How To Motivate Your Audience To Share Your Content Online

What makes content shareable? What makes content great, for that matter?

The formula for social media success is quite simple: great content + large fan base + high engagement = conversions. It’s a formula which goes around in circles too, since you can’t normally get a large fan base or high engagement rates without great content.

Your audience won’t share content they don’t love. There’s no artificial way to get them to share content. Sharing almost always happens after a user looks at the content in question, regardless of what the content is.

However, there are ways to encourage them to click, which comes down to the headline, which then shapes the content which follows. Therefore clicking, consuming and sharing content is an altogether more realistic prospect with a headline which drives clicks in the first place. Otherwise you are simply creating content and firing it out into the space like silence of the Internet.

Top Data Backed Tips To Make Content More Shareable

Lists. Also known as Listicles – 10 things for …, 5 reasons you, 29 amazing …. Across the internet, from The New York Times to BuzzFeed, lists prove universally popular. As Gilad Lotan, a data analyst said on Medium, they’re popular because “more easily consumable, promising an effortless way to get through a finite amount of information.”

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Odd Numbered Lists Work Better Than Even. Lotan’s data crunching backed research of ten thousand Listicles on BuzzFeed over a three month period demonstrated that odd numbered lists perform better than even numbers. Not only that, but he found that 10 length lists are the most successful, followed by 15, then 12. Those between 11 and 21 performed best, with those under 10 the least popular.

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Don’t Just Share Your Content. Sharing great content from others is a subtle way of not being promotional, while at the same time promoting your brand values. You are establishing yourself as a trusted source of things your audience wants to share. You won’t always be the first to create this kind of content. Others will sometimes beat you to it. So when they do, share and promote. Rock n Roll Bride found that there was significant engagement when they were promoting third party content.

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All About The Headline. David Ogilvy, a man who built a marketing empire out of creating and selling ads once said “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” Tweet this.

KISSmetrics found that the first three and last three words in any headline are the most important. Squeezing a great headline into 65 characters also has the added bonus of not being cut off in search results.

Lenka Istvanova of Koozai Marketing did a detailed analysis of headlines, which resulted in this tried and tested formula:

Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise

Questions don’t work, not if they can be answered with a simple “no.” In which case people won’t bother clicking, or sharing. Tapping into negative keywords can work sometimes, but we have a positivity bias when it comes to sharing on social media.

Attentive.ly is a a social marketing platform that drives engagement with your digital campaigns by turning your existing audience into brand advocates. 

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