One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in content marketing is to write content that gets shared. Your blog posts and articles need to be “shareable” to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your website.
Generating content that is share-worthy is a lot more complex than it sounds. Simply writing a great piece will not ensure that it gets shared and attract a lot of readers.
So, how does one go about writing content that gets shared? How can you ensure that your content gets the attention it deserves? And prevent it from getting lost in the ever-growing mountain of web content out there?
1. Know Your Target Audience
The first rule of content marketing is to create content that appeals to the target audience. Your audience will only share content that interests them. So, figuring out who you are writing for and catering to them will yield good results.
Here are some pertinent questions to ask yourself before you start writing:
- Who are you writing for? The answer to this question will determine the topic, tone and approach of the piece.
- What interests/excites them? People tend to share content that interests them. Knowing your target audience’s likes, dislikes and interests will help narrow down the topics.
- When is the best time to publish the content? This is a very crucial factor that many people overlook. Publish content when most of your target audience will be online. This will ensure that the momentum builds as more and more people share your content, creating a chain reaction.
- Why is your target audience online? Find out what they’re looking for and see if you can give it to them in a nicely written content package.
2. Create Attention Grabbing Headlines
Your headline needs to grab the readers’ attention. You’ve only got a couple of seconds to pique the readers’ interest and make them want to read the content. Only if they read it are they likely to then go ahead and share it. Headlines are what attracts visitors to a website.
The attention span of online users is very short. Content creators don’t have the luxury of having a boring or overly long headline for an article and expecting it to be read and shared.
Aim for your headline to be ten words or less. And don’t forget the sub headings. Sub headings are just as important as they help to break down the content into easy to digest sections.
They facilitate quick-reading, allowing readers to skim through an article to get the gist of it. While those who have the time will read the entire article, those who have a short attention span or just want a quick brief of the contents of the article will get that from the sub headings.
3. Employ Tried and Tested Methods
Don’t shy away from using methods that have proven to be successful. There’s a reason why “How to…” articles are so popular. Aim to generate engaging, useful and easy-to-read content and offer it in a simple format.
While innovation and creativity is essential to create quality content, so is the need to make the content appealing to your target audience. So, don’t hesitate to employ tried and tested methods to appeal to your readers.
4. Aim to Start a Dialogue with Your Audience
Content that evokes an emotional response, that starts a debate and engages the readers in a dialogue are more likely to be shared. Content creation is not about pandering to your audience.
It’s about starting a conversation and stoking your audience’s emotions to make them react and respond to the content. Relatable content gives your audience something to connect to, something to talk about and share with their friends.
5. Keep Up with Current Trends
Trends and fads play an important role in online content marketing. In order to be relevant and get more hits, your content should be inspired by current events and trends.
Try to incorporate trending topics and subjects into your content to gain a bigger readership. Use well-researched keywords to ensure your content is search engine optimized.
In the online world, there’s a new trend coming up every other week. These trends then give rise to a whole lot of new content, much in demand. Stay in the loop by keeping up with these changing trends. Content research and social media monitoring will come in handy in this area.
6. Use Visuals to Create Interest
Strategically placed visuals help to break the monotony and add interest to a written piece. Pictures, graphics, and even statistic charts help to add an extra dimension to your content. It is a known fact that visuals capture the eyes.
What is lesser known is that visuals help us retain information more effectively. When you combine arresting visuals with quality content, you have share-worthy material.
7. Give the Audience a New Perspective
The online world is saturated with content. A quick search on any given topic will yield hundreds of results. How do you stand out from the crowd and gain a user’s interest? By tackling a topic from a completely different angle.
A fresh perspective on a much talked about topic will give you an edge. You are offering something different; your content is original and so, more appealing.
8. Work on The Structure and Flow
It is not enough to provide useful, informational content. You need to package it right, giving it a proper structure and flow to make it more readable. Your audience are looking for content that has a flow to it. Content that is easy to understand, with simple sentence structures.
When writing, keep your audience in mind. You are writing content for them, not to show off your writing prowess. So, resist the urge to indulge in complex jargons and flowery language. Keep it simple and to the point.
9. Analyse Content That Works
So, you’ve written a lot of articles. Some of them are popular, with a lot of views and shares, while some others just sit there, barely read and mostly unseen. So, what is it that differentiates the popular content from the unpopular ones?
Take the time to carefully analyse your content to find out what exactly is it that makes them work or not. Knowing what works, what your audience like and want will help you write better content.
10. Offer Useful Information
Anybody can write their opinion on a topic. What is more useful and informational is to provide statistics and other quantifiable data to give credibility to a topic. Offer your audience information that is not otherwise easily available to them. You need to gather data, sift through it and decide on the right way to present it to your target demographic.
11. Develop A Unique Voice
For content to be shared, it needs to have a unique voice. The tone that you use, the words that you employ, all make a difference to how your content reads. When an article is funny while still being useful, it goes from being just another article to be read to something worth being shared.
It’s no coincidence that funny YouTubers tend to have more subscribers, articles that have a funny undertone are more readily shared. The world is very serious these day, try to lighten it up with a bit of humor.
12. Prioritize Readers Over Search Engine Ranking
While a higher ranking on SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) can do wonders for the reach of your content, what’s more important is to provide organic content. Your primary concern should be the readers.
Is your content worth their time? Are they gaining valuable information by reading your content? Don’t write for search engine bots, write for people. When your content is organic, it will stay relevant for longer.
13. Be A Story Teller
Who doesn’t enjoy a good story? Engage in the art of storytelling by packaging your content in the form of a story, with a proper start and an end. Readers like to read content that has a storytelling format to it.
A good writer is one who has the ability to turn even the most boring topics into interesting content. Forget about content marketing and just look at it as storytelling, you’ll be a much better writer when you do that.
14. Don’t Shy Away from Controversies
Don’t hesitate to be controversial with your writing. Controversial content tends to get stronger reactions from the audience. You need to jolt the audience, make them sit up and take notice. Your content should not be “just another blog post”.
Focus on creating content that generates extreme reactions, both positive and negative, in your readers. Like it or not, controversies sell. So, don’t miss out on opportunities just because you’re afraid to express an unpopular opinion or go against the grain in some manner.
15. Don’t Rely Too Heavily on Word count
Word count should not affect the quality of your content. Your priority as a content creator should be to do full justice to the topic that you’re dealing with. Don’t limit yourself to word count and any preconceived notion of how long a post should be.
Audience appreciate both short and lengthy write-ups. It’s all about handling the subject matter efficiently, relying useful information to the audience. Word count is just a point of reference, not a hard and fast rule.
Content marketing is not a short-term process. It takes time and effort to write content that gets shared, reaches a broader audience and doesn’t get swallowed up in the endless pit of information overload.
Coming up with unique, relatable content is your best chance of increasing your visibility. By using the above-mentioned tips, you can develop content that has a higher chance of getting shared.
Passionate about writing and sharing my experiences with others. I have a keen interest in marketing and the growth of digital.