As marketers ourselves, we’ve all been there. You spend valuable time, energy, and resources on producing marketing content only to have it sit on the shelves with hardly any views or shares. It can be disheartening – enough to make even the most stalwart digital content marketer hang up their keyboard for good. What if no one is sharing your content due to the way your marketing content is being presented and not because of the content itself? Your audience has their reasons for not sharing your content; by understanding what those reasons are, you can reshape your marketing content strategy and create content that your audience can’t wait to share.
Here are just a few reasons why your audience might not be sharing your content.
Reasons Your Marketing Content Is Not Being Shared
Hard Truth Number 1: Your Content Isn’t Visually Appealing
We’re not saying every piece of content has to be meticulously crafted to be the most beautiful piece of the internet in all of existence. We are saying that people don’t share poor-looking marketing content. Once again: unattractive content does not get shared.
Sure, you may have enticed someone to engage with your content through a catchy title or in-your-face description, but if all the reader sees when they get to your content is a big ol’ wall of text without visuals or paragraph breaks, they’re going to turn right back around.
It only takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for someone to form their opinion about your content and website. This opinion is what determines if someone sticks around to read your content or turns tail out of there.
At a bare minimum, your marketing content should include at least one large piece of imagery that fits the tone of the piece. if you can, add in charts, images, and GIFS to better break up your content blocks and keep a reader engaged throughout the entire piece. Use headers, short paragraphs, and lists to further increase readership.
It’s a hard fact to swallow, but people associate good-looking content with being more reputable. People trust content that appears to have a higher production value. No one is going to read even the most valuable blog post or Ebook in existence if they’re overwhelmed by a wall of words.
Hard Truth Number 2: Your Content Doesn’t Entertain or Educate
People don’t share your marketing content because they want to help you get more traffic to your website. Sure, your Mom might be the exception, but the vast majority of individuals sharing your content are more concerned about providing value to their network than they are about providing value to your company.
For most sharers, value is based on two key factors:
- Is this content entertaining?
- Would this content educate my network?
Think about why people consume content: either they’re trying to kill some time (or indulge in a bit of escapism) or they’re trying to learn more about a certain topic. By understanding the motivation behind content consumption, you can create marketing content that is more likely to earn the sacred share.
Hard Truth Number 3: Your Content Doesn’t Jive with Your Audience’s Social Identity
Just because your content is visually appealing and educational or entertaining, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to make a sale. Your fans are always cultivating their online presence and identity and have a firm idea of how they want their social self to be portrayed.
When someone shares your marketing content with their social media networks, that content becomes an extension of their online persona. If you want to encourage more people to share your marketing content, focus your efforts on creating content that speaks not only to the reader, but the reader’s social audience.
Hard Truth Number 4: Your Content Is Too Complicated to Share
The more steps a reader has to take to share your content with their social feeds, the less likely they are to share. No one has time to open Twitter or Facebook in a brand-new window, log in, copy the link, write a post about the link, and click submit. This goes double with a mobile audience.
Set up your blog or marketing content hub with easy-share buttons that allow a user to share your content without having to leave your website. As a best practice, be sure to include pre-populated information that includes the headline, proper hashtags, and a link to the source.
Aim to get the process of sharing your content down to a two-click process; if you can get sharing down to a single click process that’s even better.
Pro Tip: The SocialToaster platform was created as a solution to the above sharing problem. Our patented one-click functionality allows your audience to share your marketing content automatically to their social networks without having to take any further steps. Once they join your advocacy marketing program, they’ll receive an email asking them to share your latest content. They simply click the “share” button in the email and like magic, that content gets posted to their social networks.
Key Takeaways for Encouraging Content Sharing
Creating amazing content that consistently earns your audience’s coveted “share” is tough. It’s easy to produce mediocre content (that’s why there’s so much mediocre content on the internet), but mediocre content earns mediocre results.
Take a look at your recent marketing content pieces, and ask yourself these tough questions:
- Does this content look good?
- Does this content provide significant value to the audience?
- Will my audience’s audience want to engage with this content?
- Is this content easy to share and are the pre-populated messages engaging and interesting?
If the answer to all four of these questions is, “Yes!” then congratulations, you’ve got a solid piece of content on your hands that is certain to earn shares. If the answer is “No :’(“, consider taking the time to rework that content. If creating better marketing content means creating fewer pieces, then so be it! With the nearly endless supply of digital noise on the internet today, it’s sometimes better to forego publishing yet another mediocre post.
Did you know SocialToaster makes it easy (and fun) to reward your advocates for sharing your latest marketing content pieces? Schedule a free demo today to learn how a SocialToaster advocacy marketing program can help elevate your content engagement levels to new heights.