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Content Marketing & SEO Blog

Blog about startup growth strategies revolving around content marketing, SEO, CRO, and social media marketing.

Increase social interaction on evergreen content

Sean Smith

This is mainly targeted to e-commerce sites that are making "evergreen" content that will already stand the test of time, but aren't sexy enough to get shares.

You know that your long copy lists and informative product posts help increase the organic search volume of your site.

You know that the users that read your blog posts are 50% more likely to convert on your products. 

You know that 61% of global Internet users research products online. You know that 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. And you know that it's smart to blog because companies that blog have 97% more inbound links. (from Hubspot)

What you don't know is how to get those bland product-featured posts shared around the "kumbaya" circles of the internet. So here you go.

The key to getting social shares on product-feature or information heavy posts is to focus on the x-factor. 

There is something about your product that you can use as a viral incentive. That's what you have to look for, that's where the opportunity lies. 

The x-factor will usually be the elephant in the room, the part that everyone knows about, but no one really talks about. People love when things are called out, and this is the kind of content that goes viral consistently.  

Be confrontational with it, take the bull by the horns and play with it.

Larry Kim posted on the Moz blog when Facebook's IPO flopped, using a headline that basically claimed responsibility. Obviously it wasn't the case that he was responsible for the flop. But Larry called out the elephant in the room and took the side of a sensational topic that was sure to be noticed.

This isn't an e-commerce example, I know and it's time relevant (not evergreen), but it does give the point of finding the x-factor and exploiting it.

Facebook cocked up - he noticed that everyone was talking about the cock up - he claimed responsibility (ish) = boom, practically the easiest way to go viral there is. 

Also, be controversial, that's always fun. 

I'll give a couple examples: 

If I were to write a blog post on  deer antler velvet, a longevity supplement that is supposed to improve your quality of life by taking a swig of it every morning, I wouldn't focus on the boring bits.

I would focus on the fact that it is a legal, non-toxic, non-harmful, high-in-testosterone organic steroid.

I would focus on the fact that this supplement has been compared to the fountain of youth

I would focus on the fact that taking this stuff gives you wolverine-like immune and healing capabilities.  

I would focus on the fact that taking this would essentially be like taking a high dosage of Viagra, but for your entire body. (including your penis, yes that's right I said "penis") 

I would write about how Ray Lewis almost got tossed out of the NFL (as HealthyNomad has awesomely done) for using it, even though it's not illegal, it is not an IGF-1 concentrate and does not contain HGH. 

You want to get your evergreen content noticed? As Tyga would say, "make it nasty."  You can see what it does for him.

Obviously there are more docile ways to stand out. They're just not as susceptible to being shared on a wide-stream.

American Apparel does a good job using absurd manipulation of social queues to consistently go viral. One example was skipping the "lustful-unknown" approach to women's wear and having Sasha Gray (a well known, well documented porn-star) model their lingerie - your move Victoria's Secret. 

Also by saying "American Apparel is Sweatshop-Free!" Yes, it's a great message that went underneath that headline, but the headline it's self is horrible and genius. Do you dance around the point and say "our clothes are made in the US by incredibly skilled craftsmen." No, you call out the elephant in the room, make it sensational and you say, "our clothes aren't made from starving children in Indonesia for $2/week, our shit's made in the states' and actually, in LA of all places."

You just subtly insulted a nation, simultaneously acted like you were contributing to that nation by not enslaving them, made it sound like out of your good heart you are making your shit in the US and that it's even better for it. Oh, and you slapped your competition in their face because their stuff is made by poor feeble boys in Indonesia. 

I don't know how you could mind-fuck your audience, appeal a more viral piece of self-proposed propaganda, completely dismantle your competition's pr and claim your authenticity and quality in a single letter from a CEO in any better way. There isn't one. 

Anyway's that's the end of my rant of examples, but there are all sorts of ways to do it.

The point is to find that outlier, the x-factor, the silver bullet, the elephant in the room, and toss it out in the open for everyone to see.

That's how to increase shares on your evergreen content.

The proof is in the pudding. Hopefully it's banana pudding, because then it will also be delicious.