Whether you’re a large company trying to reign over everything related to your industry online or a team of one completing a website and looking to beef up your presence by blogging, analysis is key. Analyzing trends, what works and what doesn’t, will help you figure out efficient use of your time, a focus, what practices fit best with your brand, and will put you a step ahead of the curve to conceptualize innovative new approaches to reaching an audience.
You probably think those lists of ‘Most Adorable [fill in the blank with small animal] takes the cake in terms of shares. Fortunately for humanity’s sake, those clickbait articles typically don’t pull much weight in terms of generating leads, customers, or the portion of brain matter you’d hope your audience would use while viewing your content. Creating quality content is one of the most effective and lasting ways of attracting new leads and retaining customers over the long term. But many brands struggle with this idea because they won’t invest the time and resources necessary to see it through to results. Hence, the clickbait trend. Let’s face it, in today’s 24/7 world where people expect immediate results yesterday, a lot of people opt for the instant gratification rather than a thoughtful, purposeful approach. Think of Aesop’s Fables, “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
With social media being a prevalent and useful way to get on someone’s mind, what are people talking about and what elements do those articles share, regardless of the industry or target demographic?
Clear. Relevant. Click-worthy. Your title is the hook, line and sinker and the access point into most articles. If it’s boring, irrelevant to the lede or nut graph, or too long, most people will skip it. Plus, Your headline or title should be a maximum of 55 characters. This is the optimal length for it to appear in search engines without text being cut off. What’s more, it can ensure your article is searchable, shared on social media,
Articles that tend to have more traffic and more shares on social media are articles discussing a grand theme or topic; wealth and poverty, self-improvement, the ‘How To’ articles, religion, and stories that relate personably to other people’s lives. According to ‘Funders and Founders’ who put together a really awesome interactive infographic called “What the Internet Thinks About,” the recipe for a great article would be “personal, useful and entertaining. And probably in that order.” Top content that is shared:
- Posts that provide a deeper insight into a specific topic
- Posts that share a reason or purpose behind a conclusion
- How-to posts that identify a problem and offer a solution
- Videos that are dynamic and professional. (No, this doesn’t mean you should go out and shoot something just because you bought a GoPro)
According to research by BuzzSumo, they found that the longer the content, the more shares it received. They also found that “there were 16 times more content with less than 1000 words [shared] than there were content with 2000+ words.”
However, something to keep in mind when setting off on an ambitious journey to a 10,000 word article- have an editor, know your audience, and know whether your topic warrants the length. Another theory is that people share the posts but don’t actually read the entire piece, creating an image to their social media peers that they have, in fact, consumed the lengthy article when infact they read about 1,000 words and moved on. Regardless of length, your article should be structured in what is called the reverse pyramid with the most important information in the beginning to act as a hook to draw people through the article.
The key takeaway is: having an image attached to an article and shared means that your article is twice as likely to be clicked, read, and shared. Furthermore, people can tell the difference between an amateur and a professional-quality photograph.
So what’s the takeaway from all of this? Read a lot. Analyze what you’re reading and see how it was shared. Then look at different industries and see how you can apply the skeleton or framework of successful articles to your brand. The key is to create content that is accessible to the masses while keeping it centered and focused on your ideal buyer and where they are in the buyer’s journey. What is the concept of your brand and how can you expand the reach? Red Bull started as an energy drink that didn’t appeal to everyone. Now their brand image extends into what people call the ‘action sports’ world, a concept that appeals to the masses way beyond a little can of foul tasting liquid to get you crunk.
Check out more related articles over at Paveya’s blog!
Info graphic link and credit:
fundersandfounders.com by Anna Vital