Content marketing is more than just about creating content. It’s about creating content that is of value to our target market. content which might create a relationship or eventually lead them to become customers or brand advocates. As online marketers, our whole way of being is centered around capturing peoples attention online. More views mean more eyes on the product/service which ultimately leads to more sales. But how exactly do we create “stuff” people will want to share? And what kind of content will reach them?

Why People Share Content

Before examing what kind of content marketing to create, lets first look at why people share content.

In a study, the New York Times interviewed 2500 people to determine why they shared a story online. They found the main reasons were:

  • Sharing valuable and entertaining content with friends and family
  • To generate awe and emotion in others
  • Define themselves to others (give people an insight into who they are)
  • To nourish connections with others
  • For self-fulfillment and enlightenment
  • Spread the word on causes they care about
  • To help other people be successful or improve
  • Warn people of dangers
  • To advise them – tips and strategies
  • To provide value – offers, and discounts
  • Ego gratification – seeking to be the one with the “story” or demonstrate how smart you are

Overall we can elicit that people share content that is largely valuable to other people. This content could be shared over a group chat in Whats App, social media or in an email.

The Most Popular Content

When creating content for the online world one must remember that people have the attention span of a goldfish(less than 8 seconds). You can’t just create any type of content and hope for the best. Content must be:

1 Surprising

In order for people to remember your story, it must be out of the ordinary or relatable to the reader. Don’t look at what everybody else is doing but instead look at what you can do. Often most people and companies are afraid to be themselves online. Instead, they put on a “professional” front. They never create anything that might express their brand’s personality, what their interests are and especially how they feel about topics. Instead, they follow the herd mentality. They only share what everybody else is sharing and think how they’re thinking.

2 Newsworthy

As humans, we’re insatiably curious. We like to know how people we know are doing. Likewise, people follow businesses or companies as they feel they can relate to them or it’s a space that interests them. Failing to put out engaging or newsworthy content about the company keeps fans out of the loop. It can also create a veneer that there is nothing going on at the company. Putting out regular company news makes people regularly touch in on the company and keeps the business top of mind.

3 Dramatic

To get peoples attention online often you need to shock them. You need to get an emotional reaction – good or bad. Basically, you need to entertain them! Make your content as memorable as possible by creating exciting content to increase its virality. Create headlines that impact people and stories that the attention and imagination.

4 Positive

While bad news sells when it comes to content creation for businesses, people prefer positivity. You don’t want your business to be associated with negativity. This will chase people away. Your audience wants to feel good and spend their time with and following people that somehow make themselves feel better. Create content that inspires people or place the company as a role model to help others succeed.

5 Actionable

Your Content marketing needs to be geared towards helping to provide education, advice or strategy. Most people will only engage with your material if it will benefit them in some way. Their time is valuable and they don’t like to waste it. “Why you need to do”, “what you must do”, and “how to guides” prove great ways of providing added value to your audience. This will build trust as well as demonstrate your expertise in an area.

Presenting Your Content

When creating a content marketing strategy, you must also consider in what form you’ll present the information. Informational and animated videos, photographs, Images, infographics, slideshows, written blogs, video blogs, and podcasts are just a few options available. The online world is vast and it’s important to pick a medium that is likely to reach your target market. And some mediums and types of content are much more likely to achieve virality.

Here are some suggestions and things to consider when creating content:

  • Use plenty of visuals
  • Informative but not too “wordy” text
  • Put heavy and lots of statistical style information into infographics for easy digestibility
  • People want instant results – get a beach body in 30 days etc
  • Create content your target market can relate to
  • Top 10 lists, 5 ways to, The 1 secret, etc.
  • Inspirational stories and testimonials
  • Underdog and hero stories
  • Meme’s and current event commentary
  • Behind the scenes look at the company
  • CEO point of view

 

So time to get creating!!