5 MUST Dos to Make Sure Content is Read and Shared
Sometimes, I liken lonesome content’s existence to the lot of us out here using our super-human powers to battle the evildoers of the world. Thankfully, we have each other to lean on. But many times, only WE truly understand what it feels like to be on our own, which is why neglected content is something I hold near and dear to my heart. As a content-marketer, you probably spend a lot of time and energy thinking about what your content will consist of. This is good. But, there’s another piece to the puzzle, and it’s almost, if not more important:
How to get your content the attention it deserves.
You have a lot to say, no doubt, but without the right measures, your words and sentences might be doomed to the isolation of my pal Bruce Wayne in Gotham. These five must dos are absolutely crucial to getting your content read and shared. Your audience, and your content, will thank you for it.
What’s in a Title?
The short answer: everything. Think of how much competition you see daily in the vast landscape of activity on the world-wide-web. It’s mind-blowing, really. But if you put a little effort into an eye-catching title, your content will get traction. First, think about the point your content sells and write that down in a title. Then, think about how you can strengthen the language. I’ll give you a page out of our book:
Which resonates more: “5 Tips to Get Content Read and Shared,” OR, “5 MUST Dos to Make Sure Content is Read and Shared?”
See the difference? Keep your language strong, but under no circumstances should you neglect the topic of your post in favor of keywords and trendy words. No matter how tempting it may seem, know that you’re only falling into a trap. And keep it short while still conveying what your content is all about.
As this whole content marketing phenomenon explodes, so do users’ perceptions and expectations. Poor design and graphics no longer slide by unnoticed, under the radar for only us crime-fighters to deal with. No matter how beautiful your word-slinging is, text will only get you so far.
Make sure your content’s layout is neat and clean. Think: short sentences and even shorter paragraphs with headers that indicate what each section is about. If your website isn’t responsive, please, and I don’t say this often, PLEASE, drop everything you’re doing, and MAKE THAT HAPPEN. The average person spends more than two hours per day using a mobile device. Multiply that number by the size of your target audience. That’s a whole lot of time not spent looking at your content.
If you’re working with reoccurring content, say in the form of a blog, it’s critical to include consistency. Always incorporate an image and rely on the same format for each post so that your audience develops trust and assurance in what they’re getting.
Make Sharing Easy
Throwing your social share buttons somewhere in your content and forgetting about them is the equivalent of the lazy-guy or gal’s guide to shareable content. You have to make sharing a priority for your reader.
If you leave your share buttons way down at the bottom, you run the risk of readers never scrolling that far. If they’re casually camouflaged with some of those pesky ads in a sidebar, your reader isn’t going to find them.
Be bold about the placement of share buttons, and keep them in the same place on all of your content. Make sure the word “share,” actually appears with your call-to-action buttons, (yes, it needs to be THAT easy). I personally recommend inserting those beautiful little buttons somewhere near the top, so that even if your reader isn’t ready to share, you’ve at least planted the seed. There’s also a lovely invention for Wordpress users that allows you to pick out one or two particularly hard-hitting sentences and package them neatly into a click-to-tweet button.
Do Not Fear SEO
Yes, that elusive content marketing power is lurking behind the scenes here too, not unlike our good friend Bruce. And just like Bruce, SEO is here to help.
Do a little keyword research to figure out which words get the most hits for the content you’ve produced. Then spend a few minutes with your content figuring out the current words you can replace for better keywords.
Do not despair. If certain keywords just don’t fit, move on. Sprinkling a few in key places, like your title, headers, and URL is great, but don’t sacrifice the reader’s experience for incongruous keyword placement.
Sling Words Like You Mean it
Last, but certainly not least, is that you must produce well-written, useful content. Put a little faith in your readers. They are not stupid, and they don’t have time for poorly pieced together, lifted content that supplies them with nothing.
If you take any of this knowledge to heart, and you should take it all, please make sure you make good writing and relevant content a priority. If you can’t do it yourself, find someone who can. I know four highly trained, superhuman content marketing professionals who’re more than happy to help. Let’s chat over appletinis sometime…