The need to share content has become almost a must in today’s age dominated by social media and digital communication.
The fact is, sharing content is not limited to people uploading their latest photos on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
According to the latest Facebook financial reports, approximately 60 million businesses worldwide use Facebook to share content.
Whether it is to create awareness for a brand, to promote a product or a service, businesses are now coming to grips with the reality that they need to share content.
In the financial services industry, the need to share content is one of the growing focus areas for marketing directors and CEOs.
In fact, some industry segments – for example, the CFD and FX space – are so competitive that most providers are beefing up their content creation and distribution programs.
Content sharing is now at the forefront of every company’s inbound marketing and digital marketing strategy.
Over the past couple of years, more marketing executives have also recognised the critical role of content marketing in winning the hearts of customers.
By producing and providing various content – whether e-books, white papers, video tutorials, podcasts and other informative materials – companies can provide a much enjoyable customer experience.
Here are some additional figures that show businesses’ usage of Facebook to share content:
- 41% of small businesses in America use Facebook
- 75 % of brands promote their Facebook posts
- 7% of US companies with 100++ employees use Facebook
You may be thinking if there are already 60 million businesses producing and sharing content, is there really a need to create and share more?
In his book ‘The Content Code’, social media marketing consultant Mark Schaefer, addressed this issue of what he calls information density.
In simple terms, it means there’s just too much information out there.
And some people are starting to switch-off that’s why only a small portion of created content is being shared.
According to Schaefer, “There is just too much content and too precious little time for people to consume it. How does that affect your business strategy?”
But from Schaefer’s view, this situation where there’s too much information is the main reason why there’s a need to share content.
But your content has to be different. It has to stand out. It has to cut through the noise.
In this competitive environment, Schaefer said you need to be a content igniter.
You need to create and share content that other people also want to share.
In this post, we will look at six (6) reasons for the need to share content and its benefits.
Sharing content helps establish your authority in your area of expertise
By sharing content – either through writing, producing a video, or doing a presentation about your area of expertise – you can strengthen your personal brand and boost your authority as a knowledgeable source of information.
Mark Laudi, CEO of media training and TV news production company Hong Bao Media, shares his reason for sharing content:
“I share content either to join or lead the conversation. What’s the alternative?! Sharing content has become an imperative, whether I write it myself or share premium content written by others.” – Mark Laudi –
In the Australian CFD and FX industry, most of the major platform providers have teams of analysts and market experts who share content on a daily basis.
Expert content varies from daily blog posts, video clips and social media updates, which all help in boosting the authority and credibility of those market experts.
Aside from their presence in traditional media like the mainstream financial newspapers and business TV channels, most market analysts are active participants in social media platforms.
In a way, the size of their social networks and their social media presence can help boost their profile and credibility not only in the financial services industry but among the general public.
Helps you to reach people you may not have thought you would reach
If you consider those statistics mentioned earlier, the reality of reaching millions of people is here and now.
Though you may not want to connect to a million people, the fact that you have a wider audience to reach now opens up a lot of opportunities.
LinkedIn is another popular channel for businesses to share content. The latest numbers from LinkedIn shows:
- 4 million businesses have LinkedIn pages
- 17% of small businesses in the US have a LinkedIn presence
- 81% of B2B businesses use LinkedIn for new product launches
One thing to consider is that there is a big difference between the types of audiences being reached by the different social media channels.
This is a vital consideration for marketers and content producers who want to optimise each piece of content. While it is ideal that every content is shared as widely as possible, there are the channel and platform-specific considerations to keep in mind.
LinkedIn says more than 430 million professionals gather on this channel making it the most effective place for B2B marketers to engage with decision makers, influencers and leaders of today and tomorrow.
Here are some statistics from Facebook’s 2016 full year financial results, which show some incredible numbers and potential audiences to reach:
- There were 1.23 billion daily average users as of December 2016, an increase of 18% year-over-year.
- There were 1.15 billion mobile daily average users as of December 2016, an increase of 23% year-over-year.
- There were 1.86 billion monthly average users as of December 31, 2016, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
- There were 1.74 billion mobile monthly average users as of December 31, 2016, an increase of 21% year-over-year.
- Five new profiles are created every second
Opportunity to share knowledge/learning
Before the Internet came along and social media became the preferred medium of communication for many people, it was difficult to publish any work or project that has your own professional stamp.
But that’s all changed with social media and online channels that can reach billions of users on daily basis.
By sharing your research, studies, interviews and other informative materials, you have the opportunity share information and widen the knowledge base of other people.
Jackie Castillo, a business development manager at EncoreFX, agreed that sharing knowledge and information has become the norm in many professional circles.
“I’ve been in various sales roles in the media, technology and finance industries and I’ve seen the increasing use of white papers, which attempt to educate readers about trends, news and emerging markets,” – Jackie Castillo –
“In the FX markets, sending market commentaries to clients, holding webinars and training sessions on hedging products have become the norm,”
“People are seen to react or respond to news trends that are seen to affect them or their turf,” she added, confirming that the need to share content is here to stay.
Joy Tang, Editor at TechTrade Asia and WorkSmart Asia, also shares content primarily to inform.
She said: “A lot of the content I share is about informing others. My work Instagram account is for sharing tech-related pictures and event-related pictures in keeping with my tech/work-related blogs.”
She also uses LinkedIn to express her views on recruitment and career-related topics.
Boost your company’s SEO
By sharing content, you are also helping boost your company’s SEO.
There’s no doubt that being searched and found on the Internet is critical to the success of most businesses.
The majority of consumers do their online research before they buy products or services.
So, whether you are offering a managed fund service, a trading platform, an education service or an investment advisory service, you want to rank highly on SEO.
If your company (and your product or service) does not show up when your target clients are searching, chances are they will be going to your competitors instead.
But if you share content on a regular basis, that will help boost your SEO ranking.
An effective way to share content is to publish breaking news about your company. If you have a relevant corporate news, an exciting new product to hit the market or a huge partnership to announce, you can use those contents to inform your customers.
Whether you produce materials for blogging content or for social sharing, chances are they will help in your overall content marketing strategy. Sharing relevant content multiple times in different channels is also now more manageable if you use content sharing tools that make the process more efficient and effective.
Help build a community of like-minded people
The need to share content is also imperative if you want to break through the ‘noise’ amidst the billions of messages and photos being shared on social media every minute.
Whether you create your own content or have a team creating content, you can build a community of like-minded people by sharing targeted content.
In this overcrowded age of information density, it is a must ‘to give your content every advantage you can by tapping into the psychology of sharing,” according to Schaefer.
In his book, he also mentioned a New York Times sponsored research to find out how to overcome reader apathy and their reasons for sharing content.
The research showed that people share (what they do) primarily based on five reasons:
- To be useful
- To define themselves to others
- To grow and nourish relationships
- To get the word out about causes and brand
Based on those responses and his own experience with his followers, Schaefer says ‘sharing content is a meaningful act, a very personal, intimate, and important gesture.
It’s not at all trivial. The decision to share content is often a sign of a relationship.’
And having a certain level of ‘relationship’ with your audience – not just getting likes – is critical in building your community of followers.
Create better relationship with clients
Susan Bell, director at Susan Bell Research, an agency that specialises in consumer and cultural insights, shares content for slightly different reasons from Laudi.
According to Bell, she shares other people’s content on LinkedIn and Facebook for two reasons.
First is she’s interested in promoting certain ideas – such as communication testing.
“If I come across someone who has expressed similar ideas to mine in an engaging way, then I will share it. In an ideal world, this would help build a community of people sharing these ideas.” – Susan Bell –
Her second reason for sharing is the opportunity to share other people’s content and insights.
“I can’t produce great volumes of content that I have written myself. If I relied only on that, I would lapse into silence for months at a time, so by sharing the work and insights of other people, I’m able to disseminate those insights as well,” she said.
When it comes to sharing her own content, Bell said it’s her way “of engaging with clients/potential clients and other people generally in a fairly ‘low touch’ way,”
“If people aren’t interested, they don’t click on it. If they do, I am not asking for an hour of their time.”
LinkedIn and other social sites account for 78% of how B2B buyers share information.
Whether you create your own content or share other people’s, it’s important to know what makes people share what they share.
If you need help in creating content that ignites and will encourage other people to share, contact us and we may be able to help.
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