A large majority of B2B companies now do some sort of content marketing. In a 2016 study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 88 percent of B2B marketers say their companies now create and distribute content as part of their marketing strategy.
But for many B2B marketers, one of the biggest challenges is getting their content in front of their target audience. In particular, driving sharing on social media can be an issue given that B2B content tends to have a more niche audience. Marketers need to know the factors that get people to share content, which social networks are effective for B2B sharing, and what they can tweak in their content to get more tweets, pins and Facebook shares.
A recently released study conducted by the content marketing company Buzzsumo can help. In the study, the company analyzed 100,000 articles published over 100 sites and looked at shares on top social media networks—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+. The study offers data-backed recommendations on how B2B companies can get more social shares out of their content.
Here’s a look at the top takeaways from Buzzsumo’s content marketing study:
- Create short form content. According to the report, short form content dominates the most shared B2B content. The report recommends using long-form content as a “corner stone” content and then repurposing parts of it into shorter pieces like blog posts, charts and tweets.
- Write about emerging topics. Explore engaging and timely topics about your industry.
- Copy Buzzfeed and include listicles in your content mix.
- Don’t sweat about not having quizzes. At least for B2B companies, quizzes tend not to get shared as widely.
- Use viral headline structures. Also, consider using “you” and “successful” in your headline.
- Create case studies—currently an under-utilized format.
- Promote your content on Facebook and LinkedIn in addition to Twitter. On LinkedIn, practical, “how to” posts tend to do well. “Facebook continues to grow in importance as a platform for B2B as well as B2C marketers,” according to the report. “Content about new product developments or research in particular appear to gain traction on Facebook.”
- Cater your headline for Facebook. New products and research (with the right headlines) do well in this social platform.
- Focus on sharing helpful content on LinkedIn. (See #7.)
- Don’t worry about Pinterest and Google+. These aren’t significant platforms for sharing yet.
Overall, Buzzsumo’s study is a reminder that what works for B2C generally also works for B2B, at least when it comes to driving social media sharing.
The study confirms that headlines matter just as much in B2B. You can’t produce awesome content and then just half-ass your headline. The effectiveness of your headline or your title could determine how many people see your content.
Finally, the report reiterates something many smart marketers already know: B2B content isn’t exclusively for LinkedIn or Twitter. As Buzzsumo points out, Facebook is increasingly becoming an important network for B2B.
For more on Buzzsumo’s study, check out the company’s blog post here.
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