Donovan Group Insights

How to Produce Share-Worthy School Content

Your district’s content serves many purposes. It seeks to educate, to communicate, even to entertain. Among all these purposes, generating shares is probably lower on your list. When stakeholders share district content, it’s usually viewed as an added bonus, not the main motive for creating the content in the first place.

However, there’s a lot of merit to creating share-worthy content. When content generates a lot of shares, that’s a testament to how much it resonated with the viewers. Share-worthy content engages stakeholders and gets them talking about important topics. It strengthens the community while inviting prospective stakeholders to join it. With all that in mind, shareability might turn out to be a bigger priority than you originally thought.

Benefits of creating share-worthy content

When your district creates content, there should always be a purpose behind it. The content’s purpose might be to advertise an upcoming event or provide critical updates following a crisis. While the purpose needs to come first, your district has much to gain from creating content that encourages community members to click that share button.

Here’s why your district should create share-worthy content:

  • Greater engagement: Share-worthy content helps your district connect with a greater portion of the school community. When someone shares your content, that means they saw value in what you had to say. The content resonated with them so much, they wanted other people to see it, too. Share-worthy content helps you reach through to stakeholders, and by sharing the content, they continue the conversation that you started.
  • A sense of community: Share-worthy content does more than engage stakeholders. It drives them to engage with each other as well. When someone shares a video, article or social media post, they’re opening the door to a discussion about it. These discussions have the power to unify stakeholders because they’re bonding over a common interest.
  • Increased visibility: Share-worthy content can also increase the number of people who know about your district. The more shares your content gets, the more people are going to see it. While it’s great to engage current stakeholders, you should also try to reach those outside of the school community. Shared content has the potential to engage prospective families and community members who aren’t directly involved with your schools.

Produce content that tells a story

The most share-worthy content often has a story to tell. Your content should have a clear narrative that’s easy to follow. An engaging story has conflict and resolution, and it features people who are highly relatable. Community members should be able to see themselves in the story. That’ll help the story resonate with them more, which inspires them to share the content.

For example, let’s say you wanted to create a promotional video for the athletic department at one of your schools. To create an engaging story, insert video clips that illustrate a culture of support and perseverance among the school’s athletes. Show clips of students helping each other up, scoring a touchdown or passing around a trophy. The goal is to make viewers feel the same emotions they see in the video.

Give stakeholders what they want

Stakeholders tend to share content that provides valuable information. If they found it useful, others might find it useful, too. Do some research to learn what stakeholders are looking for the most. Then, create content that offers up that information. You could also address your stakeholders’ pain points by helping them find important dates or providing opportunities to make their voices heard. Ultimately, your stakeholders decide what’s valuable and what’s not.

For instance, many parents want to stay updated about upcoming events. That information should be easy to find and share with other parents. Create content that informs stakeholders about ACT testing, graduation ceremonies, board meetings and other important events. Remember to create content about the events that are most important to stakeholders. Content with a higher perceived value is going to generate more shares.

Start conversations about hot-button topics

Stakeholders are drawn to what they’re passionate about. Pay close attention to what the community is buzzing about and which topics tend to strike up a conversation. Stakeholders often share content that addresses hot-button topics because it gives them a chance to contribute to the conversation. Also, content tends to get more shares when it offers further insight or a new take on a popular topic. Create content that’s thought provoking and keeps the conversation going.

Imagine your board members were asked to speak at a town hall meeting. They covered a wide variety of topics like school security, budgets and upcoming local elections, among others. Many community members were unable to attend the meeting, but they still want to be part of the conversation. You could post a video recording of the meeting on your district’s website. Or, you could share an article on social media that recaps the meeting’s most pivotal moments.

Create short and concise videos

Video is one of the most shareable forms of content. In recent years, it has quickly become many stakeholders’ preferred method for absorbing information. At the same time, attention spans are shorter than ever. To get the most shares, it’s important to create video content that’s short and to the point, usually about a minute or less. The faster you get your message out, the more share-worthy that video becomes.

Video is an effective way to share important updates and all the exciting things that are happening in your district. If you plan to speak directly to the camera, practice what you’re going to say first so you can keep your words as short and concise as possible. Focus on the most important takeaways so that viewers don’t get lost in the details. For videos designed to entertain viewers, choose music, footage and effects that are most likely to grab and hold their attention.

Make it easy to share your content

Last of all, it should be easy to share your district’s content. You could create the most inspiring, thought-provoking video a stakeholder has ever seen. But if they can’t find the social media buttons, they’re not going to share it. Encourage stakeholders to share your content by making it easy to do so. Make call-to-action buttons readily visible for platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The viewer’s actions should flow seamlessly from viewing the content to sharing it on social media.

For example, your district probably has a blog on its website. A stakeholder will want to read a blog post before sharing it. Therefore, it makes the most sense to place share buttons at the bottom of the blog post. If you’re embedding a video on the website, the share buttons should pop up after the video has finished playing. And of course, social media platforms already place the like, share and retweet buttons front and center for you.

It’s one thing to create a good piece of content. But it means so much more when a stakeholder is willing to share it with others. Once you’ve identified the purpose of a blog, video or social media post, the next step is to turn it into something worth sharing. The number of shares on a piece of content speaks volumes about how much it has impacted the people who saw it.

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