In a nutshell. Get a second date, nurture and exploit your social platforms with paid advertising and be adaptive with your test & learn. You don’t need to succeed in all three areas in order to elevate your share-rate out of the average band, but without sufficient digital investment and success in at least one of these areas it will be very difficult to drive additional shares of your content marketing.
It’s a less known secret that most pieces of content have share rates which are very similar. These share rates are typically within a narrow band, stats will differ depending upon the source used, however the existence of a narrow ‘average‘ band is consistent. There are of course outliers. This POV will discuss some of the ways that you can help your content marketing break out of the average.
Firstly it goes without saying, if you don’t have budget for the paid distribution of your content then don’t even bother making it. It’s not worth it. You will end up as one of the tens of millions of YouTube videos with a production cost higher than your net number of views. Content marketing is not free-advertising. Anyone who tells you otherwise is likely also out chasing Unicorns as they race over Double- Rainbows.
Sharing is the only way to truly maximise distribution beyond your media investment. Agency experience within the WW Mindshare team working on hundreds of content marketing campaigns tells us that the diagnostics of share-rates breaks down to three factors, the emotional score of the content, the activeness of your existing social platforms and how adaptive your test & learn game is.
Emotional score has been covered in a recent POV, however it comes down to how obvious your consumer insight is and the strength of the story telling within your branded content. If you are not sure apply the ‘first date test’ (if you were on a first date with your consumer and told them this story would you get a second date or would it be a ‘please don’t call me’ response).
Active social platforms are important. Content marketing is a game won and lost within social platforms and other social environments (notably those frequented by Native Ads). If you have active social audiences (ones that have above average interaction rates for your category) then you have a launch pad to put paid investment behind an organic post (with look-alike targeting). Even more important are the social platforms of brand supporters (both celebrity and normal people). While investing behind a brand supporters organic post can rob it of some authenticity this is far outweighed by the ‘opportunity to see & share’ ratio within communities of like-minded people.
Data rich look-alike targeting is important here as is conducting a ‘Social+’ mapping of brand supporters. If your emotional score isn’t that strong and you have in-active social platforms don’t despair. Research* tells us that even average content can perform at above average sharing levels. The biggest driver of this is adopting an adaptive mindset, identifying key test & learn variables, establish timeframes for optimising and incorporate flexibility into your buy so that you can optimise at planned points of time.