Step 1: Invest in the creation of quality content. Step 2: Distribute aforementioned quality content to your target audience. Sounds simple, right? Wrong.
Let’s pretend you’ve successfully identified a topic that resonates with readers and aligns with your brand objectives, and you’ve partnered with professional content creators to bring your idea to fruition. How are you going to get this great content into the hands of the right people? (It’s a bit like a tree falling in an empty forest: quality content is nothing without an audience.)
One of the most effective ways to drive quality traffic is via social media. Research from Voltier Digital shows that 90 percent of people listen to recommendations shared from friends. Social media lead conversion rates are 13 percent higher than the average lead conversion rate, according to HubSpot. When people share your content, they do the work for you — they willingly promote your message to their personal social network. Now potential new customers are learning about your business from a trusted friend, rather than, say, a banner ad.
So how do you create content that your audience will want to share? Start with these tips.
1. Make sharing easy
Optimize your content with social media sharing buttons. ShareThis is a great tool to get you started.
Make sure your brand name and contact information won’t be lost if the content takes on a life of its own. If you create an infographic, embed your logo within the image. Remember, infographics don’t have to be complicated. We created the simple example below to promote our Cardiovascular Health campaign.
2. Find an emotional hook
Mediaplanet is the king of emotional content. When you publish a video, image or story that evokes emotion, it’s more likely to leave an impression on your audience, which makes it more likely to be shared. It’s a marketing principle backed by psychology — humans want to feel.
According to a study conducted by Jonah Berger, author of “Contagious,” 68 percent of people share content to show who they are and what they care about. Eighty-four percent of people share to show they support a cause that matters to them. Position your content around a belief or cause to promote sharing.
For example, a story on the merits of healthy living will be shared more than an article about your company’s specific food product. For inspiration, check out Mediaplanet’s Modern Wellness Guide.
(Editor’s Note: Collaborating with celebrities will also boost shareablity, but you’ll probably need our help to make it happen. Contact us to learn more about how Mediaplanet leverages celebrities as part of our distribution strategy.)
3. Be “trendy”
Capitalize on what people are already talking about to up the odds of content being shared. Keep an eye on current events and what’s trending on social networks, but make sure the subject matter has a logical tie-back to your brand.
4. Ask, don’t just tell
Asking your audience to share their own perspective makes content more engaging, and engaging content is more likely to be shared. Don’t forget to ask for opinions and feedback as you create and distribute your content.
5. Look pretty
Articles with images are 94 percent more likely to be shared on Facebook, and tweets with images are 150 percent more like to be retweeted (Source: Content + 2013 and Social Media Writing)! Invest in visual content including infographics and video, and optimize your written content with sub headers and lists to make it more visually-appealing.