Content in 20/20: Our top 20 articles and trends from a year in pandemic
In such a rollercoaster of a year, it's nice to find a moment of normalcy.
For the last five Decembers or so, I have done exactly what I did right now — sat down at my laptop armed with a HubSpot report to recap the top articles and trends from the months prior.
Also, like every December, I thought I knew exactly what would be on the list, but then I remembered it's 2020, and like so many other things this year, I didn't see these coming.
Even our content "caught" COVID-19
Every year, the majority of our traffic comes from the same long-haul MVPs. These are articles written more than a year ago, that have high domain authority, search rank, and volume, and always out-perform newer pieces.
In that respect, 2020 was no different. They were such givens, I didn't bother to include them below unless they were updated, but those staples aside, our list of top performers was very much a portrait of the current times.
As COVID-19 took hold of the world, it also took hold of our content.
The way people lived everywhere was entirely turned upside down and, of course, the way we did business and marketed had to follow suit. How to navigate these pivots became the #1 concern for our audience as you'll see in the list below, which, in turn, meant articles on:
- Remote working
- Creating video content and using video software
- Social media marketing
- Virtual events
- Government aid for businesses
These were the topics businesses needed to master if they were not only going to survive, but thrive in a volatile business landscape.
While historic optimization continued to be a huge part of IMPACT's content strategy (12 historically optimized pieces made our list today) and we also leaned more heavily into covering The Big 5 for our own services, the remaining majority belonged to these areas.
Let's take a look.
20. HubSpot CRM review 2020: A super honest look at the pros, cons, and sales tools by Carina Duffy
When HubSpot released their free CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Sales Tools in 2014, they added a whole new dimension to the company's offerings and value.... Read More
19. The best website font size, and how it affects UX and conversions by Christine Austin
The secret behind how font sizes affect your website's user experience and conversions and which ones you should be using... Read More
18. 5 best virtual event software options for businesses and brands by Stephanie Baiocchi
When we wrote our first version of this article back at the end of March, we had no idea that nearly everyone would pivot their in-person events to virtual ones due to COVID-19.... Read More
17. 15 effective re-engagement email examples you’ll want to steal in 2021 by Ramona Sukhraj
In the last decade, MarketingSherpa research has found that B2B marketing lists tend to decay at a rate of 2.1% per month. This is an annualized rate of 22.5%. Holy depreciation, Batman.... Read More
16. 4 ways to improve your website load time and performance in 2020 by Christine Austin
The world moves fast. When the new iPhone comes out, many rush to be the first to see, play, and review it. When there’s breaking news, people are glued to their TV screens waiting for updates while reporters scramble to be the first to deliver.... Read More
15. How much does a website design or redesign cost in 2021? by Vin Gaeta
Your website is the most important sales and marketing tool you have. It's the hub of your inbound marketing strategy and it's the number one thing your prospects want to explore before making a purchase, or even talking to a human.... Read More
14. Payroll Protection Program: Why you need to talk to your bank immediately by Bob Ruffolo
With the federal coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus bill's passage on Friday, March 27, 2020, many rumors and guesses have made the rounds on social media and elsewhere about what it includes, fueling speculation about free money and loan forgiveness.... Read More
13. 27 powerful LinkedIn business pages examples to inspire you by Connor DeLaney
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for businesses yet many fail to use the platform effectively. Here are 27 examples of powerful LinkedIn business pages.... Read More
12. New report: Best times to post on social media during coronavirus (COVID-19) by Liz Moorehead
A strange thing happened as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. And, quite frankly, I am floored that I didn't see it coming, as my own behavior should have been a leading indicator.... Read More
11. How to grow a social media following in 2020: 9 essential steps by Connor DeLaney
As someone who has grown up with social media for practically my entire life, I have found myself time and time again taking it for granted. I think back to making my Facebook account and how excited I was to become digital friends with my real-life friends.... Read More
10. 10 blog layout best practices to remember in 2020 by Christine Austin
Your business’ blog is a staple for driving new users to your website who seek knowledge and answers to the questions they have. It’s full of expert content marketing that’s valuable to your audience, which ultimately helps drive visitors to grow your business.... Read More
9. Not all is lost: Some businesses are thriving during coronavirus (COVID-19) by Kate Fodera
We are living in unprecedented times. COVID-19 came in like a tidal wave and has forever changed my perspective on contagious diseases and the economy.... Read More
8. 8 best webinar software to go live on Facebook (free and paid) by Christine Austin
I love working out in a class setting. For me, venturing to a yoga studio every Sunday morning to join others in a 60-minute practice was just part of my routine. But since COVID-19 began to limit our in-person interactions, video became the go-to way to still connect.... Read More
7. 4 unique remote team-building activities we’re using during coronavirus quarantine by Natalie Davis
During “normal” times (pre-coronavirus pandemic), approximately 60% of our team members regularly work remotely. Because of this, we’ve always had a focus on strengthening our remote company culture and building relationships with people across the company.... Read More
6. 11 best B2B website service page examples to inspire you by Christine Austin
Your services page is one of the most critical pages on your website whose purpose is to not only reveal what you offer but how your company stands out from the rest. It starts with the messaging.... Read More
5. 59 best sales team names that are clever, funny, and only for closers by Liz Moorehead
For those of you who need a sales team that says, "I mean business! No, literally, I mean business — please sign this contract," you've come to the right place.... Read More
4. Paycheck Protection Program application and required documents (CARES Act) by Bob Ruffolo
It has now been nearly a week since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – or "CARES Act" — was signed, setting into motion the largest stimulus package in U.S. history... Read More
3. Research: The best times to post on social media in 2020 (by platform) by Iris Hearn
Ever since social media became a must-have asset in your marketing strategy, brands have been trying to identify the secret “sweet spot” for the best time to post content to social media platforms.... Read More
2. Instagram marketing in 2020: The do's and don'ts of posting and driving engagement by Natalie Davis
If you think Instagram is just for sunsets, selfies, and staged shots of food, you are sorely mistaken. With Facebook at its helm, the number of active users growing every month, and 85% of top brands adopting the social platform as an avenue for reaching their audience, there is no better time than now for your company to get on board with Instagram as a marketing platform for your business.... Read More
And the #1 most viewed IMPACT article of 2020…
1. How to do a competitive analysis in 5 easy steps by John Becker
Whatever it is you do, it is almost certain that there are other companies out there offering a similar product or service to yours. In any crowded marketplace, you need as much information and insight as possible to gain an edge over your competitors.... Read More
Like many of you I'm sure, I can't say I am sad to see 2020 go, but I will say it taught us all one extremely valuable lesson: Content cannot exist in a vacuum.
You need to pay attention to the world around you, take note of how it affects your audience, and create content that addresses their concerns regarding it. Acknowledging current events and circumstances shows that you are human. You understand what is going on in the world and what consumers are dealing with.
Had we not pivoted our content to cover the COVID-19 pandemic and the consumer, business, sales, and marketing implications of it, not only would this list have been dramatically different, but so would our trust and relationship with our audience.
Let that relationship be your top priority and north star going into 2021.
Wondering where to begin?