Content research studies reveal which content performs best, garnering social-media shares and earning in-bound links. Few experts know as much about measuring the effectiveness of content as Eric Enge.
Eric and I talked about research that can inform your content strategy for SEO, content marketing, and social media.
The show notes below include links to research studies, blog posts, and other info we discussed in the interview.
Eric Enge was named 2016 Search Marketer of the Year (Male) at the Landys, and 2016 Search Personality of the Year at the US Search Awards, and Stone Temple Consulting was also named Best Large SEO Agency of the Year at the US Search Awards.
Eric has been speaking about digital marketing for more than a decade. He keynotes many conferences every year, including Pubcon Las Vegas 2017 in a joint keynote with Gary Illyes, and State of Search. Eric is co-author of The Art of SEO, and also writes columns in sites such as Search Engine Land and Moz.
Eric is the Founder and CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, a 70+ person digital marketing agency based in Massachusetts. Stone Temple is a leading provider of SEO consulting services, content marketing services, and social media services. Stone Temple’s clients include some of the world’s largest e-tail sites and brands.
Here is info on the research studies that Eric and I discussed.
Top Content of 2017
Stone Temple recently published The Most Linked Content of 2017. This post is Eric’s analysis of a dataset provided by BuzzSumo of the year’s most-linked-to content-marketing content. Eric looked at 1,021 pieces of content, each of which had garnered more than 300 links and each of which had wide social media sharing.
Eric discovered that, not surprisingly, news stories from big media outlets topped this list. But some of his findings suggest opportunities for non-huge brands.
Studies, for example, came in second and “represent one of the major opportunities for driving content-marketing success for a business.” Even a small company can conduct, for example, survey research and then report on it through their unique market lens to create a valuable, share-able study.
No Correlation between Social Shares and In-Links
Eric pointed out that his study aligns with similar findings in a Moz/BuzzSumo study that showed a lack of correlation between links to and shares of more than 1 million pieces of content.
While it might seem logical to assume that highly shared content would earn more links, and vice versa, it turns out that that’s rarely the case: “We know that certain types of content, such as cute baby or animal photos, can get tons of social shares, but they don’t get very many links. We also know that each marketplace behaves quite differently. The number of people that may share political news and commentary posts includes significant portions of the general population that don’t have the ability to implement links to content. In contrast, the relative proportions of ‘sharers’ and ‘linkers’ in other markets, such as science or technology, are probably quite different.”
Which Digital Personal Assistant Is Smartest
We also talked about some original Stone Temple research on personal digital assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo. Stone Temple asked each of the four major voice-activated devices (Home, Echo, Cortana, and Siri) the same 5,000 questions. They also did a Google search on each query to set a baseline. I have a no-spoiler policy, so I’ll let you read the article to see which gadget came out on top.
While this research is interesting in its own right, it’s also a great of example of what Eric had said earlier about how studies are a great content type for grabbing attention. This study has been widely cited, including coverage in major media sources like Inc., Business Insider, and the Wall St. Journal.
Our conversations culminated with Eric observing that “we are all under-invested in content.” No matter how much excellent content you are creating, it’s probably not enough to give your customers every bit of information that they need to decide if they want to do business with you.
So roll up your sleeves and start creating some great content. Or, if you’re the boss, get out your checkbook and start hiring some great content creators 🙂
Here’s the video of our conversation.