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It Was a Very Good Year for Content

By December 20, 2021January 10th, 2022No Comments

The events of 2020 brought dramatic changes to all of our lives, especially in the way we connect and do business. The massive shift to digital-first and digital-only interactions gained serious momentum when lockdowns were put into effect last year and only accelerated as we moved through 2021.

Customers today demand rich, personalized digital experiences with brands, and businesses are continuing to invest in optimizing their digital presence to keep up.

Companies successfully accelerating digital transformation are the ones who’ve invested in creating content—and use it to drive their business forward. Content is at the heart of how customers learn about and interact with brands, and having an effective content strategy has never mattered more than it does today.

Being able to measure and optimize the impact content makes for your business will be crucial to your success in the coming years. As you prepare your content strategy for 2022, we want to share with you our most valuable resources from the past 12 months.

This roundup includes our most successful content from 2021, based on content performance data from Parse.ly, as well as some updates to our platform and other pieces that our audience has found useful.

Table of Contents

Top Parse.ly resources, by the numbers

When we create resources, like guides, ebooks, and data studies, one of our main goals at Parse.ly is maximizing downloads. The more downloads a piece gets, the more interesting and valuable it is to our audience. This is where we use Parse.ly Content Conversions to track our success. 

To highlight our top resources from 2021, we looked at the performance of content in the Resources section of our website over the past year, sorted by conversions. Here are the top five.

  1. Our most downloaded resource by far was The Content Marketer’s Funnel. Similar to a Sales Funnel, the Content Marketer’s Funnel gives businesses an easy-to-follow yet comprehensive framework for creating content that moves buyers along their journey—from becoming a top-of-funnel lead to making a purchase decision. The guide dives into each stage of the funnel, including examples of successful content and which metrics you should track. 
  2. Credit Parse.ly’s data team’s in-depth analysis of content consumption in 2020 for The Data’s In: How 2020 Changed the Content Landscape, and What It Means for Content Creators in 2021. This asset looks at referrals, engagement, and consumption patterns from across our network of thousands of the web’s biggest sites, advising content creators how they should modify their strategies for 2021.
  3. Our Blueprint for a Content Performance Report Your Boss Will Love walks through creating a content performance report, step-by-step. It spotlights how to gather and analyze data and why you should use it to make content strategy and investment decisions.
  4. Our 2022 Content Marketing Toolkit contains helpful content for content marketers, including resources for writing a content marketing budget and getting it approved, reporting on content performance throughout the content marketing funnel, and measuring the ROI of content marketing. 
  5. Why Your Next Big Marketing Win Is in Content Repurposing offers advice for companies who struggle to produce content regularly that engages their audience. Learn how to uncover hidden gems in your content archive and create more evergreen pieces by repurposing content to maximize ROI.

Besides our written resources, we organized 11 webinars in 2021. Here are the top three, ranked by attendees.

  1. In Behind the Acquisition: How WordPress VIP and Parse.ly Are Transforming the Way Content Teams Work, WordPress VIP CEO Nick Gernert and Parse.ly CEO Sachin Kamdar discuss how the combined companies give companies the freedom and flexibility to focus on what matters: powering business growth by creating great digital experiences. 
  2. In Converting Content to Cold Hard Cash, Parse.ly CRO Nick Milne-Home discusses how leadership teams evaluate marketing channels from a revenue perspective. He also gives best practices for aligning content with overall business goals.
  3. In 4 Marketing Leaders Share Their 2021 Content Strategy, hear Telesign, TrustRadius, Dataminr, and Parse.ly reveal their content metrics for success, team structure and roles, and how they set up their teams for success, including pipeline growth and revenue. 

New Parse.ly case studies and features

Aside from top performing content, we wanted to highlight other Parse.ly resources that our audience found valuable. Here’s a look at exciting new case studies and Parse.ly feature releases that debuted in 2021.

  • Case study with Backstage on how they used Parse.ly to achieve a 20% increase in conversions, 25% revenue growth attributable to content marketing, and 10% savings on ad spend. 
  • Case study with Teach for America on how Parse.ly is playing an integral role in inspiring audiences with their recently formed content studio dedicated to eliminating educational inequity in their communities. 
  • Case study with Gannett on how Parse.ly helped them standardize content analytics for 600+ publications after their merger with GateHouse Media.
  • Content Conversions update—Parse.ly customers using conversions can now expect to see updates to their conversions data within 30 minutes.
  • Goals feature launch—This feature takes the pain out of reporting and tracking KPIs by giving teams a place to share and track goals for their content.
  • Smart Tags feature launch—Using machine learning and natural language processing, Smart Tags scans pages and posts to determine relevant topics and assigns tags automatically based on your content subject matter.

Ranking our top blog posts in 2021

Now over to our blog. Let’s take a look at our top posts from 2021.

One of our main goals on the Parse.ly blog is to create content that our audience finds useful and engaging. We use Parse.ly’s average engaged minutes metric to measure the success of each piece. If a reader deeply engages with our content, we’re hitting the mark and providing real value. 

Our top 5 most engaging blog posts cover a range of topics, from recapping our CEO’s presentation at The AdWeek Elevate Publishing event to a high-level explanation of what content analytics is.

  1. Your Customers Are Speaking to You, But You’re Not Listening | AdWeek Elevate Recap—Parse.ly CMO, David Cardiel spoke at AdWeek’s 2021 Elevate Performance Marketing conference about the untapped potential of content. He discusses what it means to grow, engage, and convert your audience.
  2. Content Analytics – Piece of Cake? Parse.ly CEO Sachin Kamdar answers the question Why do we need Parse.ly if we have GA? and explores the core mission of the platform beyond features and functionality.
  3. Converting Content to Cold Hard Cash | Webinar Recap—Parse.ly CRO Nick Milne-Home addresses the challenge of tracking and reporting on ROI to justify the value of your content.
  4. Creating Stories That Stick: Building Content That Drives Decisions | AdWeek Elevate Recap—Sachin gave a revealing talk on the main stage at Adweek Elevate Publishing about building content that drives decisions, and creating stories that stick.
  5. Media Is the New Marketing: 7 Steps From Start to Millions | Webinar Recap—Joe Pulizzi, founder of The Tilt and Content Marketing Institute and author of the Amazon #1 Marketing Bestseller Content Inc., outlines how any business with any budget can build a digital audience that leads to multiple forms of revenue.

More content marketing tips, tricks, and advice

Finally, we wanted to leave you with a further batch of content marketing resources we launched in 2021. 

This past year has been huge for content, and we only expect the demand for rich digital experiences powered by content to continue to grow in years to come. That’s why Parse.ly will keep publishing helpful resources about content marketing, content strategy, and the future of content analyticsall to help you succeed in this digital-first economy.

Want to learn more about how we can help you get your content marketing program ready for success in 2022?