2020 was certainly a hell of a year.
As a business, SpiderGroup were delighted to be able to help our clients, whether that was through working to reduce their costs, or bring in much-needed new technology and support to facilitate working from home.
We're not going to get into a full business round-up of the year, because for many it was a bleak one.
But, from a marketing-perspective, what did the pandemic and lockdowns do to the topics and trends we saw? And what can we learn from this?
Our 5 Most-Read Blog Posts in 2020
- 10 Features of Outlook that most people don't use
- Technology - A positive or negative impact on society
- What types of PPC are there?
- Everything you need to know about HubSpot Academy
- 6 Ways to engage your employees in Digital Transformation
Number one makes sense - people were trying to find ways to use their existing technology more effectively, to be able to collaborate and connect in new ways as we all moved away from the office. And it's got some pretty cool features, so we're not surprised it was a popular choice.
We know that number two is a common exam and essay question, so because we rank for it, we get a lot of traffic on this one - it tops our trends most months. It's one of those posts that doesn't generate a lot of leads, but it's useful to people. It's an old post that was created due to some overzealous keyword research, but we still like it.
Number three is another one that gets a lot of traffic - it mostly gets traffic because it's in a Google featured snippet (which shows how helpful getting those can be!). It gets some leads, but it's again more of an educational and helpful post.
Number four tends to be two thirds people looking for information about HubSpot and a third people looking for HubSpot exam answers. We're big fans of the Academy, so it's always nice to see this one getting some love, and with fewer opportunities for in person training sessions in 2020, it makes sense that people are looking at which online providers are worth training with.
And number five makes perfect sense - in a year where digital transformation was pretty much thrust upon a lot of businesses, finding ways to keep employees engaged with the process was vital. Glad that was helpful to people.
What we can learn from this is:
- Featured snippets generate traffic (but it's often people looking for info)
- Exam questions are great for traffic, not great for conversion. Oh, and looking at search intent is as important at looking at keywords!
- Having content that's relevant to the challenges people are facing definitely brings traffic - none of our top posts for the entire year were about the pandemic (although we do have some covid posts that were top of the list for a few months) - they're about the things people needed during the pandemic.
Our Most Relevant Content
We posted this in March 2020 - very early on in the pandemic. In fact, it was a week before the UK went into Lockdown.
People were (rightly) concerned about whether or not it was appropriate to be marketing during what was a stressful and "unprecedented" time. But businesses also needed to survive, and at that point, none of us knew how long this would all be going on for. So, we talked through how to be responsible and empathetic, while still continuing to do marketing.
This one got a lot of comments and engagement on social media.
We've got plenty of posts about remote working, but this one resonated with a lot of people. After 6 months of working from home, getting zoom fatigue, feeling out of the loop (or, on the other hand, having so many meetings to communicate that you can't get anything done)... we thought it was a good time to review how we communicate now.
If we're going to be working from home for longer, with some people hoping to transition to fully remote or hybrid styles even when things do open back up, this post is about having a longer term strategy for team communications.
Our Most Popular Landing Pages
When we look at landing pages, we can either look at the ones that got the most traffic, or the ones that got the most contacts - both are measures of popularity, but as data-led marketers, we're more interested in the ones that generated leads.
- HubSpot Training Bootcamp
- Video Selling Masterclass
- Marketing Metrics eBook
- Remote Working Guide
- Digital Safety eBook
So, we've got a bit of a mixture between training, webinars, and eBooks here.
In the number one slot is the signup page for our free 4-week HubSpot Bootcamp. With more businesses in 2020 realising they need to move away from spreadsheets into a cloud-based CRM, it's no surprise that HubSpot has been of interest. As a Platinum Partner, we've got plenty of advice, knowledge, and expertise, so we put that to use.
Incidentally, the next cohort starts in February, so you're welcome to sign up still.
The Video Selling Masterclass is another one that's not really a surprise. With sales moving to a predominantly digital arena, finding a way to get an edge is so important. And that's what this webinar teaches people.
Marketing Metrics is always a popular one, and this eBook talks you through the metrics that really matter to a business. With everyone focusing so much on the numbers in 2020, making sure your marketing team is tracking the right metrics was definitely important.
Not a surprise that the Complete Guide to Remote Working was in our top 5 - although it was published long before remote working became the done thing in 2020!
Our eBook about making sure your business and employees stay safe online also makes a lot of sense in our top 5 - now that managers have less oversight (literally) of what their teams are doing, ensuring people are staying safe and secure in the digital world is more important than ever.
What can we learn from these? Well, it's pretty clear that, again, content that reflects the challenges people are facing is the winner. Providing guidance and expertise is always helpful - it doesn't have to be completely topical, it just needs to address real challenges and issues.
Well, in 2021, we'll definitely be following the trend of 2020 - producing content that covers what people need (although perhaps not exam questions).
We'll be looking at the challenges our clients, prospects, peers, and competitors face so that we can help people. Because, unsurprisingly, that's something that tends to work, no matter what's going on.