Content marketing on social media is the best way to attract visitors to your website, and convert these visitors into leads, and eventually customers. This means that your social media platforms should always be active with great, engaging content that your traffic just can’t skip.

It can often be taxing to come up with new topics, even though they’re in your own domain & expertise. An empty social media platform dissuades online traffic from engaging at all – since they can’t see what your brand is up to.

However, there are certain hacks and easy methodologies that any social media marketer can implement to improve their content creation game, and that’s what this post is all about. I would recommend checking out ContentStudio’s amazing blog working hacks for instagram growth 

Before we examine some of the tools that can help us ideate for new content, let’s first understand the required psychology for viral content.
The most direct way to create killer content is by knowing what your audience wants. You can embed a survey on your homepage to ask visitors what they’re looking for, what their fields of interest are, what they like to read or learn, etc. Beware: don’t ask too many questions and keep it simple. You don’t want to scare off people, but you do want valuable information. Offer something in return to motivate them to take your survey, inform them of how many questions will follow, and what the purpose of the survey is. At the end of the survey, you can give them answer-based feedback as an additional value. 

And you have the data you need to create exactly the content your (potential) customers want to read

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttYBWnAUlI8&t=38s

The Psychology

To put the basics out there: content that evokes strong emotions in your audience – be it laughter, awe, amusement, melancholy, sorrow, indignation or fear – will tend to go viral.

Another important point that JeffBullas.com, an expert blog on digital businesses, posits is that many buy decisions are based on emotional drivers, rather than rational ones. Pump in the right emotion into your brand, and the sales will go up.

According to Psychological Science, certain emotions may stimulate people to share content more than other emotions.

In the study, Berger suggests that feeling fearful, angry, or amused drives people to share news and information. These types of emotions are characterized by high arousal and action, as opposed to emotions like sadness or contentment, which are characterized by low arousal or inaction.

People are looking for content to share on social media – or even on the web – that defines their personality. A fifteen-year-old girl who loves photography might share content that focuses on black-and-white photos, in order to showcase her love for that particular niche. Similarly, vegans are more likely to share content on animal cruelty than anything else because animal cruelty goes against their very principles.

Then again, there are content curation accounts on platforms like Instagram who only re-post what other people have already posted. Chances are, these accounts have a large following, which means if they share your emotive content, it’s going to fetch you a lot of viewership.

Another way of making sure that content is shared is creating stories. A happy customer talking about the accolades of your product will certainly catch more attention than a generic post enlisting its features. When you put a face to your content, people will relate to it better – which, in turn, improves sharing.  Viral content also tends to inculcate a certain sense of urgency in readers.

As an example, this post, titled, “Bald Men Are Sexier, More Masculine, Scientific Study Finds” is my personal favorite example of viral content. The validation-endowing element is what makes it so share-worthy.

The Layout

Blog posts that have appealing colors, great image-text placement and a good number of photos and videos tend to command more attention than those that don’t.  As an added bonus, embedding your own YouTube videos in your content can increase your YouTube earnings as well.Reading online is drastically different than reading a book. While the reader processes and hangs onto every word in a book, skimming through large texts online is a common practice. This is why you need many breaks, subheadings and photos intertwined with web copy. Highlighted keywords, bold text to mark importance and other types of text formatting help too.

According to Jakob Nielsen, 79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word.

Yoast SEO, a WordPress plug-in, suggests that a subheading shouldn’t have more than 300 words. A sentence with 20 words or more is often considered hard to read. Thus, easy sentence structure, shorter sentences, and simple words will fare better against complex language.

Infographics will improve readability even further. It’s important to remember that web traffic seeks to achieve instant gratification, which means that they have a very reduced attention span. The further your reader processes content, better is the probability that they will share your content.

Lastly, let’s explore what sort of content gets shared the most. In a surprising twist of statistics, data shows that long-form content actually ends up getting shared the most. According to Noah Kagan’s OK article, content that consists of 3000+ words gets shared the most, while content that has fewer than 1000 words, the least. There are a lot of blogs that generate content haphazardly, which means that articles with 3000+ words will be considerably fewer than those containing 1000 words or fewer. The more in-depth your content is, the lesser is your competition.

Create a Smarter Brand

People love to be associated with products that enhance their personal image. The smarter the brand appears, the better is the likeliness that leads are converted into customers. Similarly, people also tend to share smarter content since it makes them look more intelligent.

Content that displays social or moral responsibility shows that your brand isn’t just worried about its sales numbers. Environmental sustainability and the addressing social issues are some types of posts that demonstrate moral responsibility.

A great way to strengthen your brand‘s image is to share social statistics with your audience. This provides the required social validation; a brand that has 100,000 likes on Facebook is much more likely to be trusted, after all.

Hashtag Marketing

Hashtags are a great way to find similar content on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter – all make extensive use of it. Hashtags are also relevant to Google+ and other platforms, but the former 4 platforms are more concerned with hashtags.

For marketers, hashtags are a way to engage with your audience in a systematic manner. Whenever you upload a new photo of that amazing cake you just baked on Instagram, for example, your post will receive a lot more traction if you use the hashtag #baking. Because there are people out there searching for photos of pastries through hashtags, which means your photo receives all of that traffic.

Once you have an established brand, you may also establish a hashtag unique to your business. This forms a great communication channel between you and your audience. Invite your followers to submit entries through this hashtag in order to repost the best entries. Follower participation, ultimately, leads to an exponential rise in meaningful engagement.

Alternatively, joining an already trending hashtag helps build a good engagement as well. Trending hashtags occur in real-time, meaning, other trending hashtags can replace them within minutes. Feedly, Reddit, and EpicBeat are great tools worth considering to serve this purpose. In fact, I encourage you to check out this informative post by Sujan Patel for more information on how to find trending content.

Track Your Competitors

At any point in time, you must always be aware of who your competitors are and what activity they’re indulging in. This way, you can keep modifying your content creation strategy in order to always stay ahead of your game.

There are a lot of tools to keep a stealthy eye on your competitors’ activities. Google Alerts is the most basic tool for this endeavor. With the right settings, every time someone mentions your competitor online, you get a report delivered to your inbox.

More advanced tools offer a better analytical perspective, like:

  • Marketing Grader (by HubSpot)
  • InfiniGraph
  • SEMRush
  • SE Ranking
  • Google AdWords
  • AhRefs

These tools are just a few of the plethora of them that exist online. They’ll be sure to give you a good overview of your competitors. The main takeaway from these tools is the kind of keywords that they’re using. If many competitors are using a particular keyword, there’s your trending topic.

Social Listening

As a more advanced strategy, social listening is becoming more and more popular in the ranks of expert social media marketers. Monitoring your notifications isn’t enough; you need to know how the entire internet is reacting to your brand. Sprout Social defined social listening as:

Social listening is the process of tracking conversations around specific topics, keywords, phrases, brands or industries, and leveraging your insights to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.

Apart from allowing for great content ideas, social listening also allows for a way to track your brand’s health, how customers are reacting to different products, and which marketing strategies to shut down. Sentiments against your brand can go viral if you don’t keep track of them (even the negative ones!). Social listening is a great way to address them and mollify disappointed customers.

Finally, any content that you create must be grammatically correct. A poor command over English will turn away all your visitors. This is especially true if you wish to cater to a more educated audience.

Content creation is a cumbersome task, and there’s no way around it. However, with all the strategies mentioned above, the job actually becomes fun. There’s a lot of data out there; one only needs to tap into the right kind and leverage it.

By TS Newswire

TS Newswire is a PR DIstribution Agency.

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