Digital Marketing Strategy Study: Format, Trends, Influencers & Engagement

December 21, 2017 9:48 am

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Adrian Soon

Success begins with a good plan. A good plan, in turn, starting with research to understand the solution may offer the best results for your challenge.

Four new studies have been taken to answer who, what, where, why, and when digital marketing, giving us insight into the right solutions for brands in every vertical.

Social calendar

A successful marketing effort depends on your ability to deliver the content that the audience wants, when they want it.

Finding out these two components can be challenging, so BuzzStream and Fractl (my employer) take a closer look at dividing between 11 different verticals over six months to find patterns with popular content.

Using BuzzSumo, we tracked 220,000 pieces of content in this format: how-to articles, lists, what posts, why posts, and videos.

Articles about

This format peaked in October, but gained strong stocks in August and November as well. How-to this article is the most successful format for vertical food, earning 37% of all shares during our study period. How-to articles also do greatly for vertical news – getting nowhere near second – with 22% stake.


List of lead share content in summer. In June to August, this format generates between 17K and 24K shares consistently every month.

The list is also the strongest type of content for health and vertical travel, and a tie for the most-shared formats in vertical food.

what Posts

This type of content, which usually asks questions or describes insights like what the Bartender Actually Think of Your Drink Order, emerged as the most risky format in our study, earning both highs highs and lows low on social sharing for six months.

What-post affixed 29K shares in October with vertical news spikes; However, what-post rarely receives even 1K of stock in June or July.

why Posts

The content that explains – so-called why the post – is the second most-shared format and receives great attention in the fall, earning an average of 24K shares per month in September, October, and November. Why-posting earnings are very strong in vertical lifestyle, accounting for 36% of the overall stock.


The video gained 27-35% of the shares in the educational and entertainment verticals, but was rated last for many other verticals. Video trends may be people to watch as both Facebook and Twitter compete for shares in this format.

The list and why-post appear as the highest type of overall performing content, earning more than 20% of all shares in the dataset and 22-32% stake in Vertical Entertainment, News, and Travel.

However, as the chart above shows, time plays a big role in sharing successful content. For more, we’ve compiled results with the vertical, content type, and month in our Social Calendar.

Marketing Trend Report

Marketers work faster than ever to compete with digital audience content preferences. A myriad of tools and options has been developed for marketers and advertisers to engage online, and we set out to see which increases (or falls) in popularity.

Using Google Trends, BuzzStream and Fractl tracked searches for 20 key regional and global marketing things. Here we share the results for five terms related to online marketing strategies.

Genuine Advertising: The late big mistake of the group, the original ads did not get the first blip on the marketing industry radar until March 2011 and did not get traction until November of the same year. Since then the term has received a largely positive rise, peaking in August 2014 when it briefly surpassed the volume of traffic from pay-per-click.

Marketing Content: Pay-per-click earned nine times more search interest from content marketing in January 2008, but by the end of 2014 the role was reversed – content marketing now leads with three times the traffic. switches take place in November 2012 and the gap has widened continuously ever since.

Social Media Marketing: The search for social media marketing began in 2007, the same year that Microsoft announced its investment on Facebook. But 2009 marks the start of two years, an 80% increase in interest that has made tactics near the top in search marketing. Searches that have fluctuated 20-30% over the last three years, but hit an all-time high in April 2014.


Landing Page Optimization: The most turbulent trends in the category of marketing strategies, optimization landing pages garnered the earliest and largest gains in interest between May and June 2008. The past seven years have been very consistent for this tactic, with searches up and down by 55% within a month. Lack of signal stability that the industry has not adopted landing page optimization as the main marketing approach.


Pay-Per-Click: The preferred approach in early 2008, the search for the phrase “pay per click” has fallen 68% over the past seven years. PPC acronyms get more volume search traffic – indications of industrial hugs from this approach – however the search for this abbreviation has also fallen by 84% over the same time period.

We have included results for all 20 terms in our long-term global analysis and recent regional insights in our Marketing Trend Report.

The Influencer Marketing Discussion Trending On Twitter


Having learned which marketing tools and tactics are being sought after, we turn to Twitter to find out what influencers marketing is saying about the industry. BuzzStream and Fractl scratched nearly 5,000 tweets containing at least one marketing keyword or hashtag from our list:

  • Media relations
  • Marketing influencers
  • digital PR
  • Outbound Marketing
  • brand Recognition
  • Media obtained
  • PR
  • Public relations
  • Publicity
  • Pers conference

Then, we use the Peer Index and the Alchemy API to find the tweet types, sentiments, and main effects in the discussion.

Marketing conversations

We find that influencers in the marketing field appear to practice what they preach when it comes to value-added content.

At least half of all tweets in the study include tips or marketing insights, including resources such as Roundup Entrepreneurs Marketing Trends Experts Want You to Avoid and Ragan writes on How to Avoid ‘5 Worst Journalists Pitching Peeves.


This is especially true for keywords that appear “Media accepted” and “outbound marketing,” where trend is the dominant category of tweets.

Marketing Influencer

We were surprised to find that many of the most influential people tweeting with our key marketing terms are not people at all – they’re a brand. 52% of our top influencers were identified using Peer Index including PR teams for brands ranging from commercial firms such as Nestle and Disney, public information groups such as the Los Angeles Police Department and NPR, to industry resources such as PR News and Aid A Reporter Out.

Percentage of individual influencers, at least 41% in leadership or consulting position. job titles such as Directors, CEOs, CMOs, and Consultants dominate the list, followed by people in writing, blogging, and strategy roles.

Our full dataset tweets and influencers are available to download with our findings on Influencer Marketing.

Unmasked Twitter Engagement

Finally, an exciting new study from Stone Temple rounds out the research that caught my eye this month. In their research on Twitter’s involvement, 1.94 million tweets reveal that social authorities can have much influence over how various message tactics will involve followers.


StoneTemple Twitter Engagement Favorite Images

One of the most striking examples of their findings concerns the use of images. At the lowest authority level, photos and images can get up to 12X more favorites than tweets without images. Similarly, Low Authority accounts also get the most RT by drawing using – up to 9X as in very low categories.

Both in terms of favorites and RTs, engagement declined sharply for Twitter accounts in the range of moderate social authority, and fell even lower for those with supreme authority.

Considering how social authorities can influence your marketing strategy is an important corner, especially considering the findings that suggest that some tactics may actually hurt involvement depending on your brand authority position. Read the full study and findings on Twitter Engagement Unmasked.

Kreacio Media | Traditional vs Social Media Marketing

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