Content amplification is part of a wider content marketing strategy where you ensure your content is seen by your target audience. It entails pitting your content against that of the rest of the world. And boy is that world noisy and hard to be heard in.
A content amplification strategy is one of those things that most brands, publishers, and content creators on a budget know is important, yet lack the full picture of its scope. With a bit of luck and your patience, I’m about to remedy that and show you a number of digital amplification ideas you can leverage to amplify your content.
The most straightforward way to go about it is through paid amplification – meaning paying for your content to be found in search engines when people are actively searching for the topics your content is about, and in social media by popping up in their news feeds.
Broadly speaking, being for profit businesses, search engines and social media platforms favor paid content over organic traffic. However, that’s challenging as budgets are generally limited and relying solely on a single type of method is unwise. This is why it’s a good idea to also strive for acquiring earned media and owned media through:
- Content syndication sites and professional communities
- Social media traffic
- Email marketing
- Making your content available in formats other than text (audio, video, visual presentations, etc.)
- Collaborations with influencers
Now, what makes a winning content amplification strategy?
Successful content amplification revolves around two things:
- Clearly defined goals and KPIs
Generally speaking, the goal of content amplification, whether it’s B2C or B2B content amplification, is to extend your content’s reach, all the while gently nudging your target audience through the sales funnel. Whether you want to educate your audience and help them with their challenges or get the word out about your latest product or service, the absolutely first thing you need to realize is that content creation and content amplification strategies should work together.
As I’ve pointed out when writing about the rules and benefits of content amplification: investing time in creating great content should be equally reciprocated by time spent in amplifying it. Your content should be tailored for your target personas and audiences. Make sure to set goals and KPIs that can help you ensure you’re reaching them. For example – have x people read a blog post and then opt to subscribe to your newsletter to hear more from you. You can then measure your efforts to find out if they’re working or not, and how you can optimize them.
Starting off with the quick win – paid amplification
While a content amplification strategy can rely solely on organic traffic, it would be a mistake to not do the obvious and promote your content by paid promotion tactics. Those include:
- Paid search – running search ads for the keywords your content is about (this is my favorite paid tactic)
- Native advertising on platforms such as Taboola and Outbrain (now merged to the latter) – those would be the “if you found this interesting you may also like” sponsored content ads you see at the bottom of many articles across the WWW
- Boosting the content via paid social campaigns such as Facebook Ads, LinkedIn ads, promoted tweets
Running paid campaigns will help you analyze and focus – you’ll be able to generate traffic and see how it performs. You can then be aware of what your best content is and focus the rest of your amplification efforts on it. That’s crucial because aside from paid campaigns, any earned media efforts will require patience. Organic content amplification is a long-lasting process that likely won’t yield immediate results. You have to be persistent if you want to achieve a respectable amount of organic traffic through search engines and social platforms. It requires team collaboration and dedication.
Here’s what you can do:
Maximize your content syndication
Content syndication is a key part of any sound content amplification strategy as it allows you to easily push your content to third-party websites (practical recommendations below), whether it’s a full blog post, link, snippet, thumbnail, and every other format you deem relevant for your goals. Even if your niche is super specific, there’s a corner somewhere in the vast online world where your audience congregates, and you can tap into it.
Before I delve into details, let me just quickly address the issue of duplicate content in content marketing. Contrary to popular belief, Google does NOT penalize websites for it when the duplication is on content syndication platforms. Search engines are aware that users appreciate diversity in the search results but do note that duplicate content can impact search engine rankings. Google will show the version it thinks is the right content or most appropriate for a given search, and it may or may not be the version you’d prefer.
It helps to include a link back to your original article on every site your content is syndicated on or when in doubt use canonical URLs (HTML link tags with the attribute rel=canonical) that signal to Google what the original content is and what’s duplicated and not for ranking.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive into the meaty parts.
First and foremost – there is no one-size-fits-all approach for content syndication. The following are the examples of content marketing practices here at Trinity Audio and common sense on how to win a piece of quality traffic and establish authority.
First up is Medium – an online publishing platform with more than 120 million users. Medium is great because it automates much of the process – you simply import your blog post, tweak around a bit (you can also post a snippet) and you’re done. At the very bottom, there’s a link leading to the original article so Google gods are also happy.
Next, I’m sure you’ve heard about Quora – a question-and-answer knowledge sharing website which is great for amplifying and repurposing your content to provide valuable information to people who seek it. It also has Spaces – a feature that allows users to curate best content and form communities around shared interests and tastes. (Quora is also great for genuinely engaging with users and building authority, which can ultimately pave the way to lead generation).
As I said, there are multiple approaches which means in order to satisfy your content needs, you must learn to differentiate between platforms. For instance, for our marketing-oriented content (like this one), we use Zest – a strictly marketing content discovery platform. Only quality content passes as approximately 1% of suggested content gets approved. Such strict criteria means that if your content is packed with professional insights and details, you’ll get quality traffic.
Some other resources you can use include GrowthHackers for articles on growth hacking, marketing channels, user acquisition, engagement, and such; Mix (former Stumbleupon) – a content discovery platform for “interesting websites and articles”, Reddit if you do it right (Redditors are very conscious about self-promotion and spamming), and other niche communities and sites you can uncover with a quick online search.
I also suggest you experiment with more unusual channels like Slack. At first sight, an instant messaging platform might not seem like something suited for content amplification but with a little bit of strategizing, there might be some use of it. Much like its social network counterparts, Slack has certain niche communities (workspaces) where like-minded people gather and discuss various topics. Engaging in civil and relevant discourse without stuffing your content down other people’s throats might provide value to targeted segments of your audience. As a bonus, the potential for a streamlined discussion is greater this way, albeit it does require more patience from your side.
Explore social media communities
Social media is a big part of content amplification as, in today’s landscape, it’s the most natural way to reach out to an audience and get exposure, traffic, and attention of more potential users.
However, there’s more to it than simply sharing links on your social media profiles. For instance, LinkedIn allows you to syndicate blog posts via your personal profile as LinkedIn articles. Though these don’t have the rel=canonical link, they are nevertheless a gateway to targeted business-oriented readers that come running to the ‘Facebook of business’ for valuable and relevant content.
Try microblogging on Twitter your interesting share-worthy stats or facts that fit the 280 characters limit, along with a buzzing hashtag. Extracting shareable pieces from your content can also be applied to other social networks with an added visual element for an eye-catching effect.
Perhaps most social media value lies in the so-called ‘gated communities’ such as LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups. This particularly holds true for LinkedIn, due to the professional-centric nature of the network, where people are almost exclusively geared toward business-related matters. There are plenty of relevant and active groups (1,981,232 in total, at the time of writing) where you can share your content and engage with members.
Facebook’s version isn’t too shabby either for content amplification purposes, especially if your business is B2C oriented. The advantages here are more than 10 million and 1.4 billion people using them every month, most of it in their free time, which should theoretically mean they are more receptive to its content.
In both cases, and generally when contributing to different sites and platforms, it’s important to contribute by being active, engaging with other people’s content, and chiming in whenever you can offer something of value. Plus, digital marketing offers so many possibilities – who’s to say you can’t create your own group and invite others to join and contribute?
Email marketing still works
In terms of content distribution, a newsletter is a must-have. Despite its age, email is still one of the most effective methods of communication with customers and prospects, and can be leveraged to amplify your content. Plenty of email marketing platforms enable content sharing through email newsletters for free, making it also a cost-effective (at least as the beginning of your content needs) way to promote your content and push your message across more screens.
A newsletter holds an important role in marketing strategy as it makes it easier to stay in touch with subscribers and keep you on their mind. It’s a channel to share market knowledge and insights, spotlight new products or services, get feedback, and so much more. When your subscribers are thinking about you, you have a much better chance of converting them into customers.
Go omnichannel with audio
So far, we’ve largely covered the same-channel ways of amplifying your content. To go one step further and attune to the changing user behavior, offer a listening experience.
Before you say anything – yes, you can also do video (as explained below) but that still ties your audience amplification to a screen. Audio offers an entirely new (yet familiar) way of engaging people, regardless of their surroundings. This is important to understand because screen fatigue is an issue. More than half of Millennials and Gen Z users say there’s far too much visual stimulation these days, with more and more people consuming audio content.
In the greater content strategy scheme, audio’s main advantage is the fact that it can reach people where the majority of visual media can’t, such as driving, cleaning, cooking, and so on. The ability to multitask will grow in importance as audiences get more demanding with their content consumption habits and the content itself evolves.
To make your content portable, audiofying your website is a great yet simple start. Thanks to advanced text to speech solutions (many of them free with premium audio), you can easily convert your text and have it read out by human-like voices in different styles, depending on the type of your content. A few minutes’ worth of content can easily fit into everyone’s schedule, no matter how busy it might be. There are no limitations as virtually every website that has a few lines of textual content is audio friendly.
One of audio’s undeniable strengths as a medium is having different formats well suited for various occasions: a short burst of information and news-like updates, audio blogs, long-form content like podcasts with developed narratives, etc. Basically, every topic and length is represented AND you’re free to experiment with creation and delivery. Talk about effective content…
Visualize your content
Video is the king of content formats on social media – we all know that much. The Internet offers a great deal of video production tools that cost very little or are even free, and there’s no shortage of platforms to reach a broad range of people with video content. One of the issues you’ll encounter is that not every platform treats video the same. For example, Twitter’s video requirements state videos must be 2 minutes and 20 seconds or less, which may not be enough time to convey your message properly in some cases.
Still, if you opt for video creation and the do-it-yourself approach, you can add to your amplification efforts in a fairly fast and inexpensive way. Whether the end result will look credible or not solely depends on the tools you use and your expertise. As always, sophisticated tools and top-tier professionals who excel at this craft have a price tag not everyone is willing or able to pay.
If you aren’t yet ready to make the leap to video and seek something beyond creating polished video marketing campaigns, you can amplify your content by turning it into a presentation. One of the leading platforms in that regard is SlideShare that allows you to upload and distribute presentations online and ramp up some more visibility.
You can go further and upload slideshows, clickable downloads, and PDFs to your LinkedIn posts. As the social network is the go-to spot for business professionals to learn about industry-related news and topics, sharing your best content via a simple document can create new opportunities for your brand and show off what you know in a creative and underutilized way that provides value to your audience.
If you are in this for the long run (as you should be) – get under the skin of influencers
The world of social media has produced influencer marketing, a specific segment of people whose words and actions have a certain weight. These influencers have the power to persuade others with their established credibility and reach. While securing a guest posting spot may prove difficult due to various reasons, asking for a small(er) contribution such as comment, quote, or blurb is typically the way to go.
That is the approach we took with our blog post focusing on best voice-first podcasts (which is due for an update), where we reached out to some of the industry’s most respected minds and asked for their take on certain subjects.
There’s no exact science to influencer marketing: we used emails and social media to contact and engage influencers, and struck out on some while forming relationships with others. It’s a delicate affair that requires planning, a tactful approach (you certainly don’t want to alienate anyone by asking for too much or being overwhelming), and a little bit of luck. If you manage to do it right, you’ll find you have gained a valuable option in your digital marketing.
As a final piece of advice, make sure you have all of your eggs neatly sorted in their respective baskets. A content amplification strategy covers a lot of ground and it’s easy to get lost in the sheer volume of it, especially with social media being big as it is and expanding. I find that a good project management tool and daily syncing with the team mitigate most of the risk involved with such a hefty task, and see no reasons why it shouldn’t be a standard of sorts. Simply put, amplification is a process that demands a standardized and strategic undertaking.
A content amplification strategy is created from a number of techniques that work toward a single objective: help you deliver your content to the right users in the right form. In order to maximize your content’s impact through a wide variety of channels, you need to think of content amplification as a long term investment. The majority of content, regardless of how exceptional it may be, requires a push to get it going.
As much as I’d like to offer you one, there’s no guaranteed formula for success. It’s a combination of consistently quality content, distribution, and tactics interlinked with hard work that will get you there. As soon as you get the ball rolling, you’ll begin to notice gradual improvements. The organic part of content amplification is much more varied than its paid counterpart as there are more ways (some even extremely creative) to cover as much ground as possible.
It takes more effort but once you set the proper foundations, you’ll find it’s easy to build upon and incorporate new elements as you go. In any case, I wish you all the best in your endeavor – this is no small feat.