It’s a conundrum artists have faced for centuries: Create what you want or what the people want? While the notion of “selling out” might seem uncouth to creative types, don’t overlook one of the key words of that phrase: selling. One of the key ingredients in profitable content marketing is making content shareable – both in the content itself and how it’s distributed. However, in the digital era with so much noise and competition on the landscape, it’s getting tougher than ever to encourage your (potential) audience to share.
There are a variety of platforms, methods, tricks and approaches for getting content seen. Follow this set of best practices for the greatest chance at more sharing, more exposure, and ultimately a larger audience:
1. Choose the “right” social media platforms
There’s no “one size fits all” solution for social media, even though platforms like Facebook and Twitter might be the most widely used in the US. What if your target audience is in China where Facebook is banned and largely inaccessible? While TechCrunch points out that Instagram is the fastest growing platform globally, that might not be the case with your audience. Conduct appropriate research and know where your content is most likely to spread, then choose social media platforms accordingly.
2. One-click sharing
Today’s citizens of the internet have really short attention spans, and if they find content that they deem “worthy” of sharing, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Don’t include sharing buttons for every potential means (cap it at five) and make the sharing process easy to complete. Ideally, your audience should be able to share in one or two fast clicks.
3. Fast page loading
Nothing is more maddening than a page that’s slow to load, and Google engineers report that people won’t wait longer than the blink of an eye for a page to load. There are many things you can do to ensure a faster page speed, from cleaning up the website content (less flash, animation, ads, etc.) to making sure your web host is keeping up their end of the bargain. Page speed is an SEO factor, too.
4. Build relationships with other website owners
Link sharing is still a very effective means of growing your audience, but it doesn’t happen easily or overnight. Reach out and network with complementary experts and thought leaders in your industry, such as bloggers that may cover content that you’re publishing.
5. Stick to favored formatting
Punchy, short sentences with an active voice, a lot of white space, and in the 500-700 word range are ideal for a reason. Regardless of the type of content (text, video, images, etc.) make sure it’s of the highest quality – even if this means digging into your budget for a little more cash. It doesn’t matter how compelling the information is if it’s not dished up in the right manner.
Making content shareable begins with research to fully understand who your audience is. Once you know where and why they’re sharing content, streamline the process with easy sharing options and a highly optimized website. Leverage existing relationships and continuously foster new ones for content sharing partnerships. Most importantly, create the kind of content you’d personally like to consume.