What’s the secret to getting people to hit that share or retweet button? What prompts people to want to go beyond looking and liking on to sharing? There are several types of content that generate more interest in sharing, all of which are tied to some human emotion. Here are four types of content people can’t resist passing on to others.

1. Educational Graphics

educational graphicImage via Flickr by VFS Digital Design

People love to learn, but they want their education in small, visual, bite-sized portions. Infographics are the ideal way to get lots of interesting facts and information into a small form and make it visually appealing to the viewer. Last year, we created an infographic on the massive amount of waste created by trade shows that garnered the company’s website over 12,000 visits and even got picked up on the National Geographic website. There are tons of infographics out there, but it’s easy to find an idea and create an infographic specific to your needs.

First, research the topic thoroughly and come up with a question or revelation no one’s touched on before. Then gather shocking facts, interesting tidbits, tips and tricks, or other information to present to the reader. Organize it in a visual way, using very little text, and let the pictures tell the story for you. There are entire Pinterest boards dedicated to infographics on all sorts of topics.

2. Informative Videos

Content creators love to use funny videos, but people are also interested in viewing and sharing informative videos. People want to learn how to do something, how something works, and what makes things tick. If you’re using video, make sure you’re keeping these key issues in mind:

  • People will take you more seriously if the video is professional looking.
  • Use the visual nature of video. Don’t create a talking head video that interests nobody.
  • Create an interesting and unique title showing how your video is different from the rest.
  • Deliver all the information you promise in your title, don’t leave viewers hanging.

Videos can range from 30 second spots to hour-long presentations. However, don’t produce a video longer than it takes to inform your viewers, or they will lose interest and won’t share it.

3. Inspiring Photos

People love to be inspired. That’s why we keep posters with eagles on our office walls, emblazoned with slogans like, “Rise to new heights.” However, they need photos to tell them a story, make them feel something, and help them grasp the message you’re trying to convey in order to share.

Ideal photos don’t have to be limited to endearing people, adorable animals, or spectacular sunrises. Think of other ways to inspire people, such as the scary images we see during war-time or natural disasters. Inspiration doesn’t have to be uplifting, it simply has to inspire someone to feel, and act, on the message.

4. Entertaining Articles

Not all content has to be visual to capture enough enthusiasm for a share. Well written content will make the reader laugh, cry, hurt, feel angry, get hopeful, or experience any other emotion you can imagine. Surprisingly, not just positive, happy-go-lucky content wins our likes and shares. Much successful content taps into negative emotions, such as fear, anger, or jealousy.

In order to entertain your audience, you need to make the content approachable. Use lots of subheadings to make the content easy to scan and keep paragraphs brief, not intimidating.

Done properly, all of these types of content spark what’s necessary to garner a share from your audience.

What other content ideas have worked for you?