My friends at TrackMaven recently released their Colossal Content Marketing Report, which analyzed 4,618 blogs comprising over 1 million posts and over 1.9 billion social shares in 2,014 to see what's working and what's not in content marketing. The data identified some interesting content marketing best practices and contrarian strategies to drive social engagement. Some will confirm what you thought worked and others will suggest opportunities to amplify your content marketing by trying new approaches. Here are a few of the findings that I found interesting.
Saturday is the best day for social sharing of blog posts
The TrackMaven report found that despite 87% of blog posts being posted during the work week, Saturday was the best day for social sharing. While only 6.3% of posts were released on Saturday, they accounted for 18% of all social shares. Savvy content marketers take note!
Not surprisingly, Tuesday and Wednesday were the most popular days to publish blog posts (tied at 18%), followed closely by Wednesday at 17.9%. While convention best practices would lead one to believe mid-week is the best time to publish blog posts, publishing your posts on the weekend are likely to lead to more social engagement.
Try posting at night for more social engagement
A similar phenomenon exists in terms of the best time of day for posting blog articles. As you would expect, the vast majority of blog articles are published between 9 AM and 6 PM. In other words, during the workday.
The TrackMaven report found that the peak publishing times for social sharing were between 9 PM and midnight! The message is clear - posting your blog outside of normal working hours is an experiment worth trying.
Post your next blog article on the weekend or in the evening and measure the results. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Contrarian strategies for blog titles
It's a well-established content marketing premise that blog titles are critical to the success of a post. A well-crafted title "sells" the reader on reading the rest of the article. With that in mind, let's take a look at what TrackMaven found out about blog titles.
There is a similar dichotomy between the standard length of a blog title and the length of titles that get the most social shares. The most frequent title length is 40 characters. On the other hand, the title length that gets the most social shares is 60 characters. Don't go overboard - social shares drop dramatically for titles longer than 60 characters.
This illustrates the importance of long-tail keyword. (consider inbound marketing strategies for SaaS companies compared to inbound marketing.) Well chosen long-tail keywords not only get more social engagement, they also drive more highly targeted traffic to your website.
If you're selling to SaaS companies, it's only logical that the term inbound marketing strategies for SaaS companies will drive more relevant traffic to your site than the short-tail term inbound marketing.
TrackMaven found that using question marks in blog titles drove engagement. Titles that included questions marks had nearly double the social shares than titles without question marks. It makes sense - question marks pique your curiousity and encourage you to read further.
These are just a few of the findings of the TrackMaven report. I highly encourage you to download it and I highly encourage you to check out TrackMaven's product. TrackMaven is an excellent tool to refine your content marketing strategy with data.
I think the most important thing to learn from the TrackMaven report is that swimming against the stream may be a rewarding effort when it comes to content marketing. Try the contrarian strategies for business blogging summarized above to see if the work for your company. The data says that they just might work.