A simple Google search on any topic will tell you the staggering number of content that is present today in the digital space. To put it into perspective, statistics show that we post almost 2 million articles on the internet every single day and if you combine that with our social media status updates and sharing media files, the amount of content is simply unimaginable. Naturally, people do not come up with 2 million new topics daily and only a few posts manage to swim to the surface. Content that people share and circulate throughout the internet.
And here comes the big question! How to create shareable content that will become the chosen one? A content that will receive engagement and earn your brand the well-deserved fame. Unfortunately, we often confuse sharable content with viral content but the truth is, you do not have to make your posts viral for it to become shareable.
So, here are 10 incredible tips just for you on creating shareable content. Bring out your notebooks and paste these on your wall. Refer to this list every time and stand out in the 2 million thick crowd.
Here we go!
#1: Involve your audience and get ideas from them
Certainly, the question arises, how do you know whether your post is valuable or not? The trick to creating shareable content lies in giving your readers what they want. Post content on topics your audience wants to know about and give them the answers that they are seeking. If you remain engaged with your online community, you will get vibes of what all your followers are discussing, where are they confused and what are they searching for. Create a post on the hot topic and see your content boom.
For instance, almost every alternate week chatter goes around that Google has updated its search algorithm. Twitter goes nuts over how their sites have fallen in rank and the SEO blogs come out with posts on ways to protect its users. Among this mayhem, Gary Illyes drops in a tweet about how there’s no update and the fluctuations are normal. Imagine how many retweets Gary gets when the panic had already set in. A tweet, after all, is a content and Gary talks about what his followers are discussing. Get the idea?
#2: Target topics that are trending on Social Media
Well, this shouldn’t come across as a news. Publishing a content on trending topics increases your chances of receiving shares. If you share the post on social media with the right hashtags, people will easily find your content and spread the word. Remain active in your niche, keep a lookout and grab the opportunity when it comes. Sharing your views on such a topic establishes you as the industry expert and develops a sense of trust in your brand.
Twitter has a trending section that lets you scan through the most used hashtags. Buzzsumo also offers a tool to find the most trending topics for which its articles got the maximum shares. You can pick up topic ideas from here and frame a post that will stand out. The key is to constantly update your knowledge well and present something that harnesses the audience’s positive emotions.
#3: Add memes and make the reading fun
Who says you always have to be professional? Take this post by Larry Kim as an example where he talks about featured snippets. The images in this blog are memes from the famous TV series Game of Thrones and it is hilarious at parts. Such content tends to stick in your memory and when you had fun reading it, you involuntarily go on to press the share button. Kim’s content is the perfect mix of information and humour, this is your example of how to create shareable content.
Similarly, I had come across another content where the author talked about black-hat and white-hat SEO with reference to Star Wars. There weren’t any memes in the post but it was engaging to the extent. Too much information can take the fun element out of your content and this is what you should avoid. Add humour here and there, be sarcastic and let your readers enjoy the read.
#4: Always tell a story through your Content
Have you ever seen people sharing a Wikipedia page on their Facebook profiles? What you get there is pure information and until you are doing hardcore research, you hardly enter or click on Wikipedia. The purpose of your content is also to provide information, but you can do this while conversing with your readers. Instead of constantly hitting them with facts, sound like a human and this is what makes content shareable.
Anecdotes always seem to work for me. You can also quote real-life examples from your life or something that you had read somewhere to prove a point. But try not to go overboard and fill your content with unnecessary fillers. Stick to the theme and make things interesting. Find out what your audience connects with and tell your story on those lines. If I am talking about marketing, my example will never involve elephants and ants.
#5: Place social share buttons where they are visible
Believe me or not but there are articles out there that are truly worth sharing but the authors miss out on the opportunity just because their social share buttons weren’t in the right places. When your readers are through with your content, that is the point when the thought of sharing comes to their mind. Now, if your social share buttons are right at the top, many may leave your page without going through the trouble of scrolling up.
Then again, some do prefer to scroll up and read the headline again. So, you must have the buttons at the top as well. I also like the way most websites encourage shares by placing a tweet button in the content body highlighting the sharable information. In simple words, do not leave your readers in the dark and expect them to figure out how to share your content. Make it easy for them by placing the icons wherever you think they might want to press share.
#6: Talk about the other side of the story
You may not side with the majority always but post something that causes controversy. This is a smart trick on how to create shareable content. I am not talking about religious or political topics that can start a war. It can be something simple like how people are talking about email marketing is slowly losing its value. There are many who side with this opinion and this is where you can come up with a post which reads: “Is Email Marketing Truly Dying?”
It will immediately catch the eye of a lot of people. They will want to see what all you have to say and may even debate with you on certain points. Another section of the crowd will agree with you and share your content to instill some fresh air. This way, you come to the forefront by not following the crowd and posting something the audience didn’t expect. You will receive shares in appreciation of your bravery.
#7: Hand out Rewards for your shares
Who doesn’t like to get rewarded, right? This gives your audience a purpose to share your content and they will do it without second thoughts. At the end of the day, all you have to do is pick a winner and come up with a new prize the next time. The reward doesn’t have to be something extravagant. Maybe a discount on one of your products or free access to an eBook. Anything will do and is indeed a nice hack in creating shareable content.
Think of it like an investment. By sacrificing $50 to encourage shares, you can actually bring in more audience who can help you make 10 times of what you give in the reward. Twitter is the best medium to run reward-related sharing campaign as it is easier to keep track here. If resources permit, you may also consider handing out t-shirts and coffee mugs which are great ways to spread brand awareness as well.
#8: Listicles still rule the market
Original and research-based content may be the future of content marketing, but if you are looking for creating shareable content, listicles are still the way to go. The above picture from Buzzsumo shows list-type content gets the most number of shares right after infographics and the average figure is even more than video type content. The psychology which works here is that listicles are quick to scan and read and people like spending little time.
The best answer, in my opinion, to how to create shareable content is to combine a listicle with an infographic. If you are suggesting 10 ways to do something, create an infographic with that and place it within your post. People can now share with your entire blog or opt to spread the embedded infographic around. This way, you tap into the potential of the two most shared content (according to the data chart above) and generate maximum shares.
#9: Make the content scannable and clean
Trust me on this, people do not share ugly looking content with huge paragraphs and no white spaces. Aesthetics play a vital role in engaging your audience and also affect their decision to share. It’s almost a primary must-follow of how to create shareable content. People love to see content that is neatly placed, with proper high definition images and fewer ads bothering them while reading. You give them a good experience and they will spread your word in return.
Also, take care of how your website is looking on a mobile screen. Keeping all the SEO aspects aside, internet users now surf more on the go and you must ensure a similar experience as your desktop version. Make sure your page loads fast, the design has an optimum finger space and your users have easy access to social share buttons. Mobile users tend to share more and such simple steps are what makes content shareable.
#10: Make your content Valuable and fill it with Information
Seriously! If you want your audience to recognize your content and share it in their profiles, take your time and give your best. A random combination of words of the greatest topic on earth will never attract attention as there is always someone else out there who is doing better than you. Research on the topic, back your viewpoints with statistics and make your readers feel that they have learned something after reading your post.
Buzzsumo in collaboration with Moz recently conducted a study on how to create shareable content and the ideal length of such content. They observed that posts more than 1000 words received more shares on social media than those that were 800 words or less. Buzzsumo also stated that its 5000+ words strong articles almost always received 10,000+ shares and higher the content size, the better is its popularity. This brought in a trend in generating long-form content which is suggestive that readers now look for information rather than a light bedtime read. Give your audience value and your content will be shared. Which brings us to the bonus tip…
Bonus Tip – Stick to the basics
You really don’t have to try to hard and complicate matters. Keep your focus in mind, be true to your audience with your content and follow these 10 incredible ways on how to create shareable content. Improvise and find out what works. Look for new ways if you have to. This is the essence of digital marketing where things are always changing and it somehow challenges your creativity. Keep writing great content and don’t forget to make them shareable.
That’s it from here now. Do drop in your views in the comment section below. Let me know what all worked for you and if you would like to add something here. Good Luck!