Sharing, comments, and social media conversations are the three biggest indications that your prospects are really engaged with the content you are publishing. If your content is dropping into a deep well of silence, it’s time to take a hard look at what you’re doing. Great content builds your online reputation and expands your network. It enables conversations with potential clients and ultimately drives revenue. Bad content can have the opposite effect.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that sales reps make in creating content. It may be that one or more of these reasons are deterring prospects from sharing and preventing you from capturing more new leads.

1. Your content doesn’t respond to your buyer’s needs.

Maybe you’re not listening closely enough. Maybe you didn’t fully understand what their pain points are or the topics that they care about. People share content that answers their problems directly. A related problem is content that addresses the problem but doesn’t give actionable advice to fix the problem. Prospects don’t want to commiserate. They need to know how to break down roadblocks and get on with their day.

94 percent of consumers assess how useful content is before they share it, according to a study by the New York Times Customer Insight Group.

2. Your content just isn’t very attractive.

Take a good look at the other content that your prospects are sharing. How does your content stack up? Many times great content comes in terrible packages, especially when you are curating and creating it in a hurry. Consider converting blogs to infographics or videos. Also, make sure that the look & feel is consistent, or at least simple enough to not turn off your audience. The world is visual now and the aesthetics matter more than ever.

Visual content is now 40X more likely to be shared on social networks. – Buffer Social [Infographic]

3. Your content isn’t easy to share.

Sharing is often a split-second decision. Having the right sharing buttons can make all the difference. Know where your prospects are most likely to be and include those sharing buttons. Beyond the usual suspects – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ – consider the wider market, including buttons like email sharing, Digg, StumbleUpon and Yahoo Buzz.

Readers view your page in an F-style pattern. The top left portion is the most-viewed part of the web page. More eyes go there than anywhere else. This supports the idea that left and top are the best choices for social share buttons. – AddThis

4. Your content needs a better editor.

In the world of rapid mobile texting and autocorrect, spelling tends to get a little creative. Sales collateral is a different matter entirely. White papers and case studies need an additional layer of editing for fact checking and consistency. Get professional help. These pieces of content may be with you for a long time, so make sure they won’t embarrass you.

A recent study by Disruptive Communications showed that the brand behavior that annoys people the most on social media is bad spelling and grammar. – Business 2 Community

5. Your content lacks style, originality or the right tone.

What you say matters just as much as how you say it. If you are boring, they won’t stick around to hear the punch line. On the other hand, if you are too familiar or jokey, people feel uneasy, even if they can’t identify exactly why. Research the style and tone that gets the most shares, but don’t copy it exactly. Maybe you will excel at podcasts or webinars. Find the medium that is most comfortable and use tools that help you develop your unique voice.

After pictures, opinions and recommendations are the most shared content on social media. – Social Media Today

6. Your content lacks a call-to-action.

Even though this isn’t directly affecting engagement, including a call-to-action ensures that your content converts users into leads, leads into prospects, and ultimately turns prospects into buyers. CTAs are the bridges that lead buyers through every stage of the sales funnel. Include at least one line in each content piece that prompts users to take the next logical action in the process.

Call-to-actions targeted to the user have a 42% higher conversion rate than call-to-actions that were the same for all visitors. Personalization matters. – HubSpot

Three Steps Ahead

As long as you are paying attention, keeping an eye on the metrics and trying to improve content shareability, you are already three steps ahead of the competition. People are hungry for content, but you’ll need to spend a little time determining how to present the kind of content your specific prospects want to see on the menu.

Jose Sanchez

Author: Jose Sanchez

Jose focuses on creating incredible content and a unique experience for Sales for Life’s audience. He is a seasoned professional with 10 years of work in B2B marketing and cross-platform content with a design edge.

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