At Digital Megaphone’s recent Social Media Masters Summit, we had the pleasure of hearing Colleen Callinan of BuzzFeed deliver a very helpful, very informative presentation on what makes BuzzFeed’s content so shareable. Callinan offered a series of tips that every marketer should be able to use to create their own strategy of shareability, so we thought we’d pass them along to you!
1.) Make Content You Would Be Proud to Share
It’s kind of like the Golden Rule that says treat others how you would be treated. Don’t create content that you yourself wouldn’t feel proud to share. The general rule of being useful applies, as always, but Callinan also stresses being positive. Positivity goes a lot farther than negativity!
2.) Don’t Underestimate the Power of Cute Animals
It’s true. Cute animals have clout. This doesn’t mean stick a bunny rabbit on every blog post, but it does mean reflecting on what causes your base to project their emotions. For a content-machine like BuzzFeed, that means cuteness. But what image would make your specific audience stop and reflect?
3.) Humor Is Inherently Social
Most of the Net’s content is shared on social media, and Callinan asserts that humor is an inherently social concept. We aren’t funny for the heck of it: we’re funny to make people laugh. So if you’re looking for a way to engage your audience, aim for their funny bone. If it makes sense, Callinan adds as a caution. Some brands are not funny, and nor should they be. If your business is serious, think of another social behavior that will get your audience engaged: appeal to their sense of order, for example, and offer them ways to be more organized.
4.) Nostalgia Works
Every generation is nostalgic for different things, as is demonstrated by popular hashtags like #TBT (Throwback Thursday). To make nostalgia work for you, consider the profile of your audience/buyers and create content based on that generation’s beloved memories. There are endless opportunities for this.
5.) Have a Heart
Sometimes—often—audiences just want to be made to feel good. Your audience works hard and it’s easy to become downtrodden by Wednesday. Provide them with uplifting content that makes their life, their job, or their day easier.
6.) Content Is About Identity
To illustrate her next tip, Callinan referred to a post called 22 Words That Have A Completely Different Meaning In Chicago. That post was so successful, she said, because it appealed to Chicagoans’ sense of identity as Chicagoans. See if you can accomplish the same thing with your content. Who is your audience? What do they love?
7.) Capture the Moment
In Chicago, we have major sports teams that provide endless jump-off points for different kinds of content. Whether it’s a sporting event, an election, an award show, or a TV commercial, creating content that relates to current events or popular occurrences is a great strategy for creating content that gets shared.
8.) Be Yourself
Audiences can always tell if you’re faking it, Callinan says. Focus on what you’re good at it and make that your strong point in creating content that is useful, positive, entertaining, uplifting, and more.
Have some other tips for creating shareable content that BuzzFeed might have missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments! In the meantime, if you want some more tips on getting the most bang for your content marketing buck, download this free white paper: The Marketer’s Guide to Proving (and Improving) Content Marketing ROI.