When someone talks about “optimizing content,” the discussion is no longer purely technical.
Instead of creating a list of relevant keywords or tags, content optimization focuses more on the value you can provide consumers and current customers.
So what’s a non-technical factor that can impact your content’s success?
A big one is timing, and with the summer months just around the corner, a highly relevant vertical is travel with content consumption on the rise. If you haven’t produced anything within the vertical yet, it’s definitely something your brand should consider.
In terms of boosting general awareness and re-engaging clients, posts within the vertical can average more than 10,000 shares a month.
However, it’s also a highly competitive vertical, so in an effort to help marketers maximize their production efforts, Fractl turned to BuzzFeed – a site that can generate millions of shares within a single post – to get a better understanding of the anatomy of highly-shareable content.
Using BuzzSumo, we pulled the 100 most-shared articles over a one-year period and analyzed the word count and image count across 11 different topic areas, including travel.
Here I’ll discuss five ways you can optimize your upcoming travel content in order to earn more shares and stay top of mind with multiple examples so you can see what’s working.
Tip #1: Present your content in an easily-digestible format like a list
In our analysis of BuzzFeed posts, we discovered that nearly 75 percent of the most shared articles were lists, but just how strong is their social power?
A similar study revealed that the bullet-point format can average more than 20,000 shares a month.
A great example is this post on The Netherlands that earned more than 2 million views.
By including a high-quality photo for each bullet point, the feature becomes more visually appealing, and the playful title entices readers to click on it.
Tip #2: Focus your content on summer holidays/events
The travel vertical also offers brands the opportunity to generate multiple awareness-level campaigns, even for those already in your customer pipeline by capitalizing on holidays and other events.
For instance, one study found that content focused on the 4th of July averaged nearly 900 shares.
Take a look at this post that tells readers where they can find the best hot dogs and burgers across the county. Not only is the subject matter highly relatable, but it also offers readers some ego bait by mentioning specific cities and states.
An additional piece of advice?
In order to maximize results, make sure you promote holiday content a few weeks in advance. This will ensure publishers are given ample time to cover it.
Tip #3: Optimize for mobile, particularly if your target market is Millennials
A recent Outbrain study discovered that peak consumption time for travel content is at 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Given the extremity of these time slots, there’s a good chance people are doing some travel research on their phones, and one group that is doing this more than any other is Millennials: More than 25 percent of this generation list their smartphone as their primary device.
This post on top travel destinations for younger individuals taps into their desire for quick content consumption through an easy-to-use and mobile-friendly slideshow.
The end result? Nearly 7,000 social shares.
Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to produce long-form content when appropriate
Our analysis of BuzzFeed’s top posts also revealed that the travel vertical had the longest average word count – more than 900 words per article.
From a production standpoint, this gives you a little more freedom to discuss some of the more interesting details of your latest campaign.
A great way to execute long-form content within the travel vertical is offering insights from one individual on a particular experience or trip.
Take a look at this post about a man who traveled to all 198 countries in the world. The extra length comes from direct quotes the traveler provided, ultimately elevating the piece and helping it earn more than 900,000 views.
Tip #5: Don’t forget images
If you haven’t already noticed, a common thread through all of these posts is the heavy reliance on photos.
Our study indicated that every post in each vertical included an image, with the average around 25 per article.
As the final example, this post includes nearly everything we’ve already looked at in a piece of highly-shareable travel content: It’s presented in a list, includes photos, and also takes advantage of the preference for long-form by expanding on a few details through additional paragraphs.
This helped the post earn morning than 120,000 social shares.
Remember there is no one-size-fits-all formula to outline the most effective piece of content for any vertical, including travel.
However, one thing that all content with high social traction has in common is its focus on providing value to the consumer or customer looking to be reactivated.
Anything surprise you? Is there something I missed? Let me in the comments!