There’s no question that content marketing requires a diverse set of tactics and tools for success. It can be overwhelming to plan and execute your strategy, but that’s why having an Enterprise Publishing System gives you a great advantage. That, and this cool periodic table.
It’s also helpful to look closely at specific components of your content marketing strategy. Take social sharing, for example. Social media is likely a large component of your approach and thinking about what makes your content shareable can really help to expand your audience and your reach.
Shareability is a science—and in fact, there are a few experts out there like, Jonah Berger, who are helping people to apply that science for success. When it comes down to it, it’s really about psychological and social triggers, which we’ll talk about shortly. But first, let’s review the technological factors that make sharing easier, every day.
- Faster Connectivity (load times matter)
- Powerful Devices (it’s a mobile world)
- Savvy Design (responsive, easy share buttons, share feedback and surveys)
There is a good possibility that you are presenting your content in a variety of forms, including video, articles, blogs, white papers, hard products, podcasts, slideshows, etc.
Luckily, the triggers that make content more shareable usually apply across all forms:
1) Emotional Arousal: This is probably one of the most powerful triggers that inspires people to share. If your content evokes a strong/high emotional reaction, whether positive or negative, it’s more likely to get shared.
What emotions are we talking about?
What kind of content evokes these responses?
- Pertinent/Relevant to Right Now
How do these apply to BtoB Publishers?
That’s an important question. Obviously, the type of emotional response you want to evoke has more to do with engaging than repulsing your readers. And, it’s known that people are more likely to share the positive over the negative.
In BtoB, you’re functioning in a professional environment, so you want to avoid the more controversial, sexy or shocking content. But, you can use humor in a smart way that relates to the nuances of the industry you are in. And the emotional responses you seek should be more based on “ah-hah” moments and getting your audience excited and motivated about what they do. Which leads to one of the most important triggers for sharing BtoB content:
2) Practical, Useful Information: Regardless of your industry, it’s likely that your audience is looking for ways to make their work (and life) easier and more efficient. If they find something useful, they will want to share it with colleagues and friends.
Well, as a general rule, people like to help each other out. But, it also has to do with how the content makes them look. People are going to share things that make them look smart or in the know, and yes, generous.
How do you make content useful?
That depends on what your audience’s needs are and that’s where deep data and contextual awareness come in. However, as a rule, people don’t always know how to apply useful content. So, giving them next steps really makes it useful. Say you offer an article on the three top hair-cutting shears for professionals. It’s great to outline the pros and cons of each, but what if you take it further and close the article with three next steps that include links or buttons (essentially, calls to action)?:
- Take this quiz on which of the three would best suit you
- Compare prices for bulk orders
- Share this article with your colleagues
Bonus Tips for Shareable BtoB
Focusing on emotional arousal and practicality is a good way to start, but there are other qualities that help too.
Storytelling: content that is presented in the context of a narrative is more memorable.
Daily Triggers: keeping a product or idea in front of your audience on a daily or weekly basis motivates action.
Consistent Tone, Style and Visibility: essentially, a professionally consistent appearance shows you are on your game, and reflects well on the sharer.
Presentation: you know how people read online, skimmable text with distinct headers, bullets and powerful images make it easy for your audience to glean relevant and powerful information. If they perceive it to be too lengthy or time-consuming to read, they won’t likely share it, either.
So, take a look at the next feature article you are producing and ask yourself these questions:
- Is there an emotional trigger here?
- Will the reader gain information that they can apply to their work, today or tomorrow or even next week?
Then, go ahead and share this post, if you think it will help someone else!