Did you know that research shows that every minute approximately 1,440 WordPress blog posts are published, 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube and there are about 3.8 million Google searches? And that just begins to cover a small portion of the content being created, searched for and viewed. What does that mean for us content marketers? It means we’re charged with creating engaging content that not only captures our reader’s attention, but also drives them to share it with their peers and friends.
But that’s where the real challenge lies for most of us. After all, two marketers can spend hours working on well-written blog posts but, once published, one post goes viral in a matter of hours while the other captures very little attention. What was the difference between these two posts? It was probably that one post resonated better with readers than the other, motivating audience members to pass it along.
Luckily, it’s not a lost cause for us marketers. There are a few ways you can promote engagement and sharing in your next piece. The trick is to create content that includes information that people believe will benefit them and their community, touches on some of their pain points, and helps them feel fulfilled.
On top of that, there are a few things you can do to make your content more appealing. Here are five tips on how to make your content more shareable:
Include a strong visual component
Whether you’re creating a report, eBook or blog post, a strong visual graphic can make your content more shareable. Just think about the last time you were browsing through LinkedIn or Facebook. What was it that caught your attention as you were scrolling through the endless amount of posts on your feed?
Although some people will be motivated to click through because they know who you are, or maybe they enjoyed your witty post, chances are it was a photo, infographic or other fun visual that made them pause and check out what you’re all about. In fact, research shows that it only takes about 50 milliseconds for most people to form a first impression. That means you have to include some sort of element that will capture their attention quickly.
But graphics aren’t only important for sharing, they also make your content more digestible and appealing to your readers. Statistics show that 81 percent of people only skim the content they read online. Having graphics, visual CTAs and other photos throughout can help them better understand the purpose of your piece and motivate them to engage and share.
Don’t forget a catchy headline!
A strong headline is an opportunity to captivate your audience, show them what you have to offer and why they should care. If you’re struggling to do that, there are a few tricks here and there that you can incorporate to make your next headline stand out from all the rest.
If you’re in need of some guidance, Buzzsomo analyzed over 100 headlines to determine what characteristics were most enticing to readers. What they found was that the top headline phrases were “will make you” and “this is why.” In contrast, you should avoid phrases like “control of your,” “your own business,” and “work for you.”
Buzzsomo also found that lists are great for sharing! Therefore, including a number in your headline could make your content more appealing to your readers. According to their study, the number 10 was the highest performing headline number followed by 5, 15 and 7.
Share on optimal places during optimal times.
If your goal is to get readers to engage with and share your content, you’ll want to make sure that they see it in the first place. That’s why it’s important to know your target audience and when and where they spend their time online.
The first step to optimal placement and timing is understanding which social platforms your audience is using. For example, the Content Marketing Institute chart below shows that LinkedIn and Twitter are the preferred social channels for B2B marketers to share content. Therefore, we can assume the reason why is that B2B customers spend most of their time on these channels.
Once you understand which social platforms your audience is using, then you can research and test which times are most optimal for social sharing. Look at your analytics to see which times and days of the week are driving the most engagement, and then refine your strategy to maximize the value of this information. Make sure to perform A/B testing from time to time to continue to optimize your content and delivery.
Use interactive content.
If you want to keep your audience engaged, try making your content more fun by adding interactive elements such as quizzes, webinars, animations, videos, or games. Are you still unsure whether this tactic works? Research shows that interactive content outperforms static content at educating the buyer, differentiating the brand, and being more shareable. That’s a huge difference!
You’ve probably seen and engaged with interactive content all over your social media feeds. Take Buzzfeed for example, this online media publisher uses catchy headlines and quizzes to pull in readers into their website and keep them moving through content. Given that many of their posts tend to go viral, this strategy seems to be working.
There’s no reason why B2B and B2C brands can’t also benefit from creating similar content for their customers. To promote engagement, try sharing some form of interactive content on your site or social media, such as Act-On’s Economic Impact Calculator, that makes your customer stop, think and engage.
Round up a collection of known voices.
When all else fails, it never hurts to call on or reference influencers in your field to give your post an extra boost in engagement. You can ask questions of industry experts and then share the answers through a blog post series, eBook, or interactive asset. This will give your post more credibility among your readers, and possibly earn you a social media or website mention from the experts you’re featuring.
So select a hot topic, choose influencers strategically, and leverage their insights into your content to improve reach and exposure.
How do you make your content shareable? Please share your examples and tips to get your content shared.