Social media has become the most powerful marketing platform for building brand awareness. For businesses today, building engagement through content sharing is critical. However, with so many individuals and brands publishing content online, getting people’s attention is harder than ever before. How do you stand out from the crowd and encourage content sharing? The following takes a look at what factors encourage your audience to share content and describes some of the most shareable content formats. What Makes Content More Shareable? If you want to increase social media shares, you need to understand what exactly makes people want to share content in the first place. Here are the most common characteristics of shareable content: It Adds Value to Users’ Lives People are more likely to share content if it’s informative and helps them solve a specific problem. This type of content not only builds brand awareness, it also strengthens customer loyalty. It Connects Emotionally With Your Target Audience Some of the most viral marketing campaigns were successful because they triggered strong emotions among users. There are a lot of feelings you can tap into, such as joy, curiosity, nostalgia, humor, fear, anger, surprise, and envy. But uplifting articles that trigger positive emotions are usually more likely to be shared. It’s Highly Targeted Content that addresses the core values of your target audience instantly becomes more powerful. When creating any content, think about the interests of your audience. If you’re not sure, ask your customers. By learning about their fears and ultimate goals, you can create a customer persona that informs the tone of the future content. It Offers Incentives People are more likely to share something if they stand to gain something from it. To encourage sharing, provide incentives like entry into prize draws or product discounts. It’s Easy to Consume Content that’s easy to scan is essential, especially for internet users who generally don’t have the time to read long blocks of text. Make sure your content is formatted for easy consumption. Use numbered lists, bullet points, clear subheadings, and break up text with images. The Most Shareable Content Formats If you want to boost shares, it’s important to focus on the types of content that consumers prefer today. The following formats are reliably shareable: Lists People can quickly scan lists and choose to read the sections they are interested in the most. Lists that are both educational and entertaining are perfect for sharing. How-To Content Teaching people how to do something is still one of the most effective content techniques because it adds real value to the lives of your target audience. Five of the top shared posts on Facebook in 2017 were videos featuring practical tips(1). Videos By 2020, online videos will make up more than 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic(2). Videos in the form of explainers, product demos, how-tos, and testimonials are still highly shareable. According to Twitter, videos are six times more likely to be retweeted than tweets with photos(3). Infographics Infographics are easy to consume and share across social media. As long as they’re relevant to your industry and target audience, they will also help to build your credibility. Authentic Photos Stock images don’t look or feel real. When possible, try to publish photos of staff or pictures of your workplace. Also, encourage your audience to share photos. They’re more powerful, authentic, and shareable. Tweets with Images One of the best ways to get people to notice your tweets is to include a relevant image. According to a study from Buffer, tweets with images received 150 percent more retweets than those without(4). Long-Form Content While long-form content may not get shared as quickly as shorter content, it will continue to get shares in the long term, especially when combined with SEO strategies. Trending Topics Keep up to date with trending news stories. You can use these stories or the theme of the story to link it to your brand in some way. Twitter is probably the best platform to jump into conversations around breaking news stories. Is Your Content Easy to Share? It’s not always the content itself that encourages sharing; it’s how you frame the content. To boost content sharing, make sharing easier for your audience: Add social sharing buttons to your webpages Use the Click to Tweet tool.Write more compelling headlines. Include more calls-to-action throughout your content, asking for shares. Experiment and see what clicks with your audience. With an increasing number of businesses using social media to win followers, it’s crucial to create quality content that is adapted to suit the strengths of each platform. If you focus on creating quality content that educates, informs, and entertains your audience, you’re more likely to be rewarded with more shares and social media followers. Over time, this will increase your online reputation and set your brand apart from the competition.