24 Nov 2015
Today, on Yahoo’s home page, there were several items in the newsfeed that were certain to get a lot of reads. There was a listing of the top 50 school districts in the nation; there was a video titled “Cheetahs Caught an Antelope and did the Unthinkable;” there were other lists too, such as the top new vehicles of 2016, and a couple of surveys to take.
Perhaps Yahoo knows something that you don’t – the types of content that bring the most readers. So, here are 6 types that you can easily create and use right now.
Now dubbed “listicles,” many content writers thought that lists would fall by the wayside eventually and that people would tire of them. Not so! “Top” lists of anything are still one of the most popular and shared types of content. And here’s how you do that:
- Pick a topic in your niche
- Pick a number, any number
- Do a bit of research if necessary
- Make your post simple in format – short introduction, provide detail about each item, short conclusion (you’re reading one right now)
Infographics, if clean, neat, and valuable/interesting are viewed and shared – a lot. You can get your information or data in a visual form that people far prefer to text. From an Olympic star’s record of medals to a map showing the states with the highest number of people in poverty, to data on climate change, a pictorial representation just is much more powerful.
Many businesses contract with designers to create infographics, and that can be quite pricey. Now, however, there are a lot of tools and apps for creating your own. Newer versions of infographics are now interactive. Readers can click on a specific part of one and get further detail, a video, etc.
If they are done well, videos can be hugely popular and shared a lot. There are all sorts of purposes for videos that will spread your brand – you can film your team at work; you can video a charity event that is a favorite cause of yours; you can create a “how to” video for a product you sell.
Many companies contract out with a professional for good videos, and these can be pricey but probably worth it. Publish your videos on YouTube and Vimeo, or, if sort enough, on Facebook. Except for “how to” videos, shoot for 3-4 minutes and practice your script. The commentary that accompanies a video is really important.
They’re all over Facebook, and they are a great source of more. Probably the most popular one right now is the character from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with hilarious and sarcastic comments. If you just want to entertain your audience every once in a while, these are perfect. People are happy when you share a laugh with them, and they tend to share it.
You need no special skills to create a meme – just a catchy, humorous comment to superimpose on any of the offerings on Quick Meme or Meme Generator. Memes are best shared Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr, not usually your blog.
Guides take time to make, because they must be created by a great writer, enhance by photos and other media, and they must be on a topic that is really important to your niche audience. Content quality is really critical as is layout. One of the great things about offering a guide, and that you can request an email in exchange for sharing it.
Surveys, Polls, Quizzes
Readers love to participate and they often share surveys, polls, and quizzes with their friends. And, if the survey or poll gives ongoing tabulation of results, all the better. These used to be tough to design, requiring gobs of code, but now more. You can find lots of tools to design your own quite easily. Your job will to come up with engaging questions.
Any of these types of content you can create or find the expertise to create them for you. The important takeaway here is that they get read and shared more than standard text content. The best thing to do, then, is to incorporate as many of these into the other content you write.