Why did you click through to this article? Why will some people share this article without even reading it?
The most important element of this post may not be the 4 weeks I spent researching the data or the days I spent writing up the analysis or deciding on the tables and graphics. The most important element is probably the headline. The headline will determine the number of people that click through to read the post and the number of people that share the post, many without reading it.
This is not news, we all know about the importance of headlines. However, is there a formula to viral headlines? Are there words or phrases in headlines that particularly cause articles to be shared? For the past month I have been researching the headlines of the most shared posts in our BuzzSumo database. In this post I set out my findings, including:
With new four fresh primary victories in hand, Donald Trump is closer than ever to winning the Republican nomination for President — he is also dominating the political scene on line. The volume of shares for content about Trump towers over the shares of content about all the other candidates.
In this post, we will analyze four campaigns, specifically focusing on how their own materials and other content about them has been shared (or not).
How Trump won the social media contest:
Content about non-establishment candidates gets more shares than content about mainstream candidates.
Negative content drives shares as much or more than positive content.
The main principle of influencer marketing holds true in political campaigns: What people say about you is more important than what you say about yourself.
To gain shares, a campaign slogan should have value apart from the candidate’s name.
Campaign gear can get shares, especially if it’s emblazoned with a popular slogan.
Political position statements are more likely to get backlinks than sign-up forms.
Video content drives social shares.
PInterest is an outlier (with a sense of humor)
Trump wins the race for online attention
The BuzzSumo database has more than 14,000 articles published this year about each of the four major presidential candidates.
Content that answers questions is one of the most effective forms of content marketing. In preparation for our upcoming webinar with Lee Odden on ‘How To Be The Best Answer’ we analysed over 600,000 answer posts. We set out below our findings including:
the benefits of being the best answer, including authority, longevity and links
the 10 key elements of a ‘best answer’ post
If you want to find out more and benefit from Lee’s insights you can view the webinar here.
The Benefits of being the Best Answer
a) Achieving links
When people find a good answer they like to share it but more importantly they like to bookmark or link to it for reference later. Take as an example the question “what is content marketing?”
Over the last several months, we have partnered with the public relations firm Infinite Spada to provide data for their analysis of content marketing by leading law firms and accounting agencies. We’ve summarized the analysis here with some of our own insights.
And the winner is…
Accountants. Across the board, articles produced by US accounting firms were shared more often than the content produced by the leading law firms. And, the margin between the two industries’ content shares was huge. Accounting firms averaged 131 shares for their content while law firms grabbed only an average of 27 shares.
“Data-driven storytelling is poised to be the next big trend in content marketing.” Harvard Business Review, October 2015.
“Data-enhanced storytelling is rapidly reshaping both content and advertising.” Adweek, January, 2016.
There is a growing interest in data driven stories. Some people refer to it as a new form of data journalism, although the reality is that data driven journalism has been around since the mid-1800’s.The Guardian newspaper, a pioneer of data driven journalism, has pointed out that their very first stories were data driven in 1860.