How to Optimise Your Content for Social Media Distribution
A content marketing strategy can only ever be as good as its distribution strategy will allow. You can have written the most meticulously researched, expertly analysed article imaginable that is destined to change perceptions within your industry - but if you haven't spent a good amount of time (more time than spent writing, even) on distributing and promoting it, then don’t expect a huge ROI any time soon. Or ever.
The most successful content marketers aren’t always the best writers, they are the ones who understand the social media landscape. The reason the social networks are the ultimate content distribution platform is fairly obvious now - the ability to easily integrate and share content, the power to target a specific sub-section of users, the possibility for widespread engagement resulting in an insurmountable reach, etc., etc. And while the vast majority of marketers have a good grasp of the positives, not all of them are reaching using social media to its full potential.
It’s not necessarily the distribution strategy that’s always the issue. You may have pinpointed the correct network and the exact time of the day to post for the highest rate of clicks, but you may not have properly optimised your headline, image or message to provoke a response from the widest variety of users. Here is some of our best advice for optimising your content for social media distribution.
Get serious about your headlines
Writing a better title or headline for your content will not only work wonders for content distribution, it could also have a far better long-game impact on your SEO. Great content writers can spend hours meditating on the best headline structure as it is just as, if not more, important than the article itself. No serious marketer ever wants to advocate clickbait, but it’s undeniable just how well a title that develops intrigue and hype at first glance can fare on the internet. If headlines aren’t your strong point or you’re looking for something to help direct you, we recommend CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool.
Remember, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from tailoring your original headline that is present on the article itself for each particular network. Distribution should be ongoing - it’s not a one post thing - so you can afford to A/B test different headlines and get a better feel for what sentiments, structures and power words get the best reaction with each audience.
Put more thought into your graphics
There’s little point in explaining the importance of visual content on social media, as anybody who uses it will already understand. Content writers are also fully aware of how it can be useful to utilise graphics and other types of content (embedded posts, videos, etc.,) within the body of an article to reduce bounce rate. But crafting posts that get the most engagement goes beyond adding a generic blog title graphic.
Consider how you can merge your headline and your graphic to instill the most amount of intrigue and spur on the biggest response. In order to utilise networks such as Instagram, you can also create bespoke graphics making use of figures and specific specks of information from your article, and include the URL in your page header.
Get your colleagues involved in distribution
Humans trust other humans’ judgement more than they do that of a brand. Content distribution isn’t just about what you post as your business or organisation, it’s also about getting your colleagues and advocates involved too. This is particularly important on professional networks such as LinkedIn. To make this a more attractive thing, figure out ways to integrate the comments and expert opinions of employees within your content. This will give them a sense of ownership and encourage their advocacy, while also having the positive effect of giving a heightened professionalism to your article.