Shareable Content: Stuff You Should Have to Get People Hooked
We’ve all been there as marketing guys. You’ve got some great stuff you need to share online so you back it up with awesome content and well-researched information. You create/write it down, publish it… and nothing happens. Your first thought would always be, “did I fuck up?” Maybe, but in this case, fucking up might not be on your end, but rather on the way you made your content.
It’s not enough to have information and the nitty-gritty stuff on your content. Jonathan Gorham of Content Marketing Institute shares the best elements you should have on your content to make it more shareable. In other words, it’s important to pay attention to your “share triggers.”
This is something that we’ve been practicing since social media became a battlefield—we constantly have to fight for attention and genuine views and visits, so it’s hard to break ground sometimes. Luckily, by taking these “share triggers” to heart, you can finally get out of that fucking rut.
Cliffhangers are a hit or miss, especially in TV shows and movies. But for your content to have that aura of mystery and incite eagerness, delaying the information reveal can sometimes work.
According to research conducted by the Carnegie Mellon University, “people are driven by curiosity, which is a desire for knowledge for its own sake, even in the absence of material benefits, and people are additionally motivated to seek out information about issues they like thinking about and avoid information about issues they do not like thinking about.”
To put it simply, if you intentionally hold out information after giving a few teasers in your content, people are more inclined to keep reading and share it. But take great care in dropping these cliffhangers. You have to be able to catch their attention from the get-go and end it with something that would make them want more from what they read. It’s a jab-jab-hook situation.
Go Against the Tide
In a massive sea of constant blog posts, content materials, videos, and online shit, it’s a challenge to even have at least a thousand people view your content minutes after you post it. That’s why Gorham suggests you try the zig-zag method. “When everybody zigs, you zag,” he says. “Publish a piece of content that goes against popular opinion or you explore a popular idea from a different angle.”
This is the tricky part—you don’t want to appear edgy as fuck, so you have to make sure that the topic you’re going against is backed up with significant amounts of reliable data. When everyone says jump, you say sit down. But as you do, you have to make a proper argument that entails why it’s so much better to sit comfortably than spend some time jumping up and down.
TL;DR (too long, didn’t read). That’s what you usually see on Reddit and other platforms where the OP (original poster) provides a disclaimer at the end of his post, summarizing the massive wall of text. This can also apply to your content.
Nobody likes to read a big block of text, except for when someone is actually spilling some tea on social media. But generally speaking, it would do your content well to scale it down to bite-sized paragraphs where it’s easier to find what one is skimming for. I know I’d do this.
DIYs, How-Tos, Tutorials, You Name It. People Bleed for this Shit.
This type of articles is what Content Marketing Institue refers to as “content utility.” Readers love to look for practical advice online. There are times when I’d forget how to perform a simple utility task on my Windows PC. My initial plan of action is to head over to Google and look for that piece on how I can find the setting for editing the registry or the command prompt parameters. It’s something that gives people more skill than knowledge.
Creating these types of articles make you content something that’s more than a source of information, but also a place where one gains practical ideas on how to do shit. Make sure that the steps and advice are easy to follow. Keep it short and simple.
The Power of “Good News”
Another share trigger that you can take advantage of are articles that appease a certain kind of social belief, or one that’s somewhat akin to a flattery piece—especially when influencers are involved. People are more likely to share stuff about something that makes them feel good about themselves. It works wonders if what you’re writing makes them look good or supports their beliefs.
Articles about social movements such as minimalism, counter-culture, and practical positivity are sure ball winners when it comes to share counts and how it resonates with an audience. Pieces about influencers shared by the influencers themselves can also hit your share trigger exponentially.
Size/Length Matters *wink wink*
BuzzSumo conducted a study about the type of blog posts that are shared by people in 2018. They found out that content with longer word counts led to more shares. Back when we used to follow the 300-word limit, content creators jumped into the ship, overloading it and having it sink down. Now, it seems as if the longer your content is, the more time readers would devote to spend in reading it and eventually sharing it. Again, this also has something to do with how you structurize your article and the relevant information shared about your specific topic.
This is the main question that your readers would ask after reading your practical piece on growth hacking or making practical changes to their business model. Capitalize on this question and offer an actionable call-to-action (that sounds redundant, but you get the point). It could be as simple as signing up for your email list, subscribing to your channel, leaving a like/comment, or entering their details to avail of a discount. The exchange of value is endless.
Sounds interesting, right? Now, go on and spread the good news. Share this shit now!
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