How to make instantly shareable content

As marketing, advertising, social media and content strategy continue to evolve, capturing someone’s attention is harder than ever.

Sometimes, even the internet seems to be working against you — 40 percent of customers bounce from websites that take even three seconds to load.

In this fast-paced digital age, you’re unlikely to get prospects to open a new tab, copy/paste your URL, and then write something interesting and worth sharing (in their minds). Your distribution strategy needs to be faster than people’s attention spans are short. How, then?

Call to action. You’ve heard of this term before. But have you ever considered how to be strategic with your creation, copy and design of a call to action?

First off, you need to do everything possible to make sharing content easier and faster for the reader. You’ve been working on creating excellent content. Generating clickable, shareable content links is the next, crucial step. If you’re not familiar with how to do it, you have a few options: clicktotweet.com, sharelinkgenerator.com, or the old-fashioned code that you can use for hyperlinks (not recommended for Twitter) — examples below.

http://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=[insert-your-web-page-URL-here]
http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&url=[ insert-your-web-page-URL-here]
(HubSpot has a great blog about creating these links, as well.)

Next, write the copy that will go with your shareable links. Unfortunately, Facebook requires users to write their own posts, and Instagram doesn’t have an option to share directly to the platform (yet). However, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and email are wide open. Your job as the content creator is to create short, sweet, to-the-point sentences for sharing that aren’t bland. Incorporate humor, incite interest or instigate conversation; just be share-worthy. Copy that’s novel length isn’t what users are looking for in a social post. However you write, make sure you’re getting across the main point of your content.

Finally, you need to consider strategy. Are you going to create a quote block? What about a button? Maybe an image with share icons will do the trick? Calls to action have huge potential to make your content more enjoyable to read and more intuitive to share. They break up walls of text visually, remind readers to take action, and highlight the main takeaways of your message. We often use quote blocks, like this:

Do everything possible to make sharing content easier and faster for your reader.

Oracle puts a block of shareable buttons on its blog that scrolls as you scroll — the company doesn’t want you to forget about sharing.

Intel takes a similar approach, but slims the buttons down even more.

Calls to action are supposed to do just that — create action. Every time you write, consider ways to expand the reach of your work and maximize your content strategy. Isn’t that why you put fingers to keyboard in the first place?

This article originally appeared on the Metis Communications blog.

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