Posting items on social media is a good way to increase the reach of the content produced by a business owner or marketer for their website. To get the maximum content marketing benefit from social media, it’s important that content be shareable. It’s not enough that people found that article interesting, they should find it so full of information that they want to share it with people they know with similar interests. While many different kinds of articles get shared for various reasons, there are a few things marketers can do to ensure their content is shareable. BuzzSumo recently co-wrote a post with OKDork.com where they shared data they gathered from analyzing over 100 million articles. Here are six ways marketers can make their content more shareable.
Write Longer Content
When it comes to what makes content worthy of sharing, size does matter. On average, an article with more than 3,000 words is shared twice as often as an article with less than 1,000 words. One reason for this is that longer articles have more information to share. In a short article, a reader can probably just tell their friends directly what they found so interesting. In a longer article, there is so much to tell that the only way to do it is to share the article with their friends and let them read it on their own.
Add at Least One Image
The value of good imagery has been known on the internet for a long time, but the BuzzSumo data shows just how important images are for creating shareable content. Adding at least one image to an article shared on Facebook increases the average number of shares by 316 percent. On Twitter, images increase the average number of shares by 210 percent. The image doesn’t have to be particularly helpful (though that would be nice), what matters is that the an article with an image is more visually appealing that one without. When confronted with a block of text with more that 1,000 words without any imagery, many readers will be turned off. There’s a reason why newspaper’s have huge images on their covers and why every major story has some photo to go with it. The internet hasn’t diminished people’s love of images. In fact, it may have increased it. Regardless, the point is clear for marketers that it’s worth the effort to find an image to go with every article they post.
Invoke Positive Emotions
The content that marketers produce for their sites should invoke an emotional response in their readers. This doesn’t mean that every piece should have people reaching for tissues, but readers should always finish reading the article and think “I’m happy I read that.” The BuzzSumo team analyzed the top 10,000 shared articles and tracked the emotional tone of each. They found that the top three emotions invoked were awe (found in 25 percent of most shared articles), laughter (found in 17 percent), and amusement (by which they mean entertaining articles, that were found in 15 percent of the top shared articles). This new result echos research done a few years ago on the most shared articles on the New York Times website. This study also showed that the most shared stories had positive themes.
Use Lists and Infographics
BuzzSumo also analyzed the type of content that was being shared and they found that lists and infographics were more than twice as likely to be shared than the average for all content types. One possible reason for this is that lists and infographics are present information in easy-to-digest formats. To illustrate, if a researcher released information as a raw data set (a thick book of numbers); as a long written report; as a list of the most important findings; or as an infographic that shows the data through charts, most readers would pick one of the latter two options.
The BuzzSumo/OkDork.com report has other tips that readers should check out, though some are less useful than others (e.g 10 is the magic number for lists or Tuesday is the best day for sharing). The point is that these small things do play a big role in what people decide to share with their friends and family online. The “look, feel, and usefulness” of the content has a bigger effect than the “what” of content. For business owners and marketers who want to give their content the maximum reach possible, employing these simple tips may make a huge difference in making their content more shareable.