What Makes Content Shareable?

Shareable content is a powerful activator and amplifier of your brand engagement. A thoughtful approach to utilizing content, not just driving reach and frequency of messages, drives brand engagement in a way that direct selling simply cannot. 

Content strategy must include three types of content: Created (by the brand), Curated (user-generated and filtered or selected), and Syndicated (incorporated from third-party sources through RSS feeds, etc). And making this content shareable is a critical part of activating your brand.

“Make it viral” — easier said than done

When trying to build awareness of a condition or a brand, someone at the agency or the client always suggests, “Let’s make a viral video.”

Creating a video that will “go viral” and be watched and shared by millions—and generate millions more in free publicity—is difficult for many reasons. If it was easy, everyone would do it.



But beyond that, there are many questions that are not considered. 

The main question to ask is why a piece of content should be shared, and if it’s even shareable to begin with. Desire to share a piece of content will not make it shareable. Recognizing what might make content shareable is at the heart of it. 

Sometimes you have a good instinct, other times you put something out there and you get lucky; the pass-along effect takes you by surprise. 

Creating shareable content requires both art and science

There’s a method to the madness of making content shareable. You need to create ideas that tap into an insight, fill an unmet need (one you might not even know exists yet), or ones that simply make you laugh.

A few ways to make content shareable: 

  • Make it relevant (content needs to walk in the shoes of the sharer)
  • Tap into a cultural phenomenon (Bruce/Caitlyn, anyone?)
  • Create a cultural phenomenon (not as easy as it sounds!)
  • Be funny (think of it as passing along a smile)
  • Make it surprising (everyone loves surprise and delight anything, content included)

Once the content you create is shareable, who knows how far it will go and what behavior beyond sharing it will drive? Content needs to appeal to its audience and connect viscerally in some kind of way, even if it’s lighthearted. Continue to remind yourself of the content that appeals to you when you’re on your social channel of choice whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, or Twitter.  Think about the mind-set of your target demographic. New mom? Empty nester? Tweenager? Obviously different content appeals to different targets. That said, some content appeals to the masses, and it’s usually the funny stuff.

Structured social sharing for the pharma context

In health and wellness communications, the very first response to a social sharing idea, and reasonably so, is usually, “So how are we going to get this past regulatory review?”

Enter structured social engagement. 

There are many social shareable experiences that can be formatted without—or with minimal—open text, thereby minimizing the many risks a client faces when using social media. 

Polls. ECards. Image uploads (with or without captions). Short videos with no audio. Hashtagged user tweets. These are all viable shareable media that can utilize social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine in a structured manner. In addition, the use of automated filtering of certain key words—whether they’re brands, active ingredients, or other words and phrases—can be blocked proactively, as well as with human-filtered content.

The point is, creating sharable content that is actually shared in pharma can be done, and should be done. Because that’s how people communicate these days.

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