Want your online B2B content shared? Get these 9 basics right.
When you write B2B content, you want it to be shared and seen by as many people in your target audience as possible, right?
Then you need to make sure your content grabs people like me.
Why? Because one of my roles is helping StudioNorth clients maintain their positions as thought leaders by finding online content for them to post on their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
If I choose your content, it gets shared to our clients’ widespread audiences. So how do I choose?
Every week, I pore through hundreds of Google alerts, looking for real insights, unexpected points of view, amusing anecdotes, useful lists and anything else that demonstrates how well our clients are tuned in to their industries. Out of those hundreds of headlines, I may click on 30 or 40 a week that pique my curiosity. And out of that bunch, I probably dismiss half of them before I’ve even read a word.
Why do I instantly reject these articles? And how can you make sure your content gets past my itchy mouse finger?
1. Make sure your content loads quickly.
I’ve got another hundred headlines to skim. If your content makes me wait more than a few seconds just to view it, I never will. (Excess load time hurts your search rank, too, so if this is an issue for you, get your IT team on it stat.)
2. Don’t hide your content behind a pay wall.
Our clients’ audiences may not subscribe to your site, and I’m not going to annoy them by driving them to content they can’t view.
3. Have a clean, modern format that isn’t cluttered by ads and pop-ups.
I sometimes hate sharing content from Forbes. First you get a preview screen with a pointless quote, then you have to wait for all the pop-ups
and auto-run videos to load before you can start reading. But it’s Forbes, so I grit my teeth and share it. (They’ve recently improved their user experience for many posts.) If you’re not Forbes but your site works like theirs? I’m moving on.
4. Get to the point.
Did I mention I have another hundred headlines to skim?
5. Say something new or interesting.
We’re in the middle of a content glut—people are bombarded with more content than they can possibly sort through, let alone read or watch. I’m trying to find a handful of brilliance that will shine through that mountain of blah. If your content is same-old, same-old, I’m moving on.
6. Feature an image that will auto-populate on LinkedIn or Facebook.
My clients want social posts that grab attention. LinkedIn and Facebook posts without visuals are practically invisible. (If you feature images but the platforms aren’t capturing them, get your IT team on it.)
7. Don’t let that image be a picture of you (unless you’re already famous).
This is a huge pet peeve. I see an intriguing headline, but when I click through, the only image on the page is the author’s head shot. Why would our clients want to feature a picture of you in their social feeds? Unless you’re famous in your industry, they wouldn’t—and I’m moving on.
8. Don’t let that image be an incredibly obvious stock photo.
I know sometimes you have to use a stock image, but does it have to be that one with the guy in the suit creating graphs in the air with his hands? That’s like a big red flag announcing we have nothing original to say. Take a minute to find something less predictable, or try a new source like Twenty20 Stock.
9. Make sure that image will be featured fully and correctly.
Since LinkedIn went to its new format, its image-populating functionality has gotten considerably less friendly. It often grabs weird portions of an image or zooms in so close the image gets fuzzy. The optimal size is now 1200x628px, so you should make that the guideline for your own images.
You put a lot of effort into that article, video or infographic. Don’t let these nine details stop me from helping it find a wider audience!
Senior Copywriter Jeff Segal writes blogs and social content for several SN clients, while crusading tirelessly against the words provide, quality, strive and utilize.