In today's digital world, shareable content is the power behind every purposeful marketing effort. In a matter of seconds, hundreds of millions of pieces of content are shared via social media forums, YouTube posts and all forms of searches in the World Wide Web.
Truly shareable content establishes authority and builds the social capital of a website in the form of comments, likes, shares and links. It's the substance of brand engagement, which even the ultimate consumer brand Coca-Cola has embraced for its new marketing strategy dubbed "content excellence". With this emerging trend, inbound marketing is fast taking the place of traditional advertising, telemarketing and direct mail.
What are the types of content ideas that are worth sharing and have the potential of going viral?
Lists and How-to's – Ideas enumerated in a list or series are easier to read unlike those in monotonous blocks of paragraphs that can make readers feel intimidated or bored. Lists can also be bookmarked and returned to later. Many people depend on the Internet for solutions to some of their problems in the form of how-to guides and tips. They recognize good help if they find one and they do reciprocate by spreading the good news through social media.
Videos and Images – People are attracted to videos and images because they say what the written word can't say. Visual content sharing is most effective in YouTube where more viewers can have access to what you want to share. It may even go viral if what you offer is compelling enough. Images are likewise good shareable content because they inspire, fascinate, amaze and evoke some other emotions. They can be engaging if accompanied by powerful lines of commentary or text.
The Good, the Bad, the Beautiful, the Ugly – Showcasing good and beautiful people, events, places and ideas is definitely an ingredient of shareable content because people tend to be inspired by all symbols of positivity. Subjects on the bad and the ugly likewise help grab attention and make people read because there are lessons to be learned. Headlines on the "best dressed" or "worst dressed" celebrities, for instance, would really be news to fashion buffs and conversation pieces in fashion forums.
Infographics – Infographics is the pictorial presentation of data, often with the aid of the graphic arts, the part that makes the content attractive. It is an easier way of absorbing information presented in numbers and because of its statistical nature, it is highly shareable. Creating infographics content, however, needs extensive research as you have to make sure that your data are correct and accurate. You'll also need the services of a graphic designer to ensure that the design is presentable and worth sharing.
Debatable Issues – Providing people the opportunity to see both sides of the coin works well in sparking viewpoints, comments and feedbacks. Debates are good for your website because they drive traffic into it. Content sharing is likewise encouraged as people seek reaffirmation of their stand on issues. Controversies, intrigues or rumors may also be included as points of discussion as long as you are able to handle them properly. Be sure, however, to focus on the issues at hand and not on the personalities and sensitivities of people.
Here's a tip for you content-sharers: After you're done with the body of your article, blog, press release or white paper, go back to your title. This is the time to do some tweaking to make sure that your content delivers on what the title proposes. Since the title is the first part of your piece, it must be impressive and catchy enough for the reader to continue reading. Certainly, a thought-provoking title like "10 Fashion Blunders That Make You A Laughing Stock" is more engaging than a drab title like "10 Fashion Blunders".
Sharing content on the social web happens at the speed of a click resulting in millions of hits. It is the quickest way to spread good news, share valuable content to others, create and nourish relationships and attain self-fulfillment. As an online business owner, eliciting your readers' sense of humor, sending out a clear message of urgency and appealing to your readers to connect-- not only with your brand but with each other-- make for truly viral content sharing.