Shareable Content: Even Better Than Great Content

Content Marketing Superhero

Content marketers who want to be superheroes must create content that is great and shareable – if they want it to be found with social search. *

In the age of social search, content marketers who want to be superheroes must take their content to new heights by making it not just great, but “shareable.”

My theory is that in today’s age of social search – when our social connections are impacting more and more of what we see in our unique search engine results  – content marketers must plan, write, edit and publish messaging that encourages readers to pass it along. Content that is created to promote and sell products and services must inspire a brand’s followers and fans to share it with their online networks.

With social search, if we put content out there, but no one shares it … it’s going to be harder and harder for people to find.

Here’s my breakdown of content that is great and then content that is great and shareable.

Great Online Content

  1. Well-written and has a point.
  2. Not too long and not too short.
  3. Employs smart use of target keywords.
  4. Scannable with subheadings and bulleted lists since most users scan, not read, web content.
  5. Written for a specific audience.
  6. Written for a specific distribution channel (e.g., website, blog or social media site).

Great, Shareable Online Content

All the qualities of great content plus…

  1. Not 100% promotional. Instead, provides useful and valuable information even for a user who is not interested in buying at that moment.
  2. Solves a problem or entertains.
  3. Considers the community’s interests and speaks to those interests, when possible.
  4. States (or clearly implies) what a user should do after reading the content. (e.g., click link to go to another page on the website, offer a public comment, share it with his/her network).
  5. Written and built to be shared on multiple channels:
  • Introduced by an intriguing headline for users and a descriptive page title for search engines.
  • Includes an image (photo, illustration, chart) to attract initial readers and to encourage them to share the content with their networks/connections. (Image filename and ALT tag are carefully chosen and applied.)
  • Meta description field is consciously completed (with target keywords) since social networks often pull this text in underneath the headline as the content is shared.
  • Sharing buttons are prominently displayed for users to click.

Question: What’s the most recent online marketing content (from a company trying to promote their goods or services) that you’ve shared with your social connections? What inspired you to share it?

 * “Up, Up, Away” photo by @Kindercapes, Flickr, available via Creative Commons License.

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