Every 60 seconds 300 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube, Instagram users like 1,736,111 photos, Pinterest users pin 9,722 images, 1,041,666 Vines are uploaded, and 284,722 snaps are shared. This mountain of content will only grow as 77% of B2C brands and 76% of B2B brands say they plan to produce even more content in 2016.
Audiences are overwhelmed by content on a daily basis. So how do you cut through the clutter and earn more shares? Below we break down 7 ways to cut through the clutter and give your audience the kind of content they’re looking for.
1. Know your audience.
The first step in creating great content is knowing your audience inside and out. This is why it’s important to develop audience profiles during the planning phase of your content marketing strategy. Building demographic profiles and buyer personas will help you understand what grabs your audience’s attention, and identify what types of content they’re looking for.
2. Repost content.
Though quality content is the foundation of creating shareable content, it’s also important to repost this content regularly so that your audience actually gets a chance to see it. Forbes contributor Jason DeMers discovered that the average organic reach per fan on Facebook is 6-7%, while the typical lifespan of a tweet is around 18 minutes. Reposting existing content across your social channels on an ongoing basis can help increase the odds that your audience will get a glimpse of your work. As Jay Bayer says, “content is fire, social media is the gasoline.”
3. Repurpose content.
Get the most out of your content by turning anchor content into derivative content that can be shared across your social channels. Oli Gardner, co-founder of Unbounce, emphasizes the importance of getting the most out of your content; “Reuse, reuse, reuse – turn content into an ebook, infographic, webinar, guest blog post on sites with similar followers, Medium, Slideshare, podcast, [or] speaking topic.” This strategy will make you a more efficient team, improve ROI, and increase the number of people who click-through to your tent-pole content piece.
4. Use visuals.
This is a no-brainer. Visual content gets 94% more total views and is 40 times more likely to be shared on social networks. Images are also ideal for quickly communicating ideas, data, or concepts, and have been proven to make our brains happier! Neil Patel recommends using visual content like infographics, videos, GIFs, or memes. One of the videos Patel uploaded to Crazy Egg generates $21k of business every month!
5. Curate content.
“In a world of nearly infinite content, consumers are looking for a one-stop shop” observes Mike Kaput. Help your audience out by collecting the best content from around the web and organize it in a way that’s useful to your audience. If done right, curating content can help you fill your editorial calendar with quality content and drive traffic on an ongoing basis (without sacrificing quality).
Curating user-generated content (UGC) also showcases how your partners, fans, and stakeholders are interacting with your brand. “When you curate content, it means that you think that content is the best of the best, which is flattering to those content creators,” says Neil Patel. By re-sharing content created by the people who love you, you’re both strengthening your relationship with loyal advocates and tapping into new networks of potential leads.
6. Be human.
Don’t pack your content with needless adjectives and marketing jargon – be conversational. Your readers are humans, so talk to them like a friend or colleague (depending on the tone of your brand). Ryan Hoover, Founder of ProductHunt, says authenticity is the key to building trust and establishing a rapport with audiences. When people feel a connection to the brand, they are more likely to share branded content and become a long-term customer.
Building this kind of loyalty takes time, patience, and a willingness to invest resources in quality content. However, brands that take the time to build these relationships are rewarded with
shared content and free publicity of their brand. A share is considered an unofficial stamp of approval and signals to the network that “this is a company worth your time.”
7. Be helpful.
Don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. Every piece of content you create should provide value to your audience. Is it entertaining? Does it solve a common problem? Does it communicate important information?
Matthew Lieberman, a professor of psychology and of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, turned to neuroscience to explain why we share content. He discovered that our brains are constantly on the lookout for content that others will find helpful, amusing, or interesting. “The primary reason that people share things on their Facebook pages or Twitter feeds, research shows, is to be useful to others.” Similarly, a 2013 study by Ipsos revealed that 61% of socially active people share “interesting things.” Around 43% of people prefer to share “important things,” and another 43% prefer “funny things.” Leverage this aspect of the brain and create content that is entertaining, interesting, and above all, useful.
Content marketing is getting harder so it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re spending your time and resources creating the kind of content that people are looking for. Now that you know how to create content that cuts through the clutter, it’s time to put together a documented content marketing plan and map your content to the conversion funnel. So what are you waiting for? Get to it!