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Posted by: Sarena Brown

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You've hopped on the content marketing train; you're now creating amazing content for your audience. It leverages your expertise, provides useful information, and, perhaps most importantly, gets eyeballs on your products and services, as well as traffic to your website.

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But you also want your audience to share your content—with their co-workers, their colleagues, and their friends. And yet, despite how great your content is, no one seems to want to share it. Maybe they're reading, yes, but they're not hitting those social share buttons; they're not telling their friends and colleagues what they're reading.

If this is the problem plaguing your content marketing strategy, consider these five ways to get people excited to share your content.

1. Ask for Shares

Some people refuse to ask for the share because they see it as begging. Yet those in sales and marketing ask things of potential customers all the time. An ask is the easiest thing to do to get people to share your content. It's pretty simple: Ask people if they enjoyed the post or found it useful, and, if so, ask them to share.

The catch? You need to share too. If you ask for shares, but never share anything from other people, your audience is unlikely to reciprocate. It's a two-way street. If you share a lot of content, others will likely be more willing (and excited) to share yours.

2. Reach Influencers

Much like sharing other people's content will make them more willing to share yours, you should reach out to influencers who will share your content.

Who are influencers and how do you reach them? Sometimes, it's as easy as doing a round-up post, highlighting great and informative articles published in the last month or so. Then reach out to the people you've included, letting them know where your article is published. They'll likely want to share it with their audiences, who will then share it more in turn.

3. Make It Epic

You already have great content; only the best content gets shared, after all. But are you really wowing your audience?

Some have found certain types of emotions tend to get shared more frequently. If your piece inspires awe in your readers, they're more likely to share it. If they feel your piece is boring or negative, they're less likely to hit the share button.

People are also more likely to be impressed with long-form pieces. While you might be concerned people will lose interest and drop off if your post is too long, there is a sweet spot for post length—and for impressing people with that content.

4. Customize It

Chances are you use some sort of tool to repost your content to your social media channels. But is it customized? Most tools use metadata to grab bits and pieces of your post, such as your title and the meta description. In some cases, however, the way the tools auto-generate this content is ... less than exciting.

Instead, look for a tool that allows you to customize your post. Maybe you can tweak the description people will read on Facebook versus Twitter. Maybe you can make the title a little more exciting, and maybe you can customize the messages you send out.

These customized posts get better reactions—and more shares—than those that use the auto-generated content.

5. Use Visuals

Humans are visual creatures. It's something the education field knows very well: Students tend to learn better when they have visuals, such as graphs or photos, to support what the text says. Your audience is no different; visual content helps them understand what they're reading.

And visuals can boost your social sharing; it makes your content look more appealing and more interesting.

How to Create Killer Marketing Content