Can You Afford to Have Your Content Go Unnoticed?
We’ve all heard it a million times - content is king. We get it. Content you post online needs to be relevant, useful, unique and definitely speak to your target audience. So, you produce a piece of content, but it goes unread. “What the hell?”, you think. “Am I just wasting time time?”
Well, the answer to the question above is ABSOLUTELY NOT. You just need a strategy on what to produce and how to promote it.
Alarming Content Trends
Did you know that, according to an article on BuzzSumo.com, social content sharing has been cut in half since 2015, and social traffic referrals back to publishers have been rapidly declining? This is happening for a number of reasons, with the most prominent being: An increase in competition, algorithm changes (specifically to Facebook) and a rise in private sharing.
Facebook’s algorithm changes have significantly impacted shared content from businesses, which has led to a decrease in organic traffic from these referrals. Topics for shared content quickly become oversaturated due to the volume of content being shared, making it harder for content publishers to stand out. These trends show the importance of building a strong brand / reader following because it’s so difficult to get noticed. On the positive side, companies are seeing success by publishing content directly on LinkedIn.
So with all this working against you, what can you do to make sure the time and effort you put into your content is helping your cause?
A Few Tips on Content
First, some straight talk: Posting content once or twice a month and sharing the link across social channels isn’t going to cut it. It’s not necessary to post everyday, but it’s essential to be consistent, meaning don’t let months go by without a new post! It’s ok to mention your products or services every once in a while, but promoting them every post is just going to turn your readers off. Here are a few bullets you can use as a guide to building out your content.
- Pick a side - Trying to skate down the middle of a controversial issue or hot topic is boring. It’s understandable to want to appeal to as many readers as possible, but it’s hard to make valid points or express unique thoughts when you have to flip flop back and forth. People will respect this. Choose a side or take a stand. Write with accuracy and stick to the topic. You don’t have to be offensive; actually you shouldn’t be. Just be sure to research what you write, cite information when needed, and be certain your post is A+ work before it goes live. Also, allowing comments on the post is a great way to build buzz. Just make sure you are responding to them.
- Try and look a step beyond what others are currently writing about - Writing about topics that people have already posted about is just adding to the already over-saturated topic. Instead, gather information and give you opinion on what’s in the near future relating to this topic. If you’re wrong, it’s no big deal - it was just your opinion after all. If you’re right, you really look like you know your stuff, even if it was just your opinion. Be sure to give reasons to your predictions, though. This will help people understand your thought process.
- Structure your content in a consumable way - This is pretty standard, but worth mentioning. Don’t write a post that looks like a huge chunk of text. Nobody wants to see that, especially if they’re on a smaller mobile device or have limited time. Break up your content using images, headlines and lists. Try to make the overall point of the post visible to someone who only wants or has time to skim through. This can make a big difference in how many people stay on the page and come back for your next post. As they say in the journalism trade, Don’t bury the lead.
Promoting Your Content
Now that you have differentiated your content from the masses, it’s time to start sharing. This isn’t just posting a link to twitter or Facebook. You also need to draw the readers in with questions, statistics or intriguing statements regarding your post. Use hashtags when applicable send to influencers in your industry for their thoughts. Use interesting images that relate to the topic but aren’t the same thing everyone else is using.
This could open the door to a valuable relationship for future content you produce. Leverage email lists and send out short snippets to your current followers that leave them wanting to know more. Most importantly, be responsive when readers start engaging. Start the dialog, thank them for their contributions.
What are you waiting for? Go out there and start creating and promoting that great content!