A Writer’s Retrospective: What 2016 Has Taught Us All About Content Quality

Google’s best advice in 2016 and beyond is clear and simple: produce only quality content – nothing more, nothing less. Although patience is necessary, it nevertheless is rewarded handsomely.

Experts in content will give you some writers’ advice but it can get tiresome to both writers and readers if you churn out the same style of content. Sometimes variety pays off, too. But as long as constant and consistent quality are the main characteristics of your content, it could help your branding. Remember, patience is a virtue.

This crazy year that is 2016

2016 saw a crazy rollercoaster ride in social sharing. But one thing was clear, this year topped in the number of shares on almost all popular platforms. Someone raised the sharing portcullis and the social shares just came flooding in.

An important lesson is that it’s not only having a great, eloquent, inspirational and thought-provoking writer. But one should also be intuitive, relevant, creative and with foresight. What could go viral, what topics can attract my audience, what is the next big thing and where can I get inspiration? Invest on this because good content is what will give you an audience.

Some of the most viral content on social media made the year all the more crazier. Let’s have a quick look at some that went amok in 2016 and what we learned from them:

  1. Fake News

The proliferation of fake news taught us a very important lesson in content quality. Too good quality will make people believe and defend the “truth” in them. This was so evident in the elections. Viral fake posts prevailed before, during and after the elections.

Even posts about honest opinions on why they supported their candidates also went viral – proving that genuine, straight-from-the-heart articles caught readers’ attention and shared away. So stay true to what you believe in – your brand. This teaches us to create genuine heartfelt articles that can touch many nerves.

But then again, maybe these posts just seemed genuine and honest but were also all fake. Be aware of what goes on, be current and always check with news authorities.

  1. Research results are in

Posts about a cure for memory loss for patients with Alzheimer’s, benefits of protein snacks, first-born children being smarter and cancer cures from common Dandelion roots all came from some form of medical research and people jumped right in to read and share it. Feel good articles like these just may be what people wanted to read and share.

  1. How about a quick quiz?

For engagement, give readers an easy quiz – something that they will surely ace to make them feel good and make them read the results with great interest. Can you pass an elementary test? Do you want to know what your Spirit Emoji? Playbuzz offers some great writing tips through their viral quizzes: create a quiz that can generate mindful sharing. The quiz gives a very personal prize (the result) yet people are still willing to share it. They loved their prizes!

  1. Funny posts

Chewbacca Mom went viral because we sort of wished we were as happy as she was. That’s another writers’ advice: incite happiness because it is the most powerful emotion that your brand can conjure. While other emotions have the same effect, like laughter, fear, jealousy, pride, anger and lust, they don’t top the sentiment that happiness does.

  1. Calling readers to action

Call-To-Action posts asked readers to “pick one,” One post had two famous football players pitted against each other. The call to action here was “Like for Player A” and “Comment for Player B” and football fans gave out their choices then scrolled to find out who got more votes.

One of the great writing tips here is to give direct instructions to your readers. You have lured them to your site; keep them glued by making them follow instructions! With your wonderful content come these action words “Download,” “Subscribe,” “Join,” “Discover,” “Learn” and “Tell Us.” Add the magic word: FREE!

These posts made a wide appearance around the net all through well-written posts and a good amount of sharing. These are only a few of the millions of viral content. What else would you add? Any writers’ advice? Now it’s our call to action: Tell Us What You Think in the comment box below.

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