How To Improve Content Amplification On The Cheap: Network

Improve content amplification by networkingContent amplification is an on-going process to attract awareness and interest in your content.

To improve content amplification, focus on the first 3 days post-publication.

The results of these 3 days set the course for longer-term content distribution reach.The key to successful content amplification is your personal and business network.

Translation: You can substitute time and effort for budget. Build your network on-the-cheap to expand your content amplification.

While good news for small businesses and solopreneurs, larger companies must accept that employees may gain personal influence as they expand your organizational network. Jeffrey Hayzlett formerly of Kodak and Michael Brenner formerly of SAP are two prime examples.

Let’s examine how to improve content amplification on the cheap by extending your network.

 

Improve Content Amplification Using 3 Types of Relationships

3 Types of Content Amplification Relationships Defined via HeidiCohen.com

At its core, content amplification runs on relationships.

No surprise: People do business with people; ideally people they know and trust.

To amplify content, tap your relationships. Ask each person if they would contribute, share and comment on your content.

Their influence translates to attention from a broader group of people than you know or are connected to.

  • Personal connections (aka: Owned) include people you know personally and/or people who are part of or associated with your business. Also includes groups and platforms where you’re active regularly.
  • Borrowed influence (aka: Earned) consists of influencers, bloggers and/or journalists with whom you’ve developed relationships.
  • Paid attention (aka: Paid) comprises advertising, press releases and/or paid influencers.

In return, you spotlight their contribution and expand their reach to your audiences.

Want to stand out?

Of course you do! 

 

Improve Content Amplification On-The-Cheap: Networking Example

You already have the skills to develop your network to amplify content. You don’t have to be a Seth Godin or Chris Brogan.

Let’s examine my favorite example of “How to improve content amplification using your personal network.” Although this example is from Content Marketing World 2016, it underscores that you don’t need lots of connections to start.

Using Slack, Iconicontent’s Aaron Orendorff and Venngage’s Nadya Khoja brainstormed how they could make a splash at Content Marketing World without having a speaking slot.

Their goal: Get recognized by Content Marketing’s Who’s Who.

Further, they knew less than 20% of the 200+ speakers before they started.

How create a list for content amplification via Iconicontent (Hat tip: Aaron Orendorff and Nadya Khoja

Together, Orendorff wrote and Khoja designed visuals for multiple pieces of content.

Example of how to amplify content by networking via Venngage (Hat tip: Mari Smith)

Content jewel: A crowd pleaser speaker roundup post published on Content Marketing Institute the first day of Content Marketing World. (Note: Since then, Orendorff has updated the article.)

Results:

  • Met lots of content marketing influencers and created more content.
  • Content Marketing Institute article trended on Inbound.org.
  • Orendorff won a coveted speaking spot at Content Marketing World 2017.

 5  Networking Steps:

  • Develop a process to connect with as many speakers as possible. Start with people you know and ask for introductions to people you don’t.
  • Use social media to supplement personal outreach where you have no mutual connections.
  • Only ask one easy-to-answer question.
  • Track results as you go. Manage connections while seeing progress.
  • Thank everyone who helps you. I recommend sending a personal email to makes your connections feel good about assisting you.

 

Create Your Content Amplification Process (aka: Networking With A Purpose)

Networking is a personal activity that often falls off of “To Do Lists”.

I get it!

Networking doesn’t yield immediate results and may even be painful to do if you’re shy or introverted.

But networking helps content amplification while yielding positive benefits. You feel happier and more connected.

Skip cold social media outreach. If people respond that don’t know you personally, chances the connection won’t yield benefits. While they may broaden their own reach, they probably won’t answer your request for help later.

Instead invest 15 minutes each day in networking. Your return on networking will increase over time. Ted Rubin refers to this as Return-on-Relationship (aka: ROR).

To maximize content amplification, you need a plan and a process.

Improve Content Amplification: Your Business Network

For business content amplification and other influencer outreach, you need:

  • Optimized business social media profiles and handles. Select business account names with care to avoid confusion. Include contact information in your profile such as URL, phone number, physical address, email address and hours.
  • Guidelines for social media, branding, editorial and distribution. Distribute them to all employees.
  • Influencer Information Capture Worksheet. Don’t allow this information to only be stored on personal contacts or other apps. But, as networker par excellence David Berkowitz recommends,“Keep it simple and don’t assume that you’ll remember everything!”

While there’s a trade-off between amount information captured and ease of use, I recommend starting with a Google worksheet. I created a comprehensive information capture form where additional columns can be hidden until needed. But it allows more information to be added later as well as sorting flexibility for amplification.

Caution:

  • Ensure that one updated version of this information is stored in your company files. Also determine whether you need to limit access to this list.

 

Improve Content Amplification: Personal Network

Continually contacting people you know deepens your relationships and builds community.

List people in your category you want to know. Select 10 people to follow on social media and their blogs. Where appropriate, comment and share. Expand this list later.

Read widely in your niche. Choose 10-20 key news and insight entities. Where appropriate share this information within your network.

My top reads include:

  • eMarketer
  • Content Marketing Institute
  • Social Media Examiner (Mike Stelzner)
  • Top Rank (Lee Odden)
  • MarketingProfs (Ann Handley)
  • Orbit Media (Andy Crestodina)
  • Business Grow (Mark Schaefer)
  • Spin Sucks (Gini Dietrich)
  • Full Monty (Scott Monty)
  • Almost Timely News (Chris Penn)

 

Daily routine (15 minutes)

  • Email 1 personal connection.
  • Email 1 professional colleague.
  • Curate and share 1 item per social media platform.
  • Participate in 1 Facebook Group, 1 LinkedIn Group and 1 amplification network (like Reddit or GrowthHackers)
  • Comment on the social media profiles of 5 – 10 friends or colleagues.

 

Weekly routine:

  • Have coffee, lunch or drinks with one business connection. Alternatively arrange another way to catch up.
  • Call close family and friends since they make you feel connected.

 

Monthly routine:

  • Attend one live event (where possible) since meeting people face-to-face cements relationships. Follow my “Talk To At Least 3 People Rule.”
  • Read one business book.

 

Annual routine:

  • Attend one conference. Plan meetings in advance. If you can’t afford it, volunteer to defray costs.
  • Participate in personal career-related education. Improve your professional skills to stay relevant.

 

How To Network To Improve Content Amplification

Like Orendorff and Khoja, the best way to use your network to amplify content is to get them involved in content creation.

As Andy Crestodina says, “A partner in content creation is a partner in content distribution.”

Use every content creation effort to build and strengthen your network.

  • Ask an influencer to answer one question for each point in the body of your content. (Unless you’re creating a mega-piece of content or a roundup.)
  • Spotlight the influencers in your content. Give them a link and photo where appropriate.
  • Thank them for their contribution. Be polite and show that you respect their time.
  • Let the contributor know when your content is published. You can send more than one reminder when it’s mega-content. For example, Top Rank’s Ashley Zeckman and Content Marketing Institute’s Lisa Dougherty do this. They include pre-formatted social media shares.

    Improve content amplification with networking

    Example of how to reach out to content contributors and encourage them to promote your content. Hat tip: Ashley Zeckman

 

Improve Content Amplification On-The-Cheap Conclusion

Improved content amplification translates to extended reach. When you’ve got limited budget or resources this means networking focused on colleagues and thought leaders in your category or niche.

Regardless of your current contacts, you can build an extensive network over time. All it requires is consistent care and nurturing to build and deepen relationships.

Don’t wait until you need a job or new business!

Instead do a little bit each day to expand your network.

The added benefit: It will amplify your content distribution!

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

 

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