How to Create Content for Sharing

If you want to reach a wider audience than just your own contacts, you will need to create content that people WANT to share. This is the primary way to grow your audience and make new contacts in the online world.

How do you create content that people want to share? Here are some tips that apply not only to your newsletter, but also to your website, blog, and social media strategy.

Appeal to your readers’ motivation to connect with each other – not just with your brand. Build community among your clients, prospects and colleagues.

Trust is the cost of entry for getting shared. Your content has to be trustworthy and so do you – and that will mean different things in different industries and to different market segments. Make sure you know what trust means to your target market.

Keep it simple… and it will get shared. And your message won’t get muddled as it gets passed along.

Appeal to your readers’ sense of humour. If you can make your readers laugh, you’ve got it made. Keep in mind that dry humour online can be risky because messages can lose context as they get shared. If people don’t know you and your sense of humour, your message might be misinterpreted. Use humour wisely.

Embrace a sense of urgency. You want your readers to share now, not later. Show them value immediately – so they don’t have to wonder if your content will be of interest to their contacts. Make it obvious. Use deadlines for special offers or events. Include calls to action (but not too many different ones in one place).

Include content for your fans, not just your target market. Your fans may not all be part of your target market, but they can be a strong force in supporting your whole sharing campaign.

Listen and respond. Getting your content shared is just the beginning. You also need to listen and respond to get shared again. Responses trigger more sharing!

Originally published in Work Better, Not Harder on March 29, 2012