How to Earn More Links and Social Shares: Insights From 759 Content Marketing Campaigns
Posted by kerryjones
Is there a formula for wildly successful content marketing campaigns? It’s a question we ponder a lot at the Fractl office.
We do have our own tried-and-true formula that we continually tweak based on our observations of what does and doesn’t succeed. To help us spot trends that shape this formula, we collect data about every content marketing campaign we create for our clients. But we don’t keep this data to ourselves – sharing our internal data with the marketing community helps others create better content based on what’s worked for us.
We did this a few years ago using a set of 345 campaigns, and now that we have double the number of our campaigns under our belt, we dug into our data again. This time, the sample size was 759 campaigns that launched between 2013 and 2017.
As part of our analysis, we looked at the relationship between campaign performance, measured by the number of placements and social shares a campaign earned, and the campaign’s attributes, including emotionality, the target audience size, and timeliness. “Placement” or “pickup” refers to any time a campaign received media coverage. In link building lingo, a placement may refer to a link that is dofollow, cocitation or nofollow; we also count client mentions without links as placements.
Campaign performance was grouped into three buckets:
- High success: more than 100 placements and/or 20,000 social shares
- Moderate success: Between 20–100 placements and/or between 1,000 and 20,000 social shares
- Low success: Fewer than 20 placements and/or fewer than 1,000 social shares
What sets apart our top performing campaigns
Our campaigns that were either emotionally resonant or surprising were significantly more likely to yield a high volume of media placements and social shares than content that does not include these elements.
The chart below shows the prevalence of three factors across the different campaign performance groups.
As you can see, emotions and an element of surprise were far more common in campaigns that performed extremely well.
- Seventy percent of high success campaigns had an emotional hook compared to 45% of moderate success and 25% of low success campaigns.
- Seventy-six percent of high success campaigns were surprising compared to 54% of moderate success and 47% of low success campaigns.
There wasn’t as great of a difference when it came to whether or not campaigns were broadly appealing. We believe on its own this isn’t enough to hit a home run, but it’s telling that this trait was nearly ubiquitous among the top performers:
- Almost all of our high success campaigns (96%) had broad appeal, compared to 81% of moderate success and 86% of low success campaigns.
Let’s take a closer look at how each of these three factors correlated to campaign performance.
An emotional hook
Campaigns with an emotional hook earned 70% more media pickups and 127% more social shares on average than campaigns that lacked emotional resonance.
Creating an emotional response in viewers is crucial for driving sharing and engagement. This is clearly demonstrated by our campaign data, with emotional resonance being a key factor in our top campaigns and emotional campaigns performing far better on average than non-emotional campaigns.
In our research on viral emotions, we found certain emotional reactions are best for getting content to spread:
- Keep it positive. Creating a purely positive emotional reaction works best for garnering attention and igniting shares. Why is this? People want to share things that make others feel good.
- Put the audience on an emotional rollercoaster. Complex emotional responses are also extremely effective for striking the right emotional chord. Consider pairing contrasting emotions, such as hope and despair or admiration and sadness, to pack the greatest emotional punch.
- Pair negative emotions with surprise. Avoid rousing strictly negative feelings. Surprise is crucial if you’re hitting the audience with a negative emotion, such as fear or anger.
An element of surprise
Surprising campaigns earned 39% more media pickups and 108% more social shares than campaigns that weren’t surprising.
Surprise doesn’t necessarily mean shocking. Novelty, or newness, can also elicit feelings of surprise; incorporating information that isn’t widely known or new data are effective ways to play into this because it triggers a feeling of “I didn’t already know this,” which draws interest and encourages sharing the new information with others.
Furthermore, surprise or novelty can greatly improve your outreach efforts. Since newness …
You can read the full article at Moz Bloghttp://seopti.com/how-to-earn-more-links-and-social-shares-insights-from-759-content-marketing-campaigns/http://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/moz-logo.pnghttp://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/moz-logo.pngSEOMOZ