What is one thing that all marketers hope to see whenever they release new content?
Clicks are great, and so are website visits and time spent on page. Ultimately, though, audience engagement is worth its weight in gold.
One surefire way to increase audience engagement, and even draw in a wider audience, is with shareable content.
Our unofficial definition of shareable content is a piece of content created with the goal of generating awareness, improving social signals, and building backlinks.
It’s a crucial piece of any content marketing strategy.
So where do you begin when it comes to creating and distributing shareable content?
This article will further outline what shareable content is, including why it’s important for your marketing strategy. We’ll then dive into what exactly makes a piece of content shareable. We’ll also dive into the data we’ve collected surrounding shareable content created for our own clients so you can better understand the positive impacts of it on your website.
Why Is Shareability Important For Content?
When you create content, you do so with the ultimate goal of connecting with your audience. If you think about it, sharing is the ultimate form of connection.
Why is that?
People share content that is meaningful to them. This can be because it entertains them, it relates to who they are as a person, or simply because they want to enrich the lives of those around them.
Shareable content is relatable and compelling.
So then, consider the benefits for your website when you create shareable content.
Shareability is important because it helps you to engage with your audience while also observing how your audience engages with others. Shareability can also expand your reach which may ultimately grow your audience.
What Makes A Piece of Content Shareable
You now know why shareability is important, but how can you implement it? Well, first, we must consider what makes a piece of content shareable.
We know that people share content because it speaks to them in some way.
That can be on a deep, meaningful level or simply because the visualizations speak to who they are or who they want to portray themselves to be.
So with that in mind, there are two main components of shareable content: relevance and relatability.
Relevant content is content that is meaningful and timely as it relates to the topic at hand. As a marketer, this is the type of content that is relevant to the majority of your audience (or at least a considerable subset).
Take, as an example, this shareable graphic created and distributed by Search Engine Journal:
Relatability is less of a fixed principle and more about how you “spin” your content. For example, distilling information using a trending sound and video format on TikTok. What is relatable to one audience may not be what’s relatable to another, so knowing your audience is key.
When creating shareable content, these two components can make or break its success. If you’re curious to learn more here, check out this graphic we use to explain shareability to new clients here at NP Digital:
Now, let’s look at these principles in action.
What Our Data Tells Us About Shareable Content
You may be asking yourself whether shareable content for content marketing can truly have a meaningful impact on your website’s performance. That’s why we’ve collected real data from real clients to show you that it can.
Before we dive in, let’s be sure we’re on the same page.
The shareable content examples referenced below were created for NP Digital clients with their guidance. We relied heavily on research to inform our decisions (i.e., what type of content to create and what information to include) while keeping relevancy and relatability in mind.
As for our methodology, we tracked the performance of this shareable content to showcase the contributions to sitewide performance that these pieces had.
Client 1: Mattress Retailer
First up is a mattress retailer with a regularly updated blog, a robust “resource” content area on their e-commerce site, and an engaging social media presence.
The shareable content for this client was a blog post, including an infographic, that elaborated on the meanings of 15 of the most common nightmares. It also outlined why nightmares occur, including sleep apnea and certain medications. It was published in June of 2021.
This content came about through careful research and recommendations to the client. The goal was to create shareable content that was informative, but also relatable and memorable. The focus for this piece was on rich media and SEO elements such as keywords, meta information, and internal linking recommendations.
So how did it perform?
Here’s what we found.
Using Semrush, the blog post attributed to about 2.4 thousand in organic traffic as of January of 2023. The page has also netted 30 backlinks which helped the URL secure a page authority score of 24.
Further, this page has added over 1,000 keywords to the site’s overall keyword universe, which has helped expand its reach on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Of those 1,000 keywords, Semrush shows that 53 keywords are ranking in positions one through three.
How about social media performance?
According to BuzzSumo, this page earned:
- 43 Facebook engagements
- 1 Twitter share
- 1 Pinterest engagement
Client 2: B2B Trailer Sales
Our next client is a trailer rental and sales company who operates largely in the Northeast of the United States.
The shareable asset for this client was a blog post containing a graphic. This was posted in June of 2022.
The blog post focused on a topic of interest for its customers and blog readers — the 15 best truck stops throughout the United States. The graphic was a US map with a dot indicating the location of each chosen truck stop.
The locations were chosen based on numerous factors, including:
- Online reviews: Data compiled from sites like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor.
- Vicinity to national monuments: The total number of national parks and monuments in a 20-mile radius of the truck stop.
- Available food score: A score calculated based on whether the truck stop has anything from only processed food (1 point) to fresh and processed food (2 points) to fresh and processed food plus access to restaurants (3 – 5 points).
- Amenity offering score: A score calculated based on whether the truck stop has anything from only public bathrooms (1 point) to 24-hour showers plus truck wash (3 points) to everything above plus laundromat, gym, and other amenities (5 points).
- Uniqueness: A bonus factor that adds a point to the total score based on any one-of-a-kind traits the truck stop has.
Here’s how the content performed.
According to Semrush, the blog post attributed 816 organic visits in January of 2023. The page netted 67 backlinks. It also ranks for 477 keywords with 14 of those in positions one through three on SERPs.
According to BuzzSumo, this post earned:
- 462 Facebook engagements
- 8 Twitter shares
Client 3: College Loan/Loan Company
Last, but not least, is a college private loan company with an informative blog and an active social media presence.
The twist here is that this piece of shareable content was created for a landing page for a limited-time contest. The landing page was published on October 10, 2022 with the content running from 10/10 through 11/11 of 2022.
Since this was a limited-time run, we were also more active in distribution of the shared content. More specifically, we:
- Sent 1,776 pitches (to media, radio, podcasts, scholarship sites, and colleges)
- Wrote and sent 1 press release
- Coordinated with 3 influencers who posted the content
- Created organic social posts (5 Twitter, 5 Facebook, 5 Instagram, plus TikTok content)
Our hard work resulted in 32 outreach placements, 218 media-created press releases, engagements and shares from seven colleges, and 334 total contest entries.
So how did we perform?
With data pulled one week after the contest ended, we saw:
- 8,380 sessions
- 14,907 pageviews
- 201 clicks from organic rankings
- 51 new keywords ranking
- 5,780 organic search impressions
- 47,000 impressions from TikTok influencers
- 1,100 likes on TikTok influencer posts
According to BuzzSumo, we also saw 57 Facebook engagements and 19 Twitter shares.
The page netted the client 14 backlinks and the page secured 55 keywords, though none ranked in the top three positions.
What We Learned From Our Data
Shareable content comes in many different shapes and sizes. They can be blog posts, quizzes, infographics, listicles, podcast episodes, or downloadable PDFs. What makes a shareable asset different from other forms of content is that they are not strictly designed with on-page SEO in mind. Instead, they are created with the goal of increasing brand awareness and accomplishing a business objective such as attracting new users, increasing page visits, or even strengthening domain authority. Obtaining high-priority ranking positions is a bonus from shareable content, but not the main KPI when looking at shareable asset success.
They also have the added benefit of netting social engagements and securing backlinks to your site. These efforts will trickle down and help drive your organic SEO results.
The important thing is that this type of content captures attention and compels the audience to engage. That’s because the sharing of your content is what will boost your SEO efforts, as the page authority will increase when new backlinks are acquired.
The bottom line is that creating highly linkable and engaging content will benefit your holistic marketing efforts which will transcend individual channels.
Do you have more questions on shareable content? We have the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.
Are shareable assets and shareable content the same?
It helps to think of shareable content as a trait (i.e. content that is shareable). Shareable assets are more individual pieces of content designed mainly for offsite metrics like engagement. This can include blog posts (which contain graphics, like infographics and images), articles, listicles, etc.
What makes a piece of content "shareable"?
There are two big things to consider when creating shareable content: relevance and relatability. Your content must be relevant to the topic at hand, but your audience must be able to relate to it in such a way that they’re compelled to share it.
When you create content, you often do so with the intention of drawing in readers and engaging with your audience.
While this may lead to comments on your blog at the time of publication, or even a few comments on your social media links, the engagement can quickly die down.
Shareable content – that is, content that is engaging, relevant, and relatable – is what keeps on giving.
Shareable content means that your content remains relevant. It increases the odds of people sharing it on their own social media accounts, which in turn increases engagement with said content.
It can also make your content more likely to appear on SERPs, which keeps it pertinent for longer. How is that possible if shareable content isn’t created with SEO in mind? Engagement, offsite and onsite, is a Google ranking factor to consider.
Remember, your shareable assets may not always pay off individually. However, their overall performance and their direct and indirect impact on your website are all part of your larger marketing strategy.
Which form of shareable content will you create first? Let us know in the comments below.
See How My Agency Can Drive More Traffic to Your Website
- SEO - unlock more SEO traffic. See real results.
- Content Marketing - our team creates epic content that will get shared, get links, and attract traffic.
- Paid Media - effective paid strategies with clear ROI.
Are You Using Google Ads? Try Our FREE Ads Grader!
Stop wasting money and unlock the hidden potential of your advertising.
- Discover the power of intentional advertising.
- Reach your ideal target audience.
- Maximize ad spend efficiency.