The temptation is always there to ubiquitously share your brilliant insights, research, thought-leadership and points of view. But for recipients, this approach is more likely to create more annoyance than increase engagement.
Maybe a counter-intuitive approach might work? How about: less content shared with fewer people, with the intention that they might share with fewer still? You’re busy, so we came up with eleven quick ideas to make your thought-leadership more effective.
Encourage sharing, not reading. Brand building used to be about what people said about you after you left the room. Now it’s about what people share about you (often while you’re still in the room). So, make it as easy as possible to share something smart and intelligent about you (no logins, portals, paywalls), just simple sharing, even if the first recipient has not even read a word of it.
Be quirky, or nerdy, just not plain clever. The counter-intuitive, contrarian, quirky, memorable and surprising idea is better territory to pursue than the empirically proven, peer-review journal treatise. You may have an evidential data set that would impress the brains at Deepmind but that doesn’t mean it will still stir a thumb into liking or sharing.
Don’t distribute it widely; distribute it carefully. Consider sharing less content, with fewer people, who you encourage to judiciously share with fewer still. Make it rare and precious.
Press send less often. Remember the scene in Harry Potter when hundreds of owls deliver the same message to Harry over and over through every possible route? That’s what it feels like to be a recipient of thought-leadership. Be considerate.
Filter more, create less. Stress test your best internal ideas and thought leadership materials against the very best you can source in the market. Quality usually wins. So edit and filter rigorously. Less is more always.
Think about the kids. Before you press send, ask someone who is 19 years old to read it. You may already suspect that the piece is too long. It is.
Don’t create and then circulate white papers, like ever. Share the executive summary page only, with simple clear graphics and then head off and enjoy lunch.
Share stuff with the least number of recipients you dare to restrict it to. Seriously. As few as possible. So commit as much energy to rationalising, segmenting and selecting only those who should receive your content, as you do to curating the content itself. (Please then be prepared for your digital Marketers to howl, as their ROI is likely to be all about the quantity of views, not the quality of recipient).
Make your followers feel like thought-leaders. Scrutinise who follows, likes and shares your thought-leaders and return the favour. What goes around…
Sharing UPWARDS is the goal. The ‘holy grail’ is the content piece that is shared upwards with the MD, the C- Suite or the CEO. Go on – accelerate your career: encourage cluttering the boss’s inbox.
Get a room. As the UK Editor of Wired magazine said: “We used to produce a magazine and put on the occasional event. Now we manage a complex events and conferencing business, which allows us to continue publishing a print magazine”. Content is no longer enough. Live events, with you in the room, still rock.