Creating content is one thing. Creating shareable content, well, that’s another thing.

Many people assume that shareable content happens on its own. Sure, you need an interesting topic and a solid distribution strategy, but there’s more to creating evergreen content than those two ingredients. A bit of strategy is also involved.

If you only write to achieve short-term goals, chances are, your content will have a short lifespan. If you think strategically about the goals you want to reach today and in the future, you can create evergreen content that provides long-term value to your audience.

Here are three strategies to help your business generate long-lasting content that is shared over and over again.

1. Word of Mouth

Word of mouth exists in many places – not just on the streets. In fact, you’ve probably been sent articles to read by friends and coworkers who thought you could benefit. Hopefully, you do the same when you come across content that’s worth a second look.

Even though you may create great content, the landscape is competitive. If you don’t get your content into the right hands from the start, it’s difficult for a word-of-mouth strategy to take effect. So, consider ways that you can bring first customers through the door and nurture them with your content.

For example, you can give access to exclusive content to a certain number of people, along with “free” share codes or links. Referral programs also work great, so consider setting up a program that rewards customers for small acts of advocacy, such as sharing your content.

2. Be Transparent

People love transparency. If a brand tries to cover something up or is vague about specific information, people can see right through it. Show your customers that you’re an open book and you’re not afraid to stand up for what you think is right. If you provide a sliver of information that other brands don’t (i.e., salaries, procedures), you can gain a lot of respect – and interest.

In addition to being transparent, also be fun, surprising and even unexpected. This keeps people engaged, opening more opportunities for your content to be shared with others. You don’t want to find your brand paying hundreds of extra dollars to get your ads seen because they are so boring, right?

3. Make Room for Controversy

Making room for controversy is sometimes scary. Personally, I sometimes hold back on writing certain things for the sake of avoiding an argument. However, I’m trying to work on this.

I’m learning that it’s OK to share your opinion and take sides, as long as you are polite and respectful. In fact, this opens up conversations and allows other people to share what they think, too. Sure, you might make some people mad. But your specific audience should be mostly on par with what you think.

These are three ways to help your business create more long-lasting, shareable content. After all, if you write to please everyone, your content will be written to no one. That’s no fun!