Executed well, content amplification gives your content an exponential boost propelling it to yield above average results.
Content amplification focuses on reaching the maximum possible audience before you start your full content distribution.
We’ll explain what content amplification is and how to integrate it into your content marketing strategy. Additionally, we’ll examine 30+ content amplification tools and provide 5 actionable content amplification tactics.
Content Amplification Definition
Content amplification happens when you expand the initial base of tastemakers who read, vet and share your content. As a result, you increase your content’s reach over time.
To maximize reach and ultimately conversion, consider content amplification as part of your content marketing strategy. Specifically, it relates to content circulation including optimization, amplification and distribution. It’s not a stand-alone tactic.
Content amplification’s main role is to:
- Test your headline’s ability to attract attention. Your headline is critical to maximize your reach since 80% of people don’t read past it. Allocate budget for A/B test headlines on Facebook.
- Build initial distribution boost. Develop your platform before you need it. Amplification is an early indicator of your content’s long-term results. (This doesn’t include updating and renovating content for longer-term visibility.)
Content amplification is time-bound since it precedes your longer, more in-depth distribution:
- You’ve got 3 days to boost your content delivery to the influencers and platforms that expand your readership and shares. (Bear in mind people need to share your content regardless of whether they actually read it.)
While an array of content is necessary to meet your audience’s needs, not all of your content marketing should be amplified.
Focus content amplification on foundational (aka: thought leadership) and crowd pleaser content to support your content hubs (Hat tip: Andy Crestodina) while laying the basis for additional content on related topics.
By contrast, there’s no need to amplify FAQ content that answers prospect and customer questions and cyclical content that becomes part of your target audience’s regular content diet.
To reach the largest potential audience, use a mix of different media entities including owned, social and third party media as Spin Sucks’s Gini Dietrich’s PESO Model illustrates.
Note: Many content marketers consider amplification and distribution as one marketing activity. This understates amplification’s ability to expand your message reach and distribution’s power to keep your content visible over an extended period of time.
The Business Case For Content Amplification
The growth of content marketing and social media makes it difficult, if not impossible, for your information to get noticed.
During one online minute a ton of new content is distributed across websites, messaging, email and mobile apps.
The average piece of content gets lost.
- 50% of posts get less than 8 shares and 75% of posts get 39 or less shares. Further, 75% of posts get ZERO referring domains that supports search rankings. (BuzzSumo) Links and Shares Data -BuzzSumo Analysis
- 42% of professionally marketed blog posts get less than 10 interactions (TrackMaven)
- 20% decline in organic Facebook reach in 2017. (BuzzSumo)
Promotional tricks are contrary to content marketing’s non-push approach. They’re likely to yield worse results and tarnish your brand longer term.
Recent Temple University research found that over-promoting content via social media can increase unfollows and diminish long term sales.
Content distribution bottom line:
- Odds are stacked against any single piece of content gaining broad attention. Unless you’re a top media entity or influencer with broad established reach.
3 Prong Approach To Content Amplification Success
To develop your content amplification base, pay-it-forward on amplification communities, develop relationships with influencers, and allocate paid promotion budget.
1. Using Social Communities To Amplify Your Content
Tap into the power of social communities for content amplification. Become an active member known for paying-it-forward.
Content Amplification Sites. Focus on participating in discussions and sharing other people’s quality content before sharing your own. The best content gets voted up and receives better visibility.
Among the major content amplification sites are:
- Reddit (Grow and Convert has an explanation.)
- Quora (Barry Feldman explains how.)
- Growth Hackers
- Business2Community (Small businesses)
- Targeted niche forums
Also don’t forget business associations since many curate member content.
Groups Within Social Media Platforms. Are smaller laser-focused communities within top social media networks like LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Pages. They build greater visibility and help peers. Join the key groups in your category and/or start your own.
Remember: Nurturing your own community takes time.
2. Using Influencers To Amplify Your Content
Before asking influencers to amplify your content, you need a way to connect with them.
Think: WIIFM—What’s In It For Me?
Answer this question from the influencer’s perspective before you ask for help amplifying your content. This way you can position your request to get the best reception.
Use personal outreach to make influencers feel special.
Reach out to these 4 types of tastemakers and their networks in your content amplification plans. Put social media guidelines and branding standards in place to keep shares on message.
- Peers (including direct connections, co-workers, agency partners, suppliers and distributors). Use every opportunity to develop long-term relationships. Get as many employees as possible to help get the word out. Don’t expect employees to share your content on their personal networks.
- Influencers (including broad-reach influencers and micro-influencers). Tap into their reach and reader trust to gain credibility by association. Start by helping them and building relationships first. Where appropriate, assign members of your team to focus on specific thought leaders. Influencers may require compensation.
- Journalists and bloggers (often have larger social media followings due to their content and media reach). Constantly look for new story ideas. If your content, especially research provides it, they’ll amplify your content through their third-party approach.
- Members and followers. Don’t underestimate the value of your owned community to expand your content reach.
3. Using Paid Promotion To Amplify Your Content
While your content marketing must be non-promotional, it’s short sighted not to allocate budget to promote your content.
Test different advertising options based on content focus, desired audience, and business objectives. While Facebook advertising is a must-have for both B2C and B2B due to its reach and micro-targeting ability, determine where your prospects spend their content consumption time and test those advertising options.
Extend reach. Larry Kim uses Facebook to remarket to past visitors who didn’t act the first time. These people may need to engage with your content between 7 times (Moz) to 20 times (NewsCred) before acting.
Leverage native advertising. Visitors view native advertising 53% more frequently than banner advertising.
How To Integrate Content Amplification Into Your Content Marketing Strategy
To ensure that your content amplification yields the best results, integrate it into a documented content marketing strategy.
Use the 4 Cs of Content Marketing approach to improve your content amplification.
1. Content Conditions
Set goals for each specific piece of content.
- What result are you seeking? It must be measurable and include a trackable call-to-action.
Determine you audience. Understand your target audience’s needs.
- Where does your reader get his information? What are his go-to information sources?
- When does your reader seek different types of information? Include time of year and his weekly content consumption habits.
- Who does your reader trust and respect?
- How does your reader consume content? Includes content format (text, video, image or audio) as well as snacking, dual consumption, and binging.
- When does your reader need the information you’re offering? If your timing is off, it dampens your reach.
Assess your content context
- Where are the opportunities for your content to stand out internally and externally? Consider other events and holidays that can help you amplify your reach.
2. Content Creation
Renovate existing content to ensure it’s current.
Develop new content.
- Focus on headlines since they hook readers.
- Make content easy-to-scan so people read it now.
- Include other content formats (images, video and audio) that are eye-candy and attract attention.
- Link to influencers and authoritative content. This works well for round up posts.
Transform (aka: reuse and repurpose) related new content at the same time to minimize content creation resources. So you can amplify and distribute it over time to stay on your audience’s radar.
3. Content Circulation
Optimize your content for 5 key audiences (Your customers, social media, search, influencers and your business). Create off-ramps to relevant connected content. This ensures that they take the desired action after reading your content.
Amplify your content by using amplification sites, influencers and paid promotion.
Distribute your content. Continue delivering your content over time to broader audiences on owned, social and third party platforms.
4. Content Community
It’s the ultimate goal of every content marketing strategy. To build an owned audience that trusts and consumes your information. With this base of readers, you build long-term relationships some portion of which will become customers.
30+ Content Amplification Tools
There are a variety of content amplification tools.
- BuzzSumo. Provides in-depth information to support content creation and distribution.
- Topsy. Reveals popular content and who has shared it.
- Google Search Console. Provides search data and keywords for content focus.
- FollowerWonk.Finds social media users.
- Little Bird. Helps identify, connect and share content with influencers.
- Traackr. Enables you to manage influencer relationships.
Social Media Distribution
- Sprinklr. Is targeted at large corporations. Use it to manage social media since it allows multiple users to schedule, publish and analyze social media posts across platforms.
- Buffer. Allows social media scheduling and repromotion.
- CoSchedule. Beyond content creation management, streamlines and supports social media scheduling and repromotion
- Hootsuite. Enables social media scheduling.
- Edgar. Optimizes visibility via social media.
- BuzzStream. Amplifies content via social media and PR.
- Tap Influence. Targeted at brands to help them identify and communicate with social media influencers as well as to collaborate on content creation.
- Gaggle Amp. Taps into internal communications for social media objectives.
- EveryoneSocial. Allows both employees and customers to develop social profiles as well as to share your original and curated content.
Paid Social Media Advertising
Content Discovery (Also referred to as native advertising or sponsored content.)
Social sharing integrated into owned content
- Add This
- Share This
- Social Warfare
- Pin This
Other forms of content amplification
- Snip.ly. Overlays your message to other relevant content.
5 Actionable Content Amplification Tactics
Here are 5 tactics to incorporate into your content amplification plan to ensure that your network will help you when you need to deliver your content
- Build relationships with peers and influencers. Don’t limit yourself to the people in your category. Help people before you need to ask them for a favor. (BTW—the holidays are a great time to network since people aren’t in the mood to work.)
- Time content amplification for maximum impact. Steer clear of holidays when people are distracted. Tap into key events for your category. For example, Joe Pulizzi releases his bestselling marketing books at Content Marketing World. He also uses the conference to preview CMI’s annual research.
- Integrate content hubs and silos into your content marketing strategy. Plan your content around the key topics you want to be known for and reach out to other sites to guest post. Each piece of content should build your thought leadership.
- Give influencers a starring role in your content. Everyone loves to have his ego stroked. Once they’re involved, they’re likely to help amplify and distribute the content.
- Transform your content when you create it. This requires a documented content marketing strategy. Develop more than one piece of content when you’re immersed in the topic so that you leverage your knowledge and minimize time per article.
Content Amplification Conclusion
To extend your content reach, content amplification is key. It plays a significant role for your foundational and crowd pleaser content where your objective is to build your brand and thought leadership.
Use a mix of the 3 content amplification elements, social communities, influencers and paid promotion to extend your potential audience.
Develop your influencer network before you need it. It takes time and requires paying-it-forward.
Be selective in using content amplification since you don’t want to wear out your welcome with influencers and amplification platforms.
Start testing different content amplification approaches and tools to discover what works best for your content marketing.
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