More than 70 million blog posts are published every month on WordPress. That number doesn’t even begin to approach the hundreds of millions of podcasts, videos, tweets, and other forms of content published every day that are elbowing for an increasing small share of your audience’s attention. To keep your content from being lost in the shuffle, it’s more important than ever to amplify it. Here are five strategies you can use to make your voice the loudest and make your content stand out from the rest, as well as a crash course on the ins and outs of content amplification.
What is content amplification?
Content amplification is a dynamic, multi-channel, all-hands-on-deck approach to promoting and distributing content. The goal of content amplification is to increase your content’s reach and impact through the use of owned, paid, and earned media.
Here are a few examples of each:
- Owned media: Your brand’s website, blog, and social media channels.
- Paid media: PPC (pay per click) advertising, display and video ads, and paid influencers.
- Earned media: Shares, mentions, reposts, and reviews.
A well-rounded content amplification strategy will use media from all three categories, without relying too much on one or the other. For example, putting all your focus on sharing your content through social media won’t do you much good if your audience isn’t aware of your Facebook page in the first place, and paid influencers can’t influence unless there’s quality content on your website for them to share.
Why content amplification is important
The fact is, content amplification is necessary because your content isn’t likely to go very far on its own. Organic reach doesn’t exactly reach very far anymore, and it certainly isn’t something content creators can solely rely on. It’s no longer enough to put meticulously researched, expertly written and crafted content on the web and expect your audience to respond. In the end, the content that’s going to get the most views, shares, and engagement is the content that’s backed with the best amplification strategy. Instead of striving for perfection, strive to out-promote the thousands, if not millions, of other content creators vying for attention in your industry.
Quality still matters
Now, this isn’t to say you can let quality slip in the name of spending more time and energy promoting your content. Your audience isn’t dumb—so don’t treat them that way. If they notice your content is lacking, they’ll look elsewhere, no matter how much it’s promoted to them. So, it’s important to avoid the two extremes—great content that nobody notices, and bad content that everybody wishes they hadn’t wasted their time on.
Five strategies every content creator needs to know
Content creators have a wide variety of strategies at their disposal to amplify and re-amplify content. Knowing at least the basics of each can help you amplify your content effectively. And, by utilizing multiple strategies, you can ensure your amplification efforts don’t end up falling on deaf ears.
1. Align with the customer journey
The customer journey describes the process that customers go through as they interact with your brand. Visually, the customer journey resembles an upside-down triangle to represent the amount of customers narrowing down as they make their way through the funnel. The customer journey consists of three steps:
The ultimate goal is to, of course, have your customers reach the conversion stage—where they buy a product or service, book an appointment or reservation, make a donation, etc. depending on your industry. To get them there, it’s important to use the right content amplification methods during the awareness and consideration stage.
Here’s an example of how you can integrate content amplification with the customer journey.
The goal of this stage is to make your audience aware of your brand. Utilize paid media sources such as display and video ads or influencers in your industry to bring your message to a wide reach of people. Be careful of narrowing your target audience too soon, as this can result in you spending money to reach an audience that may not be interested in your content. It’s best to cast a wide net, see who you reel in, and go from there.
You have their attention—now, let them know why you deserve their time and/or money. Owned media is key at this stage. Let your brand’s website, blog, or social media channels build a strong brand identity in the form of quality content. Influencers can also be used in this stage to add an element of authenticity and believability to the message you’re trying to sell to your audience.
Leverage testimonials, reviews, and other positive feedback from past customers for the final push through the sales funnel. One way to accomplish this is by sending an email to your subscribers that contains your top testimonials, or featuring reviews prominently on your website. Additionally, you can utilize remarketing ads to reach users who have been to your site and entice them to make another visit.
2. Use Facebook the right way
Facebook is constantly tinkering with their algorithm, with users seeing far fewer posts from businesses and brands than they used to. That’s why it’s not enough to rely on a Facebook post alone to amplify your content—to get real results, you’ll need to use Facebook in more strategic ways.
While many content creators may balk at the idea of paying for ads to promote their content, or not even know where to start, Facebook ads are a vital content amplification tool. Even a small investment can go a long way, and the ad dashboard is easier to use than you’d think. But, don’t just take my word for it—check out our overview to Facebook ads in our 2018 Guide to Facebook that’ll have you ready to start your first campaign with confidence.
As part of their efforts to re-position themselves as a community-focused network, Facebook has placed an increasing amount of emphasis on groups. Use this to your advantage as a content marketer by jumping on the opportunity to make a group for your brand or business, or by joining groups relevant to your industry. Additionally, you can target your Facebook ads to specifically reach users who have associations with certain Facebook groups, providing another way to reach your audience.
Facebook groups create an environment where users who are interested in your industry, and by extension your content, can connect with each other and interact with you as a content creator. When you publish a new piece of content, you can post to the group to generate engagement and discussion.
3. Use email to your advantage
While it may not seem as exciting as the latest and greatest social media channels, email remains a tried and true method of reaching a wide audience. The numbers speak for themselves. According to Email Monks, email marketing has a median ROI of 122%, which is 4x higher than social media, direct mail, and paid search, and around 21% of emails are opened within the first hour of sending. If there’s one takeaway from these stats, it’s that email should be right at the heart of your content amplification strategy.
So, how can you use email right? Start with the basics by building your email list. You can do this by encouraging visitors to visit your website to sign up for exclusive deals or other content, or by promoting your newsletter on social media. Once you have an audience that’s eager to hear from you, start crafting emails that will resonate with them. Whether that means perfecting the art of subject lines, or reaching further with in-depth drip campaigns through a marketing automation platform, you’re sure to find an effective way to get your content into the hands of an eager audience with email.
4. Reach higher with the skyscraper technique
The skyscraper technique starts with finding the top performing content in your industry. You can do this by using tools such as Buzzsumo, SEMRush, and others. Then, try and make this high-performing content better. This could mean adding a unique perspective, updating the content with new and more relevant information, or otherwise contributing something that your competitors can’t. Finally, take this newly-upgraded content and amplify it like crazy, using every tool at your disposal. Since users who are looking for content in your industry have already shown they’re interested in that topic, it’s likely they’ll respond well. When used correctly, the skyscraper technique can drive engagement and bring your content to a wider audience.
5. Engage and re-engage
Since it’s so essential to promote your very best content, you should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the hidden gems that may be several months, or even years, back in your archive. If you have a post that did well, or that you think could do better, dust if off and amplify it so your audience can engage with it again. Remarketing ads are one of the tools you can use to re-introduce the content to your audience. This is a great strategy for seasonal content—for example, you can amplify your holiday related posts in December and your back to school related posts in August. This strategy also works well to help you align your content with major events and happenings in your industry—whether that’s a trade show, a conference, or anything else that has your audience buzzing.
To re-amplify old content, use a similar balanced mix of owned, paid, and earned media that you used when you amplified your content the first time around. Whether that means creating an email blast, re-posting an old blog with a new introduction, or promoting a “Throwback Thursday” social media post is up to you—the sky’s the limit when it comes to content amplification.
When you think about how much content there is online, it may seem impossible to picture your content having the slightest chance of reaching its intended audience. However, the reality is that most content creators haven’t yet caught on to the fact that amplifying their content is just as important as publishing it. By effectively amplifying your content using one or more of the strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to helping your content stand out in the crowd.