Content — it encompasses just about everything we read, view, or listen to online these days, and as our CEO Lee Odden said years ago, it’s also the reason search began in the first place.
We’re especially proud of the content marketing success our team at TopRank Marketing has achieved in 2018, for a wide-range of B2B clients. As 2019 draws near we wanted to share our top content marketing articles of the year — each loaded with best practices, research, examples, and the latest trends.
The excellent content marketers who make our award-winning blog one of the most popular in the industry include Ashley Zeckman, Joshua Nite, Caitlin Burgess, Anne Leuman, Nick Nelson, Tiffani Allen, Debbie Friez, Alexis Hall, the author of this post, and our blog’s founder and agency CEO, Lee Odden.
Collectively this compendium of our top 10 content marketing posts of the year stands as a valuable resource, loaded with practical examples and relevant topics for digital marketing professionals from CMOs to copywriters. We hope you find these articles helpful well into 2019 and beyond.
We’re going to exclude our single most popular content marketing post — 25 Influential Women in Digital Marketing Who Rocked and Inspired in 2018 — from the list, because it’s not quite an article, however you’ll still find it a helpful resource, recognizing 25 of the brightest professionals in the content marketing including Mina Seetharaman, Ann Handley, Ty Heath, Beverly Jackson, and so many more marketing powerhouses.
Now, let’s move onward to the top 10! These most popular content marketing posts of the year are ordered by a combination of search visibility and social engagement:
Our Most Popular Content Marketing Posts of 2018:
1. 32 B2B Content Marketing Case Studies for 2018 — Lee Odden
With 32 compelling stories from a strong group of B2B brands, it’s no wonder that Lee has garnered our most popular content marketing post of 2018, containing case studies from LinkedIn, Equifax, SAP, Uberflip, Oracle, Radius, and others. Lee has gathered together a goldmine of top take-aways for B2B content marketers. He’s also been the driving force behind the TopRank Marketing blog for what will be 15 years on December 28, and it’s posts such as this which have had professional marketers coming back for more year after year. Check out all of Lee’s 2,592 posts here.
Senior Content Marketing Manager Josh examined five major content marketing trends for 2018 in this, our second-most-popular post of the year, and in addition to being a stellar writer, he proved to also be a top prognosticator, with all of his trend predictions proving to be some of the year’s most relevant in the industry. From the rise of long-form content and consistency and quality over quantity, to expanding influencer marketing ecosystems, new formats, and more focus on ROI and attribution, Josh’s aim proved true. Check out all of Josh’s posts here.
Another excellent piece by Josh occupying a top spot on our list is an in-depth exploration of 10 opportunities for content marketers gleaned from the 2019 edition of the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report. Josh dug in to the report’s statistics and pulled out the most relevant and helpful gems of content marketing truth, which has struck a chord with marketers and made this our third most popular in the category for the year.
Our Content Strategist Anne Leuman wrote one of our most popular content marketing pieces of the year by providing great answers to a question faced by many — what’s the best way to prove the value of content marketing to your CMO? With her clear, helpful, and thoroughly-researched insight, Anne explains how to identify goals, measure performance more effectively, and educate your CMO on content marketing’s value using conversions along with an Attract, Engage, and Convert system of metrics. Check out all of Anne’s posts here.
5. Creating Content Connections: 10 Lessons in Resonance from Content Marketing Pros — Caitlin Burgess
Creating content that resonates is key to building the rapport, credibility, and trust that drive marketing results, so it’s no surprise that our Senior Manager of Content Marketing Caitlin has written one of our top content marketing posts of 2018 with this splendid and helpful piece. It features a treasure trove of insight from some of the best in the content marketing industry, including Tim Washer, Mina Seetharaman, Ann Handley, Beverly Jackson, Dan Gingiss, Ursula Ringham, Dave Charest, Joe Pulizzi, and others. Check out all of Caitlin’s posts here.
6. How to Become a Better Data-Informed Content Marketer — Anne Leuman
Anne’s talents have earned her another spot on our list, this time looking into the world of data-informed content marketing, and offering up five actionable tips to boost your content performance and create a more effective marketing strategy. Anne explains how to create a segmented content pipeline, the top methods for monitoring social activity and engagement, and why it’s important to build and refine new audience segments, among other excellent advice that has made this one of the strongest content marketing posts this year.
7. Press Start and Get in the Game with the Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing — Ashley Zeckman
Loaded to the brim with helpful and relevant insight, including a 48-page tactical guide, our Senior Digital Strategy Director Ashley has written a fantastic examination of the latest methods for successful content marketing, including helpful tips from Robert Rose, Nichole Kelly, Tim Washer, Ellie Mirman, Peter Krmpotic, Tamsen Webster, Amanda Todorovich, Courtney Cox, Eli Schwartz, Jay Acunzo, Carla Johnson, Heather Pemberton Levy, Zari Venhaus, Andy Crestodina, Ann Handley, Melanie Deziel, J.P. Medved, Mitch Joel, Michelle Park Lazette, Pam Didner, Dave Charest, Ian Cleary, Lee Odden, Vishal Khanna, Juntae DeLane, Doug Kessler, Joe Pulizzi, Justin Levy, Heidi Cohen, Christopher Penn, Mathew Sweezey, Michael Brenner, Michael Pratt, Ron Tite and Matt Heinz. You’ll want to bookmark this helpful resource Ashley has assembled, which is one of our top content marketing posts of 2018. Check out all of Ashley’s posts here.
8. How to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts By Planning Ahead — Lane R. Ellis
How can you boost your content marketing efforts by planning ahead? By documenting your plan, building a sharer list, incorporating reuse ahead of time, using audience personas, and finding your best distribution options, this post shows how planning ahead and doing appropriate marketing legwork can give you an important edge. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan,” and I’m honored to have this piece featured on our list of the year’s most top content marketing posts. Check out all of my posts here.
Our Senior Content Strategist Nick has put together a truly helpful collection of insight to liven up even the best content marketing writing with creative design, and it’s resonated with readers enough to make it one of our top posts of 2018 for the category. Nick teaches you how to find design tools you’ll love, explains why it’s important to think about design at each step along the way, and examines the benefits of simplicity in design, the importance of color, and pays special attention to getting creative with fonts and layouts, all in a way that works for writers. Check out all of Nick’s posts here.
Nick has another fine top content marketing post for 2018 — with the only live-blog piece on the list — covering a Content Marketing World session presented by Megan Golden, Group Manager of LinkedIn’s (client) Global Content and Social Media Marketing. Nick’s excellent writing skills were more than up to the special task of live-blogging, as he shares the top take-aways from Megan’s session, including her three principles of blockbuster B2B content, top LinkedIn marketing tips, and more insight that makes this one of our top content marketing posts of 2018.
Thanks TopRank Marketing Writers & Readers
There you have it — a selection of 10 of our top content marketing posts for 2018. Special thanks go out to all of the top writers who have contributed truly stellar posts on content marketing topics throughout the year.
We published more than 160 posts this year specifically about content marketing, and we plan to bring you even more in 2019.
Please let us know which content marketing topics you’d like to see us to focus on for 2019? Whether it’s interactive, video, artificial intelligence, real-world case studies, or analytics, we’d love to hear your suggestions.
Many thanks to each of you who read our blog, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels.