Continuing out series on tips for engaging content is, perhaps, the hardest discipline to get people, especially those in the executive suite and marketing people, to do. It's caused, from my view of a misreading of Geoffrey Moore's book, Crossing the Chasm. The simplified message that everyone gets wrong is that you need to become the leader in your particular niche. the way people get it wrong is that they think that means to SAY you're a or the "leader" in your content. That might have worked in the 20th century when few people could verify that claim, but today I find that anyone that says it is probably just taking a walk.
Because it is so easy to debunk claims in content, the next tip is crucial in creating engaging content
The most important rule in social content is talk a lot more about anything other than you or your product. The most commonly stated ratio is 7 pieces about anything else before you mention yourself. If you take a look at your content and it is more about what trade shows you are at, what your CEO said, and what product you have coming out, you are killing your engagement.
Again, here’s another one of our real world examples. Footwasher Media was asked to create more than 80 pieces of content for a large electronics supply company. Every time we wrote about the company, almost zero views and absolutely zero engagement. The content that was most successful were those that never mentioned the company at all, but had links to areas in the company website for products. Content with no company-specific mentions drove readers to actual sales representing a 100X ROI.
So when you are working on developing content, keep in mind that people are looking for answers and ideas first before they are looking for you.
If you are impatient and want to see all the tips, we have a complete version of this series on our secret blog site. You'll have to go through a landing page to get it, and we are going to ask (but not demand) some information from you (and offer you a freebie), but if you are willing to wait for more, than never mind. ;-).