When you’re looking for ways to get something done, facts and data will serve you better than following a hunch. The marketers who (without much thought) say, “Oooh, I like that idea, let’s try it,” are bound to have more missteps than those who research, use proven strategies, and test everything before rolling anything out.
Those who follow the tips we’re about to share get more shares compared to others, and the reasons are clear.
The typical advice you hear when it comes to increasing content engagement:
- Ask visitors to share
- Make content valuable and unique
- Reach out to influencers
These strategies are effective and you should implement them, but they’re nothing new. Even worse, they may not work — especially if you don’t have a deep understanding of exactly what is working right now.
Let’s dive into what these marketing strategies really mean.
Pound the Pavement for Shares
No, this isn’t a section about creating a great call-to-action at the end of your article. It’s about doing the hard work and getting one share at a time.
Think about authors. When an author gets a book deal and their novel is published, that’s only the beginning of their work. Depending on the publisher, some promotional work may be handled in-house, but the success of the book is often largely on the shoulders of the person who wrote it. In some cases, publishers promote books to retailers and distributors, but the author is on the hook for things like audience engagement and other direct-to-readers promotion.
As of writing this article, there have been more than 5.2 million blog posts published, according to WorldoMeters.
Google, WordPress, and Facebook don’t really care that you wrote an awesome blog. Even the people who would like, share, and use your content aren’t going to come without a fight. And fight you must.
Reach Out to Related Businesses
Email Related Businesses: Businesses that go after a similar buyer, but aren’t competitors, can be a great partner to rack up shares. Email them saying:
Really enjoyed (and shared) your blog: [title of their post w/link].
I recently wrote, [Title of your post w/link,] and think it could benefit your audience. If you think so, would you consider sharing it via social media?
If not, thanks for your content, [Name]. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you promote [Business/Product].
Eccentric, Not Just Unique
Even if you’re filling your site with countless blog posts jam packed with stellar written content, you may still be disappointed.. The content getting the most engagement is focused not just on value, but also visuals.
Take a look at this resource from MailChimp:
It’s visual, interactive, and includes multiple types of content — all in one cerebral package.
You may be saying, “The content doesn’t seem in-depth enough.” Sure, you can deny its thoroughness, but it is undeniably shareable.. Take a look at this screenshot from Buzzsumo showing the top-shared articles for the term “marketing automation.”
(The gist: MailChimp is number one with 3x the shares of number two on the list.)
You may not be able to get to this level overnight, but the more visually appealing, the better. A few things to consider:
- Add graphic elements to support points
- Create short videos and place them into your posts
- Make sure your share buttons fit well on the page
Use a Promotion Network
Influencers are always on the lookout for compelling content to share with their Facebook audiences. Some look for solutions that do it automatically – these influencers get curated content sent directly to their social profiles.
That means that the networks that provide this solution are now the ones looking out for quality content. Using something like Quuu Promote or Zest Content Boost often means hundreds of shares per promoted post.
As with any strategy, there are pros and cons. The big plus is, of course, the shares, but the drawbacks are the requirements. For instance, Zest only promotes a very limited number of blogs/posts at one time. While they guarantee hundreds of visits and increased shares, there’s a waiting list you’ll have to sign up for to even get a shot.
A Final Word
- Asking to share works, but it may take an email to potential sharers.
- Making valuable and unique content is a good start. Just make sure that when someone looks at it, they can’t help but want to tell someone about it — even if it’s as much to do with novelty as value.
- Figuring out the best influencer outreach strategy is important. But if the budget and timing are right, you could run a promotion on your best content and have influencers lining up to share it.
The proven strategies for increased shares boil down to the same methods for everyone – you just have to take it to another level.