Content is king.
When it comes to SEO, when it comes to brand awareness, when it comes to lead generation, content is king. A good content marketing campaign can establish a larger, wider audience for your brand and position you as a thought leader in your field.
But the internet is a busy place — more content is being uploaded every minute than one human can consume in a lifetime. For your content to make an impact and have its desired effect, you’ve got to make sure that it gets seen and gets shared. Here are fourteen types of content that people love to share.
1. Positive content
In the current world of war, famine, terrorism, and rising sea levels, people love the relief of seeing a picture of a cute puppy in a flower pot. Not only does inspirational or uplifting content make the viewer feel happy, they’re more likely to share it to brighten up the days of their family and friends. If you’re looking for the shares, look for the positivity.
Lists are informative and easily digestible — the ultimate content for the social media age. They can be skim read, the information is delivered in one article instead of multiple, and they don’t take too much time or concentration. How often do you see a BuzzFeed ‘Top Ten’ list in your Facebook feed? All the time. The list format is one of the most shareable because it allows people to offer their own opinions.
User participation is key for social media coverage, and there is no simpler way to get users to participate in your site or content than with a quiz. Quizzes are fun and enjoyable and appeal to the user’s ego. If they ace a test, they can boast about their result by sharing the quiz on social media. Or they can find out which young, hot television character they are most similar to. BuzzFeed has also established some of its mighty brand power through quizzes.
4. Debates and discussions
If you are keen to step away from the light-hearted content and actually express an opinion, debates or discussions are super shareable. This is partly due to the participation the audience can have in the comments section.
By highlighting two sides of an argument, you can appeal to a broader audience and generate an ongoing response to your content in the comments section, or gain more shares from people who are moved by your content.
Everything in the world of content comes back to the fact that viewers are busy and like to digest as much information or entertainment with the smallest about of effort and time. To this end, there isn’t much better than an infographic. Displaying stats or facts in an easy-to-read infographic is a visual and meaningful way to convey this information to viewers. And if they find the information moving or impactful, they’ll be hitting that ‘share’ button.
Memes. Who’d have known ten years ago that simple pictures with words over the top would become one of the most popular ways to communicate on the internet? And it’s great for you as a content creator because they’re quick to make and require no graphic design skill.
When the mood strikes, you simply get on Meme Generator or Quick Meme and whip up something funny or relevant. Pop it on all of your social media channels and, if it resonates with your audience, it’ll be one of your most shared pieces of content.
Video content is really taking off. With faster internet connections and unlimited data, people are more inclined to watch video content now. And, it’s a great way to get a message across. It may not be right for every business, and they can be expensive and time-consuming to make well, but a video that hits the mark and audiences find to be of great value can be incredibly shareable and be great exposure for your brand.
8. How-to guides
People love a how-to guide or an instructional video. Use your knowledge to show people how to achieve or master something. In-depth instructions are good for a full length blog or video, but try to create a quick and simple teaser, intro video or article to share on social media. Tasty are going viral with their super-shareable 30 second recipe videos.
9. Case studies
Case studies are interesting stories — often success stories — about people or events which amuse or inspire people. The aforementioned Humans of New York is the ultimate manifestation of the case study, where stories of New York residents accompany their picture, and each of these posts is liked and shared hundreds of thousands of times.
10. Expert interviews
Everyone wants to know what the leader of a field or profession thinks. Try to secure an interview with an expert in your field and publish an article or video of it. Audiences from your field who find this information useful are likely to share it amongst their peers.
11. Product comparisons
Using your expertise to compare two or more similar products on the market can make for an engaging and interesting piece reviewing these products. People use the internet to gather advice, so these types of articles are appealing. Users of the particular product which you speak highly of are likely to share your article as support for their opinion.
This goes hand in hand with infographics. Interesting data or statistics from new research or your own research is uber-shareable due to its high-interest, low-effort factor. These are especially shareable if it’s a hot-button issue such as environmental, political or social issues.
Podcasts are huge right now. The ability to download them and listen to them anywhere makes them an accessible way for people to consume content when they can’t be on their phone or computer e.g. at the gym or on the subway. Making a podcast is relatively simple, and if your podcast is good, listeners will share it.
As simple as it is, an amusing image can go a long way on social media. Take a photo of something funny or unusual, post it to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with a witty caption, and by the end of the day it can been seen by thousands of people the world over.
With these fourteen types of uber-shareable content, your posts and your brand are sure to be seen.
What type of content do you think is most shareable? Is there anything we’ve missed? Let me know in the comments.