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How do you create content that gets clicks? It's not an insignificant question.
There was a time, not so long ago, when pundits like me had the content business all to ourselves. Man, those were the days.
But that's a quaint notion now.
Nowadays, almost everyone creates content of one type or another. Whether it's blogs, infographics, videos, newsletters, podcasts, articles or social media updates, almost all business now are creating a variety of content. And they all have the same goals in mind, namely, to get people to click and engage with their content.
As marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki once said, retweets (sharing on Twitter) are social media gold.
Having been in the business of creating content for quite a while now, I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the answer to the question that I posed at the top, that is, how to create clickable content.
And while true, I also recently learned a new trick that you need to hear about.
What I know is that clickable, sharable content is content that informs or entertains, yes, but also content that is unexpected. Whether it's a clever headline, or an emotional hook (more on that in a second), or an incredible visual, or a tidbit out of left field, the trick is to: Get noticed among the noise, and then have it say something that people feel compelled to share.
On my site TheSelfEmployed, the most popular article I ever wrote was "The 5 Guys Trick that Will Blow Your Mind (and Sales!)" It hit all the right marks. Unexpected, intriguing, valuable, relatable.
But, as indicated, there has to be one more ingredient to make that piece of content really stand out: It also should be emotional.
The first was a marketing manager with National Geographic. Like you I am sure, I love NatGeo. For some of us, it is because we grew up on its iconic magazine. For others, it's due to their great television programing, be the National Geographic channel, or its sister station, NatGeo Wild.
Certainly National Geographic is doing something right online. Back in 2019 it became the first brand to top 100 million followers on Instagram.
What that representative from NatGeo shared with me was that the thing that really works is creating content that:
► Is of high quality and authentic, and which
► Resonates emotionally with people.
Quality, authentic content that strikes an emotional chord, it turns out, is the secret formula.
This is a key insight for small business. You need to create valuable content that speaks to your tribe yes, and yes, it needs to be unique and intriguing. But it turns out that the secret sauce is when you mix all of that with a heaping teaspoon of real emotion.
Do that, let the cake bake, and you will create a tasty morsel that will be enjoyed, clicked and shared for years.
Steve Strauss is an attorney, speaker and the author of 17 books, including "The Small Business Bible." You can learn more about Steve at MrAllBiz.com, get more tips at his site TheSelfEmployed, and connect with him on Twitter @SteveStrauss and on Facebook at TheSelfEmployed.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.
By: Steve Strauss