Encourage Customers to Share your Content

“Every piece of your content should be excellent, enough that customers are compelled to share it.” – Joe Pulizzi

We have mentioned earlier too that apart from providing business, customers can prove to be value-added partners too in a variety of ways. They can help innovation and provide ideas and insights, and other such highly valuable activities to help the association. Most companies do not leverage on this ‘asset’ and miss many incredible opportunities and ways to encourage customer engagement. One of the most potent ways to increase reach, gain additional customers, and enhance engagement would be to encourage customers to share your content. Smart companies understand that their customers can ‘double up’ as brand ambassadors and use their connections to increase business and sales – it would depend on how effective your company is to encourage customers to share your content. Customers who share content are providing proof of their interest and loyalty to your company. This ‘social proof’ is an unspoken approval of the company, its service, and the offerings.

It is important to encourage customers to share your content – they are smarter, more practical and are constantly seeking to increase their understanding and knowledge of the market. They know exactly what they want or do not want and they know how to get it. By providing great content that adds to their knowledge, not only would your company be pleasing them but would also encourage customers to share your content. As per the quote above, exciting and interesting content would compel them to share the content from your company to others, without too much effort on your part. When you can encourage customers to share your content, your company would be going beyond the business relationship and move towards a bond that would transcend the relationship and traditional norms of service. When they share your content, customers feel connected and responsible – their own reputation would also be at stake and hence they would only share the content if it made them look good. So in order to encourage customers to share your content, ensure that it is always steps ahead of the market, better than what your competitors provide and add some real value to your customers.

The company-customer relationship is no longer one-sided – it has become a ‘two-way street’ encouraging meaningful and mutually beneficial interactions.  Customers want to feel important and valued – great content is one of the methods, as it shows them the interest and commitment of your company. It makes them feel like they mean something to the company and that their association is crucial to the company’s success. Impactful information will encourage customers to share your content and over time, this sharing will shape positive attitude and mind-set towards your company. They would be more inclined to stay with your company and encourages others to experience the great service and commitment they receive.

By succeeding to encourage customers to share your content, what your company would actually be doing is allowing customers to engage with it. It would be increasing the number of pleasant experiences they have with your company. The higher the number of positive experiences, the more enhanced would the emotional connection be in their minds. We know that emotions are the reasons that customers want to repeatedly buy a brand and let others know about it too. The brand for them, is a value-added part of their lives – the stronger customers feel this way, the easier it would be for your company to encourage customers to share your content and the experiences they have.

Of course, an association with a customer would start when they believe that your company’s offerings are truly what they need, to better their business and their lives. With social media becoming part of almost everyone’s lives, it would prudent to leverage its power and visibility. When your company is able to encourage customers to share your content via social media, it builds a sense of community and open discussion.  Customers typically would share anything they find interesting and believe that their friends and associates could benefit from it to. So in your effort to encourage customers to share your content, ensure that the content is something that would seem personalized to the customers and they would therefore, be proud to show it to others. By sharing such value-added content, customers would appear more knowledgeable and their associates and friends would feel better about their association, thereby adding to the self-esteem of your customers.

We have discussed several times, that one of the main and recurring reasons for customers to buy products and associate with a company is emotions. To encourage customers to share your content, ensure that it touches their emotional level – for instance, by creating a promotional campaign asking customers to state why they love your brand, would not only get them to respond enthusiastically, but also ‘send’ the campaign to their friends and associates via a number of channels. This sharing becomes important to them and they would therefore encourage others whole-heartedly to further ‘share’ the content. Therefore, by providing emotional reasons, it would be easier for your company to encourage customers to share your content.

Companies know that their customers would enjoy a challenge and be happy to show off their prowess and knowledge on a variety of subjects. Therefore, in the bid to encourage customers to share your content, create excitement and a buzz by putting together such ‘contests’ – customers are sure to share it with whoever they can and proudly display their ‘high scores’ too. Not only does your company get ‘free publicity’, your customers get a chance to look good and feel important amongst their friends, family and associates. A company that repeatedly succeeds in placing its customers on a pedestal are more likely to succeed long term.

If your company wants to encourage customers to share your content, especially via social media, ensure that you have a team dedicated to tracking the ‘shares’. Each time a customer shares your company’s content, someone must thank them as a response. This will encourage future sharing and show your company is a positive light – one that reflects with dedication and passion for its customers. Your endeavours to encourage customers to share your content, would be of no use, if customers do not see value in doing so. Hence, if they take the time and make the effort to share your company’s content, it is your duty to thank them and let them know that their efforts are highly appreciated. This would increase engagement – with increased engagement, your company could continue requesting customers to share the content, and for customers this would translate to trust and loyalty.

In trying to encourage customers to share your content, ensure that it is easy for them to do so. Many companies make their content ‘gated’ – i.e. it is ‘protected’ by a request to fill out a form with personal details and other such ‘requests’. For many customers and readers this could be a deterrent – not just to share but also to want to read the content. Keep it simple – if the content is interesting, useful and impactful, little else would be required to encourage customers to share your content. Remember – it is crucial to thank them each time they share your content with others – this is a public acknowledgement of their efforts, which customers simply love. A simple thank you, would however, reap rich rewards for your company.

The online world is a sea of information – most of it however, would not be useful or helpful to customers until it is customized to their needs. By providing them with information they can use, your company would not only encourage customers to share your content, but also turn customers into loyalists and powerful brand advocates. Is your company leveraging the power of its customers?

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