How to transform your next blog post into something people cannot stop sharing.
So you spent weeks creating the perfect blog post – researching the right audience, crafting the perfect words, and meticulously tweaking your custom images to be just-so. Yet when you post it, nothing. No traffic. Barely any clicks. Forget about shares. Sound familiar?
Yes, it can be an all too familiar situation for most of us. That’s why we compiled 10 tips on creating shareable content you can apply to your next piece of content. Read it and weep, folks.
1. List It Out
We decided to take our own advice here. A lot of us read an online article differently than a book. Content that is presented in a list matches the general tendency to scan an article, then read more in-depth if we feel the article is worth reading after scanning it. In contrast, reading a book is more like eating a full meal – bite by bite until we get to the end.
Providing your audience a numbered list makes your content, even if it is a long article, snackable. People can be more interactive with your blog post by being able to pick and choose which topics in your blog post list they want to read more in-depth about and which ones they want to skip all together.
2. When In Doubt, Make A Video
Better yet, why write a long-winded blog post when you can create a video instead? Video has been on the rise for years as a trending channel for content marketing and this rise shows no signs of stopping. Over 66% of Americans watch videos online. People are watching so many videos, they spend 35+ hours of their time online watching videos. And thank goodness so many people are watching videos. Every 60 seconds and increasing amount of video content are uploaded to YouTube.
Different forms of content give your audience a different interactive experience. An article asks your audience to concentrate. A video allows your audience to sit back and absorb the content, which can explain the popularity of videos.
3. Originality FTW
“I love it when I see the same old thing over and over again every time I go online,” said no one ever. Why add to the boring static noise? Make your content fun and unique! Think outside the box here or create something just plain weird (or as weird as your brand can stretch to fit and still make sense). A person’s attention is so invaluable that an entirely new term was created to describe it – the attention economy. The internet runs on content. And the content that grabs people’s attention and holds it, wins.
4. Snowball Sharing
People like to like what other people already like. Not so surprisingly, people were found to be following influencers. In western culture, there is a strong bias for doing it your own way no matter what anyone thinks mentality. So often, there is a hesitancy to acknowledge social validation and the desire for approval is real. It makes sense for social creatures such as ourselves. This makes popularity infectious. It is a bit of a Catch-22. Popular content just gets more popular. Yes, it is that snowball effect. Once it gains momentum, content will begin to just get more popular on its own. Even it builds enough momentum and shares, that content is said to have gone viral.
It is not enough to have social share buttons clearly displayed near your content. Those share buttons also need to display how many times it has been shared. The more share it has, the more likely it will be shared.
5. Emotions Or Bust
Create content that triggers people’s emotions. Content that elicits strong emotions like delight, astonishment, excitement, awe, anger, frustration, or anxiety get shared more than low-arousal emotions like sadness. Why would anyone share content they just felt meh about? Additionally, people want to spread good vibes across their social network. The author of the popular book Contagious found that positive news is more likely to be shared and go viral. When something makes us feel happy and positive, we want others to go through the same experience. You cannot go wrong with content that is engaging, memorable, and happy!
6. Informative Stuff
Is your content genuinely useful and helps your audience solve a problem? Studies revealed people evaluate whether the content will be useful to who they want to share it with. People usually share to enrich the lives of others.
This is where knowing your audience comes in handy. What do they want to know? What burning questions do they search over and over again in search engines? Create tutorial type content that will specifically address what your audience wants to know how to do. You can also create content that makes complicated concepts or ideas simpler to understand. Your viewers will thank you for the clarity by sharing it with their friends.
7. Don’t Stop Believin’
The content you share is an extension of who you are. Online, your content is your digital voice. At the same time, the sum total of the content you create and share defines your digital identity. This is why people like to share content that expresses who they are and defines their identity to others. According to the author of Contagious sharing shows who they are and what they care about. Really, people want to share content that aligns with how they see themselves.
When you know your audience, you know what resonates with them. For example, if your audience consists of tech addicts, they will greatly appreciate the latest news and trending gadgets. They want others to be aware of their infatuation with tech. So, what do you get? Shareable content.
8. User-Generated Content
People are more likely to share content that their social network has posted when compared to brand-created content. Content created by people is called User-Generated Content or UGC. For this reason, UGC is the ace in the back pocket of many brands. It is challenging enough to get people actively engaging with your content (hence why we are learning how to make shareable content in this article). So to have people actively creating content about your brand? Holy moly. Leverage the UGC of your audience by featuring it and encouraging others to share.
9. Cool Trending
How many of us like to feel cool and in the know when finding new content online. Often times, people like to share new, trending content to show they are the trendsetters within their social group. What does this look like in the form of content? It looks like articles predicting future trends in your industry. Providing this type of content establishes you as a leader within your niche.
Another way to incorporate the newest and latest into your content is pop culture, memes, and celebrities. Just make sure you make it relevant to your brand and industry and it does not end up being an entire article about the Kardashians.
10. Consider Long-Form Content
You may think that because the average human attention span is shorter than a goldfish, shorter articles would be shared more. Much to our surprise, the opposite is true. The bar for one is considered long-form content changes. At the beginning of the early 2010s, 300-600 words were considered sufficient. Nowadays, articles that are at least 1,200 words is considered long-form content. As discovered by social and search engines, longer articles can receive more shares than short-form content (anything less than 1,200 words). While it does take more time, effort, and thought to create an article with enough meaty ideas to fill 1,200+ words, it is worth the shares. It is always worth testing short articles as well. Compare this to writing three 400 word articles and the shares to make your decision.
To recap, here is a quick bullet point list on how to make shareable content:
- List It Out
- When In Doubt, Make A Video
- Originality FTW
- Snowball Sharing
- Emotions Or Bust
- Don't Stop Believin'
- User-Generated Content
- Cool Trending
- Write Long-Form Content
In general, it is all about providing your audience with valuable and high-quality content. When content is genuinely helpful, in what ever form that may be, people will share your content.
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