Your most important online asset is your content.
It attracts clients to you and encourages prospects to take action.
But creating compelling content can feel elusive.
You might think that writing engaging content isn’t something the average business owner can generate.
You’d be wrong. It is doable and on a budget!
Whether you’re writing for your blog or social media sites, the ideas below will help you write innovative and compelling content that gets shared.
How to Create Content That Gets Shared
1. Be clear in your value and intent
Whether it’s web copy or offline marketing, talking about your business, the value it offers and the intent behind it not only educates potential customers, but also allows them to make quicker decisions.
In the book, Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions, author Gary Klein states that clearly communicating intent arms people with the information necessary to get “un-stuck” by moving potential decision-making obstacles out of their way.
2. Analyze your competitors
When writing content for your business, consider looking at what your competitors are writing about. By using www.Alexa.com, you can identify which companies receive the top traffic within your industry.
Visit each of their sites and analyze the top shared content. What worked, what didn’t, and how can you improve upon it?
3. Know your ideal reader
Understanding who your ideal reader is and what content they find valuable will make content creation a breeze.
Begin by creating a customer persona. Describe what your perfect reader looks like, what they do, and why they would need your product or service.
4. Put images to work for you
Images are an excellent way to attract readers to your content. Whether they are funny, dramatic or eye-catching, make sure they are consistent with your business or brand look and feel.
Tell your story through images by adding custom designs to your blog post. Then pin them to Pinterest, share them on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
5. Create attractive titles
The titles of your articles and posts can dictate whether people click through, read it, retweet it or share.
Be creative and always keep the end-user in mind. Know what content connects with your potential clients and craft your title around that information.
6. Structure content properly
Whether you are posting to your blog or social media sites, proper structure is critical. Take a look at your last several posts — were they easy to read?
In your blog posts, consider using lists. Lists are scannable and easy for those moving quickly across the Internet to quickly scan your content.
With your social media posts, consider keeping them short, but exciting. Encourage conversation by asking a question or offering your thoughts around a particular topic.
7. Form meaningful connections to build уоur personal brand
As you begin to create content, remember that relationships are at the core of getting that information shared.
Building trust by forming healthy connections will draw people to you and your content.
8. Share success stories
Every business has a story. What’s yours? Share your story in a real and relatable way.
Stories connect readers and potential customers to your company. Allow them to know and remember yours.
9. Change it up
Simply posting links to your social sites will quickly bore your target market. Change it up and intersperse links with images, quotes, questions, feedback and any additional content that adds value to the conversation.
Think of it this way: if you were having a conversation with someone face-to-face, you wouldn’t spend the entire time promoting you and your product or service.
You would listen, react and respond as well. It’s no different when you’re online.
10. Plan to succeed
Make content creation a part of your daily marketing strategy.
Build out an editorial calendar with a list of topics, article ideas, and social media posts to keep your efforts focused and consistent.
11. Share newsworthy content
Stay up-to-date on the latest news within your industry and field. Share that content in a timely manner, offering context around it.
How did you feel when you read the post? What is your key takeaway and why should your audience care?
Context is every bit as important as content when it comes to sharing in social media.
12. Build an email list
Building an email list should be at the top of your social media and content strategy to-do list in 2014. Use a subscriber list to stay in front of your audience and promote your latest blog post, campaign or product.
Driving subscribers to your content not only encourages increased readership and traffic, but boosts shares by staying top-of-mind.