Written by Dan Konstantinovsky
Strategic Marketing, RH Blake
Creating industrial content takes a significant amount of resources, expertise and focus. In fact, according to Industrial and Technology Marketers’ Budget Survey, content creation is at the top of the list of challenges facing marketers. To help ensure your content achieves maximum reach and exposure, it needs to be easily shareable.
What Makes Industrial Content Shareable?
A study conducted by a team of UCLA psychologists found that people have an inherent desire to share information. But not all information gets shared equally – there are certain common content characteristics that enhance shareability. Ultimately, these shareability characteristics are aligned with one or more of these components:
- Valuable: Does your industrial content deliver meaningful and unique answers, solutions and advice?
- Emotional: Does your industrial content evoke a reaction?
- Tied to Identity: Does your industrial content provide readers the opportunity to feel connected?
- Trending: Does your industrial content relate to a recent topic or burning issue?
In addition to these components, here are 7 best practices to consider when developing industrial content:
- Approach: The Industrial and Technology Marketers’ Budget Survey noted that there has been a shift to customer-centric over product-centric content. Thus, if you want to promote your latest product enhancement, be sure the message illustrates how it will improve efficiency, productivity or provide some other business benefit.
- Headline: A compelling headline is key to capturing the reader’s interest at the start, encouraging them to both read the article and then share it with others. Ideally, you should use your headline to show the value—what the reader will gain or learn. Write it in second person (“you” or “your”) and use keywords that are most likely to capture the attention of your target audience. To help, here’s a headline analyzer tool.
- Images: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But even if you need that many words for content such as case studies, compelling images can help pull the reader along, as well as support and enrich the story.
- Videos: Videos are another popular method for connecting with your audience and encouraging sharing, with 69% of B2B marketing professionals already using them. While shorter is better, you can get around that 90-second timeframe by creating a video series—especially useful when introducing a new product line or service. (The Animoto website has a handy chart illustrating the ideal video length by type—from customer testimonials to product videos.)
- Infographics: Regardless of how important statistics can be, slogging through a list of numbers, percentages or data points can cause your audience to rapidly scroll down the page—or worse, hit the ‘X’. That’s where infographics can make all the difference as they invite your reader to look more carefully at the information you are communicating, and are more easily shared than tables and text. Designing an infographic? 5 Elements You Must Include has useful tips.
- Structure: Use short paragraphs, bulleted lists and sub-heads to make the content easier to read and more likely to be shared. Callouts are a useful tool because they prompt readers to share the content via one click. Your callouts can be interesting facts, industry statistics or key pieces of advice. Then, remember that your content will be engaged with on numerous devices – design it accordingly. Organizing content where it’s easily scannable and has a clear eye path drives engagement.
- Social Sharing: While technically not part of the content, social “share buttons” still play an important role. By including them with each piece of online content, you will not only drive relevant traffic to your website but also increase the opportunity for natural (organic) backlinks, which will also help your SEO program.
Creating industrial content? Start with yourself.
Ultimately, if you’re creating something you would want to share yourself, you’re most likely headed in the right direction. Hopefully the above information will help you develop content that drives better results for your industrial or manufacturing brand.