What's the Measure of Hot Content? Data Based Insights from BuzzFeed


What do you think it takes to get your content read by millions and shared by hundreds? Actually, in the B2B context, where we don’t really talk about the “The Top 10 Places to Visit Before You’re 30,” so getting hundreds to read and a dozens to share is also admirable.

Is it about how long or short our content is? Is it about the visual?

Marketing portal MarketingLand recently analyzed the 100 most shared articles on BuzzFeed and presented some interesting stats.

BuzzFeed is as good a litmus test as any for content that works. The Internet media company based in New York describes itself as a "social news and entertainment company" with a focus on digital media and digital technology, providing "the most shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment, and video.”

If you made it to BuzzFeed, you made it. So what are the insights? Here are some highlights:

Length Doesn’t Matter: While almost half of the top articles were 300 words or less, 27% were over 600 words. Even some articles that exceeded 5,000 words went markedly viral.

Pop-culture content can reach 1000 words, family content 400 words, and news content also at 900. All saw similar viral success. So it’s not about length.

As it seems to always ring true, when it comes to content – the most important variables are quality and relevance, not length.

Other observations presented in the MarketingLand post included:

Great images don’t always equal shareability: of the top 100 articles the great winners did not all have the same level of image ratio. It’s not about the image, it’s about the value your content brings to readers.

Emotional content resonates: when you can touch upon a topic, observation, or insight that hits the emotional chords, people will share.

Useful content is shareable content: When putting together your content, ask yourself: what will my audience learn from my content? If you can show them something they wouldn’t have seen otherwise, or help them do something better, faster, cheaper – your chances of getting your content shared are higher.

Offer content that can’t be found elsewhere: being unique and pioneering will render your content as thought leading and will up your chances of getting those coveted likes and shares.

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