Blogging has quickly become a top marketing strategy for brands in all verticals - and for good reason.
In fact, data from Demand Metric reveals that 90 percent of all organizations use content in their marketing efforts, and on average, companies with blogs produce 76 percent more leads per month. The challenge, however, is in producing content that truly grabs the attention of an audience and generates enough "buzz" to quantify the resources that are spent on content marketing initiatives behind the scenes (time, salaries, technology, etc.)
Fortunately, there are a few things that content marketers can do to give their blog posts a better chance of going viral. Read below to discover five elements of a buzz-worthy blog post:
1. Provides Value
In order to create content that generates social buzz, it is important to choose a topic to write about that will provide value to the target audience. Writers should also try to take a unique angle when writing about said topic, as this ensures that the article will stand out from similar content across the Web.
Fortunately, tools like InboundWriter can help content marketers spend more time creating impactful content and less time writing content that won't generate buzz. The Inboundwriter platform, for example, can be leveraged to forecast content performance based on a proposed topic or headline. Additionally, the tool has the ability to suggest tightly related topic alternatives that have a higher probability of success in terms of how much traffic they will drive to the publisher's website.
2. Flashy Headlines
Some people judge a book by its cover (despite the popular idiom), and in the world of content marketing the book's cover is essentially its headline. This means that there should be a great deal of thought that goes into titling a blog post, video, infographic or any other piece of content before it is marketed. After all, the title alone will play a big factor in the number of click-throughs the link receives.
In addition to good ole' fashion brainstorming, content marketers can also leverage tools like Portent's Content Idea Generator. With this tool, writers simply need to enter a topic idea in order to generate a potential headline (this can also give content marketers an angle for their article). For example, by entering the subject "dogs," Portent generated headlines such as "How Dogs Can Keep You Out of Trouble" and "What the World Would Be Like if Dogs Didn't Exist." Some of the suggestions do get a little outrageous (as they often take into account pop culture like Justin Bieber), but they can certainly get one's creative juices flowing.
3. Visually Appealing
Humans are automatically drawn to visual content because it's easy for eyes to scan and the brain to process. Moreover, visual content can help break up the monotony of a text-only article. Because of this, content marketers should make an effort to add elements like videos, slideshows, images or infographics to every blog post they write (just don't overdo these elements because they can also weigh down a page). Not only will visual content make a blog post more attractive, but it can also increase the number of times a post is shared as well as boost engagement and time-on-site metrics. For help finding royalty-free images to add to your next post, check out Website Magazine's post "Picture This: Free Images for Use on the Web."
4. Gets to the Point
We live in a fast-paced society, which means that the majority of audiences don't have time or patience to read lengthy articles. Because of this, it is typically a good idea for content marketers to keep their articles short in length and get to the point of the article pretty quickly.
Some topics, however, require details that can significantly extend the length of the article. When this is the case, content marketers should try to make the blog post easier for consumers to digest by either breaking it up with multiple sub-headlines or by turning the article into a scannable list.
Last, but certainly not least, it is important for content marketers to include social sharing icons on every page of their blog. After all, this is the easiest way for consumers to share content via social and email and thus gives the content the best chance of going viral. Fortunately, the Web is full of social sharing solutions, including AddThis and ShareThis, which can be leveraged to add sharing functionality for a variety of social networks to websites.