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Content Trends 2018 - BuzzSumo Research Report


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A review of content trends over the last three years. The research found a significant fall in content referrals from social, particularly Facebook. These slides highlight some of the key findings. The full report is available at the BuzzSumo website at

Published in: Marketing

Content Trends 2018 - BuzzSumo Research Report

  1. 1. Content Trends 2018
  2. 2. Median Shares of an Article in 2015 8
  3. 3. Median Shares in 2017 (Sample of 100m articles) 4
  4. 4. Majority of content gets very low shares Only 5% of Content Gets More Than 343 Shares 90% 5%
  5. 5. Social Shares 2017 Social Shares Top 1 percent 2,409 Top 5 percent 343 Top 10 percent 62 Median 4 In 2017 you only needed 62 shares to be in the top 10% of posts
  6. 6. Many Sites Suffering Fall In Social Engagement Social Engagements (Down 60% in 3 years)
  7. 7. Why? 1. Growth in content publication and competition 2. Rise in private sharing 3. Facebook algorithm changes and fall in engagement
  8. 8. 1. Growth In Content Competition Number of posts published on
  9. 9. Content Views Have Fallen Pageviews of posts published on
  10. 10. Content Saturation Of Popular Topics 40,000 Articles a Week Published About Bitcoin In December 2017
  11. 11. As content competition increases typically average shares decline Data for Machine Learning from
  12. 12. 2. A Rise In Private Sharing Data from GetSocial
  13. 13. 3. Facebook Changes
  14. 14. Facebook v Google Referral Traffic (2012-15)
  15. 15. Facebook v Google Referral Traffic (2017-18) Google Facebook
  16. 16. Search V Social 2012-2017 (Shareaholic Data) Google Facebook
  17. 17. Beyond Publishers: Jumpshot Data Google always drove the majority of web-wide traffic referrals but this has further increased. Oct 2016 59.2% May 2017 62.6%
  18. 18. Social Network Referrals 2012-2017 Google Facebook The one consistent finding from different studies is that Facebook referrals have declined.
  19. 19. Facebook Changed Its Algorithm You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next “Last year we made an update to News Feed to reduce stories from sources that consistently post clickbait headlines that withhold and exaggerate information. Today, we are making three updates that build on this work so that people will see even fewer clickbait stories in their feeds” Facebook May 2017
  20. 20. Former Top “What Happened” Headlines 3.1m Facebook Engagements 2.2m 1.9m 1.7m
  21. 21. “What Happened” Headlines Since May 2017 Facebook Engagements 246k 242k 186k 172k
  22. 22. PlayBuzz Facebook Engagement Pre-2017 Facebook Engagements 8.6m 6.4m 6.3m 6m
  23. 23. Top PlayBuzz Facebook Engagement 2017 Facebook Engagements 195k 144k 142k 103k
  24. 24. BuzzFeed Listicles Pre-2017 June-Dec 2017 Article Total Shares Article Total Shares 26 Pictures That Will Make You Re- Evaluate Your Entire Existence 21 Things You Know Only If You've Been Best Friends For 10 Years 26 Reasons Kids Are Pretty Much Just Tiny Drunk Adults 41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius 2.6m 2.2m 2.2m 2m 21 Photos That Show Just How Bad The Flooding In Houston Really Is 9 Tweets Only People Who Shop At Aldi Can Truly Understand 47 Things You'll Immediately Understand If You Were A Teen In The Late '90s 85 People Who Are Sexier Than Blake Shelton 0.53m 0.4m 0.27m 0.2m
  25. 25. Fall in Number of Big Viral Posts
  26. 26. Total & Average Shares Upworthy Content
  27. 27. Total Shares of BuzzFeed Content Social Engagements down 60% in 3 years
  28. 28. Financial Times Commentary on Latest FB Changes
  29. 29. Buffer – Top Posts Pre 2017
  30. 30. Buffer – Top Posts 2017
  31. 31. Average Shares of Social Media Examiner Articles
  32. 32. However, some sites are bucking the trend……
  33. 33. Average Shares of New York Times Content Treble
  34. 34. Financial Times - 21 February 2018
  35. 35. New York Times Political Posts
  36. 36. A Flight To Quality? Seven of the top ten most shared articles on Harvard Business Review over the last five years were published in 2017. The other three were published in 2016. The two most shared posts from The Economist over the last 5 years were both published in 2017.
  37. 37. Growth in LinkedIn Sharing LinkedIn recently told Digiday that comments, likes and shares on the platform are up more than 60 percent year-on-year, due to product updates, new features and analytics. linkedin-facebooks-reliability-falters/
  38. 38. Growth in LinkedIn Sharing LinkedIn Shares of content
  39. 39. Growth in LinkedIn Sharing LinkedIn Shares of content
  40. 40. Backlinks The median number of backlinks in our sample of 100m posts published in 2017 was zero. In fact over seventy percent of all content published was never linked to from another domain.
  41. 41. Authoritative Evergreen Content Consistently Gains Shares and Links
  42. 42. Implications for Marketers Be clear on your objectives for content and social media. Social may be better for engagement than referrals. Don’t chase shares with viral content and headlines Build your authority early Build your audience and direct distribution models User generated content
  43. 43. Implications for Marketers You need a promotion strategy Focus on high quality content to gain shares and links Less maybe more SEO arguably more important than ever LinkedIn may offer opportunities for B2B marketers
  44. 44. Thank you. @steverayson