Which Content Types Get the Most Social Shares

Steve Rayson, Director at BuzzSumo, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss how different types of content resonate with different audiences, where visual content is headed, and how important influencers are to building your brand.

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Full Episode Details

Technology as a Learning Tool

Steve Rayson has always been really interested in the learning processes and how it ties in with technology. In years past, he developed and sold two e-learning companies. When he sold the second, he had to sit out of e-learning for three years because of a requirement in the contract. During that down time, he came across the beta form of an extremely interesting program and decided to join forces with its co-founders.

Today, he is the Director of BuzzSumo, a company that has about 100,000 subscribers to its free services and 1,000 paid members.

BuzzSumo is, at its basic level, a tool to help content marketers and publishers create better content by better understanding what content is resonating in their industries. BuzzSumo tracks what content is being shared and linked to and breaks down that data in a variety of ways. “Put in any topic or any domain, and we’ll show you the most shared content across all of them.”

To Steve, it’s important to see what content is most shared, but it’s even more important to  see who did the sharing, how, and then figure out why it got shared. BuzzSumo allows users to do that. So while he’s no longer in the e-learning sphere, Steve is still working with technology that educates. In this case it educates marketers.

Content That Resonates

BuzzSumo has team members in the U.K. (like Steve) and the U.S. From across the pond, Steve doesn’t see a lot of differences in terms of types of content that are shared. There isn’t a great divide between what resonates with American audiences vs. British audiences.

The differences instead lie within different industries and the different purposes of content. For example:

  • List posts are dominant in SEO.
  • How-to posts are especially successful in the DIY and B2B spaces.
  • “If you’re looking at fishing and things, they seem to literally be hooked on things like video.”
  • Quizzes are shared incredibly often across several industries.
  • Images are particularly good for telling stories and doing comparisons.
  • Podcasts are consumed during “down time” or when other things are going on.
  • Video is very engaging, but not scrollable or digestable while focusing on other tasks.


“The key is to do the research for your topic and industry area, because it varies so much from topic to topic as to what works. If you’re in SEO, it’s very different from if you’re in fashion, for example. You have to do the research. But it makes a huge difference, the type of content that you then create for your particular audience.”

The bottom line: There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to content.  You need to dig into what’s working in your industry and what types of content your audience is engaging with most actively.

See you next week!

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