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Creating Shareable Content and Experiences to Spark Engagement

Introduction

In today’s digital landscape, creating content and experiences worth sharing is pivotal for brands. Shareability leads to increased reach, engagement, and impact as audiences pass on content they find meaningful.

This guide will explore tactics to craft more shareable content and experiences. We will cover:

  • The value and benefits shareable content provides
  • Types of highly sharable content and formats to leverage
  • Principles for engineering viral content
  • Crafting share prompts and calls to action
  • Promotion tactics to spark initial sharing
  • Data to analyze to refine shareable content
  • Common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid
  • Real-world examples of effectively shareable content

By the end, you will have strategies to create sticky, spreadable content and experiences that audiences feel compelled to share. Let’s dive in!

Why Create Shareable Content?

Some core benefits of highly shareable content include:

Extended Reach

Sharing exposes your content to new audiences organically.

Increased Engagement

Sharing indicates content resonated enough to merit active promotion.

Enhanced Brand Awareness

Widespread sharing grows awareness as audiences pass on content.

Lowered Acquisition Costs

Earned sharing reduces costs of paid media to reach audiences.

Improved Ranking Signals

Shared content signals relevance, boosting search engine rankings.

Multiplied Impact

The right message can spark change on a much broader scale when shared.

Social Proof

High engagement shows content quality and fuels further sharing.

Deeper Influencer Relationships

Influencers sharing content signal stronger connections.

Optimizing for organic sharing extends content reach and impact exponentially.

Highly Sharable Content Types and Formats

Consider these engaging content types optimized for sharing:

Listicles – Numbered list posts tickling curiosity and providing value fast.

Quizzes and Assessments – Interactive quizzes people enjoy sharing results from.

Surveys and Polls – Crowdsourced content users help spread through participation.

Ratings and Reviews – Controversial ratings on popular topics prompt reactions.

Data Viz and Infographics – Visuals make data digestible and easy to pass on.

Personality Tests – Playful assessments like “Which [X] are you?” get widely shared.

Interactive Content – Customizable, interactive content like calculators engages deeper.

Sweepstakes and Contests – User-generated contests fuel excitement to share entry.

Behind the Scenes – “Making of” content gives insider view worth spreading.

Leverage formats optimized to provide value, utility, intrigue or entertainment.

Principles for Engineering Viral Content

Some key principles to boost content sharing probability:

Trigger Intense Emotion

Anger, awe, amusement – strong emotions get reactions and shares.

Counterintuitive Angle

Provocative viewpoints prompt comments and shares to assert contrary opinions.

“[Blank] That Will Change Your Life”

Curiosity-gap headlines build intrigue to click and share.

Leverage Pop Culture Trends

Timing content for cultural zeitgeists, anniversaries and events rides momentum.

Fill Practical Needs and Gaps

Useful solutions and resources get shared within communities of interest.

Entertain and Delight

Fun content earns shares when people enjoy the experience.

Offer Exclusivity

Perks and exclusive access for early sharers incent initial spreading.

Appeal to Inner Ego

Framing for self-expression taps user’s aspirational side.

Viral content pushes psychological triggers that motivate sharing behaviors.

Crafting Effective Social Share Prompts

Some best practices for share buttons and calls to action:

Place Early in Experience

Ask for shares at point when excitement to spread peaks.

Ensure High Visibility

Use contrasting colors against page background for buttons to stand out.

Use Clear, Concise Text

“Spread the word” instead of generic “Share this”.

Limit Choices

Prioritize 1-3 of most popular relevant platforms. Avoid overload.

Show Counts

Display share, comment and reaction metrics to indicate momentum.

Offer Value for Sharing

Incent initial shares with exclusive perks, content or offers for acting fast.

A/B Test Wording

Try different captions and emotional appeals to optimize response.

Clarify Share Intent

“Show Support” or “Spread Awareness” explains how to frame content when sharing.

Well-designed prompts should make the value exchange for sharing clear.

Promotion Tactics to Spark Sharing

Some approaches to ignite initial sharing:

Email List Promotion

Directly encourage your core audience to share with CTA details.

Influencer Seeding

Gift access or exclusives to key influencers likely to spread with their networks.

Employee Activation

Equip customer-facing employees with shareable content and messaging for their networks.

Paid Amplification

Use paid social or influencer sponsorship to build initial visibility and conversations.

Comments and Forums

Actively respond and steer relevant conversations about your content in key communities.

Direct Calls and Outreach

Contact stakeholders directly with tailored pitches to share with their audiences.

Recurring Promotion

Continually recirculate evergreen content over time for renewed momentum.

Giveaways and Rewards

Incent recurring reshares with prizes or perks.

A steady drumbeat across stakeholders avoids one-off promotion fizzling quickly.

Analyzing Data to Refine Shareable Content

Key data to review:

  • Clickthrough rates on share buttons or widgets
  • Common initial sharing platforms
  • Changes in sharing velocity over content lifecycle
  • Share margins between top performing content vs average
  • Scroll depth before share for average content
  • Correlations of shares to other engagement metrics like time on site
  • Comparisons of sharing for different types of content
  • Breakdown of shares by influencers vs general audience
  • Share overlap and duplication across publishing channels
  • Relative volume change after introducing optimizations

Detailed analytics identify effective formats, messaging and contexts to replicate.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Some sharing anti-patterns to sidestep:

Lack of Value Exchange

Not clearly conveying benefits audiences gain by sharing your content.

Too Much Friction

Overly complex or challenging share flows reduce followthrough.

Asking Too Early

Prompting sharing before content resonates risks engagement fizzling quickly.

Not Facilitating Comments

Comments fuel ongoing sharing and discussion. Don’t leave them out.

Aggressive Sales Pitch Framing

Avoid framing that pushes product or brand too directly. Focus on audience value.

No Ongoing Promotion Strategy

Failing to sustain sharing momentum through ongoing nudges.

Inconsistent Experience

Sharing channels not accurately representing content experience misleads audiences.

Keep experiences user-centric by making sharing feel fun versus transactional.

Real-World Examples of Highly Shareable Content

Let’s look at some brands excelling at sharable content:

  • Buzzfeed’s irresistible shareable listicles and quizzes
  • Red Bull’s awe-inspiring extreme sports stunt videos
  • Oreo’s fun real-time meme-ified pop culture content on Twitter
  • GoPro’s jaw-dropping point-of-view experiential videos
  • Tasty’s mouthwatering recipe GIFs and food videos on Facebook
  • Dove’s viral “Real Beauty” campaign evolving societal perceptions
  • Privacy.com’s data-driven infographics simplifying complex privacy insights
  • HubSpot’s marketing and sales listicles offering actionable tips

These examples provide inspiration for crafting distinctly compelling social experiences.

Key Takeaways

Some core strategies for igniting audience sharing:

  • Identify content types and angles optimized for natural sharing
  • Incorporate surprise, utility, exclusivity and identity appeal
  • Promote consistently across stakeholders to build sharing velocity
  • Make the value exchange for sharing transparent through messaging
  • Analyze data to identify high performing themes and formats
  • Continuously experiment with content experiences that spark discussion

With a strategic approach, you can craft content worth spreading for extended reach and impact.

Conclusion

In summary, creating shareable content delivers immense value by extending your message and experiences to broader audiences. Take time to craft content specifically designed to offer intrigue, utility, exclusivity, or deeper insights worth passing on. Incentivize and reward sharing without an overly aggressive sales pitch. Analyze metrics with sharing top of mind to continuously improve your approach. With testing and optimization, you can create content and experiences that provide value back to both consumers and sharers. Soon you may have the next viral sensation increasingly driving awareness authentically.

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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