions, like a case study, best practices and how-tos, and tech integration demos. The final section, how to co-sponsor parties, speaks about what to do to prepare and execute parties when you are working with a partner.

This post was high performing of the following reasons: it was highly educational, it provided valuable tips on how to co-market and prepare a strategy around it, and was easy to read and organized well.

As you can see, not all your content has to be fun and entertaining. It can also be raw, well-written, helpful information!

So, there it is! The top 7 highest performing blog posts of 2016. Each post encompassed different blog strategies. For instance, the highest performing posts used a viral meme that was relevant and funny. By bringing in relevant humor to teach readers something valuable to marketing, this post really accomplished what it was aiming for.

In our other posts, we had an infographic. A fun and engaging visual concept that allowed complex data to be described. Even the posts that don’t aim to be “fun, ” and instead, give high-quality, informative content can be high-performing.

Gamification, quizzes, event recaps also made the top 7 list. Pre-event and post-event posts about well-known events is a great way to drive traffic to your site and increase engagement. People who are curious as to what the event is are able to learn a little bit more about it, whether that be interesting sessions, booths to visit, and free swag. Having a post that is easy to read is something that people will want to share. Post-event recaps is also a variety of blog posts that provides high engagement. By pulling insights learned from an event and summarizing it, readers who weren’t able to attend are able to, at the very least, take something away with them from the event.

So, remember that the highest performing content is engaging, helpful, educational, and/or fun. Aim to be helpful, aim to be a thought leader, and aim to provide all your readers with something memorable. If you can implement these things into each of your blog posts (to a certain extent) you can achieve high-performing content.    

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