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Let me throw a number at you:

91,571,368.

As of last count on December 20, 2018, that was the number of news articles from credible sources (as judged by Google News) published in 2018.

91,571,368.

That is an enormous amount of content. To put it in context, that’s more than:

  • a quarter million news stories per day.
  • ten thousand news stories per hour.
  • three news stories per second.

The average person reads at approximately 200 words per minute, which means that by the time you’ve read this sentence, 90 brand-new news stories have been published.

Some of that content does really well; most of it almost never gets seen. We could wax poetic about how to make your content stand out and getting the timing right cough predictive analytics cough – but it’s the holidays and we wanted to give you something a little lighter.

So instead, let’s look at what some of those top stories were. We’ve rounded up some of the top-performing content that we, at Trust Insights, care about in the realms of marketing and data, based on clicks using the Bitly API as a common measurement system. Bitly links are circulated on social media, in email, in website copy, all over the web, and the tracking data for any Bitly link is visible to the world via their API and website. That means we can do apples-to-apples comparisons of how many actual clicks a story has received via Bitly links, rather than inferred or estimated traffic.

Keep in mind that this is just a sample of the top-clicked articles in fields we care about. Stories about politics, entertainment, and non-marketing/non-data stories are best left to the major news outlets to publicize.

10. How to Build a Free Facebook Messenger Chatbot for Lead Generation: 3,594 clicks. In this story, Search Engine Journal looks at the advantages of chatbots for growing your marketing lead generation.

9. The rise of ‘pseudo-AI’: how tech firms quietly use humans to do bots’ work: 4,509 clicks. Some companies are not as automated as you’d think. The Guardian pulls the curtain back.

8. Coca-Cola Wiped Its Social Media Accounts, Then Relaunched With a Positive, Happy New Look: 4,693 clicks. Coca-Cola rebooted its entire social media presence, deleting everything in a controversial cleanup for World Happiness Day.

7. The 15 Best Marketing Stunts, Activations and Odd Creations of 2018: 4,834 clicks. AdWeek reviews what happened in 2018 and some of the craziest things marketers tried.

6. How Are You Protecting Your High Performers from Burnout?: 4,906 clicks. High performers deliver 400% more productivity than average performers – unless they burn out. HBR suggests how to mitigate this risk.

5. What Every Manager Should Know About Machine Learning: 6,921 clicks. A solid non-technical overview of the basics of machine learning by HBR.

4. Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women: 10,861 clicks. Who would have guessed that training an AI on a heavily biased data set would have produced heavily biased outcomes? Well, besides everyone who understands data.

3. Research: To Be a Good Leader, Start By Being a Good Follower: 12,639 clicks. What makes for a good leader? Those who want to lead are well served by first endeavoring to follow.

2. 50+ Examples of How Blockchains are Taking Over the World 12,847 clicks. A roundup of in-production uses of blockchain technology today. No future-gazing here – just real-world examples.

1. It’s alive! Scientists create ‘artificial life’ on a quantum computer: 180,111 clicks. Using IBM’s QX4 quantum computer, scientists have created “artificial life” on a quantum computer for the first time ever.

As we close out 2018, what stories topped your reading list? What topics did you expect to see more coverage of, but didn’t resonate with audiences?

Katie Robbert, CEO


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