Getting Others to Share Your Brand Message

In my last few blog posts, I’ve compared content types to food groups and sharing content to building a recipe. Hopefully you’re still hungry because now it’s time to host a great big dinner party and invite your audiences to consume and share your content!

4 Steps for Hosting Your Content Dinner Party

Send out invites – Don’t forget to ask audiences to share

Social sharing buttons should be easy to find and use on all your content. For pieces created to drive broad awareness, add a specific call to action within the body of the content itself – such as a ClickToTweet link – that asks users to share the content in their social channels.

Enlist the help of friends – Reach out to your employees & brand advocates

Sometimes a polite request for help will go a long way in making your content dinner party a larger success. Call on those closest to your brand to assist in your communications plan.

For your most important content campaigns, don’t overlook your own employees’ potential as your most powerful brand ambassadors.

Asking them to share a particular piece of content across (or in targeted) social networks, possibly during a particular time frame, could help boost your content to trending status.

Be specific when asking for employee help and make it easy for them to take action by providing sample tweets or a short call-to-action to add to their email signatures.

Acknowledge and activate your brand advocates by prioritizing them in your distribution plan. Rally your loyal customers and social followers with teasers of your upcoming content that they won’t want to miss. Send out behind the scenes photos or video, countdown clocks, etc. to your advocates through social and email campaigns. Alert them as soon as the content is available and remind them to share it with others.

Attract VIP guests – Appeal to key influencers

Getting a star guest to attend your content party will likely take more than sending an invite. Here are some tips for gaining VIP influencers’ attention.

  • Build the relationship in advance: Identify journalists, bloggers and influencers on social media that are relevant to your brand and industry. Just as you would with “real, live people,” cultivate a friendly relationship before you start asking for favors. A good place to start is by following, sharing and commenting on their content. Then, when you have content you want them to share with their audiences, you won’t be seen as a cold caller.
  • Ask for participation in content creation: Influencers are more likely to share your content if they are an acknowledged source in your story. Contact them with a question or ask for a quote on the topic you are addressing. Or, link to a relevant article by an influencer you want to reach. Let them know they’ve been mentioned in your content by emailing them a link to the published piece as soon as it’s available, and ask for feedback to further build the relationship.
  • Respond to questions from the media: Another way to build relationships and gain attention from the media is to review and respond to questions on ProfNet that are relevant to your area of expertise. Either sign up to receive email queries from reporters, or follow @ProfNet on Twitter to see some of the media’s most urgent requests. Also, make sure your brand experts are listed in the free ProfNet Connect expert directory, where they can be found by reporters actively working on a story.
  • Pitch journalists and bloggers: Is there a particular media outlet, journalist or blogger that you want to mention your content? Research their most recent story coverage to make sure your story is relevant, newsworthy and truly of interest to their audience. Pitch them your story idea and offer exclusive coverage whenever possible.
  • Consider a multichannel approach: You might have your eye on that one big media influencer, but targeting your reach across more specific channels could yield even greater results. Consider spreading the exclusivity love by launching different elements of a larger campaign across multiple influencers, formats and channels. For example: To market the release of his most recent album, Weird Al offered up one new music video a day over eight days. Each video was exclusively released on different platforms (YouTube, Vevo, CollegeHumor, Nerdist, the Wall Street Journal, etc.) to reach a combination of broad and niche audiences. Both the artist and the participating media outlets saw tremendous attention, which helped the album debut at number one.

Write out thank you notes – Follow up with those who shared your content

Strengthen your employee, advocate and influencer relationships with a little recognition. Let your party-goers know they’re appreciated and that their efforts made an impact. Reach out to those who have shared your content – particularly those VIP influencers – and give them some insights on how their participation specifically contributed to your communications goals.

Another great way to thank helpful influencers is an offer to return the favor for them in the future. Let them know that your brand is ready to share its love for their next campaign.

Every piece of content you produce needs to be easy to share, including press releases. From simple formatting tweaks to “Click to Tweet,” learn how to make your press release more shareable with our guide Tips for Creating Press Releases that Maximize Social Sharing. And for more information on getting others to share your brand message, check out our companion SlideShare.