A few weeks ago, I read a Media Post blog on developing share-worthy content. It got me thinking about publishing content that is really entertaining and/or useful to prospective and current customers. The simple fact is that, “Sharing is a vital part of content distribution, and people don’t tend to share what they don’t find valuable.” The post went on to say, “The problem is that coming up with creative, effective content ideas can be tough when you’re churning out new content all the time.”
So, exactly how do you make more of your content more share-worthy?
What motivates people to share online content?
That critical question was answered a few years ago when The New York Times Customer Insight and Advertising Groups examined the motivations for why people share online in their study on “The Psychology of Sharing.” While sharing isn’t new, the study pointed out that in the Information Age, we share more content, from more sources with more people, more often, more quickly. According to the report, the five motivations for sharing are:
- To bring valuable and entertaining content to others. In fact, 94% of the responders said that they consider how useful the shared information will be to the recipient.
- To define ourselves to others. People said they share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about.
- To grow and nourish our relationships. Responders said they share information online because it lets them stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with and helps them connect with others who share their interests.
- For self-fulfillment. They share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world.
- To get the word out about causes or brands. Sharing is a way is a way to support causes or issues people care about.
But, how the heck do you get them to share more?
Think about the little, meaningful changes to your content marketing that will move your share-worthy needle. Your content should be distinctive, insightful, or humorous, so your audience will want to share it with other people in their networks. That’s why it’s so important to create content that is:
- Fresh and relevant
Stay on top of the latest headlines, trends and upcoming events. That way you’ll be able to spot authentic, relevant opportunities to join the conversation. Tune into your social community and hear what your audience is saying to each other and to you about your business. Then, find ways to make interacting with each other easier, more productive, or more fun.
Our client, Amy Bradbury, blogs on such fresh and relevant topics for small business owners as finding the right niche, business branding and even about a recent online radio interview. And she always makes her content fun with her rockstar tone.
In her blog post, Jessica Bowman suggests that bloggers, “Consider a list of statistics, an in-depth resource or guide, or a how-to article. Also consider multiple types of media, such as text, graphics and videos.”
Consumers love feeling connected to their favorite products and services, and the content you create is an increasingly valuable tool to cement that connection. It converts your audience into not only advocates, but content creators, and brands can then surface the best of that content on their websites, mobile apps, social media, digital ads and more.
See how well Solamar client, Kim Bowen of Engage With Love Coaching, is definitely in tune with her audience, as shown through such “engaging” and crafted blog topics as, Are You Doing the Right Things to Save Your Marriage?, Should I Give My Spouse An Ultimatum?, and Play This Game and Design Your Ideal Mate—Now This Is Cool!
Tell a tearjerker. Attack a common enemy. Vent your frustrations. Give a pep talk. Be emotional and inspiring…make them believe in you and in themselves. If you do it right, people will empathize, bond with you, and share.
Make ’em laugh…and they’ll share the humor. People often think of funny as videos or stories, but it can also mean a cartoon.
- Makes your content consumable
With lists: Attention spans are getting shorter and shorts. That’s why bulleted or numbered lists make content easier to digest. The challenge is creating a list that people will actually want to share. It needs to have shock value, laughs or the “I want that!” reaction. If you want to put lists to work for you, check out a recent Solamar post, 14 Killer Tips to Create a List Post That Gets Traffic, Comments and Shares.
With infographics: This visual display of information and data makes everything quick-and-easy to visualize and understand. And, an infographic is highly shareable.
- Identities a problem and provides a solution
When you enlighten people on their real-world pain points, you can also provide a simple, share-worthy solution. Another Solamar client, Elisa Hallerman, who helps people with addiction recovery treatment, has posted about gambling, teen heroin use, and even a new drug called “bupe”…and delivers her advocacy and guidance solutions.
- Takes people outside the box
Look at things from a fresh, new perspective. Get a second, third or fourth opinion. It can’t hurt.
- Includes social sharing “buttons”
Creating share-worthy content is nothing if you don’t make it easy for them to share. So be sure to include click-through “sharing buttons,” to increase activity across the social Web. While there are many styles to choose from, these buttons enable people to “Like” on Facebook, Tweet it, Pin it, email it, comment on it, and just share it (share+).
- Resorts to bribery (when all else fails)
Give away free products, consultations, feedback, ebooks, white papers—pretty much whatever your audience desires. By getting people to comment that first time, they’re much more likely to do it again. Commenting also makes readers feel more a part of your community, and they’re more likely to stick around, tell their friends, and buy your products and services. So, sometimes it’s worth giving them a little incentive to get off their butts and comment.
To paraphrase the oldie-but-goodie Sherry (recorded by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons), these days it’s all about “Sharing, baby!” And no one knows more share-worthy tricks-of-the-trade than Solamar. We’re ready and waiting to share them with you. Just give us a shout!