Over the last three months, my blog articles have gone from zero LinkedIn shares to over 30. What did I change, and why does it matter?
Let’s answer that last question first. What tangible business benefit does it give you to get your articles shared?
The simple answer is that when someone shares an article on LinkedIn (or tweets it or shares it on Facebook), many more people have an opportunity to see it. Expanded exposure = more traffic to your website.
Here’s some math.
When a visitor to your blog clicks a LinkedIn share button on your article, that article is “shared” with that person’s network. For the sake of an example let’s assume everyone on LinkedIn has 250 connections (which, by the way, is low for someone who is active on LinkedIn). When 30 people share your article, another 7500 people have a chance to see it. Some of those may also share the article, and the number continues to grow.
According to AddThis (providers of social content sharing tools), at the end of 2011 every time a user shared an article with his or her network, LinkedIn drove an average of 1.5 clicks back to that article. I can’t find any more recent numbers, but with 200+ million users on LinkedIn these days I think it’s safe to believe the clicks are even higher now.
So my 30 shares drove 45 (maybe more) interested people to my website. Now it’s my job to get those people into my marketing funnel, but that’s a different article.
Convinced that getting your blog articles shared is a good thing?
Let’s look at how I did it and how you can do the same thing.
It all started with our content strategist Eric Gruber who relentlessly watches for actions and activity created by our client’s content. This time he turned the heat on me. He verbally kicked me in the butt, pointing out that my writing had gotten stale, I was regurgitating the same tired ideas every other B2B marketing person was writing about, and I was doing nothing to get people to take action. In summary, he told me to stop being lazy.
I went back to the drawing board as it were and took some time – not a lot, mind you, just an hour or so – to really think about what information I could provide that would help my preferred audience (Software and IT company CEOs and marketers ) get more and better results from their marketing.
I looked at the things that everyone else was writing about and immediately removed them from my topics list – or tried to at least. For example, the world does not need another article about why content marketing is important.
Eric found articles I wrote years ago and pointed out that I was no longer taking as strong a stance as I used to. I’d mellowed with age – not particularly useful to my readers.
So we made some changes and here’s what seems to get the best response (e.g people taking action). We also apply these principles for our blog writing clients with similar success. Try them on your own blog.
- Provide less theory and more real examples. Theory-based articles are fine for thought leadership, but if you want to generate leads you’ll do better with more concrete topics. Provide content that helps readers actually solve a problem or do something better.
- Introduce new ideas. You’re an expert on your subject matter when you know more about it than your readers. Tell them something they don’t already know.
- Go back to basics. Some of the most successful articles bring up things your readers may already know but have forgotten.
- Take a stand. You have an opinion. It’s based on your experiences. Voice it.
- Don’t be afraid to give your best advice away. If you’re marketing a product, this one is easy. If you’re marketing a service you may feel people should pay you for your best advice. Don’t be that way. When you give away great advice people can’t help but wonder what you’re holding back. They’ll pay for that.
- Include info for people at all stages of the buying process. Not everyone who reads your blog is dying to find out the latest details about your product. In fact, most aren’t. Remember to add value for people who are just starting their buying journey.
There are more good principles I could have added to the list, I’m sure. If you have any, let us know by adding them to the comments below.
If you’re interested in building a better blog for your company, you can read about our ghost blogging services here.
Oh, and please Share this article.