How to Create Contagious Content That People Love to Share
You don’t publish website, blog and social media content for your own good. You don’t create videos so that you can entertain or educate yourself. You do these things because you’re building a business and want your content to speak for you online. You want it to draw the right people in your direction. You want more visits to your website and more money in your pocket.
To get what you want, you need other people to share your content. In order for them to share your content, they need to fully understand what value you have to offer and how that benefits them (and the people they’ll share it with) now and in the future. This is accomplished through mastering the art of content generation. The right content with strong calls to action will meet your target market online and convince them to share, share and share some more.
Ask for What You Want
If you want your content to be shared, ask your visitors, followers and friends to do just that. On your website and blog, make sure your share buttons are in an obvious location and stand out on the page. On social media sites, create powerful calls to action that tell visitors outright that you would love for them to share anything that you publish. This seems simple, but it’s one of the easiest ways to encourage content sharing.
Even adding a button to encourage pinning on Pinterest can make a huge impact!
Master the Headline
The headline is what most readers see first, so it’s what often convinces someone to read your content or pass it by. Write headlines that touch readers on an emotional level. You want them to connect with your headline or get curious about what your content has to offer. They will at least give you a chance to impress them if you can reach them from this first line.
For example: This is a typical website headline: Common Skin Problems
We can change it to Five Common Skin Problems – Which One Would You Like To Overcome?
Which one would you read? The second one! It will get far more shares and clicks to the content than the first.
Don’t Wing It
Make sure you know what you want to accomplish (your most wanted response) with every piece of content you create. You should know what you want your visitors to feel, think and do while they devour your content. This will allow you to focus all of your content on information and stories that will help you deliver the right message. When the right message gets across, you’ll see that your content becomes more relatable to others. Content people can relate to gets shared far more often.
Would you want to click to read more based on link text like this?
How I Improved My Memory in One Evening
Of course you would!
Answer Questions and Identify the Buzz
Think of social media and your website as valuable sources of market research. When you notice that a lot of people are asking the same question, create content that answers that question. When you realize that many of your followers and friends are buzzing about a certain product or theory, create content around that product or theory. Your goal is to identify the trends and angle your content in the direction of those trends so that it grabs the interest of your target market.
You can also pick up on trends and popular questions offline and incorporate them into your social media posts and website articles. If you’re hearing it from members of your target market offline, you can bet your online audience is asking the same question or buzzing about the same topic.
Here’s an example on Facebook:
Don’t Shy Away From Controversy and Debate
It’s understandable if you get nervous when a social media post starts to generate controversy. Conflicting ideas appear in your comment threads, and there’s a good chance someone is going to become offended and leave the discussion. This is a risk, but don’t avoid controversial topics affecting your niche. While a comment battle may leave some hard feelings, it can get your content out to many people who would otherwise never pay attention to your content.
However, it’s important to stress that your goal should never be to create conflict on purpose. Your goal is not to get your followers riled up just so their passionate comments will encourage sharing and participation. You want to publish timely information and ideas that show you’re with the times and are aware of what’s happening within your industry/niche.
If that happens to bring some controversy and attention, you can benefit from it while it lasts. Just make sure you’re prepared to monitor these situations carefully and keep everything classy and as respectful as possible.
Here’s a great example:
Let Your Market Generate the Content
User-generated content is one of the best forms of content because you don’t have to film the video or write the words. You simply present the opportunity for others to create the content on your behalf and offer a compelling reason for them to spend time doing so. Once you do your work on the front-end, you can sit back and accept a variety of high-value content generated by people from all around the world.
This type of content is generally collected on your website and then imported to social media. You may run a contest on your site or dedicate a page on your site to user-generated content. You can then take the videos and text posts created by your best visitors and turn it all into social media posts that others will want to pass around.
The key to making this type of content work is offering something that entices other people to participate. If they’re going to make a video of all the reasons they love your products, share their personal stories or take the time to write out a review of your services, you must give them something worth their investment. A contest with a valuable reward or the promise of seeing their name displayed on your website may be enough, but there are many other ways to convince people to work on your behalf as well.
A great way to do this is to ask visitors to share their photos or their own stories. Ask them to share product reviews. People love to share and to read what others have shared.
Study Your Competition
Can you identify someone within your industry who has a massive Twitter following? Is there a particular competitor who’s always shared on Facebook? Does a competitor get more Pinterest traffic than you? If you study the successful members of your industry, you’ll pick up on some of their techniques. You might use some of their techniques, but you may also come up with better ideas that allow you to beat their success rates. They may have achieved sharable content before you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join them, and ultimately, beat them.
For example, if you see that all of the great profiles on Pinterest that have the highest repins always have the headline in their photos, add headlines to yours. It may be an just an easy fix that can give your content a boost.
Make Your Fans Members of Your Team
When you have fans who constantly share your content, give them shoutouts. Interact with them and let them know that you recognize and appreciate their work. If you don’t currently have those passionate fans, hold contests that involve sharing to encourage them to come out of the woodwork. It will be worth your time… every time.
It can be as simple as thanking them when they retweet your articles, like this:
Anything you can do to connect with your fans or followers and make them feel appreciated will help you create contagious content.
Content Is Still King
Your site will always be your e-business core. And best-of-breed content still drives it all, whether it’s content on your site or your Facebook page, your niche-forum posts, the mobile-friendliness of your website, etc. Without top-notch, original content, it’s hard to generate “off-site” signals for the search engines to gather. After all, traffic to your site is the goal of social media for your business.
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