Creating content to get shared
by Simon Jolly
on Aug 22, 2017
Value occurs with online content when it gets seen, shared and connected to an audience.
It’s fair to say we are spending less time searching terms on Google. We still do it but there are now interesting and relevant articles and information coming through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Content distribution is happening more intelligently, via friend recommendations on social. Google is still vital, of course, but social is really growing and driving traffic to sites.
Begin by planning your content well
Analyse what content performs best for any topic or competitor in order to create a content analysis report.
Using online tools we can now see from any domain how many posts they’ve published from any time period and what their average shares are. So you can easily see where the traction is and what is emerging as a topic to pursue.
You can also see which networks they’re getting most traction on. Are they getting most traction on Facebook, or is it on Twitter? And again, it varies hugely from organisation to organisation.
So what makes content strong enough to get shared?
The content heart is vital.
What’s the nature of the content? Is it interesting and helpful?
People share things if it is interesting to other people, if they feel it is helpful to others or genuinely entertaining. There is an increasing need for content to answer people’s real questions (around their needs and wants), whether to capture search traffic or interest on the other channels.
In the business-to-business arena your content has to hold some clear value, which might come from insight or research that you have done. Essentially it needs to be informative and helpful, as no one shares marketing collateral!
Highly targeted content wins searchability and will build traction quicker if it resonates with your audience. Target it toward a specific type of customer who may be searching for your services/products, and consider what would influence their decision.
The closer people get to actually buying/using a service/product, the more specific their searches become. Make your content valuable by providing answers to questions people are already searching for.
Entertain your readers. Be unique. Be sarcastic. Don't be monotone and boring.
If you approach your text from an offbeat angle, it will stand out immediately. For example, you can make a mundane subject such as plumbing much more interesting by telling it from the angle of a toilet that keeps breaking. If you want your content to stick out, you need to frame it in a unique way.
With the heart of the content well considered it will need to meet best practice.
Which style should it be written in? Is it easy to read, easy to scan? Is the format appropriate for the target audience and their reading habits? Should it be a how-to post, a list post, infographic or a video? Each of these formats have best practice when producing content and it is easy to lose engagement due to a lack of focus.
The headline is, hands down, the most important part of web content. If you have a weak headline, it doesn’t matter how great the article is, it will never be read, let alone shared. How do you make a headline stand out? There are specific words and phrases that typically generate a response: “how to,” “reasons why,” and numbered lists are among the most popular and effective. People want answers and they want them fast.
Promote, Promote, Promote.
Having a plan for promoting the content you are about to create is also vital. How are you going to promote it? Why is it going to be interesting? Which forums and people would share it?
6 Ways to make your compelling content that will resonate.
- Add social sharing buttons.
Content with sharing buttons is 700% more likely to be shared.
It may seem obvious but you’d be surprised by the number of sites that don’t have them.
- Make it Visual
Add visuals to your blog posts. According to research adding an image or illustration doubles the probability that content will be shared. Text-based blogs will result in 10% being remembered. Add an image and you’ll remember 65%.
- Be inspiring
The most-shared articles on the web uncovers three primary emotions in content… laughter, entertainment, awe. Joy is paramount in driving social action so keep it positive!
- Good looking site
How your website looks has a big impact on whether your content is share-worthy.
- Is it responsive?
- Does it focus on readers?
- Does it amplify strong content?
- Is it easy to share content?
- Reuse strong content
Every piece of well performing content should be transformed into new content.
- Popular blog posts can become SlideShares.
- List posts make great infographics.
- Combine themed blog posts into an ebook.
This repurposing will help you find new audiences for your content.
- Focus on new research
Research is a great source for rich content creation ideas that you can put your own spin on.
- What did you learn from this new research?
- How can it be applied to your industry?
- What surprised you?
To find out how we can help you create content that gets shared, check out our eBook on writing killer content.