July 7, 2014
In the world of business, competition is fierce. Getting an edge in your industry or niche is tough. Not only do you need to stand out from the crowd, but you also have to find new and relevant ways to set yourself above the competition. How can this be done? One viable way is content creation.
It’s an understatement to say content creation covers a wide spectrum. We could spend all day talking about copywriting, but the truth is the best marketing strategies on the net won’t do a bit of good if you aren’t crafting share-worthy content. Now, I’m sure you share your content. That’s great. But it isn’t enough. You have to create the kind of copy that screams two words to every person who reads or sees it: SHARE ME!
Why Share-Worthy Is Noteworthy
Let’s be honest; no matter how modest we are, we never build a website or blog with the intent of keeping it under wraps. We want the world to see it, hear it, and share it. We want TRAFFIC! If you’re not getting much, content could fix your traffic problem – especially if it’s share-worthy.
According to All Business Experts, one of the best ways to promote your content is through social media. However, this avenue cannot be successful if the content you’re sharing isn’t sharable in the first place. Share-worthy content is noteworthy because it compels your followers to share it. The more likes, re-tweets and +1s you get, the broader your exposure.
The noteworthiness of sharable content doesn’t stop at exposure. Crafting content with the potential to go viral involves the creation and establishment of credibility. The more readers trust you and your content, the more shares you’ll rack up.
We all want content worthy of sharing. So, how do we craft it?
Nailing Shares In 10 Simple Steps
Sharable content requires a secret ingredient: quality. Anyone can write, but it takes a special pen to use the special ingredient properly. Whether you’re a seasoned content creator or not, here are 10 simple steps for nailing share-worthy copy:
1. Find Your Mojo: The Content Marketing Institute says, “In person, it’s far easier to have a memorable personal characteristic that people will take away… Online is harder.” Are you going to go current and relevant, or super visual? Will you write from an actual persona or a specific point of view? What’s your niche? Hint: your mojo is likely fired by the passion behind your business.
2. Pick Catchy Headings: They’re the first thing readers see. They need to catch the eye, make a point, or perk curiosity. Your main headline has to be enticing enough to click. Your subheadings need to be engaging enough to keep the reader on the page.
3. Go Fish: Any good fisherman will tell you that bait matters. With every piece of content, you are fishing for shares. The best bait is a great hook. Craft such a hook by immediately piquing your reader’s curiosity or stirring something deep inside of them.
4. Use a Little Dynamite: Share-worthy content is like dynamite; it delivers a BANG! Content that goes viral usually has a shock value. It’s often edgy, even controversial. Throwing a stick of dynamite into your content will make it appealing to folks outside of the industry while keeping it fresh for those already interested in the subject material.
5. Break It Down: Digestible content is well formatted and easy to read. Break it down by using headings, crafting precise (and short) paragraphs, staying on topic, using proper grammar and spelling, and ensuring the content isn’t overly lengthy. Digestible content is often shared before the sharer finishes reading it.
6. Get Serious: Backing up your claims is important. Think about the experts in your industry. It’s likely you constantly see their claims backed up by hard evidence; it’s a contributing factor to why you consider them experts. Therefore, you should cite your sources and show relevant data. According to Moz, “citing a source is as simple as linking to the webpage from which you got the information.” Building citations and using hard evidence – such as data and statistics – to back up your claims increases your credibility. The higher your credibility, the more likely people are to share your content.
7. Offer Value: Don’t mistake entertainment for value. While catchy headings, a great hook, and a few sticks of dynamite provide entertainment, your readers also want hardcore value. In other words, they want solutions or answers regarding your subject matter.
8. Leverage the Troops: It’s no secret that guest blogging has come under fire. Moz speculates that this was the direct result of a lack of credibility and expertise. Moz went on to discuss using executives for guest posts. When creating content with a view toward what we’ll dub “sharability,” leverage your troops. Recruit if you have to! Build in links and point toward highly credible sources.
9. Make Some Noise: Share-worthy content is loud. It’s like jumping up and down, waving your arms, clapping your hands and stomping your feet. It DEMANDS attention. You can make noise by constantly creating differently. Apply steps 1 through 8 to presentations, infographics, webinars, podcasts, case studies, white papers, eBooks, and any other content type you select.
10. Hire a Pro: If you find yourself in a tough niche, investing in a professional writer is an obvious idea. Nevertheless, do you know how to pick a high quality pro? Search for a credentialed individual. Not only should they have experience tackling your niche, but they should also be ready and able to supply samples and/or references.
Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment
What is the one thing that almost all successful brands have in common? They are constantly evaluating what works and what doesn’t. They aren’t frightened of experimentation. They try everything, from different platforms to types of content. You need to do the same.
Use the 10 tips we’ve discussed as guidelines for crafting shareable content. Don’t be afraid of stepping outside of your comfort zone. You will never know what will send your content viral until you give it a go.
Julia McCoy is a top 30 content marketer and has been named an industry thought leader by several publications. She enjoys making the gray areas of content marketing clear with practical training, teaching, and systems. Her career in content marketing was completely self-taught. In 2011, she dropped out of college to follow her passion in writing, and since then grew her content agency, Express Writers, to thousands of worldwide clients from scratch. Julia is the author of two bestselling books on content marketing and copywriting, and is the host of The Write Podcast. Julia writes as a columnist on leading publications and certifies content strategists in her training course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia lives in Austin, Texas with her daughter, husband, and one fur baby.