Research: The Most Engaging B2B Content in 2017

Consumer brands have it easy when it comes to content creation and driving consumer engagement.

For B2B companies, crafting interesting, engaging content is a lot harder.

Many companies get caught talking too much about their products and services rather than  creating content that engages prospects and entices them to learn more.

Buzzsumo, a content marketing platform that helps you discover the most popular content on any given topic or particular website, offered a deep dive into engaging B2B content, sharing in this post 10 B2B content types that worked well in 2017 to drive B2B engagement.

The post itself is a great example of engaging B2B content: It offers original research on a hot, trending topic and provides How-To advice.

One word of caution:

Buzzsumo’s research is based on social media shares and content on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, not content that resides on company websites.

Top 10 B2B Content Types

If you want to amplify your B2B content shares in 2018, the content types that engage prospects and social shares, according to Buzzsumo, are:

  • Industry technology changes
  • Future trends
  • Opinion or viewpoint posts
  • Inspirational stories and case studies
  • Practical tips and how to posts
  • Personal career advice
  • Research and reference content
  • Leadership tips and advice
  • Industry news
  • Hot topics like artificial intelligence or content related to hot brands

The content identifier platform goes on to add a bonus content type: LinkedIn Pulse articles.

“If you want to gain more attention on LinkedIn, then you need to be publishing on Pulse,” according to the post. “Nineteen of the top twenty most shared articles on LinkedIn this year were published on the perform.”

The company and I share the same view on creating content for LinkedIn or any other social platform: doing so drives traffic to those social media companies, not your own website. That’s why I don’t currently post on Pulse.

Instead, Buzzsumo and I suggest you first write something for your own site, wait a few days and then modify the content to post on Pulse.

Why B2B Content Types Performed Well

After its list, Buzzsumo takes a deep dive into each kind of content giving examples and explaining why it performed so well.  The post is well worth a read. (Full Disclosure: I don’t write for Buzzsumo, nor have I used their platform.)

In addition to learning why the B2B content types were so engaging, you should examine the  headlines to learn several secrets to success and how to write better headlines.

Throughout the detailed portions of the post, I identified nine hacks that B2B marketers can add to their  content creation tool kits.

9 Writing Hacks to Boost Social Sharing of B2B Content

Among the hacks I plan to incorporate include:

  • Words such as ‘the future of’ and ‘trends’ gained above average engagement on LinkedIn
  • Make sure your social posts have reference-able articles – they’re far more likely to generate links than trending/of the moment content
  • The LinkedIn posts that drew the most engagement were How To posts
  • One of the popular topics on LinkedIn is sales content
  • ‘Success’ or ‘Successful’ in your title helps to get traction
  • You don’t always need original research to engage B2B buyers; Curation of a number of research reports works well.
  • Reference content such as data driven reports or charts do very well.
  • People are particularly keen to learn the secrets of successful leadership
  • And a Pulse tidbit: As a general rule people do not link to content on Pulse. None of the top 20 most shared posts on Pulse got more than 20 links, according to Buzzsumo’s research.

I was surprised that two content types – career advice and leadership advice – were among the top performing content.

As I thought about how my B2B clients might take advantage of these content types, I remembered the context in which the types were identified – social media, including LinkedIn.

Of course a business networking site would be filled with career advice and leadership advice. After all, LinkedIn is used to find new business and find new jobs.


Tell me: what kind of B2B content performs best for you on social media? Is it different than the best performing content on your company website?

(For me, my about page and blog posts about living in La Conner among the tulips and The Content Marketers Guide to Freelance Writing Fees are the top performers.)

 P.S. I no longer live in La Conner…