When you add content to your site, your goal is both to inform and educate your visitors and to schmooze your way onto the SERPs. Websites with continually fresh content will take precedence over a stagnant site, because stagnant sites appear to have nothing to offer.
Unless your content is shareable, it won’t make it very far beyond your own sphere of the Internet. So when you add new content to your site, how do you make sure that your readers will help you spread it across the web?
The Unquestionable Value of Shareable Content
There are organic reasons to want shareable content. After all, word-of-mouth marketing is the reason any video, article, or image goes viral. That piece of content was just too funny or extraordinary not to share. But there are technical reasons to make shareable content your goal as well.
- Backlinks. When links to your content are spread across social channels, Google takes note. Those links will carry more weight and will rank higher than links with fewer shares.
- Visibility. More links also means more natural visibility. More people will find your content and travel back to your site as a result.
- Audience-building. Shareable content gives you a greater opportunity to interact with visitors and readers, and develop a rapport that can produce manifold benefits in the future.
Look at it this way. You have two options: spread links to your content yourself, or let your audience pound the pavement for you. If you put the effort and creativity into creating something worth sharing, this is exactly what will happen. And remember, content shared by a third party is so much more appealing than content shared by the brand itself.
So What’s it Going to Take to Make Shareable Content?
Well, you have examples to draw from all around you. For example, why do you share any given piece of content? Why do your friends share the content that is constantly flowing down your Facebook newsfeed? If you really thought about it, you’d come to a few conclusions about some specific elements that these pieces of content all have in common. These shared elements increase the shareability of the content and result in the organic shares and backlinks that you’re looking for.
The common elements of shareable content:
- Originality. Look at what else is working out there in terms of shareable content, but don’t rip it off. Your content can and should be familiar, but it need to be special in some way as well. For example, many people have written “Star Wars VS Star Trek” posts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tackle the same topic in a new and special way.
- Engaging title. It’s easy to throw out generic click-bait titles, so resist that temptation. Don’t overpromise; promise what you can deliver. But titles like “5 Things Angry People Don’t Know” or “You’ll Never Believe What This Employee Said to a Customer” will definitely get clicks.
- Specificity. Choose an audience and then speak to that audience. You may not get clicks from the outlying community, but by targeting a niche demographic, you’ll amp up clicks within that certain group.
- Brevity. The content should be easily and quickly consumable. Posts should be sectioned and parsed, videos should be brief, and images and infographics to the point.
- Appealing visuals. Content that is simply text is less likely to be shared than text that is paired with gifs, videos, or images.
The best way to start the bushfire that will set your content aflame will be to cultivate your current following and foster shares within that group.
Don’t forget that when you are brainstorming subject material for your content, consistency with your established brand and voice will be key to keeping the whole message and objective tied together. Don’t set out to create a viral cat video that does nothing for your brand in the end. Make sure that the content you’re sharing is branded and identifiable as yours.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results right away. Remember that quality, shareable content never dies. Once it’s on the Internet, it’s there and it can continue serving you for years to come, so rest assured that your efforts are not in vain.
Have you ever created a viral piece of content? What was it about? Share a link in the comments!
DeMers, Jayson. “What Makes Content Shareable & Why It Matters for SEO.” http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2358558/What-Makes-Content-Shareable-Why-It-Matters-for-SEO?utm_term=&utm_content=What%20Makes%20Content%20Shareable%20%26%20Why%20It%20Matters%20for%20SEO&utm_campaign=08%2F04%2F14%20-%20SEW%20Daily&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Daily. (August 15, 2014.)