I'm going to honest here for a second... content can make or break your brand. The type of content you create has to help you connect with your audience, build a positive brand association, and increase revenue for your company. If your content is offensive or inappropriate (even out of touch) it can give your brand a bad rap and actually scare off customers. So how do you make sure your audience shares the content you create?
Six Ways To Create Shareable Content
There are a few secrets to creating shareable content. Social validation works best with visible share buttons. Content should be reactive and entertaining. It doesn't hurt to include an incentive and use proper aesthetics.
1. Create Content That Sparks an Emotional Reaction
Content that helps users connect on an emotional level is the best type of content. The way you create, promote and share content should be compelling and have an emotional pull. In fact, there was a study done by the University of Pennsylvania that showed that content that evokes an emotion is more likely to be shared. This even applies to negative emotions, such as anger or anxiety.
The most effective way to tap into this type of emotion is by being a tough editor. You need to constantly ask yourself whether the content you create or read makes you feel something. If it does, it's probably worth sharing. If it's not, you might need to do some more editing.
On the other hand, you need to be careful with negative emotional content. Anger has a tendency to spread quickly and it can REALLY hurt your brand. In that University of Pennslyvania study, users stated that they would be more likely to share an ad when they felt amused by it. And even more likely to share a customer service experience when it made them upset. You should be prepared for BOTH types of emotional reactions.
2. Do Your Competitive Research
The easiest ways to create content that people want to share is to copy what works best for other brands. I know it might seem a little iffy, but the trick is to really make it your own. In the marketing world, it's totally acceptable to creep on your competitors. It works great when you need to figure out what to do and what to avoid. This type of research helps you figure out what they're doing and how their audience actually reacts to their content. A little research makes it easy to find insights on the type of content you brand should create as well.
Here are a few tips for tracking what your competitors are doing:
Figure out what competitors have published in the past six months. Particularly what topics and formats they used. Are they blogging? Using videos? Or something else? Are you publishing similar types of content? If not, it might be time to try some different ones out.
Go ahead and make a list of your top 3-5 competitors and the social platforms they use. Are you on the same networks? If so, that means you're competing for the same engagement and traffic.
What type of content has the highest engagement on each of your competitors' channels? Don't forget to take notes. To start with, take a look at shares, likes, and follows. Are people engaging with these brands? What's getting the biggest reaction?
Use that highly-engaged content to inspire your own. Take what you've learned and make it your own. It's always a good idea to try to be ten times better than your competitors with insights they've provided. Your goal is to convince your audience that YOU are the best option.
3. Make Your Content Useful
When it comes down to it, your content needs to add value to your current and potential customers. That value can mean making them laugh or encouraging them to take actionable steps so they can improve their lives. Honestly, it's human nature for us to share what's helpful to others. It can be as simple as a coupon, a new way to clean without chemicals, or an incredible new show.
If you're ready for another study, take a look at what the New York Times found out... 90% of users assess the usefulness of the content before they share it. So, do your research to find what is most useful to your audience. In the end, they'll reward you by sharing your content with their friends and family.
4. Use SEO to Help Your Customers Solve Problems
Keyword research is a great way to discover what can be useful and informative to your audience. It's perfect for making sure that your users are actually interested in sharing it with others. If you have a certain topic in mind, you can use tools like MOZ, SEMRush, and Ahrefs to create a list. Whenever you learn the kind of questions people search for you can use this as a way to create better content. It can even help you create a title that users can easily discover and engage them.
5. Tell A Story
Storytelling is a powerful tactic. It's also an incredibly important aspect of content creation because it allows your audience to relate to your product. In order to tell a memorable story via content, you need to make sure to have a very clear beginning, middle, and end. Make sure there aren't any gaps in the story and that it's easy to follow.
Here's the best way to create storytelling content for social media:
- Offer a particular problem(s) that your audience is dealing with (either serious or lighthearted)
- Introduce solution(s) to those problems in the form of your products/services
- Show or tell your potential customers how they can solve the problem (by buying your products/services)
Just keep in mind that you need to be careful to not flat out "sell" your products/services. Opt for a soft sell instead. Seriously, a less obvious approach is best.
6. For Quick Wins, Incentivize
We all like free stuff - we'll take as much free stuff as we can get without paying for it. Capitalizing on this is one of the best ways to reward your audience with free "stuff" for sharing your content. Go ahead and take a look at how your competitors are using this approach and were successful at it.
Below are a few ideas to get you started:
- Write down rules for your giveaway and post it in a place that users can easily find.
- Set a date and time limit for likes and shares. Don't forget to add a timezone for any fans out of state.
- You can easily track share on Twitter because all you have to do is count retweets. On the other hand, Facebook is a little more difficult because you can't see the actual share post unless their post settings are public. That's why it's best to ask people to both like and share (or comment) so you have access to all the participants.
- Once your deadline is over, review your content engagement, and select a random winner.
- Send out a post letting your fans know that a winner has been chosen. Tag the winner so he/she can claim the prize.
- As a bonus, you can gift additional participants with a discount to encourage them to engage with you.
The best way to create shareable content is to make something you'd want to share yourself. Hopefully, this will help you create the perfect content for your brand. Let us know down below if you have any questions. Don't forget to check out our article on how to get your content to go viral.