2016 was the first official year of the Drift blog.
Sure, sure. Our blog existed in 2015 (I’m sure someone will go pull up the Wayback Machine).
But we didn’t truly commit to blogging until 2016 — and that really started in April when we launched our free live chat.
Since then, we’ve been able to grow blog traffic from roughly 6,000 visitors per month to over 60,000 visitors.
And while we still have a long way to go before our blog is considered massive and reaches millions of people every month, we’re on the right path — and that all starts with finding our voice and our brand (what we write about, how we write, etc.)
So we thought it would be fun look back at the most popular content from the last year. Here are the 10 most-read articles from the Drift blog in 2016 — with some commentary on each post from Erik and I.
Social Shares: 27
This is one of the first “big” pieces of content we did at Drift, and it actually started off with a SlideShare presentation that made it to the front page of SlideShare after we published it. This post is the best example of the power of SEO. We originally published this post in October 2015, but because it owns the number one spot in Google for “product marketing” it keeps bringing us thousands of visitors every month. – Dave
Social Shares: 684
Between the combination of people telling us that they wanted to steal our emails…and just seeing a few of our emails being used by other people out in the wild, we had an idea: let’s just publish all of the emails we send at Drift on our blog and let anyone add them to their swipe file. This was one of my favorite posts to put together and share with people. – Dave
Social Shares: 1.8k
Wow, this one takes me back … This was the very first post I ever wrote for the Drift blog. It also happens to be our most-shared post of all-time. (Clearly, the story of how Slack was able to go from $0 to $4 billion in a few years really resonated with people.) My goal with writing this post was to showcase how the sales landscape has shifted, and to give an example of a company that has experienced extraordinary growth through making their product free and putting customers first. – Erik
Social Shares: 915
This post — and the flowchart I designed for it — got its start as a screenshot that our CEO David Cancel shared on Slack one day. The screenshot showed some notes he had taken on his phone, with three categories written out: “user experience issues,” “product marketing issues,” and “positioning issues.” I didn’t know it at the time, but this simple screenshot would eventually evolve into the Spotlight Framework. – Erik
Social Shares: 981
Our friends at Buffer named this one of the top marketing campaigns of 2016. In May we made the decision to buck the trend of gated content, and this was the post explaining how we came to that decision. No more hoops. No more hurdles. Just free content. We want to build a billion-dollar business by creating things that people actually want — not by tricking people into filling out forms just so we can email them until they either buy or unsubscribe forever. This post starts with the original call that I got from our CEO David and how we came to this decision. – Dave
Social Shares: 1.3k
We don’t always team up with Mattermark to report on the state of sales. But when we do, people seem to dig it. Case in point: This ended up being our second highest shared post of 2016. The post highlights some of the key lessons we learned from the fastest-growing B2B companies. (P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for another Drift/Mattermark content team-up in 2017!) – Erik
About six months into our journey of blogging at Drift we decided to sit down and share a few of the lessons we learned along the way. This was a tactical post that talked about why blogging is an investment, not a get rich quick scheme, why quality content is the only way to build an audience today (seems obvious, but read the post), and why it’s more important be understood than it is to be a perfect writer. – Dave
This was the post where we announced our chatbot (Driftbot) to the world with the launch of Drift 2.0. Driftbot is able to understand all of the conversations your customers are having with your company, and help get the right message to the right person at the right time. And the response to Drift 2.0 was so big that Driftbot was nominated for “bot of the year” by the crew over at Product Hunt. Can’t wait to see what Drifbot does in 2017. – Dave
Speaking of chatbots: 2016 was a big year for chatbots and artificial intelligence. And if you’re a regular reader of the Drift blog, you know that those are topics we love to explore and write about. For this infographic, I took a bunch of the research I had done over the course of several posts and brought it together in one place. – Erik
For a few months we had this document on our internal wiki called The Drift Marketing Manifesto, but since a lot of people had been writing in with questions about how we do marketing, we thought we’d give it a makeover and turn it into something we could share publicly. The manifesto includes the things that guide how we do marketing — from the way that we write, to how we think about product launches, design, and more. And we made this video (below) to go with it. – Dave