The Best of 2018

Another year has passed, our bellies are full of good food and dark beer, and the Illinois weather is too crummy to film anything. I find this time to be particularly good for looking back at some of our best content from the past 12 months. I don’t do this just to pat myself on the back, but rather to see what we did right (or wrong) this year, and to see if there’s anything we can learn from that success and emulate in the future. Taking a self-reflexive look at your content is a great idea regardless of what time of the year it is, but given that freelancing can be a little slow in the winter months, it’s the perfect season for doing so. So without further ado, here’s our most popular content from 2018.

Top Website / Blog Posts

Our website is not only home to our portfolio, but it’s also a place for us to share blog posts like this. We hit over 3,750 unique visitors, 3,500 visits, and 6,600 unique page views this year, and while these aren’t universally large, they’re pretty darn nice for a simple site like ours. Without further ado here’s the analytics breakdown on our three most popular posts:

[A couple quick disclaimers: We didn’t include general visits to our site, like people looking at our portfolio, just blog content we shared; and the Reddit post was the only one of these we produced in 2018, the others were produced in 2017, but still get a lot of views.]

Top Facebook Posts

Facebook has lost some market share over the last year, but it’s still a major player in the social media realm, and in recent years with revamped algorithms and analytics is giving us better insights than ever into what our audiences are doing. Here’s a snapshot of a few of our best posts from 2018:

Top Tweets

Twitter is a great place to share your own updates, interact with like-minded people, and catch up on industry news. Currently they’re favoring posts with images and gifs/videos, so it’s a great social media to look into if you’re a creative professional. Here are some of our most liked Twitter posts from this year:

Top Instagram Posts

Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms - it’s quick, visual approach to sharing is perfect for me. It’s also a great way to link to other content - particularly videos - since you likely already have a thumbnail created, and there’s a TON of search functionality with the inherent nature of hashtags. Here are some of the best Instagram posts we had this year:

Top YouTube Videos

We use YouTube not only as a way to host and showcase client work, but also as a way to share our own content - like DIY projects and tutorials, video gear reviews, live freelance Q&As, etc. It’s certainly a social media, but many people overlook the social / community aspect of YouTube. Here are some of our most popular videos from this past year.

  • Building a Custom Cinema Rig

    • 9,100 views, 27,000 minutes watched, 36% retention rate, 26 shares, 32 subs driven, 12 comments, 121 likes

  • DIY Cookies / Cucoloris

    • 5,300 views, 12,400 minutes watched, 45% retention rate, 50 shares, 25 subs driven, 11 comments, 127 likes

  • DIY Scrim Jim

    • 2,700 views, 7,800 minutes watched, 40% retention rate, 36 shares, 32 subs driven, 4 comments, 98 likes

What’s it all mean?

Looking at any one metric or post from above will yield very specific information - for instance videos with lots of impressions but lower engagements could mean that we aren’t creating something that’s interesting enough for someone to like, share, or comment (or it could just be on the wrong social media channel), and videos with higher retention rates can be an indicator that we did something right. Posts that have some good hashtags or include other people tagged in them typically get more impressions. More impressions are good, but don’t mean much if people aren’t engaging with our posts.

Looking at analytics as an aggregate whole we can get a buttload of insights into our audiences as well. For instance, visuals are a must-have now - not a single one of our top posts/Tweets/shares was just a text post. Seeing trends like that can reiterate that we need to integrate a visual component into as many posts as possible. Videos are particularly popular right now, and that’s trending upwards aggressively. Moving forward in 2019 and beyond it’s going to be very important to do more videos (for ALL of us) - whether it’s an edited piece, a live video, or a story, the more videos we can produce and share the better.

Looking at your analytics can seem overwhelming at first, but breaking it down into manageable data, and understanding what each data point measures and means, is a great start into understanding your audience better and ultimately being able to produce better, more engaging content for them. What are some of your favorite insights or analytics data points to look at?

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