If you’re struggling to find content that delivers results, don’t fret. Creating content that users want to share can be a delicate dance, and one that very few have mastered. But with a little planning, you too can create content that users get excited about spreading among the masses. 

So, what do users want when it comes to content? What makes them want to share it with the world? According to an article from Content.ly, users engage with content that has one of these three elements: 

  1. Discovery. With discovery, your content should engage the user’s curiosity. Users want to feel like they have discovered something new and exciting, and that by sharing it, they will seem more “in the know.” Quizzes and other engaging discovery content will engage your user and encourage them to share with everyone they know.
  2. Reliving experiences. Human behavior is said to be motivated by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Among those needs is love and belonging, and this is the need responsible for relationships and companionship. When you create content that helps users relive experiences, they naturally want to share it and create connections with others. If you can tap into your target audience’s deepest feelings and emotions, your content will soar through the social channels in no time.
  3. Usefulness. As an instant-gratification species, humans crave actionable takeaways. In a recent study by BuzzSumo and HubSpot, B2B and B2C Content Lessons, tips, helpful hints, tricks, how-tos, and phrases like “X signs you’re” and “make you laugh” result in the largest amount of shares among users. Whether in video, image, article, or slideshow format, useful content will keep your audience engaged and searching for more.

 Also in the study, BuzzSumo and HubSpot analyzed data from 175,000 B2C and B2B posts to determine the most popular (shared) types of content on social today. At the end of their research, they determined that content similar to these five ideas is shared the most. Are you creating such content?

  • Videos and e-books discussing helpful health tips or pain-relieving methods, or warnings regarding pets, children, products, etc. (performs best on Facebook)
  • History lessons or quizzes that engage a user’s curiosity (performs best on Facebook)
  • A listing of tips or mistakes on how to be more successful at work (performs best on LinkedIn)
  • E-books on metrics and business advice (performs best on LinkedIn)
  • Images of checklists and sayings, or links to simple DIY projects (performs best on Pinterest)

In the end, don’t be scared. These guidelines are simply meant to steer you in the right direction. Test the waters on both your social channels and with your social content. You never know just what your target customer is looking for!


About Ebonn Hixson

Ebonn Hixson (@ebonny_sans_y) is Communications Director for Storylift (@getStorylift). The company’s Content Distribution Platform reaches over 200 million US readers and features the industry’s most advanced audience targeting capabilities. Ebonn promotes the platform & Storylift | The Magazine, which publishes research and innovative strategies to over 110,000 content marketing professionals each month.