Why won’t you share my post?

We at Harness Digital Marketing had the fortune of attending the 2016 MDMC last month. MDMC, or Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, is the largest digital and social media marketing event in the region. It was a very busy day for everybody, with lots of sessions, photos, and networking. Of all of the sessions I attended, the presentation that had the biggest impact on me was Brant Mclean’s of BuzzFeed, “Made to Share: The Journey to a Hit.”

During Brant’s seminar, he talked about the question every business wants answered: “How do you create content that people want to share?”


Creating engaging content that people want to interact with and decide to share with their entire network isn’t easy. There isn’t a special formula that creates perfect content for every business every time. At the heart of great content is extensive research and time.

To create effective content, you need to know your market.

A huge thing to remember is that your content doesn’t have to be perfect. Buzzfeed has been told many times that their content isn’t “polished.” Their response? “No s*** because it’s meant to be shared.” The goal in content creation isn’t to copy what others in the industry are doing or to create the most artistic pieces you’ve ever seen, it’s to appeal to YOUR market. If posting cat photos every day is what your market is looking for and engaging with, then do it! However, if your market isn’t so into animals, you might want to stay away from those cat memes.

You also need to create a conversation with your market. A strategy that Buzzfeed uses to create conversation is excluding some items from their lists.
For example, they made a video showing crazy things that all couples do. The video showed 12, but their initial list was 20 items. They intentionally excluded 8 items to create a conversation, and it worked! People commented about what they related to and what they felt like Buzzfeed should have included.

Effective content doesn’t just come out of thin air, it comes from research meeting creativity. It’s important to research what is current in your field, what is and isn’t working with your following, and apply it creatively to your unique brand. Before doing anything drastically new, Buzzfeed does a lot of research. Before creating Tasty (which is only 8 months old, can you believe it?), they did extensive testing on Buzzfeed Food to see if their idea was something that viewers wanted. Once they figured out it was, they didn’t stop. They did more testing to figure out the most effective way to create these videos, from the presentation to the music style.

Do you have great examples of content you want to share with us? Leave us a comment! If you need help creating content for your business, call us at 314-884-1192 and we will help #TurnTheLightBulbOn for your business.

Laurel White | @laurelnwhite92

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.

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