Whatever you call it, digital, inbound or content marketing, for small business owners, it can seem a puzzle. Like all puzzles, though, once you get the first piece in place, the others follow more quickly. That first piece in content marketing is creating highly shareable content. Why? Just 15% of customers trust what companies post on social media. The good news is 83% of people trust those same posts if shared by friends and family.
All the other rules of content marketing, like writing relevant copy and using social media platforms apply, but shared content is what will build trust in your brand. Here are three ways to get started on creating original, relevant content that drives engagement and encourages people to share.
- Understand Why People Share
A steady stream of relevant information on a variety of topics brings people in the door. SEO, advertising, PPC, and social media efforts all need content to promote. People may click the first time, but if what they land on doesn’t give them a reason to come back, they won’t. Obviously, it means they also won’t be motivated to share.
At its core, shareable content is about making an emotional connection. Understanding the psychology of social media and shareable content is critical to the success of any small business content marketing plan. So, what makes people click the “Share” button?
Emotional engagement is the number one factor in getting more likes, comments, and shares. People love to gather on social media and share their common ideas and interests with others.
Ever notice how many photos people posts of their pet causes like homeless animals, or links to feel-good videos (like the Ice Bucket Challenge)? When people see an image, quote, or product that makes them think of someone they know – or that they think everyone should know about – they want to immediately share it. Make people feel involved with the content you create and you will encourage them to share.
- Focus on Data-Driven, Engaging Topics
Great content reflects thought leadership, and thought leadership occurs when you offer content that recognizes current problems and offers real solutions. Analyze your data and create shareable content by:
- Using interesting and engaging formats that include videos, infographics, and bulleted copy. These easy-to-digest elements offer instant appeal and gratification.
- Make sharing easy. Your website should have social media share buttons prominently displayed on every page. Use “Tweet this” to create pull quote, tweetable links.
- Delight and Inform
If you want content that people can’t help but share, you need to create a compelling story that’s instantly relatable. Like all storytelling, that means opening with a narrative hook – or first sentence – that motivates people to keep reading. Catchy or funny headlines are good for this purpose. Remember to keep self-promotion or hard selling to a minimum. Delivering the unexpected, making it timely, and keeping it conversational will keep your audience engaged and inspired to share.
When a small business communicates with its customers by providing relevant, useful information instead of offering a sales pitch, those customers will listen. A content marketing strategy that includes creating shareable content will build trust with your customers, lets them know you’re an expert in your industry, and that you understand their needs. The bottom line? Stay focused on creating high-quality original content in engaging formats that’s easy to share, and your customers will take it from there!