Gaining traction with your content is the number one struggle many business owners and content creators struggle with. In marketing, you need traction to be seen by the right people at the right time. Organically speaking, sharing is one of the only ways to gather momentum without putting a lot of dollars behind what you’re doing. While a paid strategy can be beneficial, today, let’s talk about the building blocks of exceptional content necessary if you want your content to be share-worthy all on its own. (Hint: if you want it to be share-worthy when you put that money, honey behind it, it’s gotta be golden all on its own first).
People go surfing the wild waves of the web for a few reasons, but one of the most prominent is to be entertained. That doesn’t mean you have to be at the helm of the next great meme or create gut-busting hilarity via video like the comedic geniuses at Funny or Die, but it does mean that you can’t just be another boring, bland voice spouting the same old stuff everyone else is saying over and over again.
You’ve gotta shake it up. Like my personal idol Brendon Urie sang in a song on their first studio album, “Swear to shake it up if you swear to listen.” That’s the kind of always-innovating mentality you need to bring to your content. Shake it up, and keep shaking it up, because the minute, nay, the second, you start waxing poetic about the same old stuff, you can kiss those loyal readers and potential customers goodbye. Entertainment is inherent in content where passion is evident in the building of it, where the tone is engaging and lively, and where the author isn’t afraid to have a little fun once and awhile. This isn’t a middle school science textbook. It’s gotta reel em in and keep em glued to the screen.
Another main reason people get on the internet is to connect with other – it’s called social media for a reason, after all. If you can create high quality content that truly connects with the soul of a reader, you’re giving them a compelling reason to share that on their networks in hopes of connecting with other like-minded individuals. Focus on creating community-building content that resonates with the humanity in your reader. If you can make a poignant argument or key into universal insights that ring true to the very heart of someone, it’s much more likely that you’ll create something people are happy to share.
The trick here is not strategizing yourself into a corner. Writing from the heart means leaving a lot of “tried and true” methods behind. Put that SEO brain away, stop thinking about the shoulder pieces you could create to gather email addresses for your list to sell to them later. Just sit down and write what you feel, and be really freaking authentic with it. The shares will follow.
Look, I know I’ve talked about value before. So at the risk of being the writer who laughs in the face of the first tip I shared in this article, CREATE VALUABLE CONTENT. Yes, it’s been said a hundred times in a hundred different ways, but there’s a reason for that. A really good one – most people don’t create valuable content. In fact, most people don’t even know how to properly define value when it comes to content creation.
Value that makes your content share-worthy has absolutely nothing to do with you making a sale. Sounds harsh, but it’s true. Your reader doesn’t spend even two seconds thinking about what they can do for you. Those are down-funnel conversations, and certainly not the types of messages anyone is looking for when it comes to what they want to share with their networks.
If you’re planning on sales-focused content being your big social proof driver, sorry Charlie. You’re outta luck. Game over. Content with true value is all about what it gives the reader – for free. Whether or not it gets shared depends on the degree to which you make their lives easier. The more value you provide them, without the expectation of something in return, the more likely you are to get something in return. Kind of a “watched pot never boils” situation, huh? Sure, but providing serious value without an ask is the kind of stuff that not only earns you shares, but also serious loyalty and lifelong customers.
The truth is, you’re very unlikely to create the next “viral” moment on the internet. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t create content that is valuable to a specific niche, that catches fire within the community of your ideal audience and really, that’s far more valuable in the long run. Focus on creating valuable, entertaining, and authentic content and keep doing that consistently. Then don’t be surprised when the engagement, shares, and genuine interactions with your brand start to roll in.
Ready to make your content the popular kid on the web, but need some help? We can help. Reach out to Webolutions here or call 303.300.2640 and let’s get this content party started.
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