Content sharing is in decline. This slow but steady decline can be attributed to many reasons, though we’ve handpicked a few of the most important points:
- Consumers don’t care about brands or bloggers in the same way they do about their personal connections. We can see this in the way Facebook presents the entirety of consumer’s newsfeeds to reflect this change. Additionally, when we look at the best performing content, it often comes from influencers instead of brands themselves.
- The tried and tested networks for content sharing are slowly diminishing in their ability to spread brand content far and wide. This can be attributed to declining popularity and consumer trust, think of Facebook for example and their Cambridge Analytica scandal. However, despite this Facebook remain the biggest social media traffic driver.
- There’s a lot of competition out there. Every other brand and content creator doing what your doing creates an overlap where you’re competing for attention. This together with substandard content creates a difficult time for content creators.
We all know what makes content sharable, we only need to look at the six qualities of newsworthy content:
Timeliness Is this relevant now, is it something that has recently happened or relevant to pop culture?
Localisation Is this happening near your consumers? If your consumers are only located in Australia, then they won’t consider European industry news as relevant.
Does this impact a lot of people?
Do a lot of people know about this? It doesn’t have to be well-known amongst wider audiences, just double check if your target audiences are in the know.
Has something like this happened before, it is a quirky one-of-a-kind story?
Is this representative of greater pattern and behaviours.
So, what can you do to outperform your competitors in terms of content? We’ve created a list of 10 actionable and relatively easy options you can implement straight away for your business.
1. Competitive research
One of the easiest ways to figure out what content is being shared by your audience is to directly look at the content your audience is sharing. Look at what brands like yours are doing and how their audience is engaging with different types of content.
Make a list of your top five competitors and the social media channels you are both on. If you’re on the same channels sharing similar content this means that they are a direct competitor. Look at what they’re posting, is it videos, blog posts, articles, or something else? While doing this make a note of their content which has received high engagement on each channel, what types of content are outperforming and what types aren’t getting hype.
2. Tell a story with your content Storytelling is extremely important as it allows your audience to see themselves in a situation, making it more relatable to their individual experience. For this type of content, like most stories, you’ll want a beginning, middle, and end. Write down the following so you can map out your story:
- What problem is your audience experiencing that they may be unaware of?
- The solution that your product or brand can provide.
- How are you're going to tell a story that will take your audience between these two points?
Think about how your consumer started with the problem and how they arrived at the solution, along the way solving a problem shared by others in your target audience.
3. Validate your audience’s opinions Content that reinforces the opinions of your audiences is easy to share as this provides proof to them that their opinions are in fact correct and come from a reliable source, your brand. To create this type of content, think about your audience in-depth, what do they like and believe in? How can you find and share that information?
Other questions to ask yourself are:
- What do people in your industry care about?
- What topics are their differentiating opinions on?
- Are there any controversial topics you can put your brand’s opinion into?
- What opinions have you already posted about?
- Did your audience react positively to these?
4. Use controversy in your content Why intentionally cause controversy? Although it seems like the opposite of what you would want for your brand, standing on the other side of the fence can create an interesting standpoint that will cause users to engage with content. Otherwise creating only agreeable content will cause your brand's socials to seem bland.
When using controversy steer clear of hot-topic issues that cause a lot of anguish in your audience. An example would be a brand stating their opinions on mask mandates; however, this doesn’t hold relevance for most businesses and will most likely create brand detractors. But playing the devil’s advocate in a less serious way can liven up a brand.
5. Appeal to your audience’s values Another great way to make a connection with your audience is to share content that revolves around their values. Consumers are increasingly concerned with brand values and how well these brand values integrate and mesh with their own values.
Maybe your audience really want Australian sourced and Australian made products, use this to highlight products in your store that are locally made. Perhaps your audience is concerned with sustainability, if so, show on your socials how you’ve gone green and reduced waste in your business.
One way to figure out the values of your audience is to look to your past content. What values have you talked about before that your audience has made a connection with?
6. Make your content useful In order to encourage shares, your content needs to be useful to your audience. In a study by the New York Times, it was found that 90% of all users will assess the usefulness of the content before sharing it.
So how do you ensure that your content is useful to your audience? First, think about what problem or question the piece of content is addressing. What problem are you trying to help your audience solve?
For example, if you’re a manufacturer of make-up brushes you might want to include content on how to clean and care for brushes. This could be a cleaning product from the manufacturer or one completely unrelated.
7. Capitalise on trending topics Trends are constantly changing, giving your brand unlimited potential for content ideas. If you create your content around trends, it allows your brand to stay relevant whilst consumers engage with something that doesn’t exactly have a direct link to it.
Google Trends will be your best friend! It allows you to look up what the interest has been in topic over time, the interest by region, and the related queries. When searching for ‘Fitness’ the current top related query is ‘Apple Fitness Plus’, which means that a fitness brand could highlight the integrations between the brand and Apple Fitness.
8. Add shareable video and images Images and videos are the cornerstones of content, so much in fact that, according to HubSpot 33% of all internet activity is users watching videos. Additionally, according to BrainRules, you’ll remember 65% more of the information in a piece of content if you see an image attached to it.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create images and video for your content, there’s an endless list of resources your brand could utilise to make your content pop. Some of our favourites are: