Great content that companies create, often at significant expense of either time or money or both, is meant to be shared, celebrated, and attractive to people the business wants in their brand community. Two of those three hopes - having the content shared and celebrated - are tied to the sharing strategy.

So how the content is shared determines the ROI of the content more than the content itself and should be considered before the content is even created. Please let me explain.

1. Brand content is meant to be shared.

Companies should always be curating content that they hope their target clients will love. But the content that a company creates and owns is the powerful stuff that pulls the consumer into the brand's website and hopefully into their lead generation funnel. The only way to reach new people who will care about this great nugget of value that you have created for them is for it to be shared by your supporters with new people.

So how do make sure your content gets shared? You need to create content they will love and you need to share it on the social channels that they use, when they use it, and in a way that earns their interest in short order.

You can't make anyone share your content - or at least you certainly shouldn't. So your only alternative is to share content they'll care about and in a way they'll feel compelled to pass it on. That is how you'll reach new people.

Before you make a video, draw an infographic, or write an article you need to know where, when, how, and by whom it will be shared with the world so you can make sure the content you create fits the channels, characters, and style that people will associate with it. How you share and what you share go hand in hand.

2. Brand content should be good enough to celebrate.

By celebrate I mean that it earns the attention and care of others to the point that it gets them to think, talk, and like it publicly. If you post a piece of content and it just makes me smile inside and move onto the next post in my feed, that's not much of a celebration.

By now, any business that isn’t building a community is likely starting to wonder how to reach & keep their customers.
By now, any business that isn’t building a community is likely starting to wonder how to reach & keep their customers.

But if I read it, like it, +1 it and tell the world what I think of it in a comment I am celebrating that piece of content and grabbing the attention of people in my personal network as my expressions light up their news feeds. You want the people in your brand community to do that.

3. Brand content should be attractive to the people you hope to attract.

A great strategy can't have a great outcome if the content it's based on is uninteresting to the target audience. For example, Louis CK is an incredibly talented and beloved comedian, but a Louis CK video is simply not going to be shared and loved by people who are easily offended.

Know your target audience and dazzle them with stuff they'll love. But don't underestimate how important it is to plan how you will reach the people you hope to reach to bring them into your brand community and eventually, hopefully buy what you sell.

How you share your content is as important as the content itself.

Do you have a sharing strategy for the content you invest in?

Top Photo: Walt Disney shows Disneyland plans to Orange County officials, Dec. 1954. Disney was a legend in the world of content strategy decades ago.