Welcome to another end of the year roundup! In this series, we’re collecting some of the best posts we’ve come across that encompass the entirety of the industry. Whether we focus on local marketing, mobile advertising, web design, and inbound marketing, we pick the most valuable pieces of content and share their insights.

The theme for the content this year has been meaning and data. Realistically, content always required meaning to be good, but the notion of testing content has since been on the rise. Customizing the experience to fit the reader is something great content constantly strives for. With these articles, we hope to shed light on how to better communicate with content, how to get it in the hands of people who want it most, and how to differentiate content.

Now without further ado, let’s go through our top content marketing articles of 2014!

  • Now this is less of an article and more of a discussion, but it raises a very good point about gated content that has started to come up. Chitranjan Baghi makes some excellent points on the cons of gating content from your subscribers.
  • Honorary mention: Really loved Belle Beth Cooper’s take on the gated content issue as well. These are definitely worth a read.
  • If you want to learn from the best, you have to study the best! Here are the top 200 content marketing brands in the game, posted by Michael Brenner.
  • I’m the last person to admit that I’m above the practices called out in this post. And that is what makes it worth reading. Kevin Raposo calls out the SEO industry for its repetitive content in favor of more meaningful content.
  • How does content go viral? You really can’t know for sure, but you can definitely get pretty darn close. The folks at Buzzsumo analyze 100 million articles in order to find out how content goes viral.
  • If your content is truly good, you’ll certainly need a strategy to get it out to your target audience. Robbie Richards lists 16 content promotion strategies.
  • I personally don’t discriminate against short and long content. As long as there is value in each post, a blog’s length is irrelevant. If you want more traffic though, you might want to give long-form content another look. Dan Shewan makes the case for this format and why it works.
  • What insights did a marketer gain from publishing on LinkedIn for 30 days? Here are the insights straight from Greg Ciotti.
  • While this may not be the most in-depth content on content marketing, it certainly is valuable. Steven Sefton shares his list of advice from 17 online marketing experts on content.
  • You know what they say: if you can’t beat your competitors, join them… and then beat them at their own game! Matthew Woodward shows us how to steal our competitors’ content.
  • Your content cannot survive on its own. You’ll need to go the little extra mile with these 17 tricks posted by Vishal Vivek.
  • 40 experts recommend the best content marketing tools they use to spread the word in this post by Jakk Ogden.
  • How does a single blog post get 600 visitors in a day? Ryan Short writes up a case study to explain the post’s performance and content strategy.
  • In order for your content to spread quickly, you have to make it contagious. Vinay Koshy goes in-depth on teaching us 10 ways to create shareable content.
  • We’ve featured this post before, and here it is again! Neil Patel prompts us to ask 40 questions before we publish another blog post.
  • Greg Ciotti takes the stage again by sharing 25 lessons from 25 months of content marketing.
  • LinkedIn is an underrated content marketing platform. In the right hands, in can jumpstart your content to get quite the audience. Ann Gynn tells us five ways to get more content value from LinkedIn.
  • There’s no doubt in the fact that content marketing will be one of the most important aspects of any online business. Jean Spencer makes sure we invest in content by sharing 200 statistics on the subject.
  • Content marketers need data in order to validate their findings and offer more value to readers. Steve Rayson has the full story in this post.
  • The next big thing for 2015 and beyond? Interactive content and plenty of it. Karl Schutz presents to us why interactive visual content is the next wave of marketing.
  • Isla McKetta shows us how to evaluate the quality of our own content in this awesome guide (seriously, start writing your content for the web, not your next novel!).

We hope you’ve enjoyed our top 20 content marketing articles. We’re certain that you’ll have some personal favorites of your own to share. Post a link to your picks for 2014 in the comments section below!