There’s no denying that content marketing is indispensable for generating new leads, boosting brand awareness, and keeping your audience engaged. But the problem is that you can’t simply produce average content and expect it to work. With 600 million blogs worldwide, it can be difficult to cut through all that noise and attract readers, so you’d better start creating valuable, shareworthy content.
That’s easier said than done, as 37 percent of content marketers report that one of their top challenges is creating valuable instead of sales-oriented content. But adding value isn’t the only factor. In order to inspire your audience to click the “Share” button, your content has to be engaging, informative, and entertaining.
In this article, we’ll explore tips and tricks to help you produce exceptional content that will get more eyeballs and tons of shares.
1) Go interactive
Blog posts, ebooks, and other long-form text-based resources are content staples, but if you want to gain a competitive edge, then including interactive pieces in your content marketing strategy is a must.
Unlike its static counterpart, interactive content requires readers’ active participation and input, which makes it highly engaging and personalized. Instead of being passive recipients of your message, your audience will be involved in the creation process and get the output tailored to them.
Some of the most popular types of interactive content are:
- Calculators and similar tools
- Infographics with interactive elements
- Interactive videos
- Images with a slider effect
In addition to being fun, interactive content allows your readers to learn something about themselves and find an answer to their questions quickly and easily. Quizzes and calculators are particularly effective, especially when it comes to generating likes and shares on social media.
For example, BuzzFeed quizzes boast millions of shares on Facebook. Like them or not, these entertaining pieces allow people to showcase their personality and get social validation by sharing their results with their friends and followers.
Calculators usually have practical value as they provide your visitors with personalized solutions based on the information they provide. For example, the Transparent Labs Macro Calculator allows readers to learn their calorie and macronutrient needs, something that they couldn’t calculate themselves, at least not so quickly and easily.
Source: Transparent Labs
Similarly, UnscrambleX offers a handy anagram solver to help their Scramble players instantly identify what words they can make with the letters they have. It’s intuitive and easy to use, which is why it’s a go-to resource for all word-game aficionados.
2) Make your content more credible
Shareworthy content has to come across as trustworthy.
Why would people share thin content, full of unsubstantiated claims, with their social media followers? The very idea of sharing a blog post, video, or infographic is based on a reader’s wish to draw the attention of their friends and followers to a valuable piece of information that they could benefit from.
Therefore, if your content isn’t well-researched and backed up with links to relevant, authoritative studies or resources, your readers will have to take everything you say for granted.
Simultaneously, Google’s E-A-T principle, though not a ranking factor, still has an impact on the visibility of your content in search results and, indirectly, its reach. This acronym stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, that is, a set of guidelines for the quality of search results. Google’s quality raters determine all these factors by analyzing whether your content is accurate, substantiated, and fact-checked, as well as whether the author is an expert on the subject matter.
To get a green light and boost your reputation, you have to cover all the bases.
Eachnight’s Best Mattresses of 2023 guide exudes credibility right off the bat. Readers are informed that it was written by a certified sleep coach and medically reviewed by a licensed physical therapist, whose bios they can access by hovering over their names with a cursor. The brand’s audience can rest assured that this detailed, fact-checked resource is packed with valuable tips and advice worth sharing with their social media following.
3) Focus on evergreen content
While it’s true that trending topics and stories of the moment will bring you a generous number of clicks and shares, it’s best to invest your time and effort in crafting pieces that never go out of style.
Evergreen pieces stay fresh and relevant months or even years after their initial publish date. Besides that, these timeless blog posts, how-to guides, tutorials, tools, listicles, product reviews, and videos also accumulate value, SEO juice, and traffic over time, all of which contribute to their shareability.
But how do you create such content that has no shelf life?
- Don’t use industry jargon and tech lingo. This is content 101, and it should be suitable for lay people.
- Answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the topic you cover.
- Pick a topic that’s not seasonal—something that people always want to read and learn about.
- Optimize it for SEO by including relevant keywords and internal links and making it reader and search engine-friendly.
- Revisit your pieces regularly and update them with new stats or information.
Going’s detailed how-to guide on finding cheap flights is a great example of evergreen content. It’s detailed, informative, and packed with actionable tips. Most importantly, it addresses their target audience’s pain point that’s always relevant, which makes it super valuable. With a couple of occasional tweaks and updates, this guide is here to stay.
4) Spice it up with stunning visuals
Adding visuals to your content will make it more shareable. According to stats, blog posts with an image after every 75-100 words get two times more shares than those with fewer images.
Visuals lend themselves perfectly to social media, so don’t neglect images, photos, infographics, charts, data visualizations, videos, authentic screenshots, illustrations, and diagrams.
But there’s a catch: you can’t add a random visual that’s unrelated to the rest of your content to serve as eye candy. It has to make sense and add value to your readers.
So, rich media’s purpose is to make data-driven content easier to grasp at a glance and help your audience better understand complex concepts. Plus, it’s more engaging and attention-grabbing than text.
For example, MarketBeat’s guide about penny stocks features a visually-appealing interactive reference table that lists penny stocks with the highest trading volume. Readers can select different parameters and find useful details at a glance without having to go through walls of text in search of a piece of information they need.
5) Come up with eye-catching headlines
A compelling headline is what makes a difference between ignored and popular content. It’s the first thing your audience sees when browsing through search results, and it’s easy to conclude that they will be intrigued to learn more when they come across an intriguing headline.
Besides, 6 out of 10 people say they share articles solely based on their headlines, while less than 50% claim to actually read the rest of the content.
Luckily, crafting click and share-worthy headlines isn’t rocket science. Here are some tried-and-true guidelines to set you in the right direction:
- Use words that evoke a certain emotion, such as joy, fear, sadness, hope, curiosity, or anger. Emotionally charged headlines perform much better than neutral ones but make sure to deliver on your promise.
- Mention the names of people or brands well-known in your industry. This way, you can piggyback on their celebrity status and get readers to click.
- Include numbers as they indicate that the content is in the form of a listicle, meaning it’s easy to read and find the information readers are looking for.
- Tell your readers what’s in it for them by highlighting the benefits they’ll get if they click and read your content.
- Ask questions relevant to your audience and address their pain points to insinuate that your content offers a solution.
For example, Undiscovered Path Home’s guide on beating the fear of flying promises readers 13 life-changing tips, and it’s more effective than if the title was Overcome Your Fear of Flying.
Source: Undiscovered Path Home
6) Leverage user-generated content
People are more inclined to trust content created by their peers than brands because it’s genuine and relatable. When your audience sees a photo, video, or story that resonates with them on a personal level or elicits a specific emotional response, they get the urge to share it with their social media following.
The science behind this phenomenon can be boiled down to personal branding—we want to tell others who we are, what makes us tick, and what we care about. We want to belong to a group or community and communicate how we perceive the world around us.
User-generated content makes people feel something, be it joy, empathy, anger, or inspiration, and it’s a perfect medium for defining themselves to their peers and connecting with them.
Besides posting branded content, Starbucks uses its Instagram to shine a spotlight on customers and their personal photos and videos. People find this content heartwarming and inspirational, so it’s no surprise that it scoops the most likes and shares.
Creating shareworthy content isn’t exactly a piece of cake. However, these six tips will help you come up with content that’s trustworthy, educational, entertaining, and engaging enough for your audience to share it with others.