From One Click to Viral: How to Make Content Sharing Work for Your Business
Sharing is caring—it’s a lesson we all learned in kindergarten, and it’s the basis for today’s social media networks. We re-tweet messages, post YouTube videos and blog links on Facebook, and email news articles. In our instant information society, content sharing across platforms is the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach a diverse audience in the shortest time possible.
So with a few clicks here and a few clicks there, your company blog post could easily become the next viral sensation, right? Sorry, but the likelihood of striking viral gold is pretty slim. Not all content is destined for Charlie Bit My Finger fame – and that’s okay. Unless you’re running a guerilla marketing campaign, your goal is to create content that’s relevant for sharing within your target audience and still maintains brand identity across channels.
Sure, that sounds easy in theory. But how do you optimize content for sharing and maximize clicks – while still maintaining your brand identity? Follow these steps:
Determine your goal. Are you trying to drive traffic to your website? Promote a new product or service? Translate online enthusiasm to offline sales? Share informative content that adds value to your business? Keeping the end goal in mind allows content writers to create effective, custom content that delivers results.
Add value. How does your content add value to someone’s day? Bring a fresh angle to information, add a personal anecdote or highlight a creative solution to a common problem your clients face.
Stand out. That big sales award your company won last week may not appear exciting, but with the right angle, you can add your own creative spin. A powerful and compelling title drives clicks, and a photoshopped image creates a visual curiosity. Professional writers can share the same story in a new and exciting way.
Add incentive. Need to get the word out fast about your big news? Share a link to your blog post on Facebook and Twitter, along with a message that everyone who re-shares the link will also be entered to win a special discount or free service. No one can resist free. You’ll generate a quick number of shares and bring a new customer in the door to experience your business.
Diversify. Don’t just post a story to your company blog and call it a day. Share the link on Facebook and Twitter, and if it’s big news, send it out in an email blast, or include it in a weekly round-up email. Everyone interacts with content in a variety of ways. Failure to diversify platforms limits your content’s impact.
Maintain control. It’s a wild world out there on the web. Cluster information around one shortened URL. This makes it easier to track traffic and analytics. Always drive traffic back to your website. You control your site, and the end goal is to bring folks home.
Sharing is caring, copying is not. If it’s not original, don’t post it. SEO writers know that there’s nothing worse than sharing duplicated content form content services. Not only will your blog marketing efforts be ingored by search engines, but you’re also plagiarizing someone’s work, which hurts your brand.
Be part of the circle. People share from trusted sources. You’re more likely to repost a story from a friend, rather than one from a company blog (exception to this rule: news media stories). If you’re a small business and you want to drive traffic to your blog, ask your employees and friends to repost it to their personal accounts as well. Word of mouth via reputable contacts builds trust and social media currency.
Erin M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments. WriterAccess is powered by ideaLaunch.