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The Best of 2015: 15 Marketing Posts Not to Miss

Posted by Taylor Radey on December 30, 2015

The year is drawing to a close, which for many marketers means it’s the perfect time to clean out the inbox, tackle that reading list, and set shiny new goals for 2016.

So curl up by the fire—or in your cubicle—and enjoy the must-reads on PR 20/20’s blog.

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How did we select them?

In short, you did. We pulled posts with the highest pageviews in 2015, excluding any posts with an average time on page less than two minutes. After all, we’re looking for the most read posts—not the most clicked titles.

Note: If you’re curious which posts were most successful in garnering clicks (on search engines and social media), check out Sandie Young’s (@sandiemyoung) “How to Write More Clickable Headlines in 3 Easy Steps.”

The Most Popular PR 20/20 Posts in 2015

According to our readers, here are our 15 most popular posts in 2015. Enjoy!

  1. 4 Tips to Ace Your Next Marketing Agency Job Interview: An oldie but clearly a goodie, this post was so popular we republished it last week with a few updates. Our Director of Talent Tracy Lewis (@Tracy_J_Lewis) shares advice for job seekers. If a career change isn’t in the cards this year but you’d still like to advance your skills, read “Overcome the Talent Gap: 7 Skills You Need to Become a Hybrid Marketer” instead.
  2. Passing the Google Analytics Individual IQ Exam (2015): This post crushes on organic search, and with good reason: Tony Hardman (@ahardman) offers a crash course in passing Google’s most popular (and free) analytics certification.
  3. Marketing Strategy vs. Sales Strategy: Marketing-sales alignment, smarketing, inbound sales … with all the sales-oriented buzzwords in 2015’s marketing lexicon, it’s no wonder this 2012 post has found new popularity. The post, still applicable as ever today, asks a simple yet familiar question: How do marketing and sales perspectives differ? By understanding where your salesforce is coming from, you can better align with them—in terms of goals, KPIs, strategy and tactics—to maximize bottom-line results.

    >> Discover more posts on marketing-sales alignment.

  4. 15 Steps to Build Your 2016 Marketing Plan: Another post so popular it warranted a refresh. (For more on this approach, read about HubSpot’s historical blog optimization experiment.) PR 20/20 CEO Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) outlines our marketing game plan model, as featured in Chapter 10 of The Marketing Performance Blueprint. Now updated with new resources and an accelerated planning model, this post is a must-read for Q1 planning.
  5. My Online Journey into Married Life: Changing My Name on Social Profiles: I know firsthand how complicated a name change is, especially when your digital identity is spread across an ever-expanding array of networks, profiles and accounts. While the post is a few years old, Tracy offers great tips that are still helpful today. For example: Don’t change your profile picture at the same time you change your name.
  6. How to Build Your Inbound Marketing GamePlan: In his 2010 post, Paul predicted how social media and inbound marketing would disrupt marketing as we know it, and leveled the playing field to reward better strategies over bigger budgets. Read the thinking that would later inspire The Marketing Agency Blueprint (Wiley, 2012) and The Marketing Performance Blueprint (Wiley, 2014).
  7. How to Use Buzzsumo for Content Marketing: Content marketing is 20% creation, 80% amplification. Learn how freemium tools like Buzzsumo can help you create and market your content more effectively. This smart post by Mike Kaput (@mikekaput) is jam-packed with tactical advice and inspiration to help you get started.
  8. The Campaign Flowchart: How to Create a Granular Marketing Dashboard: A paramount challenge marketers face is how to track and report on campaign performance. Keith Moehring (@keithmoehring) presents one approach to visually map strategy and tactics to measurable outcomes.
  9. Marketers Need to Learn to Code: How to Get Started: As marketers, we may never write full software programs. But even a basic understanding of how different coding languages work will position you for success as you integrate marketing technologies into campaigns. If you've never considered the power of a little coding knowledge, or how to begin, start with this post.
  10. How to Define Critical KPIs Across the Marketing Funnel: This post was originally published to the Marketing Score blog, our free assessment tool and marketing intelligence engine. As Jessica Miller (@jessica_joellen) argues, it’s time for marketing teams and management to come together to agree on overarching marketing goals—and the KPIs that will track progress toward achieving them.

    >> Subscribe to the PR 20/20 blog.

  11. 15 Tips to Improve Your Marketing Performance: The 2014 Marketing Score Report revealed how hundreds of marketing professionals rated their potential and performance. In this post, Paul summarizes 15 ways to boost performance based on real data, and poses key strategy questions to help your organization move its marketing forward.
  12. 40+ Blogs Inbound Marketers Should Be Following: If you’re looking to revamp your RSS feed, this one’s for you. Discover what the PR 20/20 team reads to keep up on content, social, search, tech and more.
  13. Marketing Automation Is Only The Beginning: How Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence Will Disrupt Marketing Forever: Marketing automation is a rapidly growing, multibillion-dollar industry, but it is still in the very early stages. In this excerpt from The Marketing Performance Blueprint, Paul explains why “the marketing automation we see today is elementary when we consider the possibility of what comes next.”

    >> Download a free chapter of The Marketing Performance Blueprint

  14. 21 Marketing Podcasts You Need To Listen To: Whether you’re an auditory learner or looking to liven up your morning commute, Jeremy Bednarski (@jeremybednarski) recaps the PR 20/20 team’s favorite marketing and business podcasts.
  15. The Marketing Gaps: Talent, Technology and Strategy: Gaps in marketing talent, technology, and strategy are leading to the most significant gap of all—the performance gap. Paul explains what’s holding organizations back, and yet why there’s never been a better time to be a marketer.

Thanks for joining us in 2015!

Whether you’re a first-time reader or a long-time subscriber, thank you. We know you have more choices than ever before and appreciate your time, attention, clicks and shares. They tell us what you find valuable and when we’ve missed the mark. We look forward to a new year, and we have big plans for how we can find success in 2016, together.

Bonus: Growth hack your marketing in 2016

Ready to hit the ground running? Host a marketing growth hackathon. The accelerated brainstorming session provides the framework and focus to help you prioritize marketing goals, and identify campaigns with the greatest probability of impacting business results in the next 90 days. Watch our free webinar to learn how.

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