You maintain a business blog, share third-party content on LinkedIn, post photos from events to Facebook, tweet company news and produce quarterly videos on a timely or trending topic. Your content creation game is strong – but, do you have a content sharing plan in place?
Here’s a common business marketing scenario. The team huddles up and decides to create a new video that simplifies a complex topic. Say, for example, new legislation. You draw parallels between the new legislation and easily understood topics, you answer the big questions and you do it all in a compelling and concise manner. After collaborating with the production team to iron out any final kinks, you upload the video to the company YouTube channel, writing a catchy description and tagging carefully, of course, and then you sigh with relief and turn your attention to the next task at hand.
Now, to be fair, the tagging will help your video show up in relevant YouTube searches. But, ask yourself, is that really enough? How will your Facebook followers find the video? What about your email subscribers? And, does everybody on your own team even know the video was produced and is available to them as a resource for client engagement and sales?
Creating high-quality content is really important. So is the strategy that you have in place for getting that content in front of the right audiences. For every piece of content that you create, there should be an actionable and replicable content sharing strategy in place.
What does a content sharing strategy look like?
Let’s look at sharing a new blog post, for example. You write the post, include third-party links and find a great image or two to include. You upload the post, make it live and then you…?
- Send an email to your blog subscribers (a simple process that can be easily automated)
- Share the post on all company social media channels (keep in mind, the packaging of the content that goes with the link should be tailored to suit each specific platform)
- Send an email to all of your employees with the new post telling them what you want them to do with it. Be specific. “Please share the post below on your personal LinkedIn.” “Please retweet this post as shared on @ABCTwitter this morning.”
- Craft copy for additional social media updates sharing the new post. Sharing once is not enough. You should extract different teasers from the post and share at different times of the day/week across multiple platforms. And, remember, some content is evergreen so the post you penned last September may warrant additional shares on a monthly or quarterly basis. And, if it’s a topic with annual relevance, make a full court press to get it out there when the time is right each and every year.
- Add a link to your company’s e-newsletter. If you don’t publish an e-newsletter, consider having employees put a direct link in their email footers.
- Track the number of engagements (likes, shares, comments, retweets, etc.) generated from the post.
The above list of ways to get the word out about your newest piece of content is by no means exhaustive. It does, however, put your content in front of a broad audience through a variety of communication channels. It reaches both internal and external stakeholders, and provides an opportunity to get your content in front of new audiences thanks to social sharing.
Where does content sharing breakdown?
There are several common ways that content sharing plans can breakdown and fail to meet expectations. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:
- Sharing isn’t made easy. For example, you send a new blog post or video to employees and ask them to share it but don’t give them some pre-written content to work with.
- Lead time is lacking. Your biggest tradeshow of the year is tomorrow and you’re just posting a blog post teasing the CEO’s workshop the day before. You don’t have time to get out an e-blast because you have other tasks that are higher priority.
- You share your blog post on social media five times the first week that it’s live but you package it the same way every time. It doesn’t stand out as new and followers overlook it because they think they’ve seen it before. (And, while they have seen that update, it doesn’t mean they clicked through to read it, and, a different teaser may have made that happen.)
- Getting lost in the shuffle. It’s peak event season, a busy time in the business sales cycle and there is a lot of coming news coming out at the same time. You don’t want to overwhelm audiences or saturate them with information so you hold back some of the content with the intent to share at a later time, and…it never makes it across the line.
It doesn’t matter how creative your videos are or how witty your blog posts are if you aren’t getting your content out to the right audiences. Businesses and nonprofits alike make significant investments each year in generating marketing content for educational and sales purposes. The key to maximizing the return on that investment is ensuring you can maximize the reach of that content. With a strong content sharing plan in place, organizations can not only amplify the reach of their information but increase conversion rates on the associated calls-to-action.