If you are a content marketer, then you know that producing that rich, fresh content is just the first step. You will be able to post it on your blog; you can send it out in an email to your lists; you will be able to post teasers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you’ll get some initial traction among your regular readers and customers. But this will not really grow your audience much. It will not bring in new readers and potential customers, unless your current customers so love your post that they share it within their communities. Even this doesn’t happen unless the content is so entertaining, so important, so inspiring, or provides some tangible benefit (e.g., discount) that it is worth sharing. But growth really depends on more than that. It depends on reaching new target audiences, and that is what content amplification is all about.
Defining Content Amplification
You understand the term distribution. This refers to all of the places where you publish your content. Content amplification is all about enlarging your reach – getting into communities that you have been in before and getting a broader audience – and doing it as cost effectively as possible.
What it Looks Like
Here is a great infographic that explains content amplification in a nutshell:
The goal of content amplification is to get to that outer circle and reach those audiences that are not connected to your regular followers. Getting out there is what grows your target market and thus your customer base. With that goal in mind, here are important strategies you should consider along with some tools that will help you.
Make Connections with Influencers Whenever You Can
Who are influencers? They are people in your business niche who are considered experts – more expert than you. They have very large audiences that you want to tap into. They are more well-known than you, and if you can show a connection with them, then your content will more likely be shared by their audiences too. Here is what you need to do:
- Establish a connection with these influencers. Follow them on social media; comment on their content a lot. Get recognized by them as someone who is an ardent follower.
- Once that connection is established, start producing content that mentions them and let them know you have done this. They will like you more.
- Ask these influencers for some tips or advice. Then use those tips and advice in content that you produce.
- Ask these influencers if you can re-post some of their content; ask them if you can post some of your content on their platforms (with backlinks to you, of course). The goal here is to become associated with these influencers. It’s just a new form of an old strategy we used to call “name-dropping.” Once you are associated with these influencers, your content will be shared farther out.
- Give influencers a reason to “hook up” with you. Suppose, for example, your business niche is home décor. Lots of well-known and respected interior designers are “out there” on the web. Now suppose one of them is about to publish a new book. You can give a lot of publicity to that new book through your blog and social media platforms. Ask to interview the designer and work up a great podcast that you can then share. That designer will share that podcast too, and you have just expanded your reach to all of his/her followers.
Publish Snippets (Teasers) From You Great Posts
While you certainly can publish an entire post on Facebook, why? That won’t bring people to your site where the conversions occur. And, you are limited in what you can publish on Twitter and Instagram. Instead, you need to mine your great posts and find catchy snippets that you can place a really engaging title on and publish those snippets instead (with a link to the entire post, of course). And on some social media platforms (Facebook and LinkedIn), you can pots larger snippets to really whet an appetite to read the entire post. On Twitter, you can use the ClicktoTweet free tool. You can generate a tweet that is really compelling and whoever clicks on that tweet automatically puts it in their Twitter feed.
The “Skyscraper” Technique
This strategy will call for you to do a lot of spying on your competitors. What you are looking for is this: what content did your competitors, or others in related industries, publish that gained a huge following and response, specifically in shares? You can use tools such as Topsy, SEMRush, or Buzzsumo to find these. Take those pieces of content and really study them. How can you make the better? Dig much deeper into that content topic and add newer information, choose a “killer” title, or turn it all into a great infographic, quiz, or survey. The tools mentioned here will give you who actually shared the content, and you can distribute it not only to your audience but to the competitors’ audiences as well. Before you set out to do this, however, read a good article on skyscraping so you understand exactly what and how this is done.
Find Niche Communities and Engage With Them
Join every community you can find that is related to your business niche. Share your content within those communities, because there are experts and influencers whose attention you want to gain. You want to tell your story through great content and engage these communities to want to share it. They have huge communities, and if they think what you offer is valuable, they will share. Start with communities on LinkedIn, but also search for communities all over the web, including forums in your niche.
Publish E-Guides on E-Guide Sites
You don’t have to restrict an e-guide you have created to people who access your site to retrieve it. Take content that is all related to a specific topic; re-purpose it into an e-guide. Of course, offer it as a “teaser” on your social media sites, and use it to get email addresses. But you can do more. Use a site like Guides.co. You can publish your e-guide there under a relevant category. Then, when others are looking for related content, they can search this site, and yours will be there. This opens you up to an entirely new audience in that outer circle, and it has cost you nothing extra.
Use Native Content Promotion
This strategy works well if you don’t focus on advertising. Here’s how it works. Find sites that relate to your niche; take the best content you have, maybe something that is really entertaining or poignant, and pay to have it published on that site. At the end of your content piece, of course you can have a link back to you, but the focus is really on the content that engages the reader. Again, you are reaching an audience in that outer circle – one that would not normally find you.
Spend Time Creating Large Content Pieces
Your smaller content pieces, if done well, will generate buzz within your community and within the communities of your followers. However, to reach a larger audience, you sometimes have to go with the concept of “Big.” This means that you create really large pieces of content – a long guide or “how to” e-book and you submit that large piece to any number of sites and influencers that you can find. If it’s good, they will take it up and virtually market it for you – to audiences you have never had. When you do get a large piece of content accepted and recommended by others, you gain great credibility and a new audience.
Make Readers “Pay” for Your Really Great Content
By “pay,” of course, no one means actual money. What it does mean is that you “gate” your best content. To download an e-guide or a white paper, for example, a reader must first share the “teaser” and link on one of his/her social media platforms. This promotes the title and the download to many communities and increases your traffic.
Snip.ly is a Great Tool
You want others to share your content, but they won’t unless they actually know that it exists to share. One of the ways to do this begins with sharing other people’s content that is really relevant to your audience. And every time you can share content that is written you save on content that you have to produce yourself. You share that content and then use Snip.ly to create a banner at the end of that shared content that points the reader in the direction of content you have written on the same topic.
Other Tools That Work for Amplification
Here is a quick list of tools that you may want to consider as your develop your amplification strategy. The goal is to make your amplification activities as easy and as cost-effective as possible.
- AddThis: this is a tool that allows your readers to share your content quickly and easily.
- ShareThis: another tool that allows readers to share but also provides analytics about that sharing.
- LinkedIn: you may not know this, but LinkedIn now allows anyone to post their content. Having a blog on LinkedIn just makes sense.
- Facebook Ads: you can purchase advertising that is specifically targeted to demographics and locations – this gives you a huge advantage for you advertising dollar.
- Promoted Tweets: You can use Twitter’s filtering options to target specific markets with your tweets. Your content will show up in the home timelines of the users you target.
- Buffer: Save yourself time and scheduling hassles by automatically setting up your publishing schedule through Buffer. Your content then will be published on the right social media platforms at the right times and the right number of times.
Of course, there are many other tools for content amplification. You may have some you are already using that are working well for you. Given the rate at which new amplification tools are being developed, you will want to stay on top of this growing industry so that you can find the tools that work best for you.
Read more: Your Business and the Road Less Traveled