Pro Tips for Creating Great Blog Content Your Audience Will Want to Share
Our recent blog on Inbound Marketing covered the importance of providing consumers with useful information in order to increase brand awareness and reputation. Inbound marketing relies heavily on sharing engaging content in order to build trust, provide information, and grow relationships.
But how do you create content so that it is useful, engaging, and share-worthy?
Understand Your Platform
Each social channel has best practices for content publishing. This doesn’t mean you have to create separate content for each and every platform, you’ll just modify your post depending on the channel. Also, you’ll want to concentrate your efforts on the social channels your audience visits most— no sense posting a blog on Twitter if your buyer personas are more apt to visit Facebook. Let’s say you have created a blog and want to share it among all the major channels. We’ll outline the best way to optimize it to get the most bang for your buck.
Facebook has the broadest acceptance of media. Images, short posts, articles, and links are all acceptable ways of posting to Facebook. With Facebook, you’ll capture your audience’s attention with your title and link description (known as meta description) combined with an enticing image. The goal is to grab your audience’s attention enough to want to click on the link to read your blog. Most people won’t share a post if they haven’t at least skimmed through it.
On Instagram, where the entire channel revolves around pictures, choose a jaw-dropping image and link to your blog in the caption. Instagram users are more visually focused so the image should be the hero. Video is a great choice for Instagram as well. You also need to add relevant hashtags so more people can find your post. And don’t forget an emoji or two!
Posting on LinkedIn is a bit different since the audience is usually narrower. LinkedIn was created as a social networking platform for business-to-business relationships and that has largely remained the focus. Your audience expects to find more educational and news-oriented posts. This may not be the best choice if you want to post your grandmother’s famous apple pie recipe and expect it to go viral. When posting to LinkedIn, the first thing your audience will see is your headline, so make it as eye-catching and intriguing as possible. If you can draw your audience in with the headline it is more likely they will click on your post.
Twitter limits the size of your tweet which is not necessarily a disadvantage, you just have to be more thoughtful in your word choice. Create a few attention-grabbing descriptions of your blog to tweet and include a high-quality image. Twitter also uses hashtags, but it’s not necessary to use as many as you would on Instagram. Choose two or three relevant hashtags to add to your post.
Know Your Audience
Who will your content be reaching? In many cases, your audience is not necessarily your peers. It is very important to understand this difference. Sure, your peers may very well appreciate an in-depth read with a lot of jargon, but more often than not, your audience will be a wide variety of people who will not find this type of content shareworthy. Content that gets shared tends to evoke an emotion, like humor, helpfulness, or amazement. If a reader feels something after reading your content, they will want others to feel it too.
Create the Best Title
Titles are important. On most platforms, your title will be the part of your post that a reader will see first. Think of your title as the bait. If it is constructed well, the reader may bite and you have a chance to reel them in with your content. This will increase the likelihood that they will share/retweet/repost. If you can’t hook them with your bait, they will just swim (or scroll) on by.
What makes a good title? A good title gives a reader the gist of your blog but also incites enough curiosity that they will WANT to keep reading. It is also imperative that you do not falsely advertise your content; nobody likes click-bait. A reader will be annoyed if they click thinking they will be reading about one topic but in actuality your post is about something different. An unhappy reader is not going to share your content. Lastly, include some keywords in your title so your content can be found.
Images are Key
What’s more appealing— a post that is 100% text or one that has a variety of high-quality images and infographics embedded in relevant copy? There is a reason there is a social channel completely dedicated to sharing images. It is key to incorporate images, whether they are photographs, graphs, charts, videos, or infographics.
Keep It Simple
It may be tempting to show off your highly intellectual writing ability but it turns out the average person enjoys reading at an 8th-9th grade reading level. This doesn’t mean that your audience cannot read or comprehend at a higher degree, they just enjoy reading at a simpler level. Remember, your goal is not to boost your own ego by incorporating impressively long words. Your goal is to get your audience to engage and ENJOY your content so much that they share it with others. There are many tools that help you analyze the readability of your copy. These look at different aspects such as total sentences, words, and syllables. The most commonly used tool is the Flesch-Kincaid Test which was designed to aid the US Army by testing the readability of technical manuals.
...But, Don’t be Boring
Four million (yes, you read that right) blog posts are published every day on the internet (Source: Hosting Facts 2018), so odds are if you are writing a blog, your content is not 100% original. But that shouldn’t stop you. The important thing is to choose a topic that is relevant and trending and write in a way that stands out from other posts on the same topic. Check out Google Trends to see what is of current interest. Use humor, links to other content, and graphics to liven up your blog. With all the competition out there, you do not want to be just another drop in the ever-filling bucket of content. Make a splash!
Offer Value and Credibility
Your content should offer some type of value to the reader. It could be informative, educational or it could be a welcome distraction, but whatever it is, allow the reader to take something away from your content. If they find it valuable, they will share it, which is, after all, your goal.
Numbers and statistics make your ideas more tangible. They give a reader something to grasp on to and compare with and if you can back up these facts from trusted sources, your content will hold much more clout. Compare these two sentences and choose which one is more interesting. “Alaska is the largest state in the United States.” vs. “According to Alaska.org, Alaska is bigger than Texas, California, and Montana combined. In fact, you could fit the entire state of Texas in Alaska two times!”
Make it Easy to Share
Don’t lose sight of your goal. If you want your content to be shared, you need to make it easy to share! Make sure your settings on social media are set to allow sharing. Add social media buttons to your blog page so your readers can easily click and share away. And don’t forget to ask your followers to share, you’ll be surprised by how many will!
And, Lastly, People Love Lists
See what we did there?
If you are feeling overwhelmed, we’re here to help.
Creating shareable content takes some practice, but you can get there by following our pro tips.
Contact AirTank today to help with your content writing needs.
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