In Content marketing

Content marketers aim to create content that consumers not only want to read, but share widely. The article below shares tips in creating highly shareable content. CK

Article written by Michael Brenner originally appeared in Marketing Insider Group on April 29, 2021.

Content marketing is a low-pressure yet effective way to earn attention from your target audience by offering useful insights and expert advice.

Over time, repeat visitor engagement produces high-quality leads who already know and trust your brand. When they’re in the market for your product, you’ll have a loyal customer.

That’s no doubt why 79% of marketers say generating leads is their top goal for content, but 83% say they use organic traffic for judging success – outshining lead metrics by nearly 20%.

Semrush

But you can’t earn traffic and leads without first earning someone’s attention. As we all know, that’s not easy to pull off today online. Why is that?

Every time you publish a fresh blog, video, podcast, or any piece of digital content, you’re competing for attention with the rest of the internet: every app, social feed, meme page, and cat video. Your industry competitors usually aren’t the ones distracting your blog readers with dopamine-boosting push notifications.

Imagine reading a dry and technical yet thorough blog about why companies in your industry are all switching to one algorithm from a slightly different one for an important process.

Is the topic useful? Absolutely.

Actionable? Yes!

Interesting enough for readers to resist the allure of notifications from Reddit or YouTube?

  • Well, let’s see what the truncated part of this Reddit post says first so we can get that out of the way and focus on the algorithm thing.
  • Then we’ll open YouTube just for a sec to save the video for later and…
  • Hey, weren’t we reading something important?
  • Oh yeah, the algorithm thing!
  • Eh, we’ll just Google it later when it comes up.
  • Maybe someone else will publish a blog on the same topic that’s not such a snoozefest in the meantime.

We’ve all been there. Both sides.

So, how do you stand out from the noise and win a customer’s attention?

So here are 11 tips to help you create highly shareable content so you can get the most out of your content marketing efforts.

Quick takeaways:

  • Genuinely engaging content must draw the reader in with innate value. The content’s value must help them improve their life and offer entertainment or inspiration.
  • You also need a dedicated strategy to share your content in places where your audience will see it and feel compelled to read it.
  • Certain formulas like those mentioned below can help trigger initial attention and inspiration in your audience so you have a chance to win them over.

11 Ways to Create Highly Shareable Content

Jeff says you need two basics in every piece, and he’s right:

  1. Innate value to the audience without asking for anything.
  2. Strategy for distributing the content where the ideal audience will see it.

For creating shareable content so engaging that notifications feel annoying, that innate value must offer something important to the reader – something they’ve never learned or considered before. In other words, not the same 5-item listicle as everyone else already ranking for the keyword phrase.

Now, if you want your audience to actively remember and seek out your websitefor more content and even trust your content enough to share it with theiraudience, you need to make sure that your content entertains and inspires.

Look at links in your feeds. Shareable content is never overly technical or dry.

1. Create Shareable Content with How-To Blogs and Tutorials

Showing and teaching people how to do something may not be a novel idea, but it certainly still an effective tactic for creating shareable content.

It does what content is supposed to do unapologetically: inform and teach audiences.

Investigate Google’s “people also ask” section for your primary keyword to get inspired – and keep digging.

2. Publish Listicles That Exceed Expectations

Nielsen Norman Group broke the internet back in 1997 with their eye tracking studies revealing that people don’t read every word in blogs and web pages – they scan. Over 20 years later and a repeat study showed audience behavior hasn’t changed.

Website layouts sure have though.

Content should help eyes bounce around the screen, and listicles work brilliantly here because they have:

  • Bulleted lists
  • Lots of subheadings
  • A logical format
  • Graphics
  • In-line quotes and stats

Shareable content is easy for readers to skim through in a matter of a few seconds and find what they want. That’s why listicles are an effective format to drive readership and sharing. People can easily scan the list and read the sections they are most interested in if they are short on time.

Listicles can be informative and educational, but they can also be fun and entertaining, which adds the viral factor to help drive sharing for your content. Just keep your full list on a single page rather than a page for each entry.

3. Statistics & Facts

Some of my most popular posts of all time include interesting facts and industry-related stats that my readers appreciate. Our top blog doesn’t mention anything about stats in the title, but you’ll find plenty inside:

4. Infographics

Infographics were hot in 2014 and while some folks just aren’t fans, infographics still earn traffic and shares. Just look at Google Images results filled with nothing but infographics for many keywords:

Google

You can create your own infographics and write blogs around them. You can also take infographics created by others and add your own insights or ideas to freshen it up.

5. Create Shareable Content with Authentic Images

There’s a reason stock images are called “stock” and why most people don’t like them – or most products with the “stock” attribute.

They just don’t look or feel real, robotic even. That’s the opposite of what you need from shareable content. You need to humanize your web presence. Raw authentic photos always work well.

6. Make Your Content Personal to Encourage Trust and Engagement

Readers over the age of 30 will no doubt remember the days when sharing basic personal information, like a photo and first name, online was considered extremely dangerous. Not so much anymore.

If you are willing to reveal and share something personal with your fans or just tell a story, you’d be surprised by all the free, crowd-sourced marketing they can get you.

7. Shareable Content Never Passes Up a Visual Opportunity

Have you noticed Google’s looked a little more animated lately? Certain searches – especially for how-tos and DIYs – include dynamic and interactive videos right in the SERPs.

Google

Google says it has more tricks like this up its sleeve coming with the Core Web Vitals update for digital experience. Don’t pass up an opportunity to reach wider audiences when Google hands it to you.

Consider beefing up your multimedia library of quality shareable content so you have relevant and engaging visuals to optimize in every post.

8. Stoke Curiosity with Headlines and Relate to Readers in Their Own Voice

If you Google “effective headlines,” you can easily find hundreds of tips and tricks for writing a killer title.

Some say you should keep your headlines simple, direct, and short for creating shareable content that won’t get shortened in search results. But don’t count longer headlines out for sharing and engagement either.

Vice runs plenty of longer headlines when the situation calls for more conversational tones, and this one sits at 12 words. It’s clever and effective at teasing your curiosity, and it makes you want to click to find out more. Do an experiment to see what clicks with your audience.

Vice

9. Create Shareable Long-Form Content

While long-form content isn’t always a viral sensation, it will remain relevant and valuable for your target audience over time. Plus, you can easily adjust and build on long-form blogs as needed.

Done right, your long-form content will continue earning reads, shares, and rankings in search results when combined with SEO techniques.

Timely, fun, or topical blogs also have their value. Pick a trending topic and link to your relevant long-form content throughout. Even a surge of traffic to one viral blog for a few days can temporarily boost your rankings site-wide. Why not take the chance?

10. Double Up Your Featured Visuals for Double-Share Chances

Love or hate them, BuzzFeed worked viral content down to a science. Their multi-image concept for each article isn’t just engaging, but it gives BuzzFeed more potential to resonate with the reader’s emotions as well.

Today, BuzzFeed has image thumbnails for each related article across the top of the screen, along with a bright featured photo and video underneath.

BuzzFeed

11. Create Shareable Content with Quotes and Lists as Images

Twitter isn’t the most visual platform, but you can use it to your advantage with the right types of images. Regardless of platform, people gravitate toward visual content.

Using photo editing tools like Canva to turn quotes into visuals can help increase your social sharing.

Find Your Formula for Creating Shareable Content

Creating shareable content requires some nuance. Scroll through Twitter and LinkedIn for just a few minutes, and you’ll see plenty of content screaming “please share me” but with a desperate tone you definitely want to avoid in your content.

It all starts and ends with value. What value can you offer via your expertise? Can you add fresh value to the topic’s current conversation in SERPs? What would your audience find valuable on the topic and what are they sick of hearing?

You might not charge money for access to your blog, but readers still pay for your content with their time – a finite resource. Keep that in mind every time you create content and see how it changes your approach to value.

 

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