Boost Your Virality: Tips and Tricks for Making Content Shareable
For content creators, one of the key objectives behind almost every piece of content is to have it seen by as many people as possible. While concepts like search engine optimisation and search marketing have a role to play here, often the best means of achieving this is to create the kind of content that users want to share with others.
Social media has made sharing content easier than ever before, while platforms like Reddit and other internet forums also have a role to play in assisting with the virality of content. This blog post offers some tips and tricks that marketers and content creators can use in order to make their content more shareable.
Focus on Useful Content
When attempting to make shareable content, arguably the single most important tip to keep in mind is that users share content that is useful. For this reason, when planning or creating a piece of content, you should ask yourself how the content can help people, what problems it is solving, or how it can otherwise be of benefit to someone.
Give consideration to what your target audience is likely to be searching for, and try to provide it for them. Whether it is a step-by-step guide, an informative piece which highlights the value of something, or a piece of content which offers advice, tips, tricks or strategies, focus on creating something of real value and worth.
Regardless of your content strategy, avoid creating content for the sake of it. A single high-quality piece of content, which is genuinely useful, is likely to outperform multiple pieces of content that have been churned out with little or no thought. Take the time to ponder whether the piece you are planning will actually matter to people.
Make Your Content Enjoyable
While having a real purpose behind your content is imperative, you still need to try to make the process of consuming that content as enjoyable as possible. You might create an incredibly useful piece of content, but if it is overly long, overly complicated or a chore to get through for other reasons, it will impact upon virality.
Informative content can be made more enjoyable in a number of ways. For example, some well-judged humour can help to make content more fun to read, while using a clear narrative can aid reader engagement. Adding an emotional appeal to the content will also help to turn it into the type of content people want to share.
It is crucial, however, that any sense of fun is in-keeping with the overall tone of the piece. Humour, for example, is not always appropriate and can detract from content if it is misused.
Do Not Neglect Your Headline
In many cases, headlines are something of an afterthought within content creation. Where effort does occur, it is often driven by concerns related to search engine optimisation, rather than its impact on the user. Yet, your headline is one of the most essential components and getting it right can be critical for shareability.
Even if you produce an excellent piece of content and those who read it are sharing it, its success and virality can be adversely affected by a poor headline. Remember, just because people are sharing content on their social media platforms, it does not necessarily mean their friends or followers are reading it. Your headline can go a long way towards ensuring they do, and also ensuring that the content sharing chain continues.
Including keywords in a headline is good practice, but your headline also needs to be functional on a more basic level. A good headline will grab a reader’s attention, explain what the content is, make people want to read on, and contains words or phrases that your target audience is searching for on search engines like Google.
Establish Credibility and Trust
Although shareable content will often have a sense of fun, or an emotional appeal, it will also be credible and trustworthy. In the era of ‘fake news’, users are now more sceptical than they once were and less likely to accept content at face value. Put simply, they want to see evidence that the content they are reading is reliable.
There are a number of ways to establish credibility and trust. For instance, you could reference your own credentials or achievements, or quote authoritative figures within your industry, in order to back up the points you are making.
If you are using statistics, link to a credible source for the information you are providing. Similarly, if you are taking a small quotation from another website or blog, insert a hyperlink to the page the quote is taken from. Citing studies and research papers, or including infographics can help to build trust levels.
Think About the Aesthetics
Another factor that can impact upon the number of people sharing your content is the way that it appears on screen. The appearance of a piece of content can put people off, or encourage them to read or consume it, so you need to give careful consideration to the visual quality of your content.
In particular, mobile optimisation is now essential and if a piece of content is not easy to read on a smartphone or tablet, it is not going to reach its full potential. Text also needs to be broken up, so that it seems less daunting, which is where photos, infographics, graphs, charts and sub-headings have a role to play.
You also need to think in terms of maximising comfort for the reader. Text should be in a sensible font, should be appropriately sized and should stand out from the background. Avoid situations where users need to scroll sideways to read the content, and make sure images, videos or other on-page elements do not hinder loading times.
Actively Facilitate Sharing
Finally, in order to maximise the shareability of content, you need to take steps to actively facilitate sharing. Essentially, this means making it as easy as possible for users to share your content, convincing them that the content is worth sharing and persuading them to actually do so.
Posting content on your social media feeds is an obvious step that can help with this, as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all include built-in share functions. You can also encourage users to comment on your content on social media, as this will often make your content appear to their followers as well, resulting in an indirect share.
Some website builders or blogging platforms allow social media buttons to be added to content, which then enables users to share it with a single click. Moreover, you should not be afraid to ask users to share your content outright. You could even consider offering incentives, such as a prize for a random user who shares a post on Facebook.