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Factors Affecting Content Popularity And Social Sharing- A Content Review

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Content marketing

is becoming extremely popular with each passing day, and content popularity is the key to success. Tons of articles, pictures, videos, infographics and podcasts have been shared on social media every minute. This content sharing activity creates opportunity for businesses to reach the maximum audience, create users interest, generate leads, increase brand identity/visibility/awareness, create consumer satisfaction and build relationships. Here are some important statistics that you must know about content marketing by NewsCred:

  • Almost 329 million people read blogs every month (blogging.org, 2012)
  • 72% of marketers believe that branded content is more effective than advertising in the magazine while 69% say it is superior to direct mail and PR (custom content council, 2011)
  • Companies with active blog generate 97% more leads (content plus, 2013)
  • Content from reputable sources is most shared (UCLA, 2012)
  • 87% of B2B marketers use social media as a content distribution channel (content marketing institute, 2012)

There is much more to the list above which can limpid the value of content marketing but sticking to the factors that are affecting the content marketing and its social sharing is the main objective here. I personally believe that content serves as, “The online Brand ambassador” of a company. But when your content becomes shunned, do not catch the reader’s eye and remain unshared on social media platforms then you seriously need to focus on the factors below that might be contributing towards your content unpopularity and impede social sharing.

Internal factors

1- Headlines and Titles

Headlines or Titles are the most important segment. Everybody has a face and the face of the content is headline. It is usually recognized by this face. In professional life If you do not have a clean, washed, shaved, smiling and friendly face, you will run the risk of being recognized as unprofessional. Same applies here in this scenario. If the content does not have clear, accurate, attractive and appealing Headlines then it will be buried in the deep ocean available online. The headlines or titles should have the following characteristics:

  • Clearly explains what is in the content
  • Relevant to the content
  • Should not be too long or too short
  • Comprehensive
  • Create readers interest to read more

It is estimated that content with great headlines or titles has the most clicked through rate.

2- Introduction

Article introduction is another important element that comes after headlines and titles. I have witnessed many articles on the web that contain simple sometimes irrelevant introduction or even not having one at all. That means readers are unable to understand after reading few lines that what you are offering more in the content. Sometimes article just starts without outlining the purpose. The first paragraph of your article should be the most powerful part, it should be a precis with intuitive wording.

3- Sub Headings/bullet points

Sub headings and bullet points not only improve content credibility in search engines but also urge readers to read more. Most readers, after reading the title, go through the whole article body, scanning for the appropriate sub-headings and bullet points of their interest. This give them a quick overview of what they are going to read next. If you have decorated your content with sub-headings and bullets then your will increase the level of readability along with social sharing. Not having subheadings and bullets take more time to read through the content which many readers do not prefer hence your content remains unnoticed.

4- Images

Images are believed to be a makeover of your articles/content. Articles look more attractive with featured and in-text images. Many people just share the content because of images they have, especially on Facebook and Pinterest. Pinterest is the platform which primarily focuses on images. Your content can reach out unprecedented amount of audience because of images, putting relevant, high-resolution and creative images on your content would enhance its sharing capacity.

External factors

There are many external factors that can affect your content, I have identified four most important external factors that can seriously reduce your content visibility and performance. You have to focus on these factors and optimize your content accordingly in order to perform better on social media platforms.

1- Organic search

Organic search is the key for content visibility, if your content doesn’t come on first two pages of search engines for certain keywords then you will lose hefty traffic which could boost your content visibility. And if your content falls beyond 3rd page then you seriously need to seek SEO advice to improve your search rankings. Once your content become visible on first or second page then you will enjoy content visibility as well as sharing.

2- Social initiation

You will have to initiate social sharing on your own and on regular basis  rather than sitting back and watching other people sharing it, if your ranking is not good in search engines then social initiation will play a huge part in your content popularity. But to do this you will have to share your content on continuous basis, use all the available resources such as; friends list, followers, groups, connections and others, also request people to share your content within their circles.

3- Audience

Another external element which could affect your content’s sharing potential is an inappropriate audience. You have to ask yourself few questions here: Am I producing the right content for right audience? Is my audience active on social media? Is my audience connected to me on social media? You need to revisit your social accounts and check for the audience you got, connecting to the right audience and producing right content for their interests is the lock opening key for your content sharing.

4- Reputed source

Reputed source is another important factor that can affect content sharing especially when the content has to be shared from the primary source where the content is published. It is estimated that 70% of the content is being shared on social media by top 100 sources in any particular niche. People rely more on the content that is produced by reputable and famous sources, believing that the content is genuine, unique and of high quality, not only people Google does the same thing. If you produce quality content and have less prominent source where you publish it e.g. newly started blog or website, then consider publishing your content on reputed websites.

Read more on: Why social media marketing fails

Image credit: research snipers