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May 6, 2016
Marketing  |  8 min read

The Saddest Question to Face: Why Your Content Never Gets Shared

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Mark Masters

The reason why your content never gets shared is that you’re just not compelling enough within a limited audience.

Lets go a bit deeper than that.

Whilst I hold my hands up and say this is a bit of a click-baity headline, at least you are here now.

It can be a pretty lackluster feeling knowing that you spent time crafting something only for no one to acknowledge or get that nod from someone else with the "I get’cha" reassurance.

This has to be one of the reasons content efforts start and then finish quicker that thinking about opening a Talk Talk account (hey…I’m newsjacking). It’s the belief that no one wants to come over to your playground.

In the words of Seth Godin from one of his articles last year, “You’re not born uninteresting. But it’s entirely possible you’ve persuaded yourself to be so frightened of the consequences that you no longer have the passion, the generosity or the guts to be interesting any longer.”

Why you want others to share

Coming back to the serious point about the headline, I just want to acknowledge the whole reason why you want others to share your good work.

It has nothing to do with popularity and acceptance from someone else, it’s everything to do with reach.

Content that gets shared beyond your immediate audience, who have got to stand by your beliefs and approach, and, by those who are not necessarily aware of you, is a contributing factor for how you grow your audience.

These are the people who are doing the marketing for you, not because they know you, but because the body of work you have created (let's not just get caught up in the blog space here) resonated with them.

This is the purest form that what you are doing is being acknowledged in an organic way, and you haven’t paid to be in front of someone.

Do this over time with a consistent body of work (whether a blog, video, or audio); your reach starts to grow. The more you create content that means something, the larger your audience grows beyond those who are immediately familiar with you.

Take for instance, The Marketing Homebrew podcast. When Ian Rhodes and I began this in January 2015, we started out with zero. What began as something our immediate audience listened to, is now covering 37 countries.


The points: Why your content never gets shared

Rather than this article being about the joy of text/audio, to get to this point you have to create a lot of bad content before a switch is flicked.

This is from the heart and what I have learned from where I was. I’m not proud of it—I was guilty of these sins for why nothing was shared by someone else.

Here are the main reasons why your content doesn't get shared.

You’re not relevant

The work I was creating back in 2012 wasn’t directed at a particular audience.

The objective for articles you now read within "Owned Media Mindset" is intended as a place for business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs to find useful information for growing their business with an owned media approach.

If you look back a few years ago you’ll read everything about respecting your competition and wasted time having contributors talking about delivering effective business presentations. I just wasn’t relevant to someone else.

Read it 100 times before

You can’t expect readers/listeners to engage with something that they have seen in front of them many times over.

Better ways to manage your time, I’ve done that. How do infographics work, yup did that, too. Pair nothing new to say with little relevance and you are on that one-track road to mediocrity. What I created a few years ago was a mess.

Not helping further someone’s thinking

Sharing a thought process is intended to help someone else interpret and mold his or her perception.

It’s there to inspire and encourage momentum. The various media tools that are here to help shape our perspective should be to encourage a thought process and not slip back into using old practices within new methods, take for instance using LinkedIn posts to sell property—yes that does happen.


Not consistent—but like a dabble

No audience was ever built on inconsistency. Never finding your stride is probably why a content approach can be a complete waste of time. If your work does not show a viewpoint and approach on a regular basis, why should others take the time to invest?

You put yourself in a crowded room with everyone else i.e. LinkedIn, Medium

While the likes of LinkedIn and Medium provide a solid platform to be heard and a ready-made audience in these space, everyone else thinks the same too.

When LinkedIn opened up its blogging platform in April 2014, the space was almost like a private party. Now that party has turned into a freebie in Hyde Park and the party has free burgers.

Have a look at what I mean by looking at the numbers. I went from this (big reach, small party)….


To this (big party, small reach)….


What I am trying to highlight is when a channel is readily available, others want a piece of the pie too.

My answer is to build your own space and generate an audience around that (it takes time, but trust me it works).

Not brave

Taking the safest route to elaborate a point of view comes back to point two; it all comes down to seeing the world not as it’s given. For instance, the content marketing discipline is focused on making the customer the hero, it’s certainly well covered with the amount of results on Google.


Ian and I think it’s OK that the customer shouldn’t be the hero. We’re not just saying something to be seen as "a bit different," we both believe in an approach.

Doesn’t make someone feel special or part of something

There must be other ways for people to interact with you.

That relentless blog has to open up opportunities in areas for others to identify you with an asset base of work that is worth exploring deeper. From creating in-person events, to creating a video series, you now have ways to open up and be visible like never before.

Evokes no emotional connection

When content is not from the heart and seen as a tick box, why should someone else give their time to consume? It becomes easy to lose the attention of others with bad content that doesn’t evoke a reaction. Whether it’s "you’re wrong," "hold on tiger," or, "count me in," it is your responsibility to encourage a reaction.

Too focused on creation not promotion

Nothing will ever get shared if you are spending too much time on creation and not enough time on making sure you are visible to others (from search engines to your immediate audience).

I use social media as my main form of distribution and when I built momentum with the Talking Content Marketing project, the participants (or industry term "influencer marketers") opens up a new audience that is represented from someone else.

The reason content gets shared is that someone sees the right content in the right context. The person reading/listening/watching is more important than the channel.

Put yourself in their shoes and walk their path. It’s your role to serve others and if you can build your audience around the fact that you are the helpful guide, it switches everything from silence to recognition.

This article was written by Mark Masters from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.



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