The entire digital marketing world is sold on shareable content. It is a term loosely used to address content that is shared generously by online users on their private social networking profiles. As a result of their endorsement and patronage, your content is able to reach out to new readers. It is the nirvana of every web writer and the dream of internet marketers to hit that sweet spot of content sharing. However, it is easier said than done. The reason is that there is no formula that will tell on what to do to dish out shareable content every single time!
It can be that you have written and published several pieces of content that were widely shared across Facebook and Twitter. Even then, you will struggle to replicate that success on every single piece that you put out. With my team at 7boats.com, I find the same issue. A fact-finding mission told me that more than writing a share-worthy content, it is important to carry out a research on what to write about. That will help you to take steps in the right direction. Otherwise, you may write a great article and yet find no takers. On the other hand, when you know what online users are reading at the moment, you can write a post that will have takers even if the writing is not cutting-edge brilliant.
Here are some cornerstones of the shareable content research that I’m talking about.
Ride the Trend
Like the graph on the share market, there are many factors that determine what is going to trend online and what will not. A trend may crop up out of nowhere and rule the Ethernet for a couple of days. Similarly, a world news may not find itself hitting the peak of trends. You cannot dictate it or customize it. You can only follow it. Do that! Pick out the trending topics on Twitter or Google and see if you can relate it to your line of business. Tell the netizens what they want to hear about. In between, plug in your own points! There is no better way of making your content share-worthy than pillion-riding on trends.
Gather the Data
To write compelling, shareable pieces, you need data and information. You need to put across something that readers have not read anywhere. This is also important to ensure that your client (who’s paying for the job anyway!) knows what you are trying to grab attention with. To make a marketing pitch, you have to be specific. You have to appeal to the readers. With a washed-out content that has no precise information, you cannot conquer the internet. You need to go deep into research and glean out the statistics and present them in an interesting and arresting format. Of course, dry data will rarely take you anywhere! You need to ensure that your data backs up some clarity and uniqueness of thought.
Learn your Lessons
Competition and competitors are great at teaching you lessons. You can either learn what to do from their success. Or, you can pick up what not to do from their failure! At the same time, you need to know that their brand is different from yours. You cannot blindly imitate their work and expect to succeed. That will be self-defeating because the online audience has already seen their articles and material. The first-mover’s advantage is already gone. You have to take a different path in order to make an impression. Fish out the shared pages of your competitors. Study their writing and understand how they managed to grab attention. Read the comments of the readers to find out what they liked about the piece. That will give you some excellent pointers.
There are many tools available online that will help you find out the nitty-gritty of shareable content. For example, to find out which links have attracted the most number of hits, you can use ahrefs, Majestic and Open Site Explorer. You can check out both your own content links as well as those of your competitors. Other tools include Buzzsumo that will help you find out specific data on individual domains, including number of social shares, average number of shares per post, etc. Buzzsumo also gets you a list of shared content within a particular domain name.
The Final Word
Without research, the digital marketing world is as good as dark for you and me! It is counter-productive to keep putting in effort without knowing if that is the right way. With the easy availability and accessibility of online tools, you can get the required data and statistics. Then why hit darts in the dark? Make use of these tools and inch closer to that content piece that will make your brand an online buzzword.