We see it all too often: firms make the choice to start creating content. They start a blog, create executive guides, maybe even publish a research report. They spend a lot of time and money to produce quality content that showcases their expertise and professionalism. Then they post the content on their website for all their visitors to read.
But the mistake most firms make is they don't promote their content, and when they do, they often do it in a way that gets limited reach.
Maybe they are sharing it on their social media channels. Maybe they even have secured a guest post on an authoritative online publication. But what can professional services firms do to ensure they are getting maximum reach for their great content?
Let's review the 5-point checklist:
1. Ensure your content has sharing functionality.
People are lazy. People consuming online content are lazier.
Let's use an example. You're reading this post right now. You've most likely skimmed through the five points by now and if I still have your attention, you might be diving into these sections.
You might actually really like what you're reading and want to share it on your Twitter feed (please do). Are you going to copy the link of this page, head over to bit.ly, paste it in, get your shortlink, login to your Twitter account, paste your shortlink, come up with something witty and post it? I didn't think so. Neither is anyone else.
What you will most likely do is click on the Twitter icon on the left side of this page (or at the bottom). It's simple and quick. That's easy sharing functionality for users.
2. Ensure you content is mobile-friendly.
People are busy. People consuming online content are busier.
More and more, professionals are consuming content on their mobile devices between meetings, during their commute, or during any other small amounts of free time they may have.
If your content is difficult to read on a mobile device, people will move on to something else and, in turn, not share your content.
Remember, Google has announced that starting April 21st, content that is not mobile-friendly will be negatively affected in search engine rankings.
SEE ALSO: How to Extend the Life of Your Content
3. Ask your audience to share your content.
Remember when I asked you to share this? Again, please do! Many firms are hesitant to ask the consumers of their content to "please share." Often, they may feel that it is intrusive and will get a negative reaction from their audience. If done tastefully, that won't be the case.
Something as simple as "please share if you have found this useful" can do wonders for increasing shares and your total reach.
4. Share your content at optimal times
It may require some background research, but there is a wealth of information online around best practices for sharing at certain times. Here is just one article on the best times to share on social.
Remember, all social platforms should not be treated the same. Optimal times for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are all different. Also, all industries should not be treated the same. Professional services firms, for example, will most likely have different optimal sharing times than the hospitality industry.
The target audiences in different industries are active on social media at different times. Find out when your target audience is most active on different social networks, and share at those times.
5. Ensure your content is worth sharing.
Last, but certainly not least, ensure your content is useful and high quality enough to be shareable. More specifically, make sure it is useful for your target audience.
This is also where additional research may be necessary. First, do you know who your target audience is? Second, do you know what they care about and/or what they want to consume?
You can start with your own online research. Investigate LinkedIn groups where your target audience is engaged. What kind of content is being shared? How is that content helping your target audience solve challenges and grow their business? How is it making their day easier? How is making their life easier?
Content that makes someone's life easier is much more likely to be shared and amplified. People that are appreciative of your effort will reward you by sharing your content with others. Even if they don't they're much more likely to come back for more.
So, there you have it. Five points to always keep in mind when trying to get the maximum reach for your content. Put yourself in your audience's shoes. If you won't do something, it's very unlikely that your audience will.
To create content that reaches prospects at each stages of the sales funnel, download a free copy of the Content Marketing Guide for Professional Services.