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The general direction of content marketing in 2024

This article was written by Brain, but because it is well written, please ask Judy to translate it. The content of the article covers:

  • How to Drain Articles
  • Content formats that work well now
  • The Hottest Content Marketing Trends of 2020
  • New Strategies for Writing Articles
  • Advanced Strategies and Techniques

Pay attention to video

Let’s look at a set of data first: the number of companies using video as a marketing tool has increased by 38% since 201772% of peopleIt shows that watching videos is more interesting than reading articles.

Do you feel that content marketing seems to have changed? Yes, starting in 2020, you must pay attention to video.

Make a video introduction

Whether you’re uploading a video on YouTube, LinkedIn, or Twitter, an intro is crucial to a good video.

There is a theoretical basis for this:

YouTube’s internal dataIt shows that the first 15 seconds of a video determine whether the viewer will continue watching.

So you’d better not use a long intro, and don’t spend half a minute explaining the value of the video.

Please choose to go directly to the topic, like this:

focus on youtube

You can upload videos on FB or INS, but if you want to attract fans through videos, you must focus on YouTube.


Because YouTube is more popular than FB, INS, and other websites except Googleah.

The most important point is that YouTube videos can still bring you traffic after you upload them for several years. In this regard, YouTube is incomparable to social networking sites such as FB, INS, and Twitter.

For example, Brain’s channel currently has about 200,000 views per month.

The vast majority of the views came from the video released half a year ago:

There is a video released in 2016, which still brings in 21,472 views every month, which is quite impressive.

try to recommend

Another great thing about YouTube is that it allows your videos to be seen by new users.

For example, Brain’s YouTube background shows that 149,209 unique visitors watch Brain’s videos every month, most of whom have never heard of Backlinko before.

What’s the best way to get your videos seen on YouTube? Optimize for Promoted Videos.

Suggested Videos section, to the right of YouTube Watch Videos.

It turns out that most of YouTube’s views come from here (not searches)

For example, Brain gets 28.3% of its monthly traffic from SEO, but another 40.9% of its traffic comes directly from the Recommended Videos sidebar.

To get traffic from YouTube Recommended Videos, try crafting your video descriptions and tags around popular keywords.


Optimizing your videos around popular keywords is the right thing to do.

That way, your video will appear next to a video that already has a lot of views.


read from script

The vast majority of people are speechless in front of the camera. I have a deep understanding of this… In front of the camera, the speech is not focused, and it is easy to talk about things.

how to solve this problem? ——”read according to the script”.

The method is very simple, but it is very effective, because you only need to write the script in advance and read it while recording the video, without worrying about what to say or how to say it.

And you will find that after writing the manuscript, your video is also very concise and straightforward, hitting the point directly.

email marketing

email marketinghistorical.

But email marketing is still the focus of content marketing in 2020, especially when you have new content to publish, email is the easiest way to reach readers.

According to a survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 79% of marketers believe that sending emails is one of the most effective methods for them.

Change blog design

If you blog, your homepage might look like this:

This method is not bad, but the conversion rate is definitely not high.

Backlinko’s previous homepage is also in information flow mode:

This model is convenient for users to find the latest content, but the conversion rate of the page is ugly, only 10.22% of people subscribed to the email.

So Backlinko then did an A/B test, one side is a specially made homepage, and the other side is the previous information flow page.

The dedicated homepage has increased Backlinko’s email subscription rate by 60.5%.

email template

How to send emails to subscribers? In the past, Brain would send long emails to promote his content, but the click-through rate was not high.

So later, Brain split an article into many copies and distributed it a little bit. Interestingly, the shorter the article, the higher the click-through rate of the email.

Here is the formula that Brain uses now:


for example:

The simple version of the email had a 42% open rate and a 12.3% click-through rate.

Not too bad.

update topic

Article updateIt is still the main force of pushing emails. Every time an article is updated, emails can be sent to those who have subscribed to the article.

But there is a downside to updating articles, that is, maintenance is too painful. If you make a PDF for the article, you have to update the PDF every time you change the article.

It’s okay if the number of updates is small, if you have to make more than 500 revisions to the article a year… then you will be bored to death.

Instead of this, it is better to push readers around “topics” instead of “articles”.

For example, people who read keyword research articles may have the same purpose as people who read SEO tools articles, both want to get a better ranking on Google.

Then if you write an article on the 2020 SEO Guidelines, you can push it directly to them, because this is a push made around “Topic”, not “article”.

Although it’s not as targeted as an article update feed, it still converts really well.

push exclusive content

If you don’t want readers to unsubscribe, you can’t simply send them a link to your article or blog.

You have to do it, 10% of the emails you push are exclusive content that other channels do not have.

For example, this email from Brain pushes exclusive content:

This email not only got a super high open rate:

Hundreds more responded to the email, saying they loved it:

Send first-hand data

What is primary data? For example, you are making bluetooth headsets. After your careful research, you find that bluetooth headsets have a xx% more damage rate than wired headsets.

You did this research, and you released the data exclusively. After reading the article, other people may quote it in their article, because they need to use authoritative data to support their views.

This is the so-called primary data.

Report by BuzzSumoIt shows that 74% of people who have sent first-hand data claim that they get more traffic through this method (you see, to prove this point, I am also citing Buzzsumo first-hand data).

Follow new topics and trends

For first-hand data-based articles, it is better to write about topics in new fields than old topics. Why? Because the new field is very promising and there is no data.

So, when you publish high-quality first-hand data in a new field, the article will have a huge first-mover advantage.

For example, in 2018, Backlinko published first-hand data on voice search SEO, and the article garnered many social shares the week it was published.

But more importantly, Backlinko was one of the first sites to provide first-hand data on voice search SEO, so their article got 1850 backlinks.

Guarantee the authenticity of the data

If you want to use first-hand data to obtain external links, your data must be 100% effective, and posting some fabricated data or imprecise data will damage the brand.

To this end, Backlinko also specially assigned a data expert reviewer:

Brain also takes pains to present the data in a way that doesn’t distort it:

data visualization

Visualization can make your data easier to understand. For example, “the TTFB of voice search results is 0.54 seconds, while the TTFB of normal search is 2.1 seconds”, the literal meaning is very confusing.

But if you do a good job of data visualization, it will be clear at a glance:

Secondly, making the data into pictures makes it easier for other webmasters to embed pictures into their articles, which can bring contextual external links:

Press release

This method is available or not.

If your first-hand data is interesting or counterintuitive, then writing a press release can allow journalists or writers in this field to discover your article.

For example, Backlinko sent the following press release:

This article has received links from many technology websites.

Make good use of LinkedIn

In recent years, LinkedIn can also be described as an old tree with new flowers. You must know that it was established in 2003.

The new version of LinkedIn works great, and most importantly, LinkedIn’s current coverage is very large.

LinkedIn reach

Different from FB, the organic reach rate on LinkedIn is currently very high. For example, Backlinko recently had more than 40,000 views on a post on LinkedIn.

You must know that Backlinko only has 35,188 fans in total, which is equivalent to saying that LinkedIn’s natural reach rate is as high as 115.4%.

Of course, if you want to get such a high reach rate, you still need good content. If you just dump a few links in LinkedIn, it is very likely that it will be filtered out by LinkedIn’s algorithm and cannot be exposed.

So try these 4 steps to write a LinkedIn post:

Here are the practical results:

old wine in new bottle

Old articles written before posting on LinkedIn are a good strategy.

For example, the first-hand data-type article that Backlinko once published has more than 4,200 views on LinkedIn.


Pay attention to personal resume

If you want others to find you on LinkedIn, you must carefully polish your LinkedIn Profile.

Brain’s previous resume looked like this:



Now in order to attract fans, Brain’s resume is as follows:


At the same time, Brain also added about 30 skills to his personal profile, making it easier for others to find him.


In particular, when someone searches for keywords such as “SEO” and “content marketing”, it is possible to find Brain through his skill keywords.


Super Premium Articles

There are a lot of articles on the Internet now, and what you write can easily be flooded. Then in 2020, how can your writing get traffic?

The best strategy is to write super high-quality articles.

Super high-quality articles mean it literally. Generally, high-quality articles are not super-high-quality articles. Only high-quality articles that exceed expectations can be considered super-high-quality articles.

focus on design

Design is a bonus item for content, and super high-quality content must have a good design.

For example, previously Backlinko published a guide to becoming an SEO expert.


The post brought in 25,643 visitors in its first week.

Of course, the content of this article is really good, but the data is so good, mainly because of its design.

In other words, if he just wrote and posted casually, the data would definitely be completely different.

Quality > Quantity

Which is more important, quantity or quality of articles? The answer from me and Brain is that quality is more important, and there is no need to compare…

Unless you have a team dedicated to writing stuff, it’s almost impossible to juggle quantity and quality at the same time.

Writing ultra-high-quality content takes time. It takes a lot of time and energy. The design, typesetting and editing alone will kill people.

So, focus on the quality of your content, not the quantity.

For example, Backlinko’s YouTube channel has 232.9K monthly views.

But there are only 27 videos in total.

how did you do that? This was done by a whole team, not a random recording.

Let me give another example. Earlier, Backlinko released SEO Marketing HubThis article.

The project was huge, and Brain and his staff put in at least 100+ hours on it, but it was totally worth it, SEO Marketing Hub not only performed well on the first day:

It also brings in a lot of traffic every month on a continuous basis.

Find experts in vertical fields

For example, if you want to write an article about building a SaaS company, there are two ways to write it:

  1. find any writer;
  2. Find an expert at a SaaS company with 1000 customers;

Of course, writing handwritten things should pass the test, but more often they will make pseudo-original content that is already in Google, and they will definitely not be able to write the feeling that only experts can write.

Experts can chat about SaaS from their own first-hand experience, including details, examples, beta releases, questions, partnerships, pricing tests… and things that only real practice can understand.

So this also tells us a truth: don’t write about things that you haven’t personally practiced. For example, Brain also started to write about YouTube-related topics when he really started working on YouTube.

Focus on emerging topics

If you want to make super high-quality content easy to spread, you can try to start writing new topics before they become popular. Then comes the question, how do you know whether a topic will be popular or not?

Google Trends

Using the “Related Queries” at the bottom of GT, it is possible to know possible future trends, because the keywords in the “Related Queries” are all users who have searched for your current word, and what other keywords they have searched for.

The method of operation is very simple.

First, search for a keyword that you think is trending upwards, then, look at the list of related queries at the bottom of the page.

chasing hot spots

Google Trends’ related queries are great, but it only shows you topics you already know about.

So try a tool recently developed by Brain: Exploding Topics, this tool will grab words that are rising rapidly in popularity.

Write Guide-level articles

Once you discover an emerging topic, it’s best to create a Guide around the topic. Why do you say that?

Because this topic is very new, so the Guide article you wrote is really good, then it will directly become a guide for this emerging topic.

Or take the voice search released by Brain in 18 yearsexample.

Because this article is the only guide in the field of voice search, the article directly becomes a guide article in voice search, so as soon as this article is online, the traffic is super huge.

article rewriting

It is feasible to write an article that has been written before, because readers’ requirements for articles have obviously increased, so it is necessary to pursue the ultimate in content.

another form of release

You may wish to record the blog you wrote before as voice or video, which is completely OK.

For example, at the end of last year Brain put this videoUpload to YouTube.

The content of this video was actually created based on an existing article, and it received more than 100,000 views.

But pay attention, never simply “copy and paste”. For example, it is necessary to tell a short story that the audience likes to hear in the video, or to rewrite the old content appropriately.


This method does not need to reuse the entire article, you only need to select a best part from the old content, and then publish it to other platforms.

For example, Brain selected an interesting case study from his EDM guide and put it on LinkedIn, which worked well.

extra tips


Create content designed for linking or social sharing

Is it possible to write an article and get a lot of backlinks and social media shares? possible. But the probability is too low.

Brain previously partnered with BuzzSumo to analyze 900 million articlesCome to a conclusion: the correlation between external links and social media shares… is almost zero.

So when writing an article, either you go for external links, or you go for social media sharing, you can’t have both.

For example, Brain publishes copywriting guidelinesWhen writing this article, he was going to share it on social media instead of external links.

Because this guide article does not contain too much first-hand data, that is to say, there is no content that can be quoted by other writers/webmasters, so it is unlikely to get many external links.

But because this article collected a lot of copywriting strategies and satisfied the readers’ “squirrel hoarding”, it went crazy on social media and was shared more than 6,000 times.

Make good use of Tweetstorms

Tweetstorms is a function developed by twitter, which makes twitter have the nature of a light blog.

In the past, it was impossible to use twitter to write long articles. With TS, you can send long articles in the form of one sentence.

Buffer’s recent survey shows, Tweetstorms can bring more exposure and engagement…and without the need for followers to click repeatedly.

A guy named Nawal Ravikant even recorded his TS as a podcast.

“Point-to-point” Outreach

In 2020, the emails you send must be very personalized. The so-called personalization is not as simple as adding “Hello, xxx” in front of the email, but should be more similar to the following:

or this:

It’s not that you don’t need templates at all, but you should improve on the basis of templates to make emails look more like peer-to-peer.

Brain previously analyzed 12 million outreach emails, data shows that personalized emails can increase response rates by about a third.

record, not create

Document, Don’t create. —  Gary Vaynerchuk.

The idea behind this quote is that instead of scratching your head creating content from scratch, simply document what you’re doing.

This approach has two main benefits, first, your content will be of higher quality, and second, recording is easier and faster than authoring.

After all, if you’ve been practicing all day, you’ll write extra fast.

strive for cooperation

If possible, you can try to create content with other companies.

For example, before Brain cooperated with ClickFlow to analyze Google’s CTR, to achieve a win-win situation.

On the one hand, Brain obtained valuable raw data, while ClickFlow attracted thousands of fans.

And the biggest advantage of cooperation is that you don’t have to have a huge fan base to try to cooperate with other companies that lack content.

For example, Kyle Byers got Kinsta and Mangools resourcesYou know, when Kyle posted 5 articles on his blog, there were only 47 subscriptions.

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