Most marketers agree: content forms the backbone of what they do. It’s the strategic fodder that fuels communication – whether this is to attract new business, engage customers, educate markets or instill confidence in investors.
And your content sure does cost you.
But it’s not just in the budgets that content costs. Time, resource, blood, sweat and tears go into producing great content. That content that really hits the mark.
So, it’s vital that we make our content work as hard for us as we do for it.
Unfortunately, time and time again, there are some super-simple content sharing opportunities that fall through the cracks.
These simple steps are things that both your sales and marketing teams could be doing regularly to make sure each piece of content is working as hard as it can.
What are these steps?
Be warned – you might find be kicking yourself in a minute for overlooking them. While you get your shin pads on, let’s look at the usual way that we rush to get content out of the door.
Here’s what usually happens when you try to get your content shared.
This may sound familiar.
Wiping the sweat from your brow, you place the final polish on to a new piece of content. With a sigh of relief, you push the publish button and your promotion plans kick in.
Marketing will share this over a few channels and the sales team – plus a few other spokespeople in your company – will be given a nudge to share it with their networks by email, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other social media channels they are active on.
Over the next couple of days, a flurry of posts appears promoting the content.
All looking exactly the same.
The same link, same heading and same image are shared once by everyone.
A couple of days where the same post appears again and again?
You can do better than that.
Here’s what you should be doing to share your content.
Your content is rich in insight. It is well-researched, backed by data and offers thought-provoking observations, comments and quotes.
What sets it apart are the many and varied angles and perceptive analyses it contains.
Yet, it’s only getting shared on publication. Your awesome article is being given a limited period of exposure.
Another frustrating outcome of this approach, is that the image and headline that appear on the social posts promoting it, are always those that are embedded in the page it was published on.
That’s a crying shame.
Imagine giving it multiple chances to be seen?
Imagine presenting it from different angles?
Imagine maintaining interest by using varied images?
Imagine pulling out different stats, takeaways, quotes and opinions?
That’s more like a fair share. Far more opportunities to entice people in to read more.
And more effective sharing equals more visibility and more engagement.
Here are six simple – but killer – steps that will ensure your content is shared more effectively by your whole company.
CONTENT SHARING STEP #1: Don’t share, create a fresh post.
Many of those you ask to share content will simply look under the posts on your LinkedIn company page, locate the content and hit share.
They will not realise that – to feed its love of new content spreading through its network – LinkedIn will always penalise a shared post’s reach and reward the reach of a fresh post. (The rational is that a shared post contains old content, a new post contains something fresh.)
Encourage your company to never simply share your company’s LinkedIn posts. Instead, copy and paste the link into a brand-new post that will enjoy much more visibility.
CONTENT SHARING STEP #2: Offer a perspective.
Encourage sharers to add their own perspective on what they are sharing by simply making a comment that accompanies their post.
These ‘personalised’ posts – whereby the person sharing is also adding their perspective (an observation, a response…) – really do make a big difference to engagement. Encourage your sharers to offer up an interesting perspective with the posts they share.
This ‘enablement’ tactic lies behind our next few easy-to-execute tricks…
CONTENT SHARING STEP #3: Extract the good stuff upfront.
While your copy is being finalised, have your content creator extract all the main takeaways, highlights and arresting visuals.
Think eye-catching key headlines, jaw-dropping stats, revealing graphs, action points, memorable quotes, snackable memes, perceptive observations, stand-out images…
That’s an easy job at this final stage in the process – and it gives you all the fuel you need to fire up all your social channels many times.
CONTENT SHARING STEP #4: Turn your extracts into social fuel.
To enable ongoing, varied content sharing all you need do next is to turn your punchy excerpts into fodder ready to be shared on everyone’s social channels.
Write some up as text-only posts for people to share. These are simple to cut and paste for your sharers but actually have an incredibly high engagement rate on LinkedIn.
Text-only posts look immediate and personal rather than polished and corporate – and many networks will prefer to hear from a person rather than a marketing department.
If you have a design resource, work up your excerpts – quotes, data, graphs, headlines – into compelling, sharable images. Go for a range of styles to fit the personalities of your sharers, their networks and preferred social platforms. Provide a short bit of ‘anchor’ text to root the image to the wider focus of your content piece.
And, remember, it may not be that main headline that attracts someone. The first cut is not always the deepest: perhaps it will be the secondary image you use that strikes a chord, or that text piece based on a slightly different angle.
Bingo! You have now enabled multiple ways for your article to be shared. In effect, you have provided ongoing opportunities for your salesforce to remain visible within their networks – without becoming repetitive.
From just one piece of content you have provided mutiple possible entry points for engagement, which they can share over a longer period. Do make sure that your team understand that content is not just a one-trick pony. It has a lifespan of months rather than a sell-by date of a couple of days.
By creating a sharing toolkit you will give your content the best chance of being seen for as long as it stays relevant. If you want to go one step further, drip feed your sharers this wealth of social fodder at different times. That way you’ll avoid everyone sharing the first thing you give them.
CONTENT SHARING STEP #5: Make it accessible.
Whilst some of your content will offer value for a period, you’ll likely have other weightier pieces that have a longer lifespan (for example, thought leadership reports or ‘how to’ guides).
As a salesperson, it’s helpful to know exactly what’s in the bank that’s current, on-brand and talks to certain themes or customer pain points.
Enter your ‘content repository’. An online library where people can dip into all your content and find a toolkit for sharing it in different ways.
Make it easy to navigate by categorising it by customer challenge or pain point, industry insights, customer stories, position in sales funnel or some other logic that works for you.
Point your sharers to that library regularly so that they’re reminded of the wealth of current content they have at their fingertips – and all the easy ways to share it.
For sure they’ll love you for it.
CONTENT SHARING STEP 6: Create some wraparound statements.
Not everyone’s a born broadcaster.
For those whose minds go blank when creating a post – and are most likely to revert to just hitting share on the latest company post – you can provide them with social start-points.
We can guarantee you will hear sighs of relief if you create a simple list of ‘example wraparound statements’ for posts.
These are statements that will help people frame their posts – in a personable way, and in a variety of situations. Once people get the hang of it, they can just freewheel. But for the shyer broadcaster, being able to pick a statement to personalise is a useful way to get going and find their own style.
A few examples…
- If you just read one thing today…
- If [topic] is on your mind, recommend reading this piece on [X Y & Z]
- Good [3-minute] read on [topic]…
- A must-read if you’re involved in [industry/issue] right now.
- Just the other day we were debating [topic] over Zoom – and here’s a succinct update on just that subject.
Here’s what happens when you use these steps to enable content sharing.
These simple steps pack a very big punch.
- They avoid content shares from across your company becoming repetitive and easy-to-ignore social media ‘wallpaper’.
They provide different angles to engage your different audiences – giving your content a reason to be shared more often and providing multiple takeaways to draw people in.
- They keep things fresh and guarantee a variety of ways to share your content – from visuals to text.
- They extend the lifespan of each piece of content – allowing it to be shared for longer periods of time.
- They help each person in your company to develop their profile as a thought leader – rather than a blog post sharer.
Want to see how it’s done?
Drop us a line – we’re happy to show you a few real life examples of how this works, over a 15-minute call.
SO, WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THIS STUFF ANYWAY?
Over the last 12-months Your Allies has taken over 200 sales and marketers through our LinkedIn & Social Selling Accelerator. It’s through exposure to all of these teams we realised these missed opportunities to share content were still being experienced across so many B2B businesses. We’ve seen the good things that happen when content is made easy for Salespeople to find and share as we’ve described here. The outcomes by far outweigh the time needed to add these simple steps across a sales and marketing team. Talk to us if you’re looking to level-up content sharing at scale or need a boost of life into your social selling effort