Publishing engaging, high-quality content that people love to share is crucial to your success online. Let's walk through 10 tips for shareable content creation that help pop on social media and get passed around like crazy.
If you’re a content marketer or creator, then obviously what you’re after is to get as many eyeballs on your writing as possible. And nowadays, that means making sure people actually share your content through social media.
The problem, of course, is that while everybody is trying to do exactly that, only those who are actually good at it benefit, as some things get shared a lot, while most content doesn’t get much attention at all.
Therefore, if you’re in the middle of the pack, you’re probably not getting enough attention to actually warrant your content marketing. You need to stick out, you need to move to the head of the pack for that to happen.
But how do you do that? Well, let’s take a look at some useful insights that might just turn what you’ve got from something middle-of-the-road into something that actually gets some serious traction.
1. Know your audience
Your first step is to know who you’re writing for. You see, people don’t just share anything and everything. If it’s in any way boring or run of the mill, then it won’t get anything more than a shrug, but even if they like it, they might not share it because it makes them uneasy or because it somehow does not represent their standard set of beliefs or ideas, they won’t share it.
And so, if you’re serious about getting something shared, you need to make certain that they can identify with it. They have to think, ‘this is what I want people to think about,’ or ‘this is what I want people to associate me with.’
Naturally, that changes per audience. If you’re writing for cat lovers, then fascinating stories about cats will strike a chord. If you’re writing for young democrats, it should probably be about Sanders and his movement.
Whatever your audience is, you need to understand them and appreciate that it isn’t necessarily what you want. So you’re going to have to deal with that. They won’t share what you like. All that matters to them is what sparks a reaction between their ears. So make sure you know what that is.
Then, see how they are responding to their customers online. Dont exactly copy their work but use their techniques to build your ideas.
Hence, if you try to optimize your content based on the number 1 ranking website, it is more likely to be shareable.
For example, the Ahrefs browser plug-in divides the blog page structurally; if you go to one of the blogs on your competitor's website, the plug-in will help you see the no. of words in articles, the H2 H3 tags, meta description and title of the blogs.
3. Have the proper titles
The title and the image are the entire decision to click on something and see if it’s worth reading. For that reason, you have to write catchy titles and have great images. Let’s talk about the labels first. Some just work phenomenally better than others.
The thing is, there are many sites dedicated to helping you out here. So don’t reinvent the wheel. First of all, it’s a lot of work, and secondly, you’re just not going to do as well!Monster Insights helps you write unique SEO headlines that help increase shares and traffic and rank better in search results.
4. Use visual content
Using images helps. It helps a lot. For example, research shows that if you have a picture, you’ll have 94% more views; if that image is colored, readers are 80% more likely to read your content. And that’s just an image. Imagine how much power a good idea and a wrong impression will have. 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.
So, when creating content, don’t leave finding that image as the last job; certainly don’t rush it. Instead, consider paying a bit to make sure you get something that pops. It will often cost you a few bucks, which can make the difference between a few views and a few thousand.Freepik offers a wide range of free stock images where you can find and download high-quality photos, designs and templates.
5. Have the proper format
Some formats will earn more backlinks and generate more likes than other formats. While choosing the correct format for your next post, it's essential to understand which format is most appropriate based on content. For example, tables comparing two products put dos and don’ts in a checklist format.
6. Make it personal
If you want to connect with viewers, you’ve got to tell them about you and your hardships. The best way to do that is through stories. “But nothing interesting ever happens to me!” you shout. That might be true, but I never said the stories have to be accurate, did I? They can be anything you want just as long as they give your content a human element.
People like to have their heartstrings plucked, and nothing does that better than your average story of hardship overcome, or lesson learned, or an insight gleaned. The basic story goes:
Preamble -> problem -> hardship and suffering -> resolution -> joy and reflection
So, I have never been very good at washing my face, then I got this big zit, everybody laughed at me, and I refused to see the world, then it popped, and now I’m so happy I can hang out with my friends again! So, I’ll wash my face every day!
Now, if your resolution ties in nicely with what your site is about, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone, as not only will your post be shareable, but your product will also be more enticing.
7. Use positive emotions
Maybe when we watch the news, we like to be outraged, angered, frightened and disgusted. The same does not hold at all for online content. For that reason, it is vital that if you want your content to be shared, you use (and provoke) positive emotions.
As OkDork reported, in the top 10,000 posts on the web, positive emotions far outranked negative ones, with them collectively mapping onto 72% of the posts. In contrast, negative emotions only got about a tenth of that.
No other negative emotion even registered as large enough. These all got lumped into other.
This probably has something to do with people using sharing on social media to define themselves – and people don’t want to be defined as angry, sad, or frustrated. So make sure your stories contain positive elements!
8. Use accessible language
Do you want your story to be highly-shareable? Don’t use incomprehensible jargon! If you do, you’re immediately making sure that a smaller percentage of people who will look at your content will understand what you’re talking about.
This does not mean you can’t use any words related to the trade. Have the courtesy to define them for those new to your area. Don’t talk about CTAs without first explaining that it means a Call to Action. It isn’t hard, doesn’t detract from your argument, and makes it more likely to your audience.
Oh, and in case you thought using lots of jargon and incomprehensible speech made you sound smart. It does not. Using big words needlessly makes you look dumb. So, don't go down that route unless your ambition is to get people to share your content to point out what an idiot you are!
Grammarly is one of the most commonly used content writing enhancement tools that instantly fixes errors and improves word of choice.
9. Evergreen v/s trending content
It isn’t that hard to know what’s trending out there. So take a moment to see if you might be unable to connect to it somehow. Now, this won’t always work. For example, if you’re in automobile design and the current trending topic is summer dress with polka dots, you might be hard-pressed to write something that contains both concepts.
Still, it can’t hurt to take a look, just in case you can connect it or simply reference what is going on. It will make you look knowledgeable and increase the chances of people sharing your work.
On the other hand, Evergreen content is best for SEO in the long term. Most general and relevant topics like “How to Guides” stay fresh for longer.BuzzSumo is a content marketing platform that helps in content discovery and research and helps track what's happening online. Creating both types of content guarantees you a complete social media content calendar.
10. Make it easy to share
If you want them to share your content, make sure it’s easy. That means, don’t just have buttons at the beginning of the article, but also have them at the end, as you’re going to lose a lot of people if the button isn’t immediately accessible when they decide a story is worth sharing.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask them to share! It will make a difference. Why shouldn’t people be asked to share if those email popups work? Even if you don’t make it one of those annoying pop-ups (please don’t), even if only 1% more people end up sharing because you asked, that can certainly make the difference.AddToAny is a tool where millions of sites have let visitors share & save content, resulting in high traffic, more influential audiences, viral content, and much more.
Now let me be clear if you don’t have good content, none of this will work. Your content quality has to be high. That means it has to be original and contains the information they couldn’t have found anywhere else. Content marketing simply doesn’t work if you don’t have that content part nailed down. Implement all these tips, and you will see a result in the number of shares, backlinks etc. But you knew that already??
After that, it’s just a matter of trying out different strategies and ideas so that people view what you’ve got and then share it if they like it. They are raised slightly because tiny changes like that can differ between something that peters out after a few days and something with natural legs.
Diana Beyer is experienced and self-driven media expert who is passionate about writing. Her purpose is to share values amid those interested. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth. Connect with Diana though Twitter.