The first step in bringing in viral leads is to create content that is inherently “shareable” among members of your target audience. While there’s no magic formula for instant virality, there are steps that you can take to maximize the chances that your content will be shared. Here are my top four tips for shareable content marketing:
Tip 1 – Address a Specific Need
Topics that answer specific questions will be more useful to your audience, and are more likely to be shared. The best content provides highly valuable information that your audience can use to solve an immediate problem, or address a specific need.
Providing this type of content is crucial, because it establishes you as an expert in your field. It also builds trust within your target audience, which is the first step to building a successful conversion funnel.
As an additional bonus, keeping your topics highly focused will help you to include important keyword phrases that improve organic search engine rankings. This natural form of SEO builds on itself gradually as you produce more content.
Tip 2 – Provide Actionable Information
Directly related to tip number one is this: the information you provide should give your users a clear call to action. Whether you’re making recommendations, or providing step-by-step instructions, website visitors need to have something to take away and share with others.
This should not be confused with a call to action that initiates a sale. You want your visitors to come away with everything they need to make an improvement, today. However, it may count as a conversion if the next step is to move further along in your sales funnel. For example, your CTA may count as a conversion if it directing visitors to download a white paper or a guide which requires the visitor to enter contact information.
Tip 3 – Make It Visually Interesting
Images, audio and multimedia are all ways to get your message across. When you are crafting your content marketing pieces, take the time to review them with an eye for clarity. Would it be better to show statistics graphically versus using a chart? Could you explain the concept in 2 minutes of video versus a 2 page report?
Sarah Skerik of PR Newswire reported in May of 2011 that the more multimedia could be directly related to increased views of press releases across the board. PR Newswire even made an infographic to illustrate:
Tip 4 – Have a Little Personality
While it may be called content marketing, what you are really marketing is you, your company culture, and your core value proposition. Make sure that the content you produce is consistent with the tone you want to set for your business. Your content marketing channels should speak with the same voice, be that solid and professional or fun and quirky. Users are more likely to share your content if they feel that it is representative of the experience they have had with the company in the past.
Likewise, you’ll attract more qualified leads if you use a voice that appeals to your target audience consistently, from beginning to end.
Bringing It All Together
A winning content strategy starts with creating a content marketing plan that addresses these four tips above, and lays down a path for integrating each of your content channels successfully. If you aren’t sure where to begin with your content marketing efforts, feel free to ask questions in the comments section – I’ll be happy to answer as many questions as I can!