Content marketing is about getting a potential buyer’s attention and turning that engagement into quality leads, with the ultimate goal of converting them into customers. But getting people’s attention is becoming harder nowadays. Why is that?
Every minute, more than 277,000 tweets are sent out. 2.46 million pieces of content are shared on Facebook. 204 million email messages are sent. More than 72 hours of new video content is uploaded to YouTube. 216,000 new photos are posted to Instagram. With so many individuals and brands creating and sharing content, it’s no wonder it’s becoming more difficult to get noticed in such a noisy world.
So how do you stand out from the noise and win a customer’s attention? According to my content marketing friend, Jeff Bullas, you must do two things. You need to first create valuable content. Then you need to have a strategy to distribute and promote that piece of content so your target audience actually sees it. If you want your potential buyers to come back for more content and even share them with their networks, you need to make sure that your content not only educate and inform your audience, but also entertain and inspire them.
That sounds pretty hard, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are 11 tips from Jeff to help you create highly shareable content so you can get the most out of your content marketing efforts:
- How To’s
Showing and teaching people how to do something may not be a novel idea, but it certainly continues to be an effective content marketing tactic because it works. “How To’s” content adds value to your target audience, which gets them to share with their networks.
People only read about 28% of the words in a post during an average page visit. What this means is that you need to make your content as easy as you can for readers to skim through in a matter of a few seconds. That’s why listicles are an effective format to drive readership and sharing. People can easily scan the list and choose to read the sections they are most interested in if they are short on time.
Listicles can be informative and educational, but they can also be fun and entertaining, which adds the viral factor to help drive sharing for your content.
- Statistics & Facts
Some of my all-time most popular posts are ones where I shared interesting facts and industry-related stats that are relevant to my readers, like this 50 must-know stats to improve lead generation strategy post. People love to know and read about facts related to their space.
Don’t think it works? According to my friend Jeff Bullas, this strategy has worked for him for years and even helped get this post of his rank #1 on Google for “social media facts.”
Infographics were really hot in 2014, and two years later it still continues to be a popular content format. You can create your own infographics and blog about them, or you can also take infographics created by others and add your own insights or ideas, like what I have done with this post on the hottest content marketing trends in 2016. You can also use multiple infographics in one post.
- Authentic Images
There’s a reason why stock images are called “stock” and why most people don’t like them. It’s because most of the times they do not look or feel real. That’s why raw, authentic photos work so well. Jeff shared this great example of a professor holding his student’s crying baby during a lecture going viral last year. This post was the #3 top shared blog for Upworthy the week it was published.
- Personal Photos
For many, social media has blurred the boundaries between the private and public. If you are willing to reveal and share something personal with your fans and followers, you’d surprised by all the free, crowd-sourced marketing they can get you.
- Tweets With Images
One of the best ways to get people’s attention to stop and read your tweets is by adding a visually interesting and relevant image to them. If you go through your Twitter feed, you’ll likely find tweets with images pop out more often than ones without any photos.
- Curiosity-filled Headlines
Lots of studies and data have been collected to determine what makes certain headlines more effective than others to drive more clicks and engagement (and what doesn’t). If you Google “effective headlines,” you can easily find hundreds of tips and tricks for writing a killer title.
And while some sources will tell you that you want to keep your headlines simple, direct and short so they are tweetable and don’t get shortened in search results, longer headlines can work very well too. Take a look at another Upworthy post – while it is 13 words long, the headline is extremely clever and effective at teasing your curiosity, and it and makes you want to click to find out more. So do experiment and see what clicks with your audience.
- Long-form Content
While long-form content may not be big viral hits like BuzzFeed posts, they will remain relevant and valuable for your target audience over time. Done right, your long-form content will continue to get reads and shares, and rank high in search results when combined with SEO techniques.
- Multiple Images
What makes BuzzFeed posts so successful and viral though is that they are often very short posts with a heavy use of images. This tactic works so well because when you use multiple images, your content has the greatest chance to resonate with your audience and to get them to share it.
While everygreen content is very valuable, it isn’t to say that all your content needs to be long-form content. Timely, fun or topical blogs also have their value. A piece about something that is currently trending will get searched and talked about a lot, which can help drive traffic and shares for you in the short term.
- Quotes As Images
As Twitter becomes more visual, you will want to mix up your tweets with visual tweets. Using photo editing tools like Canva to turn quotes into visuals can help increase your social sharing by as much as 200-300%.
What do you think? What other content marketing tactics have worked for you? Please share your ideas below!