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Published February 23rd 2015

How To Find Content Formats That Work: 5 Essential Searches

Content formats have a major impact on social sharing. However, this impact varies significantly from area to area. If you are creating content about kitchens or gardens then list posts and images are shared far more than other formats. Whilst if you creating content about carp fishing then videos are shared 100 times more than any other format. I have outlined below how to identify the content formats that work in your industry and how to find the most shared examples to learn from whether they are list posts, infographics, videos or quizzes.

Content Format Analysis

If you are a BuzzSumo Po customer go to the content analysis report and run a series of reports for your topics to see the most shared content formats. Below are examples of the most shared content formats for topics ranging from email marketing to kitchen design.

As you can see the most shared content format varies significantly from topic to topic. Let’s look at how you can see the actual content that is performing within a particular format.

Search for Most Shared List Posts

A well kept secret, until now, is searching for well shared list posts. Let’s say list posts are one of the most successful formats in your area you can find the most shared by searching for your topic plus a number. We know at BuzzSumo that some of the most successful list posts have 10 items. Thus if we search for “social media” 10 we will see the most shared list posts that start with a 10. We can add other numbers to our search for example “social media” 10 OR “social media” 5. This will show you the most shared posts that start with a 10 or a 5 as shown below. View the actual results.


You can do this for multiple list numbers, just remember that you need the topic along with the number eahc time after the OR statement.

You can also search for the most shared list posts of big industry sites or your competitor. Just type in their domain with numbers after as follows 5 OR 10. View the actual Moz results.

Search for Most Shared Quizzes

Quizzes are very well shared across the internet. To see just how popular simply type the word quiz into BuzzSumo and you will see that quizzes can get many millions of shares. To see what is working in your area or for a particular site you can add the word quiz to a domain search, for example quiz. This will show you the most shared quizzes on Buzzfeed as shown below. See the actual Buzzfeed results.


If you do this search for Buzzfeed you will see that they have found a format that works for them, namely “the hardest …. quiz”. You can also see what is working in your area by typing a topic followed by quiz for example SEO quiz. If you are planning to say create a new quiz such as a quiz around the Big Bang TV show you can search for “Big Bang” quiz to see previous quizzes and how well they have been shared.

Search for Most Shared Infographics

Infographics remain highly shareable in many areas. To find the most shared infographics for any topic or domain simply use the BuzzSumo filter for infographics as shown below.


This can be a very useful way of researching ideas for infographics. You can see what works and check you are not about to duplicate a recent infographic.

Search for Most Shared Videos

Videos work well in many areas and they appear to be becoming more popular. To search for the most shared videos you can again use the left hand filter in BuzzSumo.



It is clear that different content formats resonate with different audiences. To improve your content marketing you should spend time researching what content formats work in your area and give yourself the best possible chance of producing content that will get shared and viewed.

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