Any content chef worth his or her salt knows that no one has time for three course meals any more – they want to snack and go!
A study by the International News Media Association has shown that the average adult attention span is 2.8 seconds – about enough time to read a tweet or a headline. You can choose to cater for this by serving up your content in bite-sized pieces, like the New York Times with its NYT Now mobile.
Or you could give your audience something more substantial, and allow them to share the tastiest little bits. By making it easy to tweet a certain part of your content, you’re letting people share a sample of the full buffet with their friends, who will stop by when they’re ready for a sit-down meal.
Don’t forget the meat!
…or tofu, if you’re veggie. The point is to provide something of substance, something for people to get their teeth into.
As a content creator, you should be answering the question, “where’s the beef?” The best way to do this is to create something worth sharing. Not something designed to be shared, but something that is so informative, inspirational or otherwise valuable that the person looking at it just has to pass it on.
We can make sandwiches!
Make your meal easy to consume by serving it sandwiched between two slices of bread.
American PR guru Peter Shankman has called his home nation “a country of headline readers”, a description that applies to the whole wide post-Upworthy web. So your first slice of carb should be a headline good enough to whets readers’ appetites, and ideally to encourage them to share the content straight away. Keep them satisfied with a generous helping of sharing buttons!
After the “meat” of your content, you should slide another slice, designed to soak up every ounce of goodness that drips from your video, article or whatever it is. Fill that hole by giving your audience a nutrient-packed conclusion. Or leave them wanting more, by asking thought-provoking questions.
The secret sauce!
Even if you’re doing everything else right, it’s your secret sauce – what makes you unique as a brand – that will encourage people to share your content rather than anyone else’s. Make sure that your content has the same distinctive taste as everything else you do, and people will come back for more – and they’ll bring their friends with them. Slather your secret sauce over everything!