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Published September 20th 2017

How WWE’s Smackdown Content Compares To NFL, MLB, ESPN & GOT

In a contest of content engagement, professional wresting site WWE.com wins decisively over sports titans like NFL.com, MLB.com, ESPN.com and entertainment giant Game of Thrones.

WWE jumped onto our radar screen when we began to notice that the site’s content appeared daily in BuzzSumo’s trending dashboard. Only content that is shared very rapidly is designated as trending, and WWE took a slot in the top 20 from across the entire web almost every day.

Interest piqued, we took a look at the data, analyzing 482,000 entertainment and sports headlines, looking for clues to the WWE’s success.

We shared the results with Content Marketing Institute. Read the full report here.

 Summary of WWE’s content characteristics:

  1. Social share button placement
  2. Masterful storytelling
  3. Female characters
  4. Importance of images
  5. Emotional attachment with fans
  6. Less-is-more content strategy
  7. Content length that works best for WWE
  8. Headline words and phrases that drive shares for WWE

We also did some additional analysis of the headlines that drive social shares for WWE, NFL, and MLB.

To develop this list we analysed only the three word phrases that occurred more than 100 times in headlines from 2016, then compared the number of shares they received.

Four things we learnt from this content analysis

  1. News gets shares. You can see a strong emphasis on current wrestling events in phrases like, “in win over”, “of the week” and “highlights.”
  2. Exclusive information gets shares. “Classic clips,” “things to know,” and “what to watch,” all promise something unavailable anywhere else and create FOMO (fear of missing out).
  3. Awesome images get shares. “Photo of the,” is also interesting in light of the stunning images WWE.com consistently uses and the exclusive vantage point they offer.
  4. League tables get attention and shares. Content such as ‘top players’ and ‘hall of fame’ get well shared.





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