10 Tips to create shareable content that engages your readers

If you're a small business owner like me, you'll probably want to reach lots of customers and get some valuable word-of-mouth marketing. Here's how to create engaging content that your audience will love to share...

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When I was starting my business, I had zero budget for website development or advertising, I had no social media followers, and I didn’t really know what I was doing when I was writing posts for my blog. However, within a year, I’d attracted a niche audience who were really interested to read each new article that I put out and would engage with my social accounts. How? I didn’t know it at the time, but I was inadvertently doing content marketing!

Content marketing has gained popularity in recent years. It’s literally ANYTHING you put out there to help, inspire or interact with your audience, including blog posts, social media posts and imagery. 82% of marketers reported using it in 2021, up 70% from last year and the main goal of content marketing is to increase brand awareness, engagement, and product sales.

One advantage of using content marketing as your promotion strategy is that your audience can help spread the word about your business and there’s nothing more boosting to a business that word-of-mouth promotion. However, your content needs to be engaging before it can convert your audiences into indirect ambassadors for your brand. Here are ten strategies to consider when creating captivating sharable content…

1. Create a High-Quality Website

Owning a website is necessary to establishing an online presence. Even if you’re selling your products through a marketplace like Etsy, you should still have a website of your own. After all, websites are the most popular digital marketing channel for small businesses and a well-designed site can be a great way to introduce your brand to potential customers.

Plus, a personal or business website is the perfect medium to curate your online content on. It’s where you can host photos, stories and anything you want to communicate to your potential customers. When you share a snippet of your content on other platforms such as social media, consider linking it to your website where the full version is available.

Nowadays, creating a high-quality website is easier than ever. There are various platforms for website creation, including Content Management Systems (CMSs), and online website builders Zyro is an example of a service that allows you to create a website quickly with minimal technical skills.

2. Research Your Competition

The first step in creating content is finding inspiration and making a list of ideas. While you should always be authentic and share your own stories, one of the easiest ways to know what your audience is interested in is by paying attention to your competitors. It’s useful to figure out the most effective pattern of content that successfully draws audiences’ attention and bigger competitors are most likely to have an established content strategy worth analyzing.

Take a look at the last six months of their published content, then see which content garners the most engagement and shares. Use the high-engagement pieces as inspiration for your own content BUT you must always avoid copying your competitors! Originality is one of the most important factors that will determine your credibility and reputation. It can also affect your site’s ranking on search engine results pages so make sure that what you’re doing is new and unique to you! 

3. Understand Your Audience

Before you start creating content, it is really important to understand your target audience. People are more likely to engage and share content that aligns with their own values and, without a proper understanding of your audience, it can be challenging to find relevant topics.

The demographics, location, education, and economic background of your brand’s audience are some of the factors that may affect people’s content preferences, so you can use analytics tools such as Google Analytics and the ones provided by social media platforms to get this information and find out exactly who is looking at your content.

You can also conduct surveys to find out your readers’ opinions on what content they like the most. I’ve created a survey using free Survey Monkey before, which makes it so easy to get those insights, or you could simply do a poll on twitter or Instagram and find out more about your followers that way.

4. Use Catchy Headlines

Having good headlines for your content can help you to gain more attention from potential audiences. According to a study by CoSchedule, 80% of people will read a headline and only 20% will click through. That is why it is important to take your time and brainstorm a great headline.

A good headline:

  • Features a clear topic.
  • Shows specific numbers and data if relevant.
  • Conveys a sense of urgency.
  • Uses interesting adjectives.
  • Incorporates relevant keywords.

5. Share Your Story

Being a good storyteller can make it easier to write engaging content. One study found that readers spent 520% more time reading content containing stories. Stories that evoke emotion also have better chances of being shared on social media.

So, it’s a good idea to create content with a clear beginning, middle, and end to deliver the intended message more effectively. Consider adding a personal touch and explain how the content benefits your reader to ensure they can relate to it and to hold their interest. In some cases, you might want to include data and real-life case studies to strengthen your points and establish credibility – that’s even more storytelling, even if it comes from someone else.

6. Create Useful Content

Content that offers benefits to readers is considered valuable and is therefore more shareable. In fact, I’m hoping that you’re finding THIS blog post helpful and might even share it with a small business owner you know 😉

If your content only contains promotional material without any answers to readers’ questions, people may not feel the need to read it, let alone share it with their circle of friends. Therefore, you should prioritize providing useful information to your readers. As you constantly produce valuable content, your brand will gain more trust, and people will feel more inclined to share your content.

Include interesting facts and industry-related stats that readers might find interesting. If you’re focusing on writing articles, make sure that you tell the reader what they will learn from it at the very beginning to avoid wasting their time!

7. Make the Content Personal

Sometimes, incorporating basic human emotions and personal expressions in your content can increase its engagement rate. This can help people relate to your content more easily and trust it. Even just putting out a photo of yourself on Instagram is enough, as followers love to see the face behind the business – and personally, I find it a real boost to see those positive interactions when I’ve shared a pic of my-usually-camera-shy-self!

Nowadays, even large national brands apply this technique on their social media content to garner more attention and connect with their audience on a more personal level. They often interact with the audience in a more ‘human’ way – they banter, make jokes, and just respond to mentions in general. This gives people the feeling that they are interacting with a person rather than a business entity. 

8. Pay Attention to Trending Topics

Strategic keyword usage is a good method of boosting the SEO of your website. If you add trending keywords to your (relevant!) content may give it more chance of ranking higher on search engine results pages and gain more traction. Although I’m not particularly interested in stats, paying attention to trending topics is a great way to know what keywords to use and can give you a starting point for what type of content to create.

The best approach to research your keywords is to list some words and phrases related to your industry and identify the ones being searched or talked about the most. There are several tools you can use to do keyword research, including Google Trends and Answer the Public. Some social media platforms like Twitter also have a dedicated page that shows users the recent trending topics worldwide. Use them as inspiration for what content you should publish to get the most attention. 

9. Add Shareable Images or Videos

Incorporating high-quality media files like images and videos in your content can be greatly beneficial. According to BuzzSumo, articles featuring images every 75-100 words get twice as many social shares, isn’t that interesting? It helps to make your content more interesting and easier to read as it looks less ‘wordy’.

Infographics are an example of media that can increase your content’s readability. They are also shared three times more than any other type of content. Various tools like Canva and Picktochart can help you create appealing infographics. And, you may have noticed, but I like to add a pinnable image to all of my blog posts so that it’s easy for readers to pin it on Pinterest and come back to my content at a later date.

10. Make Sharing Easier

Another factor you need to consider when publishing content is how easy it is to share it. People are less likely to share something if it is not convenient, even if it contains useful information.

Sharing buttons are the most common way to encourage readers to share your content. Make sure to enable them in your website theme so that they display on every piece of content that you publish. These buttons should be immediately visible to readers and not be obscured by other objects.

You can use tools like Sassy Social Share, a WordPress plugin that enables your website visitors to share content on multiple platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Finally, feature Call To Action moments throughout your content to encourage the audience to share the information you’ve created.

Having your audience share your content with their friends and family is a major advantage for you as a small business owner. It gets your brand out there and spreads the word without you having to splash the cash on paid advertising. And it helps you to create a loyal following who are keen to hear what you have to say and will be encouraged to share your message.

In this article, I’ve covered these ten tips on creating shareable content:

  • Create a high-quality website.
  • Research your competition.
  • Understand your audience.
  • Use catchy headlines.
  • Share your story.
  • Create useful content.
  • Make the content personal.
  • Pay attention to trending topics.
  • Add shareable images or videos.
  • Make sharing easier.

Hopefully these ideas will help you create content that stands out in the busy online world, and will help to set your business apart from the competition. As you implement these tips, you’ll be able to creatively encourage people to spread your ideas – without having to spend any extra money on marketing! Let me know your own tips for creating sharable content in the comments below – and please don’t forget to share and pin this post for others to see. Thanks!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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