How to create content that gets shared on social media

Michael Marchese
October 23, 2015
content that gets shared

How to create content that gets shared on social media

Michael Marchese
October 23, 2015

Social media can be a powerful business tool. Creating appealing content can help your brand stand out on social channels. When deciding to develop marketing content for social media, it’s important to connect with your consumers.
Here are some tips for grabbing attention and enticing users with content that gets shared.
Be visual
According to the Social Science Research Network, 65 percent of people process information based on what they see. They are visual learners. Additionally, the 3M Corporation studies have found that the brain processes visual information 60,000 faster than text. In social media, visuals are vital to success.
Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, has been named by The Wall Street Journal as a top influencer on the web. He says that visualization solves problems for people because the attention span of the average adult is no more than a couple of minutes. Visualizing content allows readers to take in content in a much shorter amount of time. “This is your opportunity if you’re a content marketer,” Patel says, “People want answers, and most of them don’t want to sift through a 2,000-word blog post to get the gist of it.” Adding photos, graphics or infographics to content provides the visuals consumers are seeking.
Target the reader, not the buyer
Many businesses may be inclined to go directly to the source and send out a message to those they believe will buy from them. However, over the last few years, consumers have learned how to shut out messages from the traditional world of marketing. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute notes that smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute.
Thus, content marketing attracts and retains customers by consistently creating valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. You want to provide information to a reader who may never buy anything, but who wants to gain information and share it with others. That reader then becomes an influencer.
When you become established as a creator of valuable content, consumers will eventually circle back to you as a business. People share content not because they want to enhance your brand recognition or give you web traffic; they share content because they enjoy it, it adds value to their own identity or it enhances their relationships with others with whom they share the content.
Get emotional
Experts tout the importance of the use of emotions in marketing, and studies have found that consumers make the majority of their decisions based on emotional responses rather than rational ones. This is especially true in content marketing, where emotional triggers inspire targeted audience members. This can create brand recognition and loyalty.
Ryan Kettler, director of communications for BoostSuite, a co-marketing platform, believes that in order to connect to an audience, one cannot speak to the masses but must consider each individual consumer. “One-on-one communication is much more intimate and engaging than a mega-horn,” said Kettler.
But what emotions should be tapped? Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo, analyzed the top 10,000 most shared articles across the web and mapped each one to an emotion. Awe (25%), laughter (17%), amusement (15%) and joy (14%) were the most popular emotions. However, Ben Martin, creative director at Peppermint Soda, an award-winning PR and creative agency in London says, “It all depends on the brand and how it wants to make its audience feel. While charities benefit more from evoking compassion, a sports brand may see more results from making people feel motivated.” He points to Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty and Coca Cola’s Share a Coke campaign as examples of success.
However, businesses must consider the kind of reaction they intend before tapping an emotion. Additionally, no emotion should simply be thrust out there. As Martin notes: “By using emotion within your story, and choosing a narrative that you believe in, you are more likely to encourage consumers to act.”
Post and share again
Once an item has been shared on social media, many businesses tend to move on to the next thing. However, not everyone sees everything on the initial pass. In all the research Noah Kagan did, his team also discovered that people stop sharing content and, after three days, the number of shares dropped 96 percent. When evergreen content was repromoted at least a week after the original posting, the content found new success. Kagan singled out a blog post by Evernote Corporation published on March 10, 2014. It only garnered 23 Facebook shares after a week and shares decreased. Then, after a month’s time, shares jumped to a total of 181. Kagan discovered that Evernote repromoted the blog posting after 11 days, giving it new exposure.
If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.

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