Monday, June 13, 2016

How To Do The Best Post – What We Learnt From 1.6m Articles

In the last 2 years at BuzzSumo we have crawled and analyzed over 1.6m ‘how to’ posts. The top posts were shared many hundreds of thousands of times. The posts ranged from ‘how to hide your house from Google maps’ and ‘how to paint furniture’ to ‘how to be a great lover’. Interestingly, the best ‘how to’ posts frequently outperformed other content formats so we decided to take a look in more detail.

Why do they work? And how do they work? Let’s look at why ‘how to’ posts are an important part of your content marketing armoury and 3 steps to create the perfect post.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that list posts and infographics generate a high level of shares.”   Jane Austen (well, possibly)

This truth has led to an abundance of such posts, for example we crawled over 50m list posts in the last year. Admit it, if you used the numbers 10 or 23 in the last year, you were one of them. We have all been guilty.

However, if you can drag yourself away from list posts, our research reveals that ‘how to’ posts are an opportunity to establish lasting trust and authority with your audience. The best “how to” posts address the questions the audience is asking and provide value by helping readers to perform a specific task rather than simply imparting information.

The top 5,000 ‘how to’ posts in our survey averaged over 20,000 shares each. What is more significant is that they often outperformed other content formats. Back in 2012 Hubspot found that how-to style posts generated an average of 55% more views than all other types of posts on their blog.

This reinforces our findings that business or job focused ‘how to’ posts frequently outperform other content formats.  Below are examples of strongly performing ‘how to’ posts from Social Media Examiner, one of the most popular social media sites.

Source:  This article was taken from here.

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