Content creation has become an essential part of a successful marketing strategy. However, while almost 70% of all companies engage in content marketing, few can create contagious content that internet users feel inclined to share.
Over the years, content marketing has moved beyond blog posts and email marketing. It now encompasses so much more and is also more competitive than ever before. Content is being produced in bulk, making it more challenging for businesses to stand out.
Thankfully, there are many ways to create compelling content that is more likely to spread across social media, and this blog post will give practical tips on how to accomplish that. But first, let’s discuss all that goes on behind the scenes of sharing content on social media.
What do users like to share on social media?
There is scientific evidence behind why people share content on social media. Researchers have discovered various psychological triggers that motivate people to engage with social content. The study’s first finding shows that sharing is an enjoyable act and therefore, “sharing is human”. The study also highlighted 5 other reasons behind why people feel inclined to share content:
To bring enlightening, valuable, and entertaining content to others
Sharing content to educate others or entertain them is common on social platforms. Those who share content to elicit a response likely felt the same after seeing the content for the first time. For example, sharing a funny meme that made you laugh will likely make others laugh as well when they see it. In the same way, sharing an inspirational quote from the late social activist Nelson Mandela may leave someone feeling enlightened.
To prove themselves to others (or themselves)
People enjoy sharing content that could be pleasing to others. It’s human nature to seek the approval of others, and sharing content that others find value in is a sure way to garner attention. For example, sharing a workout routine you accomplished will leave others with a positive impression and show that you are fit and prioritize your health.
To further connect and stay connected with others
Social media is a great way to stay connected with people from all phases of your life. Odds are that if you post on social media or share content from another user those that can relate will interact with your post. For example, sharing content related to your field of work can prompt coworkers to like or comment on that post since they have similar interests.
To support brands and/or causes they strongly believe in
The most common way to show support for a brand or cause is to create and share content for your followers to see. A good example of this is when a famous star shares their support for something the public feels strongly about. For example, during the protests against police brutality, several stars shared content on social media showing their support for peaceful protests.
For a sense of self-fulfillment, to be credited by others for what they shared
Let’s face it. Everyone loves to have their ego stroked and sharing content that everyone loves is a sure way to get that. Some may argue that sharing content, for this reason, has little value, however, that’s not always the case. For example, sharing a controversial stance on a common issue can open the door for both positive and negative comments. But, at the end of the day, people will still be talking about the issue at hand and could open the door to solutions.
Keep in mind that it can be difficult to segment the way people interact online. Especially since these categories can and frequently do overlap. However, thinking about these basic motivations is useful when developing a content strategy that will motivate users to get involved.
10 tips for making your social media content more shareable
Understanding why users share information on social media is one thing. Learning how to create content that people want to share in the digital space is another. Here are helpful tips to keep in mind when creating content for your business.
Strategically Structure Content
The way you structure your content will determine if readers stick around or go elsewhere. Today, internet users read very quickly and expect information to pop right out at them. A “wall of text” can deter readers from engaging with your content. Format your content intelligently by using bullet points, numbered lists, and headers to easily point out key information. Also, breaking your content up into several paragraphs will allow your content to be even more visually pleasing.
Add Value to Users’ Lives with Your Content
Writing content is easy. Writing value-added content is what makes businesses stand out in a crowded market. Value-added content is described as any unique, original, or exclusive content or information that your audience cannot get anywhere else. Your readers and clients should be able to put your words into practice and benefit from what you publish. Sharing value-added content allows you to solve users’ problems and show them how to overcome them. This not only builds brand loyalty but will keep them coming back for more and increase the chance for referrals. As long as you create genuinely helpful content, it’s almost certain to be shared.
Create High-Quality Content
This point may be fairly obvious, but it’s often missed when creating content. When it comes to creating high-quality content it’s important to note that no shortcuts are taken. If you focus on superficial topics that lack research and structure, readers won’t find your content valuable and will look elsewhere. This is one of the main reasons behind the success of long-form content.
Always Keep Your Audience in Mind
Before you create content to be shared, consider your audience. Ask yourself what your audience finds valuable, what they are seeking from you, and how to best reach them. Once you have a good bucket of information you can begin testing the content you share. For example, if your audience consists of business owners sharing social posts via LinkedIn would be a good way to reach them. In addition to that, they may also appreciate long-form content on your company’s blog. Mapping this out will give you consistent engagement.
Consider Your Audience’s Trigger Emotions
Good marketing campaigns trigger an emotion with the target audience. Studies show that content that elicits emotions like anger, joy, or sorrow prompts people to share digital content. For example, St. Jude’s Hospital commercials elicit the feeling of sympathy by putting a face to children that are facing severe health issues. The emotional response then prompts people to donate in support of St. Jude’s mission and share the information with others.
A great way to get people interested in your business is to offer incentives. Who doesn’t love free things? Offering small items such as keychains, t-shirts, or a prize package in exchange for a referral are great items to get started with, but it doesn’t have to stop there. You can also offer discounts on services or complementary services to make the incentive offer even more appealing.
Users love to compete and organizing a contest is the perfect way to get their competitive spirits going. This is also an effective way to get your brand name out to those who otherwise would not see your content. Social media is a great place to start with this. For example, creating a contest that requires participants to share the original post will guarantee that your content is shared in multiple places.
Create Engaging Infographics
Infographics are both informative and easy to understand. An infographic is a collection of charts, imagery, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic. If graphic design isn’t your area of expertise there are plenty of useful tools to make high-quality infographics without the help of a graphic designer. The most important thing is to make sure the infographic is relevant and useful for your audience.
Use video content
Video is quickly becoming the standard for high-quality content. People are spending more time than ever on the internet and social media and can be crowded with text from articles, emails, and social posts. Sharing a video is a good way to grasp their attention because it adds a visual element to the message being shared. Instagram’s algorithm now favors accounts that are regularly publishing and engaging with their new Reels video feature.
Implement Trendy Topics
Staying up to date on trends is a vital part of marketing. Your company’s ability to adapt to new trends will keep you relevant in the eyes of current customers and expand your reach to potential customers. For example, many companies are now marketing on TikTok due to the popularity the social platform saw during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is yet another way many businesses can reach their audience.
Content creation is something that will continue to evolve as time goes on. Developing a solid content strategy is what will set you apart from the competition and increase the reach your business has. When your audience is able to both relate to and recognize your social media posts, they’ll be quick to share your content to their own feeds. Once you find what works for your business, stick with it and watch your business thrive.