Content Amplification: Tools & Tactics to Distribute Your Awesome Content
You’ve finally done it. After hours of crafting a top-quality article, you’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s and you’ve published it on your website.
Fast forward a few days and only a handful of people have viewed the article. Hard not to feel deflated, right?
Don’t panic. Just because your content isn’t getting the views, it doesn’t mean it’s not great. Chances are, it just hasn’t reached your audience.
In days gone by, organic reach was enough. You’d publish a piece of content with some basic optimisation, maybe share it on your social feeds. It would get visits, engagement and would drive a fair amount of traffic and conversions on your website. All with very little input.
Today, however, there’s so much content competing for airtime, your content needs an extra push to have any chance of being found. Organic reach simply isn’t powerful enough.
So what is content amplification and why do you need it? We’ll explore how you can get your awesome content out there so that it gets you the traffic, the visibility, and the brand awareness you deserve.
What is content amplification?
Content amplification is simply about getting your content in front of the right people.
Say, for example, you’ve published an awesome whitepaper on your website. You want your audience to find it, engage with it, and take some kind of action as a result.
But how do you get it from just sitting there on your site to reaching the right people? How do you increase its session time and lower its bounce rate? How do you get it to drive conversions?
This all comes down to content amplification.
You’ll take your whitepaper and you’ll share it to your social channels, you’ll link to it in your email newsletters, you’ll use it to form a paid ad, and might even send it to influencers to talk about it on their social media.
Done well and your content amplification will be a multi-channel approach, using all or some of your paid and owned media to distribute your content and reach your audience wherever they are on your sales funnel.
And, like anything in digital marketing, content amplification isn’t something you can do once and tick off your list. Instead, it should be seen as an ongoing part of your content marketing, which needs testing and tweaking as you go along.
Rather than a one-off task, it’s about bringing all your marketing collateral together so that your content delivers results.
What content should you amplify?
When we talk about content, we’re not just referring to your average blog post. Content can mean any kind of material you produce: blog posts, videos, podcasts, images, quizzes… you name it.
While you might be producing many and varied content, it’s the most valuable content you want to focus on amplifying. After all, it would be impossible (and extremely expensive) to fully amplify every piece of content you produce, so just focus on your top 1-2% of your output.
As a rule of thumb, choose your highest-quality content. And by high-quality, we mean it’s well-researched, well-written/produced/filmed/recorded and will provide something valuable to your audience.
That said, it also needs to be easy to digest. There’s no point amplifying a top-quality article that’s full of industry jargon and would take an afternoon to pick through.
It’s also important that the content you choose to amplify speaks to your particular audience or persona. Carefully consider what kind of content your audience needs at different stages of the customer journey, and how it will help them navigate through your brand.
Thirdly, choose your most unique content to amplify. The web is bursting with material competing for likes and shares. By taking an unusual angle, you’ll give it that extra chance to stand out in the crowd.
So, when you come to narrow down what content to amplify, think: quality, value, and uniqueness.
Why you should amplify content
Producing content without amplifying it is a bit like running a shop with the shutters down and the doors bolted.
If your content aims to raise brand awareness, drive traffic to your site, or encourage customer engagement, it’s no good if it doesn’t reach the people who need to see it.
The problem is that today’s internet is full of a lot of noise.
Just take blog posts as an example. There are upwards of 5 million blog articles written every single day. This gives you an idea of your competition when you hit “publish” on your latest blog post.
But even if you take the unbelievable amount of competition out of the equation, paid content is prioritised over organic results by social channels and even search engines like Google. In fact, Facebook only shows your content to around 5.2% of your followers.
Amplifying your content is a way of raising the reach of your content which, in turn, results in more backlinks. This then improves your SEO because awesome content with lots of backlinks helps you rank higher in SERPS. This then results in more traffic, more leads, and ultimately, more conversions.
So, creating excellent content is one thing, but amplifying it will help you increase visibility, raise your brand profile and generate traffic that is more likely to convert.
Tactics to amplify your content
So what are the practical steps you can take to optimise your content?
Here are 5 tactics, that we know work:
Choose your channels wisely
Before you start amplifying content, take a quick audit of all your current distribution channels, to identify which channels work best for each type of content.
Resist the urge to “spray and pray” and amplify on every channel available. Instead, focus on the channels you know will reach your audience, and you’ll get the most user engagement.
To help you out with this step, you might want to divide your channels into three categories: Owned, Paid, and Earned. The first two are what we want to focus on.
Owned media are the channels you’re in control of. They include your website, your blog, your email newsletters, and your social media (to an extent).
Take your blog as a starting point. Rather than saving up all your energies for occasional top-quality articles, make sure every post you publish is of a consistently high standard. Optimise every piece to give it a better chance in SERPs, and share your published articles via your social media and email newsletters.
Talking of newsletters, these are great options for amplifying your content for free. By linking to your top-quality content within the body of the newsletter you can encourage your recipients to click through to your site and forward your content to their contacts.
Moving on to your social media and, whilst it isn’t strictly owned by you and doesn’t offer massive visibility these days, it shouldn’t be ruled out.
If you’re operating across a whole myriad of different platforms then it might be worth honing them into a maximum of four and enlisting a social media management tool to help you.
By far the most effective way to amplify your content is to pay for it. That way you can ensure you’re exposing your content to a large audience and quickly.
The go-to channels for paid-for amplification are:
PPC through Google AdWords
Promoting content on LinkedIn
Earned media is the sort of media that gets you publicity for free. But, since you have little or no control over this, it’s a really difficult tactic to plan.
Generally speaking, it’s not worth focusing your efforts on amplifying your content via earned media, except through investing in influencer marketing, which we’ll get to later.
So, when identifying your content amplification channels, it’s worth considering the following questions:
Which channel(s) will reach your particular audience? What value will they see in accessing your content? What will they do as a result of seeing your content?
How often does your audience want to see your content and about which particular subjects? What content type will they engage most in? Are they most likely to enjoy video or written articles?
Your brand voice:
What’s your brand voice and tone and will it fit well with your audience? Does your content align with the culture of the personas you’re trying to reach?
Do you have the capacity and skills to carry out consistently effective amplification campaigns? Are you ready to engage with your audience and become part of the ongoing conversation?
Get involved in influencer marketing
Whatever niche you’re in, there will be a cohort of influencers with a strong and engaged following. They’ll have significant sway on how content is distributed and digested online, and so are worth reaching out to.
The first step is locating the influencers. Which platforms are they on, and how are they engaging with their followers?
Next is how you reach them. Try a direct approach and send them an email showcasing some of your best content.
Just bear in mind, influencers might receive hundreds of emails like yours every week, so make sure yours stands out. If you don’t receive a response then reach out on social media.
With influencer marketing you might consider the following tactics to amplify your content:
Social media takeovers
Sponsored content (on either an external website or the influencer’s website)
Collaborative media (webinars, podcasts, etc)
Leverage paid ads
As we’ve already discussed, paid ads are probably the most time-effective way to get your content seen. Fundamentally, you’re paying a channel to drive traffic to your own media whilst also encouraging mentions of your brand (earned media).
The main advantage of paid ads is that it targets your content more precisely to your audience than with organic search. They also provide a decent ROI. By Google’s estimates, for example, for every $1 spent on Google Ads, businesses receive an $8 profit than through Google Search.
Types of paid ads include:
Google Display Ads
Social media ads, including:
Facebook – video ads, carousel ads, image ads, lead generation ads, Messenger ads Instagram,
Twitter – promoted tweets, trends, and accounts
LinkedIn – sponsored content, text ads, dynamic ads, message ads.
That said, no two platforms are the same, and each has its own matrix of price point, audience reach, and so on. So whatever platform you choose, it’s very much about testing and tweaking your audience and your spend as you go along.
When it comes to creating your ad, it’s all about producing eye-catching visuals, with stand-out copy leading to top-quality landing pages. You want to get your audience to notice it and to click on it to find out more.
Depending on your audience and where they are on their buyer journey, you’ll need to alter the sense of urgency and the call-to-action in your ad.
So, for your top-of-funnel audience, you’ll be focusing on getting them to find out more about you or enter a competition, quiz, or survey. But for bottom-of-funnel personas, you want to ramp up the urgency and start offering offers, discounts, coupons, or free trials.
Use your content for lead generation
A good strategy for content amplification is tying it in with your lead generation efforts.
If, for example, you’ve recently published a top-notch publication, you want to get it in front of a potential customer base.
Instead of freely sharing that publication over your media, set up a workflow that invites customers to access it. To download the publication, they need to enter their email address and they’ll receive the content in their inbox.
This way, not only are you distributing your content, but you’re doing so in a way that will let you retarget your audience at a later date.
You could do the same thing by adding a call-to-action at the end of one of your more standard blog posts. When your reader clicks on the “Free Publication” CTA, they then reach a landing page where they fill in their email address in return for the document.
Use tools to help you
Having looked at ways of amplifying your content, what tools and platforms are available to give you a helping hand?
Content Amplification Tools & Platforms
BuzzSumo is the go-to tool among marketers engaging in content amplification.
It analyses all the main social channels for content that gets the most engagement, in real-time. You simply enter your keyword and BuzzSumo returns the most-shared content across the major channels.
Overall, it’s a great tool for looking at trends to judge when, where, and how to get your content in front of the right people.
Buffer is one of those easy-to-access all-rounders when it comes to content amplification.
Its content discovery and research tools help you identify what content your audience is engaging in across various networks. By identifying the most popular content, you can start to produce the kind of content that will deliver the best results/
Its monitoring tool helps you to track your and competitors’ mentions. Meanwhile, the influencer feature lets you discover the people in your niche that are making the most traction.
Contently takes you through the whole content marketing process from start to finish.
It gives users the option for paid, emailing, and social media distribution of your content so that you can reach as big an audience as possible.
Even IBM and Facebook use Contently, which demonstrates its credentials as a trusted content amplification tool.
Outbrain, one of the veteran platforms in content amplification, takes care of your display ads. It’s user-friendly, but pretty comprehensive, letting you design, distribute and monitor your video ads, sponsored content or native ads.
Final thoughts on amplifying your content
When you’ve created awesome content, you want it to be seen by as broad an audience as possible. But, with the decline in organic reach, and the increased competition even in niche areas, your content simply won’t get any traction without being amplified.
By finding the right ways to amplify your content – via your earned, owned or paid media (or a mixture of the three) – you’ll be able to have some control over the reach of your content.
The main takeaway is that the content you choose to amplify must be high-quality, valuable, and unique so that those who see it will want to engage more with your brand.
You also need to focus your amplification so that you choose the most appropriate channels to reach your particular audience at the right point of their buyer journey.
The great news is that you don’t need to do this on your own. BuzzSumo will help you to identify the best type of content to amplify and where best to share it. Contently will take you through the process of amplifying your content via paid, email, or social media. Meanwhile, Buffer will let you oversee your social media amplification and schedule your social amplification well in advance.
With these tips and tools, your awesome content will be getting the visibility and engagement it deserves in no time.