Here’s the deal: I don’t go onto the web to be sold to. I look for information. I look for content that will tell me something I don’t know and satisfies my curiosity. I want to be intrigued. I want to learn and join conversations.
Mostly, however, I want to have fun.
You are no different and neither are your customers. New York Times research into the most-shared articles on the web uncovers three primary emotions in the content:
- Awe (25%)
- Laughter (17%)
- Amusement/entertainment (15%)
AgoraPulse found that the most-shared posts on Facebook had some element of inspiration, demonstrated by certain keywords like;
On the flip-side, they found that certain content and behaviors shut down social sharing:
- Only talking about yourself
- Being too edgy or offensive
- Being to obscure or niche
- Publishing content no one can understand
- Asking for Likes (The most knee-jerk ask on the internet, in my opinion…..)
Since sharing is what you’re moving your site visitors toward, don’t do these things!
One more important tip – Go Long! (no, this isn’t a football reference…)
Every marketing and communications trend seems to point to shorter and shorter content. The 6-second video. High-level infographics you can glance at and get the gist of immediately. Tweets top out at 140 characters. The shorter the better, right?
According to an analysis of 100 million web-based articles long-form content actually gets passed around more than short-form content. Surprisingly, the longer it is, the more shares it may get. According to the report, pieces of between 3,000-10,000 words are getting the highest average shares of any category, and the New York Times confirms this trend.
Of course, short-form content is everywhere in abundance. There are 16 times more articles with less than 1,000 words than there are with 2,000+ words. So here’s the opportunity – fill the gap!
[…and, yes, I know this post is less than 1,000 words….]
When writing long-form content keep these things in mind:
- Ensure you have something valuable and entertaining to say.
- Make it easy to scan – no one likes a wall of text! List structures can work well.
- Write short, easy-to-read paragraphs.
- Use subheadings and bullets to break up the text.
- Think about using a keyword in a subheading to provide some SEO value.
The fact that your audience is looking for fun on the social web may sound counter to the idea of creating long-form content, but remember that an enormous number of us read books and watch movies (or binge watch series) for the fun of it…..all long-form content.
Take advantage of that and create a Blockbuster!