Content marketing: nobody said it was going to be easy!
First, you need to think up a bunch of topics.
Then you’ve got to research and write the post.
After that, pick out some good images, then format and publish it.
And even then, you’re not done. We know to share new content across our social media platforms, but we should also be able to rely on readers to help spread the word on a great new post.
But, it’s crickets. Tumbleweed passes. Why is no one sharing your blog post? There are many possibilities, and we delve in a couple below. Here are some of our best content marketing tips as to why no one is sharing your blog posts.
1) You’re sharing the same content as everybody else
Of course, you need to research and topic and will cite supporting information or facts from others, but also write from your own experiences.
For example, if I'm writing about LinkedIn ads and I use a supporting piece from someone who got clicks for as little as $1 or $2, I'm not going to say LinkedIn ads are affordable when from my own experience (depending on who I targeted, of course), clicks were as pricey as $6 or $7 each.
It’s great to talk about a popular topic, but put your own spin on it. Add an experience, an anecdote, an opinion, advice, or your own evidence.
2) You're citing the same old brands as examples
This is something I’ve seen a LOT.
Over the past few years, whenever I see a cool new article that promises to tell me "6 brands doing their marketing right" or "4 companies to teach you about content marketing", I’m often left underwhelmed as I see the same brands being showcased again and again.
Now, there's nothing wrong with these brands, and as all these articles tell me, they're creative, clever, and successful.
But for the most part, they're global businesses with MILLIONS of dollars to spend on their marketing, and for small businesses, it's a rather unattainable position!
Further, it’s always the same old brands that are "doing it right"; stop me if you’ve read about the following brands in these articles:
- Starbucks (In 2011, it was reported they spend about $95 million on marketing)
- Red Bull
- Dollar Shave Club
- Old Spice
- Oreos (Mondelez, who owns Oreo as well as Toblerone, Chips Ahoy, and more, spends an estimated $200 million a year on global marketing)
They are some of the common ones I see being used again and again. That's great – but give me someone else, someone newer, and someone more relatable!
3) Sharing is too big a task on your website
Picture it: someone lands on a blog post, reads it, and genuinely enjoys it, even if they’re not quite ready to buy your product or engage your services. They are ready, however, to share it – well done!
But wait… how can they do that? Do they have to copy and paste the link, open Twitter, create a new Tweet, and send it?
Now that’s hardly a laborious task, but social sharing buttons make it seem that way. Pre-populated content and a link can be shared in as little as two clicks to a favourite social network.
It’s rare that we ever log out of our Facebook or Twitter accounts, so social share buttons are a quick and simple way for a user to share your blog posts.
And as always, user experience and convenience should be at the top of your website’s priorities.
4) You're not formatting or using visuals
To get people to share, they have to read, too (well, sometimes)
And how can you get them to read? By presenting content that is well formatted. You must:
- Use bullet points and lists wherever you can
- Use short paragraphs
- Use headings and subheadings
- Include at least one image
People will also be disinclined to share if they are reading an article on their smartphone from a website that is not responsive (all that pinching and scrolling – it’s not worth their time!)
Oh, and as vain as it seems, people want to share stuff that makes them look smart, cool, or funny.
5) You’re talking to much about your brand, not about your customer…
….and the problems your customer wants solved.
People don’t read your blog because they necessarily like or care about your brand (not in a mean way, they just, well, don’t).
They care more about the products you offer, the advice you can give, the stories you share, and the problems you can solve.
They mightn’t be connected to your company (yet), but they are connected to the pain points you want to help solve. Speak to that!
6) You’re not asking them to!
Something so simple is often wasted.
For whatever reason (looking desperate or invasive?) people are reluctant to ask people to share.
- We already ask people to share Facebook posts
- We already ask people to retweet on Twitter
- We already ask people to repost on Instagram (especially great for competitions or giveaways!)
So why wouldn’t we ask someone to share a great blog post?
A gentle nudge at the end of a blog post, reminding users that they can quickly share using applicable buttons, is often all you need. (And you, too, can share this very blog post using the buttons at the top 😉 )