Whether on Facebook, Twitter or your favorite site, have you ever found yourself in the middle of an article that was something along the lines of “7 Ways Your Business is Like a Rescue Dog” and then thought to yourself, “Why am I reading this?” 

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Well, it turns out that there’s actually some science behind why you find yourself tumbling down the Internet content rabbit-hole. In fact, there are certain tricks and formats for creating and packaging content that are widely used by the media as “clickbait”—aka, a method to get you to fill that knowledge gap by clicking on the content.


Because content is critical for small businesses from brand awareness to search engine rankings, you need to know the best way to get people to read and share the content you created. Here are 7 tricks to help you package the content you create so that you can get more people to read and share it.


1. Listicles


A listicle is an article format made up of a list of tips. Just as I did with the title to this article, putting things into compelling lists is a great way to get clicks and shares. Creating your content within the context of “Top 5 Ways” or “10 Tips” is a great, easy method for readers to consume content. 


2. Photos


Back before languages were developed, people used hieroglyphics for communication. Then, languages were developed. Now, we are back to emojis. This cycle is due to our short attention spans and the desire to consume content visually. Add photos to your tweets and articles. Use platforms that encourage photo sharing, like Instagram. The more that you can engage with visuals, the more likely you are to get engagement, as statistics show that these postings are shared exponentially more often on average that those with no photos.  


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3. Bust myths


Busting a myth is always a great way to get someone’s attention. Curiosity naturally makes you want to know what it is that you don’t know. Think about an angle like, “5 Myths on Why Technology is Expensive for SMBs.” Just make sure that if you are using this format, you are actually dispelling a widely held belief or it won’t work.


4. Challenge the norm


One of the most successful ways to package content is to challenge a common perspective that’s widely held. I got a lot of click-through and social sharing on convention-busting articles like “Why Smart People Make Bad Entrepreneurs” and “Why Shark Tank’s ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Thinks Women Make Better CEOs”.  The second got double duty, given that not only was the women CEO angle a challenge of common thinking, but you also wouldn’t have expected that would have been Kevin O’Leary’s take, either!

5. Compare groups


Humans are competitive and we like to see that competition manifested between groups with some semblance of a rivalry. Compare women vs. men, small business vs. big business, millennials vs. boomers or make similar comparisons. An example would be, “Why Women Embrace Technology More Quickly Than Men.”


Related article: Selling to Millennials: 5 Tips to Market with Authenticity     



6. Quote influencers


One of the best ways to get a ton of social shares on content is to have someone (or many someones) with a big following share the content. So, how do you get someone influential to share your content?  Include or quote them! That makes them more willing to share with their audience, exposing your business and your content to their audience.


7. Celebrity/pop culture


Love it or hate it, tying into hot celebrities, TV shows, movies and the like can be a great way to attract attention. For example, I used, “From Oprah to the Kardashians: 6 Celebrity-Inspired Business Lessons” as a way to package up good entrepreneurial learnings.


While it’s important that your content is worthwhile and strong, right packaging will help it become read and shared. Using the above tricks can help you package up your great articles and tweets in a way that makes them even more compelling.


About Carol Roth

Carol Roth is the creator of the Future File™ legacy planning system, “recovering” investment banker, billion-dollar dealmaker, investor, entrepreneur, national media personality and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett-produced technology competition show, America’s Greatest Makers and TV host and contributor, including host of Microsoft’s Office Small Business Academy. She is also an advisor to companies ranging from startups to major multi-national corporations and has an action figure made in her own likeness. 


Web: www.CarolRoth.com or Twitter: @CarolJSRoth.

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Bank of America, N.A. engages with Carol Roth to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Carol Roth is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Carol Roth. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.


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