Lessons from Last Week’s Popular Content Marketing Blog Post

Posted July 13th @ 6:50 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

What lessons can we learn from the success of my second most popular Content Marketing Institute blog post….one that was Tweeted, Retweeted, and Favorited over 1,000 times?

Granted, the environment where it appeared played a major role in its popularity.

My  Latest Must-Reads: Summertime Books for Content Marketers on the Go (or on Vacation) post appeared in one of the world’s most popular marketing blogs.

It also benefited from superb editing and an excellent cover graphic by the Content Marketing Institute’s Joseph Kalinowski.

But, my previous post on the same blog, Worksheet: Turn Your Pivot Points into Stories for Better Content Marketing, enjoyed less than half as much social media response, i.e., 432 Tweets.

So, why the difference in reader engagement?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot during the past week. Here,  are my initial impressions:

  1. Title transparency and language. Compared to the the title in my previous blog post, last week’s title may have been more positive and easier to understand. Perhaps the “work” implied by “worksheet” introducing the previous title projected a negative connotation. Perhaps the connection to leveraging lessons from Todd Wheatland’s excellent The PIVOT: Marketing Backstories podcast interview series may not have been as immediately apparent to others as it was to me. In addition, the recent title also contains more action-oriented words like “latest” and “must reads,” plus a timely reference to positive terms like “vacation” and “on the go” (a deliberate double entendre).
  2. Aspirational topic. Like my previous post, the recent post made an obvious appeal to self-improvement oriented content marketers. Both articles help readers learn from the experiences of others. But books have always had their own special magic; they are at the top of the “expert qualifiers” triangle. “Books” implies both a source of pleasures and a source of learning to people who deal with words and language all day.
  3. Differentiation/positioning. One of the ways that I endeavored to broaden the appeal of my mid-summer and Holiday gift buying guides is to offer a fresh approach to selecting books. From the start, I’ve broadened my definition of “relevant books for content marketers” to include books written outside the content marketing field. I’ve tried to identify not only successful books from first-time authors, like Anne Janser,but also introduce relevant books from adjacent fields like advertising, career-management, creativity, focus, psychology, and time management.
  4. Familiarity. Consistency remains one of the most powerful, but often overlooked, keys to content marketing success. As I continue to roll-out my twice-a-year updates of helpful, relevant books for content marketers, as well as the other productivity topics I address, the social media track numbers continue to increase.  I’d like to think it’s because of my attempts to continually improve my writing, but familiarity may be playing an even larger role.

How do you explain the popularity of last week’s post?

If you read last week’s post, “How do you explain its popularity?” Are there other factors at work that might explain its relative popularity? This is especially true if you take the time to reread my previous post. I would really like to know your reactions. Please share your ideas below, as comments.

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