Content Marketing Data That Moves the Needle

Make your content rise above the rest

Ross Hudgens
Ross Hudgens studied thousands of pieces of content to derive patterns of sheer (shared) greatness.

Ross took the Life at Deep Ellum stage to talk what separates varsity from little league when it comes to creating and promoting content. For example, Google “content is king” and you’ll yield 309 million pieces of content, tons of junk. How do you separate yourself from the average Joes when it comes to crafting and distributing stellar content? Ross and his team analyzed a ton of pieces of content, as well as their distribution channels, to extract some eyebrow raising insights.

Moz recently ran a study revealing 60% of articles get 8 shares or less. Ross pointed out how you’d rather not show up at all than embarrass yourself. Content Marketers who inspire us have a common theme. They take their research seriously and observe patterns and correlations to stand above the rest.

Structure content in a share-friendly manner

What are the top elements we can modify to make a more shareable piece of content?

Ross delivered some nuggets that will surprise you:

  • Odd number headlines have a 20% better CTR than even number headlines
  • Hubspot found that adding [brackets] in their titles lifted CTR by 38%
    • [templates] got the highest CTR average of all bracketed terms
  • Concise, scannable content has readability 128%
  • Hand-drawn images generate 343% more shares than those with stock photos
  • Lists and How To’s articles are top content strategies that generate the most shares
    • Infographics had the least amount of shares
  • Instagram engagement per post is 2.81% of total audience, compared to only 0.25% for Facebook
  • High traffic business blogs see less than 7% of their total traffic come from social media.

Recent studies show linking externally has a positive correlation with ranking. MarketingSherpa recently published a study on how short URLs have 250% higher CTR than long URLs.

What makes the perfect Pinterest post?

Ross shared some eye opening intel. Factors that drove the most shares had a common theme to them: no human faces, multiple colors, lots of red, moderate colors (not too bright), vertical orientation, and simple backgrounds.

What’s the optimal number of fields you should have on a web form? Everyone thinks shorter forms are sweeter (and they are), but there is a sweet spot for going longer. While conversion rate is highest with one to three fields, longer forms should contain eight to ten (not four to seven).

How to craft the perfect infographic

After looking at the 1000 most shared infographics across BuzzSumo, Ross observed the strongest commonalities that made the data visuals so shareable.

  • Most shared infographics have 396 words (a short blog post)
    • Most popular inofgraphics on LinkedIn had 502 words
    • Most popular Facebook infographics had 402 words
  • Most popular dimensions on average were 3683 x 804 pixels
  • Blue most popular color (followed by red)
  • Health most popular industry (22%), followed by Entertainment (15%)
  • Most popular graph was the color wheel scheme (73%)
    • Triadic was most popular color scheme (colorwheel working harmony with a triangle)

How to promote content that will convert

Best days for outreach? Surprisingly, Mondays are ideal for spreading the word about your content – Monday converts 80% better than Thursday.

When it comes to email marketing, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails. When you do not share the link in the first email, the second email (with the link) can increase outreach conversions by 63%. The reason is that the two-step process presents a more natural flow. He also discovered that the average subject line length is 64 characters long. After analyzing thousands of emails that convert what’s the optimal number of words your email should be to convert? 83.

With the holiday season within striking distance, Ross surveyed lifestyle bloggers and found that pitching 55 days in front of the holidays is optimal in order to guarantee a post slot. If you miss this window, then you’ll likely get a response saying the content calendar is already full.

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