Content marketing: Why your content isn’t being shared

By Sep.29, 2014

Content marketing: Why your content isn’t being shared

We’ve all heard the phrase “Content is King,” but what does it actually mean? Most people make the mistake of thinking that content is merely written copy used to acquire backlinks and justify keyword placement, but in reality it’s much more than that. Images, videos, infographics – literally anything that’s published on the Internet – all comes under the content umbrella. We’re all publishers; and as publishers we want our work to be seen by as many people as possible, and that’s where sharing comes in.

Amassing shares on social media – aka “going viral” – can expose your content to a phenomenal amount of people; however, getting others to share your work for free is quite a challenge as you can’t just ask without doing any groundwork. It’s imperative that you understand what makes good content valuable to others and how to effectively make your approach.

As the owner of a premium search marketing agency – Distinctly – I’m constantly asked how to get content shared. The truth is, there is no guaranteed method. You can, however, significantly increase your chances by merely publishing content that’s in demand. Part of my job is to find out what others are looking for, and then devise a plan to maximise exposure; but whether or not people share it is down to two things, quality and luck.

You’re not helping anyone

So you’ve written an excellent informative article or blog post with decent images, a video and possibly even an infographic, but it’s still not getting shared. No doubt you’ve encountered this problem before. The first thing you have to ask yourself is, “Does this content actually help anyone?” If the answer is no, then you’ve already got your reason.

Good content isn’t about flawless grammar and clever wording; it’s about helping others and publishing something that’s unavailable elsewhere. Type in any keyword and you’ll probably find that 80% of the websites you visit are irrelevant, or simply rehashing the same information. If you fall into this category how will you ever expect to gain exposure? To succeed sometimes you have to just forget about promoting your business and develop content with the primary aim of helping people.

You’re failing to do any outreach

Publishing content is merely the first step. If nobody knows about that content how will you ever expect to receive shares and likes on social media? No matter how good your content is you need to tell people about it. It’s important to start the outreach before you publish the content. Contact bloggers and businesses you think it will appeal to and start trying to build relationships with them – comment on their social media pages, compliment their work, send them a friendly message, etc.

When we started working for graphic design agency The Pink Group, we began the outreach process weeks in advance, and by the time we published their content – the Social Media Cheat Sheet – we already had a collection of bloggers and businesses that were willing to share it. The result was over 12,000 social media shares in just a matter of weeks.

You’re not monitoring your activity

Monitoring your traffic and social media activity is crucial. Where is your traffic coming from? What pages of your website are people visiting? The more you know about how people are finding and using your content the better.

At Distinctly we use a tool named Share Tally to get a general overview of how well a piece of content is performing. Share Tally combines every share, tweet and like, etc., from across multiple social media platforms and gives you an overall figure. We’ve found this website to be very helpful when implementing new content marketing strategies as it allows us to measure spikes in sharing.

You’re not communicating with your audience

Interaction accounts for at least a third of the content marketing process. Social media is called “social” media for a reason, and many businesses tend to forget that it’s designed as a communication and networking tool. When somebody leaves a comment on your page, respond to them publicly; if they share your content, thank them for their support. Treat your audience with respect and they will become very loyal followers.

After we publish content our primary focus is on strengthening relationships. We often recommend that our clients spend a few minutes each morning simply taking part in the community that they’ve built. Personal communication will go a long way and people will be more inclined to share content when they know their efforts are appreciated by a person rather than a corporate entity.

Fundamentally, not every piece of content you publish will get shared and liked – it’s just the nature of the beast. But, the more quality content you publish the bigger your community of followers will become. Rinse and repeat the process and there’ll be no reason why you won’t succeed.