Planning your content strategy for 2015? Here’s some good news: You don’t need a crystal ball to predict which formats (or content types) will help you meet your social media benchmarks. BuzzStream and Fractl have crunched the numbers to figure out which content types earn most shares, the formats that are evergreen for social sharing, and the monthly patterns that highlight content format risks – and rewards .
220,000 pieces of content were tracked from 10 high- and 10 low-engagement domains over the course of six months. From June to November 2014. By analyzing how-to articles, lists, what posts, why posts, and videos, it was discovered which yield strong, consistent returns and which are potential risks.
Lists are great for giving readers a concise, easy-to-understand set of ideas about a topic. This format can be as simple as a few short bullet points or a collection of gifs, or can be employed for more detailed explanations of concepts or trending stories.
Although lists generated the most shares by volume for the news, entertainment, and travel verticals, they also yielded the highest percentage of shares in the automotive (40%), finance (24%), health (27%), and travel (32%) verticals.
Why-posts offer to explain things, from serious topics like technology dangers to light-hearted (or heavy-hearted) observations on . When employed to show the benefits of a product or service, this format can be particularly useful for conversion-driven campaigns.
A strong performer in every vertical, why-posts earned the most volume of shares in the news and travel verticals and the highest percentage of shares in the lifestyle (36%) and news (23%) verticals.
What-posts typically ask a question or describe an insight in the headline, as in the case of “What Career Should You Actually Have?” and “What Bartenders Actually Think of Your DrinkOrder.” These examples are high points from the world of what-posts, but be forewarned: this format also earned some staggering lows in the overall picture of social shares during our study period.
The technology vertical favors what-posts over other formats. 26% of the most-shared tech content included “what” in the subject across our study period.