To start off 2020 with a bang, we’re taking a deep, researched look at what went right in content in the past year.
We’re looking at…
Content pieces with huge engagement.
Beautiful, successful blogs. ✨
And we’re sharing a massive shoutout to the marketers, writers, and teams behind the effort and sweat put into these pieces.️ ♥
(Because content will never be taken over by the robots. It will always, first and foremost, be humanly driven. Humans are the real content MVPs.)
To compile our list, we used BuzzSumo’s powerful content analyzer and compiled the top-shared content in our topic category “content marketing.”
And after coming up with a list, we manually weeded out the spam.
The result? 22 pieces made of pure gold. We can’t wait to share them with you!
Ready to be inspired?
Inspiration, Lessons, and Insights from the 22 Most-Shared Content Pieces of 2019
The 22 Most Shared Content Pieces of 2019Now as the year comes to a close, it's time to look back on the top-shared content of 2019 that gained the most engagements under 'content marketing' (⚡ Spoiler: @JuliaEMcCoy's SEJ post is in the 22nd spot!) See if your fave is here! Click To Tweet
The 22 Top-Shared Content Pieces of 2019
1. Shutterstock: “2019 Creative Trends Infographic“
Number of engagements: 17,300
Shutterstock’s post pulses with color, music, and art. It features wild photos of duotone gradients, cutouts of stars and fish, and striking images of leopard prints, snakeskin patterns, and gold chains.
But reading the article is more than falling into a well of technicolor. Here are the key takeaways readers get from it:
- The major trends based on increased user search are 80’s opulence, raw zine culture, and early-tech neon styles.
- Rising trends include environmentally friendly products, childlike pastel Kawaii colors, rococo romance, prisms, and hypnotic patterns.
- For the first time ever, a typography style takes a seat at the creative trends table. Think 3D text made sweet with sugar dusting, chocolate coating, and sprinkles!
Overall, this piece is a colorful adventure to read. Plus, it gives useful insights on styling trends in 2019.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring Shutterstock's '2019 Creative Trends Infographic' Click To Tweet
2. Dillenium: 15 Content Marketing Tools for Success You Need in 2019 by Hina Naz
Number of engagements: 8,000
You won’t be successful in content marketing without an array of fine tools. In this blog, Hina Naz lists everything you need to add to your toolkit in 2019.
What I love about this blog is it isn’t limited to tools for keyword research. Hina lists a tool for perfecting grammar (Grammarly) a headline analyzer (Sharethrough Analyzer), an organizer (Evernote), and more!
No wonder this post made it to number two of the top-shared content of 2019!See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @NazHina's '15 Content Marketing Tools for Success You Need in 2019' Click To Tweet
Number of engagements: 6,800
Ever wonder what Neil Patel does to stay fit?
Or how he built his gigantic digital marketing empire?
In this Youtube interview, Sorav Jain successfully mashes entertainment with serious questions about what it is to be an entrepreneur. It’s a mixture of laughter and heart-to-heart that’ll get you thoughtfully nodding your head.
Neil answers questions about:
- His top three favorite marketing tools
- The secret to how he built his empire
- The biggest lie he ever told a client
- His diet and exercise regime
- His digital marketing predictions for 2019 and 2020
My favorite part? When Neil tries and fails to say “I love digital marketing and I cannot live without it,” in Gujarati.
The most inspiring thing he said? “Entrepreneurship is like a rollercoaster… there’s good moments, bad moments, scary moments, happy moments. You’ve just got to accept it all.”See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @SoravJain's 'Interview with Neil Patel on Content Marketing with Awesome Rapid Fire' Click To Tweet
4. Marketing Solved: “18 Types of Content Marketing You Can Use to Grow Your Business” by Kat Sullivan
Number of engagements: 6,100
Most posts will give you a list of the top five or ten types of content that’ll grow your business. Kat goes further and gives you 18.
Each section of Kat’s blog is carefully detailed. She doesn’t only tell you which types of content to post but also why it’ll work for you.
According to her, the big three of content marketing are blogging, social media, and email marketing. In fact, she used this secret trifecta to grow her business to six figures in under two years!
Start with Kat’s trifecta, and once you grow to cover all 18, your empire will be rock solid.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @MrktgSolved's @MrsKatSulli's '18 Types of Content Marketing You Can Use to Grow Your Business' Click To Tweet
5. Neil Patel: “How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2019” by Neil Patel
Number of engagements: 6,000
This post starts off making readers uncomfortable. In the beginning, Neil throws hints about the huge, unwanted changes coming to digital marketing in the (near) future.
The deeper you go into the blog, the more uneasy you feel. The changes Neil mentions will definitely rock your content marketing boat. Here are some of them:
- In a few years, voice search will make all our current SEO strategies useless.
- Algorithms will only grow more complex with time.
- Blogging will become weaker as the web gets more saturated.
The good news? Neil ends the blog with powerful insights on how to confidently prepare for and meet these changes.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @neilpatel's 'How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2019' Click To Tweet
6. Social Media Examiner “The Death of Google Search Traffic and What It Means for Marketers” by Mike Stelzner
Number of engagements: 5,700
Ever seen a movie about the controversial issue of AI technology replacing humans? This post is like that.
But this time, it’s about the death of organic search as friendly AI systems like Alexa and Google make it their mission to answer users’ questions as quickly as possible.
That’s right. No more links, no more web pages, no more web as we know it today. Pretty scary stuff!
So what’s Michael Stelzner’s take on this? How is Social Media Examiner preparing to take these changes head-on?
Here are three things they’re doing to prepare for SEO Armageddon:
- Working on their conversion rate optimization (CRO)
- Upping their video and audio game
- Writing expert opinion pieces
As a content marketer, you should be doing them too!See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @SMExaminer's @Mike_Stelzner's 'The Death of Google Search Traffic and What It Means for Marketers' Click To Tweet
7. Backlinko: “We Analyzed 912 Million Blog Posts. Here’s What We Learned About Content Marketing” by Brian Dean
Number of engagements: 5,700
The headline of this post is a huge attention-grabber. 912 million blog posts is a lot of content to go through!
But it’s not only the headline that’s great about this blog. It’s also the 11 key takeaways that should be part of every content marketer’s bible. Some of them include:
- Long-form content gets around 77% more links than short content.
- Long content outperforms short content in user engagement.
- Headlines ending in question marks get around 23% more social shares.
The 11 findings in this blog can be mixed together as a recipe for producing successful content every time.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @Backlinko's 'We Analyzed 912 Million Blog Posts. Here’s What We Learned About Content Marketing' Click To Tweet
8. BuzzSumo: “The 2019 Ultimate Guide to Facebook Engagement” by Susan Moeller
Number of engagements: 5,700
According to this amazing guide by Susan Moeller, marketing on Facebook is entirely different from marketing on the web.
Facebook is about users engaging with family, friends, and pages they’re interested in.
So how can you compete for user attention in today’s biggest social network?
Here are four (of the many) facts Susan points out:
- 80% of marketing posts should be videos.
- The best time to post on Facebook is Sunday.
- Unlike on the web, shorter posts get more attention on Facebook. In fact, posts with less than 50 characters are the most successful!
- The sweet spot for video length is between 3:00 to 3:20.
9. Neil Patel: “The Ultimate SEO Tool: Ubersuggest 3.0” by Neil Patel
Number of engagements: 4,900
This post by Neil Patel is all business. In it, he introduces his newly-updated SEO tool: Ubersuggest 3.0.
Here are four things the tool can do for you:
- Find out how many keywords your site ranks for
- Learn how much organic traffic would cost you if you were paying for it
- Find out the most popular pages for a single domain
- Search your competition and see how their pages are doing (so you can create better, more in-depth content to outrank them)
Of course, Neil stays true to his style and offers complete guidance on how to use his sparkling, newly updated tool.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @neilpatel's 'The Ultimate SEO Tool: Ubersuggest 3.0' Click To Tweet
10. BuzzSumo: “7 Steps to Create a Successful, Profitable Blog” by Mike Allton
Number of engagements: 4,700
This post is every beginner blogger’s ultimate guide to getting a successful blog started. It teaches how to find your unique blogging voice, how long your posts should be, how often to post, and more.
The blog’s structure is simple to digest and follow. It outlines the seven crucial steps you need to get your blog up and running.
Here are some cool tips from the post itself:
- In the beginning, it’s not about how many blogs to post per week. It’s about how soon you want to generate sizeable traffic. For instance, you need around 50 posts to start getting traffic. If you’re okay with getting that in a year, you can post one blog a week. However, if you want to get it in 90 days, you need to boost your blogging strategy.
- There are 16x more blog posts under 1,000 words than over it. However, blog posts over 1,000 words get more engagement because of their depth and expertise.
- To find your unique blogging voice, take a moment to listen to the way you speak. Then, find out how your target market speaks. When writing your posts, blend these two voices together to discover your unique tone.
11. Neil Patel: “17 Charts That Show Where Content Marketing is Heading” by Neil Patel
Number of engagements: 4,700
Today, there are over a billion blogs vying for reader attention. How can your blog stand out, gain traffic, and give you the conversions you’re looking for?
With 17 useful charts, Neil Patel answers these questions. Here are the top things you learn from his findings.
- Organic traffic through social media is going down.
- You need at least two full-time employees dedicated to blogging.
- 60% of your site’s traffic comes from your blog.
- In 2019, potential buyers will visit your blog 3.5 times over a 2-week period before they’re converted.
Other findings answer questions like how to convert blog readers into customers, how to boost your traffic up to 28%, and how long your average blog post should be.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @neilpatel's '17 Charts That Show Where Content Marketing is Heading' Click To Tweet
Number of engagements: 4,700
In a world of zero-click SERPs and local ads, we no longer need websites. Right?
Wrong. In fact, we need them more than ever.
In this post, Miriam Ellis goes into careful detail about why we need strong websites in 2019. For instance, she points out that even though Google prioritizes local ads, 75% still goes to companies with strong organic search.
You can just feel the urgency of this post , especially in the last part where Miriam tells us to act fast while 43.9% of searches still go to organic SERPs.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @Moz's 'Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More Than Ever in 2019' by @Miriam_Ellis_ Click To Tweet
13. Hootsuite: “The Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2019 (and the Worst)” by Shannon Tien
Number of engagements: 4,600
As you can guess from the title, this blog is a guide to the best time to post on Instagram for maximum engagement.
But it isn’t any generic guide with arbitrary guesswork on the best time to post.
It’s a study Shannon did by examining 258, 956 posts from 20 of the most popular Instagram accounts.
What did she find?
Here are some examples of when to post depending on your industry:
- Food and beverage: Friday at 12PM (lunch time!)
- Entertainment: 12PM to 3PM
- Professional services: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9AM or 10AM
As a bonus at the end of each section, Shannon mentions the times you should never post on Instagram (the no-no times to post are different for each industry as well!).See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @hootsuite's 'The Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2019 (and the Worst)' by @tien_spirit Click To Tweet
14. SEO Alien: “3 Ways Content Marketing Boosts Your SEO Rankings” by Lorenzo Gutierrez
Number of engagements: 4,200
The good news is if you rank highly on Google, you get tons of traffic to your site.
The bad news is Google keeps changing the rules for ranking.
But one thing doesn’t change: provide readers with value, and your site will be noticed.
Why? Simply because that’s Google’s number one goal.
In this swift, succinct blog, Lorenzo Gutierrez gives you three reasons why quality content marketing will keep your rank high on Google — no matter how algorithms change.
Hint: Number one is about gluing your readers to your blog so your bounce rate goes down.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @seoalien's '3 Ways Content Marketing Boosts Your SEO Rankings' by @LGutierrezSEO Click To Tweet
15. Neil Patel: “Ubersuggest 4.0: The Ultimate Content Marketing Tool” by Neil Patel
Number of engagements: 3,900
What could be better than Neil Patel’s amazing tool Ubersuggest 3.0?
Answer: Ubersuggest 4.0.
Ubersuggest 4.0 isn’t only about finding the best keywords to use in your blog. It’s about learning how to rank for these keywords.
Here are three (of many) cool things this tool can do for you:
- Show you what topics are gaining success online
- Help you select the right keywords for your blog
- Reveal who’s linking to other successful blogs with similar keywords
Along with providing screenshots of his tool, Neil gives step-by-step guidance on how to use it to successfully rank for popular keywords.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @neilpatel's 'Ubersuggest 4.0: The Ultimate Content Marketing Tool' Click To Tweet
Number of engagements: 3,700
What’s Google’s main goal?
To find articles with the most keywords? The most links? Solid domain authority? Anchor text? Freshness?
The answer is no to all.
Google’s goal is to keep searchers on Google (instead of finding other search engines).
How does it do this? By providing users with value, of course.
And if you reward Google by providing value, Google will reward you by ranking your site highly on the search results.
I love everything Rand Fishkin provides in this blog: the humor, the surprising insights, the colorful visuals, and, of course, the “aha!” moments when he nailed crystal-clear explanations.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @Moz's 'Optimizing for Searcher Intent Explained in 7 Visuals' by @randfish Click To Tweet
17. Social Media Examiner: “3 Types of Social Video That Work for Any Business” by Melissa Burns
Number of engagements: 3,500
Video marketing is huge today. In fact, 87% of marketers see video as a crucial component in their campaigns.
But what kinds of videos work best?
According to Melissa, there are three:
- How-to videos
- Product videos outlining the benefits of a product
- Customer review videos
After discussing how these videos work, Melissa then goes on to provide useful tips like:
- The best platforms for video marketing
- When to integrate a CTA into a video
- How to make videos attractive and engagement-ready
Her post is a must-read for every marketer who doesn’t want to waste time producing videos that don’t convert.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @SMExaminer's '3 Types of Social Video That Work for Any Business' by @MelissaaBurns Click To Tweet
18. Backlinko: “Copywriting: The Definitive Guide” by Brian Dean
Number of engagements: 3,300
Brian Dean’s blog is a mini e-book in length. But that’s what makes it amazing.
It’s the ultimate, definitive guide to copywriting that gains more traffic, sales, and leads.
Plus, it’s entertaining to read, easy to digest, and packed with helpful images, charts, and examples.
Here’s what the table of contents looks like:
Chapter 1: Customer-Focused Copy
Chapter 2: Pro Copywriting Secrets
Chapter 3: How to Write Amazing Headlines
Chapter 4: Master the Lead
Chapter 5: How to Write Compelling Copy
Chapter 6: Proven Copywriting Formulas
Chapter 7: Advanced Copywriting Strategies
Don’t have time to read it all in one sitting? Have Brian Dean email it to you in handy PDF form so you can download it and take it in at your own pace.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @Backlinko's 'Copywriting: The Definitive Guide' Click To Tweet
19. Social Media Examiner: “26 Mobile and Desktop Tools for Marketers” by Erik Fisher
Number of engagements: 3,300
To stand out on social media, what you need is quality images, video, and audio. And today, creating these is less about being an expert photographer and more about having the right tools.
So, which are the best mobile and desktop tools marketers can use for crisp audio, stunning visuals, and crystal-clear videos?
In his post, Erik Fisher lists 26 you’ll love.
- Video Resizer for IGTV and Frame (never have to worry about resizing videos for Instagram again)
- Emoji Builder (create customized emojis to match your campaign!)
- Lumen5 (convert your web page into a video in only 30 minutes!)
- and 23 more
These tools are great if you’re a writer, video marketer, or anything in between!See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @SMExaminer's '26 Mobile and Desktop Tools for Marketers' by @ErikJFisher Click To Tweet
20. Search Engine Journal: “5 Freaking Genius Content Ideas You Can Steal from BuzzFeed” by Jessica Foster
Number of engagements: 3,300
BuzzFeed is criticized by many as lazy journalism. Its content is said to be shallow, short-lived, and packed with clickbait.
But no one can deny its success.
According to Jessica Foster, you can steal genius ideas from BuzzFeed that’ll make users gobble up your content.
Here are five ideas she lists:
- Deeply understand your target audience (for instance, BuzzFeed caters to the nostalgic feelings of millennials).
- Use smart quizzes and tools (The quiz doesn’t have to be a lot of nonsense like “What type of cheese are you?” Instead, it can be smart like: “Take this quiz to find the right home décor for you.”)
- Go viral by speaking to your audience’s core. Find out their fears, desires, and hopes. Then address them in your writing.
- Create roundup posts, asking multiple experts for pieces of advice.
- Post timely content (content that’s related to the top trending events of today).
With every section, Jessica offers advice on exactly how to apply each one of her tips. No wonder her post created its own buzz as one of the top-shared content of 2019!See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @sejournal's '5 Freaking Genius Content Ideas You Can Steal from BuzzFeed' by @seocopychick Click To Tweet
21. Digital Marketer: “The Future of Content Marketing and How to Adapt: Trends, Tactics, and Tools” by Ann Smarty
Number of engagements: 3,300
90% of B2B and B2C marketers use content marketing.
In this saturated atmosphere, how can you stand out?
In her fast-moving, value-dense post, Ann Smarty lists three helpful ways you can do it.
- Content collaboration. Your whole team should be working on content creation, not just your writers.
- Question optimization. Because Google loves to answer questions, it’s a powerful strategy to humanize your writing by asking them.
- Personalize. Use first names in email and personalize CTAs and banners.
With screenshots, bulleted points, and clear advice, Ann’s blog is a complete guide to lesser-known content marketing tips and tricks.See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @DigitalMktr's 'The Future of Content Marketing and How to Adapt: Trends, Tactics, and Tools' by @annsmarty Click To Tweet
22. Search Engine Journal: “5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing” by Julia McCoy
Number of engagements: 3,300
In this post, I share with you some secrets I learned on the best SEO and content marketing practices.
- I explain why superficial blogs won’t work, and how to supercharge your own blog by creating depth (Hint: I give tips on how long your blog posts should be, plus tricks on how to pack them with value).
- I show you where to invest in content creation, and why it’s a good idea.
- I list the benefits of personalizing your content.
I also show you how to expand beyond blogging (think podcasts, webinars, Youtube videos, and more!).See the top 22 content pieces of 2019 in @JuliaEMcCoy's original study featuring @sejournal's '5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing' by @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
Insights from BuzzSumo’s Top-Engaged-With Content for “Content Marketing” in 2019
Reading the top-shared content of 2019 is amazing (as reading anything beautifully written is). Also, it’s a learning experience that teaches you the top tricks, tips, and secrets of content marketing in today’s age.
But it’s more than that.
It’s also a guide on how to create stellar content that goes viral.
So since I don’t want you to go back and comb through these articles again, I’ve pulled useful insights from the top-shared content of 2019 (again using BuzzSumo as my go-to data tool).
Here are four things I found out.
1. The Best Month for Posting Viral Content
We all know what January is like every year. Gyms are full of new registrants. People start buying organic bamboo toothbrushes. The world is new and ready for a fresh start.
It’s no different in the world of content marketing. In January, marketers are prepared to root out old practices, review what went right and wrong in the past year, and research statistic-based data that’ll give them a boost in the months ahead.
So, the best time to post viral-worthy content? January.
2. The Best Content Is Long Content
Content length is as important as the content subject.
While short blogs can entertain and amuse, they only scratch the surface of a topic. Long blogs, on the other hand, have more space to go in-depth with guidelines, statistics, images, and unique information.
So how long should your blogs be?
According to the chart above, a blog between 2,000 and 3,000 words will get you the highest engagement.
Want to get industry expert blogs that’ll boost your engagement? Visit our content shop to learn more.
3. The Best Day to Publish Content
What’s the best day to publish a blog post? Many people suggest weekends, as it’s when users are most active online.
However, according to this chart, the posts which got the highest engagements in 2019 were posted on Tuesday!
Also surprising: The next best time to publish is Monday. Maybe it’s because people are eager to start a new week with fresh minds and new ideas?
4. The Top Domains of 2019
One thing to note here: a number of these blogs made it to the top-shared content of 2019.
What does that say to you? The best way to achieve a blog that goes viral is to become an established expert in your field.Know the best time, length, and day to post content based on 2019's top-shared content. Also, get to know the top domains of this year that can inspire your next strategy. Click To Tweet
Our Top-Shared Content for 2019: Trends on Express Writers
With 6,500 Write Blog readers and over 90,000 visitors a month, we’re definitely nowhere near the numbers of some of these hottest top-shared content of 2019.
Yet, I’m thankful to say that we’ve even earned this status — it’s awesome to pull in business through valuable content creation!
And, it’s one of our quarterly habits to review our top-shared, top-read content to identify and see what topics and concepts our readers like. (As a marketer, you should do this too!)
So without further ado, here’s our own top-shared content of 2019 (Hint: The number-one most engaged is not even an SEO piece!).
1. Our Top Engaged: “How to Find Your Brand’s Unique Content Differentiation Factor and Use It to Your Advantage“*
This post is about finding that single unique aspect of your brand that’ll make you stand out in the sea of businesses today.
For content marketing, I call this your Content Differentiating Factor (CDF).
Once you find it, you’ll be able to answer potential buyers when they ask why they should pick you above other brands.
Want to learn about 11 skills that’ll help you nail your place in your industry? Download our profitable content marketing skills cheat sheet here.
2. Our Highest Two Traffic Posts for 2019 at Express Writers
In this guide, I give you 11 steps to writing a polished, professional press release. Plus, I give you great samples you can compare your work to – five of them, to be exact!
Case studies aren’t about stroking a company’s ego. They’re about showing potential clients what a business can do for them.
When you read this post, you’ll learn the five essential steps to creating a case study that’ll result in tons of engagements and conversions.
Will Your Post Be One of the Top-Shared of 2020?
In 2020, we all want to be the writer of a blog post that goes viral.
But creating such a post won’t happen by luck or magic.
Instead, it’ll happen when we do a careful study of what went right in the past and why it went right.
It’ll happen because of loads of creativity, hours of effort, and trustworthy expertise.