It’s no secret that in the digital marketing world content is king. Great content has the power to shift brand awareness from unknown to unbelievably popular. However, simply creating or uploading great content will not create this shift; you need it to spread among your circle of influence and beyond.
Have you ever wondered why some media are shared like crazy while others don’t make it much farther than the originator’s ‘My Files’ folder? That’s because although content rules, it’s worthless if no one knows (or cares) that it exists. For your content to have impact, you’re going to need people to be so thrilled by, interested in, or entertained by the subject matter that they pass it along.
If you want your online content to spread like wildfire try implementing the following tactics:
- Make Sure It’s Well Written & Informative: Although this seems terribly obvious, crafting content that is well-written and informative is a foundational element in getting it read and shared. Grammatical errors are clearly no-nos. Another fundamental component is your content’s informational value. Make it something your target demographic is interested in.
- Know Your Audience: You’ve got to know in advance exactly who you’re developing your content for. Knowing your audience – what they like to read, what they want to know about, when they want to know about it, where they spend most of their time, and what they spend that time doing – means you can adjust your tone, topics, frequency, and distribution channels accordingly.
- Solve an Urgent or Pervasive Problem: Most people like to be helpful, either because it makes them feel good or look good. If your media provides a solution to an immediate or persistent problem, people will be more likely to pass it along to others who might also benefit from the solution.
- Offer a Unique Perspective on a Trending Issue: If you have a unique perspective on an issue that’s already being widely circulated, and that issue is important to your audience, you can piggyback off of the popularity that’s already being generated. And don’t think you have to play it safe. In fact, your fresh new take may be the polar opposite of popular opinion. Going against the grain is often a virality booster in itself.
- Get Emotional: In Jonah Berger’s Contagious – a book that delves into the reason some ideas and products go viral – he says, “high-arousal emotions…kindle the fire, activate people and drive them to take action.” This applies to events as well as online content. Anger, awe, and amusement are all high-arousal emotions. When something angers you, amazes you or humors you deeply, you’re more likely to share it. Therefore, creating content that stirs people emotionally increases the likelihood it will be shared repeatedly.
- Tell People to Share and Make it Easy: Make it easy for people to share your content. If you’re posting outside of common social media channels, include ‘Like’, ‘Tweet’, ‘Email’, or other popular sharing widgets. Secondly, make it clear you want the info circulated. It can be as simple as adding, ‘email this article to a friend’.
- Build Bridges: To exponentially increase distribution, stay engaged. Respond to the comments (both positive and negative) that people post on your site or page, and take part in the conversations and online activities your campaign ambassadors participate in. Lastly, share quality content from others; it makes them more likely to share and follow you back in the future.
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