Sharing your way to the top
I am happy to present our guest blogger Jesper Åström. He is working with digital production and marketing with focus on traffic acquisition and conversion rate optimization. You can find his blog at jesperastrom.com
Building on what Elia said about the recent updates in Google, you have to consider how to create more inbound links to your content without actually spamming or keyword crunching yourself too much. Any good SEO has had this in their portfolio as a part of the link mix and they are thus not as effected by these changes. However, some people who have simply tried to build certain keywords in order to rank, are now in somewhat of a mess. Anyhow. I like writing about solutions, so here we go.
Let’s say you are sitting there with a page really undeserving of its ranking. Ok. So you are trying to get your visitors to share your content, but you simply do not know where to start. You have purchased all your links previously and simply haven’t had or seen the need to share. You still want to rank, but you have no idea in the world how anyone could take the piece of content that you simply have on your page, and want to talk about it.
Guess what! You are exactly right. No one will share content that you yourself don’t feel is worth sharing. If you consider your content to be static, and if you don’t change it so that people actually understand why sharing it will give them something back, they will never share it.
Oh, don’t get me wrong here. The same holds if you have the best content in the world. There is a great misunderstanding that great content gets shared automatically. This is extremely untrue. Some of the best content becomes hidden secrets as it is “too good to share”. So it is not a matter of how good your content is, but rather how well you can explain to the user why they should share it. I have elaborated on this in another blog post about in-line conversion rate that will be published in my own blog.
But let’s get back to this blog post. Where to start? Well, if you have never though of sharing previously, you need to start with the basics, namely to create personas that you will try to appeal to. The best way of understanding a persona is to do the following experiment.
- Select five of your most regularly posting Facebook friends
- Select five of the most common types of posts they share
Once you have collected your sourcing material. Sit down and analyze it for a while.
- Are there common words used in the posts by the different people
- Are major differences in the content that they share – why?
- Is there a way in which you could group the different posts they have shared – do they belong to each other in a certain way?
Now that you are starting to get a sense of what type of content is being shared by your closest people, you start looking at why they are doing this. This is sort of reverse engineering of the golden circle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA
You best figure out why they have shared something by comparing what they share with what content they are sharing. If someone is sharing pictures of their baby – they might be proud of their new child. If someone is sharing a link to a news paper article – they might be furious or amused. I think you get the point.
Some of the posts might be such that you can’t find a purpose for them in terms of value to you. However, these people share them because they want to. Posts such as “I’m on the toilet” are of limited value to you unless you are trying to figure out why the person is not responding to a phone call. However, there must be something behind this post. There has to be a why. You most likely know some more information about the person. Try to put the share into its context.
Now once you have completed this step. Do your comparison again.
- Are there similarities in why people share what they share
- Are there differences in why they share etc.
If you are able to group the people in terms of why they are sharing you are starting to see patterns that are useful for your next assignment. Remember this is just training. This should be a fun exercise that should put you in the right frame of mind. It should help you with where to start.
Cause now it is time to flip it to your market. What type of content is being shared from your competitors? Why are people sharing it? Are there any similarities of these reasons to share that you can find in your study of your friends?
I believe that once you have done this work. And yes, it is not something that gets done in five minutes. You will have started to think in terms of creating content that users will actually share. You have a better understanding of why people share and you now have to turn to your inbound marketing skills in order to introduce these reasons to the way you present your products.
I am really telling you to think outside the box here. If people only share images of kittens, then how can you integrate kittens into your product portfolio. I am serious. If you are serious. You should really break out of the box in which you have been hiding your sorrow excuse of a product page and realize that you have to walk the extra mile in order to get the extra revenue.
I can tell you now. You don’t have to worry. Once you have started to think in terms of creating shareable content, you will never look at content the same way again. It will eventually become automatic. It will be a natural part of your content production process. And you will thrive as a result of it.