One of the frustrations about producing online content is that sometimes we just can’t get the coverage we were hoping for. Sure, we can do all the right search engine optimisation to get our content indexed in search engines but sometimes what we’re really after is for our content to be shared among our target audience. This kind of organic linking is important for campaigns that rely on brand recognition and social proof.
Let’s look at some of the common reasons why content might not be getting shared.
Quality is becoming increasingly important online. There’s so much content online that to be noticed you have to offer exceptional content. Remember, you aren’t only trying to impress your target audience—the quality of your content also determines how you will be ranked in search results.
- take advantage of what is trending online to market your products and services
- emphasise quality over quantity
- tailor your content so that it matches your target audience—mobile, social networks, and so on.
Dare to be different
Unleash your creative potential by exploring new ways to market existing ideas. That means monitoring what your competition is doing and looking for ways to improve on it. If your content is too similar to what already exists, it can be difficult to get noticed, particularly if your competitors are already well-established industry leaders.
Understand your audience
It isn’t enough just to produce great content—you have to ensure your content matches the needs of your audience. We often call this understanding user intent. If they’re asking questions or seeking solutions to problems make sure you give them the answers they are looking for.
Ultimately, this means investing time in researching your target audience. If they spend most of their time on mobile devices make sure your content is optimised for that platform. Learn which social networks they use and what times they typically log on to those platforms so you can establish your presence there.
You’ll also need to monitor the effectiveness of your campaign. Experiment with small content tweaks (e.g. using A/B testing of headlines) to see if your content gets shared more often.
The presentation of your content matters a lot. Attractive layouts that integrate with your brand identity without being too pushy or distracting come across and more professional and help establish trust. Similarly, well-written, correctly punctuated text shows that you are a trustworthy professional. Be consistent in your presentation especially colour schemes and imagery so that people learn to recognise your content.
Add the personal touch
Another important aspect is to make your content personal. People are tired of faceless corporations; they want to communicate with real people and do business with companies that genuinely care about customer satisfaction. Include contact details like physical store addresses, phone numbers, and even live chat options. For small, family-owned businesses, you can include the first name of the main contact to really emphasise the personal touch.
Every platform has its own unique characteristics. Once you’ve identified which social networks to target look for the latest research data so you know how often to post. It also matters when you post. Is your target audience more likely to read your content during the commute to and from work or in the evenings? Perhaps they prefer reading at their leisure in their weekends?
Make it easy for them to share
If you’ve done the hard work and produced awesome content don’t forget to make it easy to share it. If people really enjoy an article or video you created, most people will happily share it with a couple of people they know that they think would appreciate it too. But very few people will go to the effort of sharing links manually by copying and pasting URLs – that’s too much effort especially on a smartphones! Include social network share buttons so that it is as effortless as possible.
Finally, allowing your audience to have their say can actually increase the perceived value of your content. People like to share their opinions, give feedback, and help answer questions. This can be as simple as allowing people to add comments and discuss your post. If it is a product page you can allow customers to give reviews. It’s also a good way of showing you care. When someone has a problem or concern address it quickly. Satisfied customers are much more likely to recommend you to others.
If you do enable comments be sure to moderate them. Remove spam and offensive posts promptly. It’s also common to disable commenting once the post’s discussion has ended. Don’t go overboard on censorship though – people are entitled to disagree with you if they do so respectfully. People soon notice if you remove every comment that offers a different viewpoint and doing so tends to harm your reputation and perceived trustworthiness.