Aug 31, 2018

How to Produce Shareable Content

by Digital Marketing Institute

Digital marketing is a strategy being increasingly employed by businesses at an incredible rate. Every day, about two million blog posts are published and being shared on social media hundreds of millions of times. Pumping out fresh content is only part of the battle. If you want your brand to grow, it takes a lot more thought and effort.

It's crucial to stand out from the crowd in order to grab the attention of consumers. The best way to do this is by creating content that is incredibly shareable. More shares mean more traffic, which pads your bottom line, at the end of the day.

So how can you increase your chances of churning out shareable content? Here are some tips to help you get started.

Pay Attention to What's Trending

Pay Attention to What's Trending

Everybody wants to be a trendsetter, but there's nothing wrong with being a follower. Trending content, which covers topics people are talking about at the moment, is far more likely to be shared due to its immediate relevance. By creating content centered on these topics you're entering a discussion being read by a lot of users, which can generate shares.

How do you know what's trending? Social media websites like Twitter and Facebook have sections dedicated to trending topics. It makes it easy for users to follow what's been going on lately. There are also social media tools and services available for purchase. These neatly display the different topics, which have been trending on which platforms, along with the number of shares.

Perform Competitive Reconnaissance

It may feel a little sneaky, but one way of creating shareable content is by making notes about successful content published by your competitors. If they've found something that works, it's likely to have a similar reaction from your customer base. Anything their audience likes, yours might as well. Keeping track of your competitors can be a great way to gain insight on potential buyers.

Tracking your competitors doesn't have to be time-consuming. Create a list of the top ones and monitor their social media channels, so you're aware of where you're fighting for attention. Take a look at the content they've published over the past few months and note the topics and types of posts that received the most engagement from customers. Are they videos, lists or stories? If there's any evergreen content that has been widely shared, consider taking the idea and making it your own.

Make Readers Feel Something

Make Readers Feel Something

One way of getting people to share content is by pulling at their heartstrings. Many stories, videos, and images that go viral evoke happiness, surprise, admiration, and satisfaction. Typically, positive stories generate the most shares. Creating content that causes an emotional reaction, such as laughter, joy, astonishment or a call to action, encourages users to share the experience with their friends.

Be careful, however, when publishing content that might make people angry. Anger is a powerful emotion that may spur them to expose injustices, but if you don't offer a way of addressing it and turning people's energy into productive action it can leave them feeling dissatisfied and exasperated.

Engage With the Community

Be active online with your customer base and industry community. Interacting with them by either engaging in discussion or reacting to their comments can give you an idea of any burning questions they might have.

Replying to e-mails, blog posts, Reddit threads, social media inquiries and Q&A sites like Quora can inspire all sorts of ideas.

Content ideas will come to you simply by reading what people have to say. You might learn about other perspectives you hadn't considered yet. Always read the comments.

Don't Sound Like an Advertisement

If there's one thing people see way too much of online, it's advertising. Many websites hammer users with ads non-stop, so the content you create shouldn't feel like a sales pitch. People want to get something substantial from content instead of being sold something.

It's possible to promote your brand without sounding like a salesperson. Ensure your brand values are tied to the content but remember to publish things people actually care about. Show people different ways of using your product or a rundown of the benefits your services provide.

Tell a Story With Your Content

Tell a Story With Your Content

Proper storytelling can give way to compelling content, which will make people want to share. It can make things relatable to your audience, allowing them to imagine themselves in the situation given to them.

How do you craft content that tells a story to your audience? It should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, guiding them every step of the way. Start by describing a problem that members of your audience might be experiencing. Next, come up with a solution provided by your product or service. Then when you're putting the content together, try to take people through the steps needed to arrive at that solution.

Validate Your Audience's Opinions

Hard-core industry experts likely hold steadfast opinions on certain topics and are eager to express them. Content which validates an audience's opinion is easily shareable because it arms people with evidence from a reliable source, which is you, that their opinions are correct.

In order to create this type of content, you need to think about common likes and beliefs among your audience. Find controversial talking points or things people have polarizing opinions about. If these topics are relevant to a person's job or hobbies, it will likely pique their interest. Let's not discount those who might want to disprove you. People might also share content if they want to present your opinion as false.

Interview Industry Influencers

Interview Industry Influencers

Content that features insights from industry influencers is a fantastic way of generating shares. Not only does it give your content credibility and name recognition, but also the influencer is likely to pass the content on to their vast audience.

It can result in a huge boost in engagement. People will also see you as a trustworthy source of content.

Offer Incentives for Sharing Content

Everybody likes free stuff. It doesn't matter if it's something minor like a mug or t-shirt, as long as the price is only a few clicks, people might feel compelled to share content if they're promised the possibility of a reward.

Give your audience an incentive to spread your link around by offering giveaways, free downloads or discounts. The cost to you is minimal, but the potential benefits are great.

Make It Easy to Find

Make It Easy to Find

Don't forget about the importance of keywords. Even if you create content that contributes to a trending conversation, people have to be able to find it.

Does your content use terms people will input into a search bar? Is the topic recognizable by the title? You have to help people find your content.

Be Sure to Post Images

Images have the ability to attract large amounts of traffic. Social media, in particular, is more image-driven than ever.

Research suggests Facebook posts that include at least one image receive three times as much engagement than plain-text content. If you can produce images that are directly related to your content, especially infographics, it can drum up additional shares.

Team Up With Other Sites

If you can find an excuse to create crossover content with another business that isn't a direct competitor, you establish a mutually beneficial relationship and drive up shares.

Say your product or service works well in conjunction with another one; you can propose each company produce content relevant to both of them. They may agree to promote your content to their audience if you do the same for them.

Don't Forget About Share Buttons

This one might seem super obvious, but if people who digest your content can't figure out how to share it, they won't be able to provide a link for their followers. If sharing your content isn't convenient, or the buttons are difficult to find, it simply isn't going to be shared. As the content provider, it's your responsibility to make it as easy to share as possible. Make sure every piece of content comes with a share button and that it's easy to see. Even better if it's a one-click process.

The more visible your social media buttons are, the more likely your content will be shared.

Final thoughts

Final thoughts

The advice above can help you create meaningful and compelling content for your digital marketing strategy. One thing to keep in mind, however, is there's a lot of luck behind creating viral content. It often needs to be published in the right place at the right time and predicting where and when that is can be challenging.

If it feels like you're doing everything right but your content isn't getting much traffic, don't be discouraged. Creating shareable content requires a lot of trial and error to get right, and you only need to get lucky once for all your effort to be worth it. Be proud of the little accomplishments along the way. Work on trying to improve your share count from story to story, post to post, and you will find success.

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