How To Create Content That Gets Liked And Shared [Part 1]

jo gifford content

In 2017, our consumption of content and the endless creation of it is reaching saturation point. Every single second, Big Data is getting bigger. The stats speak for themselves.

content liked and shared

Our brains are increasingly bombarded with information, and attention spans are fractured and fragmented.

As digital marketers and entrepreneurs, our mission, should we choose to accept it,  is to decipher the trends, codes and buzzwords and discover exactly how to create content that gets liked and shared.

With the end goal of more visibility, more traffic, more leads and, of course, more sales, it's time to delve into the nitty gritty of producing juicy content that hits the home run.

After all, aren't you SO over trying everything to no avail?

Let's delve into the mechanics of what makes great content, and how to create content that gets liked and shared.

jo gifford content

In this bumper series we will be looking at:

  • The phenomenon of content shock and what it means to you and your business
    (the tale of how to stand out online amid the noise).

  • How to discover what your clients are actually asking
    (so you can create killer content especially for them).

  • How to add insane, love-me-forever value and impress your clients with content
    (without the sleaze and schmooze).

  • Why getting visual is your shortcut to getting shared.
    Yup, work smart and look good, baby.

  • How to reverse engineer what's working and take your inspiration from successful examples.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it, just learn from it and add your spin.

  • How to make your content easy to share
    (so you can leverage organic traffic without spending big bucks on pay per click).

  • How you can get creative and add your own lexicon to your language, concepts, and customer experiences (because leading from your edge is where it's at).

  • Why getting disruptive and persuasive goes a long way to getting more traffic, loyal leads, and SALES! (after all, isn't that business 101?)

  • How to get your users to create content (after all, if they created it, they will share it!)

"Today, because noise is everywhere, we're all surrounded by a screaming horde, an open-outcry marketplace of ideas where the race to be heard appears to be the only race that matters. And so subtlety flies out the window, along with a desire to engage for the long haul. Just a troop of gorillas, all arguing over the last remaining banana.

It turns out that there's a useful response... to ignore them. To stick to the work, to the smallest possible audience, to building something worth talking about." Seth Godin1

 Seth's Blog, Seth's Blog,

content liked and shared

#1: Content Shock

We are bombarded with messages, text, imagery, "content" more now than ever before.

jo gifford content

"According to Nielsen and other sources, the amount of content we consume on a daily basis has grown from two hours a day in the 1920s to nearly 11 hours per day today. Propelled by mobile devices, the average amount of content we consume on a daily basis has gone up by two hours a day just in the last three years! 1 

The "more is more" paradigm is not a long term strategy.  

Our brains and our inboxes are reaching situation critical.

Mark Shaefer, of {grow} describes Content Shock:
"This upward trend of content consumption is not sustainable because every human has a physiological, inviolable limit to the amount of content they can consume. 2

content shock

Put succinctly -  we can't. Take. Any More.

content liked and shared

So what does content shock mean for business owners and entrepreneurs like you and me?

People who are creating personal brands, who always thought they had to just blog a little, and people will come flocking?

Well, without some thought and clear strategies, after content shock you could find yourself wasting resources, sanity, time and brain power on content that never gets read, let alone liked, shared, or used.

So what can you do? 

Awareness is key.

Knowing that you need to think differently and engineer your content with specific outcomes will help to elevate what you create for your market.

The bottom line, though, is this: no more churning out content for the sake of it. 

We need strategy, personality, originality, value, shareability and a stash of trend driving tactics to see some serious ROI on your content output.

content shock


The good news is, this guide has you covered with some key areas to create content that gets liked and shared, and you can (thankfully) stop throwing spaghetti at the wall in terms of marketing efforts online. 

jo gifford content

What a relief.

So it's quality over quantity, strategy over sloppy, and as we will see in this series, there are many tips and tricks to getting your content liked and shared.

Ryan Deiss, of Digital Marketer says:
"Today, and in the future, your content marketing success will be tied directly to the quality and MAINTENANCE of the content you create.3


  1. Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy - Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow} - Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow}, Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy,

  2. Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy - Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow} - Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow}, Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy,

  3. 8 Digital Marketing Predictions 2017 | DigitalMarketer Team Predictions,

jo gifford content

#2: Discover What Your Customers Are Asking

Beating content shock and creating content that gets liked and shared starts with a super simple baseline that can often get missed.

What are your clients actually asking?

jo gifford content

It might seem simple, but there is often a gap between the language you speak, the way you talk in your industry, and the language your clients are using.

Part of my mission is to remove the overwhelm and help you to realise that once you know what you can share – be it on a blog post, Periscope, visual content, audio or other – you are in like (Pat) Flynn (<---Smart Passive Income fans, you're welcome).

The good news is your audience is already telling you what they need.

jo gifford content

The trick is to know WHERE they are asking it and to use it to your advantage.

Some questions I have found recently, and where I found them:

"Do guest posts really work? I heard they don’t.” // via a Facebook group

This is a GREAT one for me to answer, as it speaks directly to content creation, and I have lots of tips and experience on it.

This question arose in a private Facebook community for entrepreneurs. I added a short reply to the subject, but also noted it down in Evernote in my growing list of ideas. Social Media Groups groups specific to your niche/industry on Linked In and Facebook are great resources to see the kind of questions asked by your market.

Tip: screen-grab comments using Jing, and file them for later in Google Docs or Evernote to build a repository of client based language and questions to fuel content ideas.

“Is Instagram still important?” // via a Periscope broadcast

This question popped up in a quick 5-minute broadcast I did, opening up a Q&A session.  Live video via Periscope, Facebook, YouTub or Instagram is SUCH a great way to get real-time, dynamic feedback on what people need – pretty much your focus group on tap. It allowed me to jam on why visual content is important, and also sparked an idea for new content.

Live streams on Facebook, Periscope, YouTube and Instagram provide great opportunities for real-time interaction with your market and audience. They can also serve as live focus groups, so utilise the technology to build relationships and dig into the needs of your audience at the same time - it's a win/win!

Other places to find out what your audience is ALREADY asking (so you can swoop in and answer, adding immense value and showcasing your awesome):

Amazon Reviews

These are great to gauge what people need to know. Search for a book in your niche, and look for reviews that cover what that person was stuck with when they came to buy the book, and maybe what the book was lacking.

For example, a quick search for a book on content creation gave me these reviews:

content jo gifford amazon

I have highlighted the areas that tell me what people want to know. It took me around 2 minutes to find this information, which SO useful for making sure I hit the mark with adding value to pocket-sized businesses.

Comment sections

Other people’s websites and blogs are jammed full of questions that you can answer.  Have a blog comment stalk of influencers in your niche, and see for yourself. Take a screenshot and file for later.


Of course, one way to ask your audience and market is to simply ask them! 
Build a simple survey in Typeform or Google Forms to scope out the needs of your market.

I love this resource as a really simple tool to see what is being asked online.

Simply type in a keyword to "The Seeker" - the old guy in the jumper, I adore him - and within seconds see data on questions and prepositions that relate to that word for a raft of content ideas.

answer the public jo gifford

Data can also be downloaded as visualisations or CSV files to create spreadsheets (pretty, right?!)

answer the public jo gifford


I could not love it more.

More useful links on using Answer The Public:
How to create better content using Answer the Public
Answer The Public: Search Query Data Visualisation Tool

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is an incredibly simple and useful tool that works as a Chrome or Firefox browser extension.
Plug it into your browser, and see results for related keywords when you search in Google.  Easy.

Interviews and clarity calls

Of course, getting on the phone/Zoom/Skype with your peeps is first-hand way to collect questions and dive into the needs of your market. This is a lot more time consuming, but if you are just starting out, a handful of clarity calls can be incredibly insightful.

Have the calls transcribed at and file the transcripts and language used by your audience for reference.



Reddit is the most influential social news aggregators in the world. It drives headlines, traffic, and new ideas further and more rapidly than any social network.1

As the largest social news site, Reddit can be an incredible resource to delve into discussions around your niche.
If you are new to the site, check out the video above, and the articles below on using Reddit for customer research.

Future Content cover how to use Reddit
How to use Reddit for SEO research and content marketing
How to use Reddit for research

Prefer to learn this stuff on video?
Check out this webinar replay from 2016 on finding out what your clients are already asking (no opt-in required)----->


  1. How To Use Reddit For SEO & Content Marketing Research, How To Use Reddit For SEO & Content Marketing Research,

So, that's it for Part 1 of this series and bumper guide to learning how to create content that gets liked and shared.

To recap:
- Content Shock is big news
- Your audience is already asking questions that you can tap into

In Part 2 it's all about how to add incredible value and being yourself online.

To get the rest of this series straight to your inbox, and to stay ahead of tips, trends and insights on creative thinking and content creation, sign up below.

Did you find this first part useful? Do you have more tips on finding out what your audience want to hear?  I would love to hear in the comments below.

jo gifford content