Happy 2017! We launched our branding blog in mid 2016 and within a few months made #33 on Feedspot’s 100 Branding Blogs Every Marketing, Advertising and Brand Manager Must Follow. Of course, none of that means anything without your support, so to you we send a huge thank you!
We write about a variety of topics within the industries of higher ed, small to medium sized business, non profits, and community redevelopment, and we are constantly curious to explore further and bring you more branding and marketing insights.
Envelope please… Here are our top posts from 2016 and why they were winners:
As much for its controversal headline as for its timely topic, this post got a lot of traction in 2016. Assuming today’s high school students want to go to college is a dangerous mistake for higher education enrollment management. It seems like an extension of the status quo, but Generation Z is anything but. Here’s why and how we need to rethink higher ed enrollment marketing, as today’s prospective college students consider their options.
This was by far the most fun post to research and photograph. Yep, I spent days and nights traipsing the sidewalks and parks getting the hang of the new Pokémon Go game that took the world by storm in July. I also asked my kids, who are Pokémon fanatics, and other fans, what makes Pokémon so special. Their answers fueled my research and the bright, sharable infographic that caps this piece. Presumably, if you have fun producing an article, your readers will have fun consuming it – clearly that was the case.
Here’s a great example of how important it is to connect personally with your audience. While we aim to be educational and inspirational, sometimes we need to pause and let our readers know how much their involvement means to us. This post was surprisingly popular, showing us that our followers really do care about our relationships with them.
A resource piece judging by its title, this post’s popularity among hundreds of other sources writing about SEO showed us just how much SEO is on everyone’s mind. It’s also proof that no matter how many others are writing about a general topic (like SEO), you can always find your own angle that’s valuable to share. One more caveat was that writing about Storybase (one of our 5 essential tools) as well as linking to their website led to not just one, but two separate and valuable backlinks from Storybase… helping our SEO even further!
The flagship article that officially launched our blog this summer. We’re striving to become major thought leaders in higher education branding, enrollment and endowment funding. This piece was inspired by an enlightening conversation with Stephen Mulkey, President Emeritus of Unity College in Maine. Although it’s mainly smaller private colleges that are struggling with enrollment and endowments, we’re all in the climate change tumbler together. This peice ties both issues together and is a pivotal foundation of Parisleaf’s views on higher ed, Generation Z, and environmental challenges.
Inspired by Dale Carnegie’s classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, this piece continued to strike a chord among those who may have recognized the play on Carnegie’s title, as well as those who just wanted to know how content marketing can help them attract and convert more qualified online leads in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Popular for its controversial topic as well as its solid research, this post was a touchy subject but I gave it to my intern, Lisa Marinelli, and she hit it out of the park. A member of Gen Z herself, she handled sensitive arguments with clarity and grace. Don’t miss this post even if you’re not in the higher ed community – there is a lot for all businesses and organizations to learn about how Generation Z expect to be treated and, most importantly, what they can teach the rest of us who have been ingrained in social perspectives that are rapidly becoming outdated.
Our talented creative director, Matt Steel, granted us permission to reprint this article from his own popular branding website, mattsteelmakes.com. Matt’s knowledge of and experience with typography renders him a branding master in this ethereal subject. The key to this post’s popularity lies with Matt’s conversational writing style as well as the fact that everyone loves to see successful examples of branding and branding makeovers.
Again, with a sea of authors writing about how to attract millennial donors, it was interesting that we were able to grab some of that readership share. This was an easy-to-write, “curated” post, featuring info from several websites, but thanks to good keyword strategy, this post kept getting found.
Our most basic piece on branding, this is the first of a three-part series on understanding common branding myths. Its popularity may also be due to good keyword searchability, as well as the fact that we link to it in a number of posts throughout our blog. Of course, it also helps that it was linked on the front page of our website as a featured post. Our website will be updated soon with new featured posts, but never underestimate the power of simple guided traffic flow to drive visitors to pivotal blog posts or other pages you want to highlight.
Besides 75 blog posts in 6 months, we did a bunch of other cool stuff. Here’s our year by the numbers:
Whew, what a year! We couldn’t have done it without you, our readers and clients. Thank you for following us and for giving us your feedback via email and social media. If you haven’t already, sign up for our custom blog updates (by industry), and look forward to more insights on your favorite branding topics in your industry.
Let’s make 2017 your year.
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About Kaley Shorter
A creative in her own right, Kaley has tapped years of journalism, CRM management, inbound marketing and customer experience shaping to launch Parisleaf’s blog to international recognition in less than four months. Kaley still makes it home in time for dinner with the family, disc golf and rocking out on stage at the piano.