Every content writer has probably felt the pain of crafting the perfect piece, only to have it fall flat with readers. Your story was immaculately structured, you killed it on the research, you pumped it up with highly relevant full color action images. You even spritzed it with a little well-measured humor. So, what the heck? To avoid future instances of this dismal experience, learn the ins and outs of content amplification.
If you don’t have time to delve into one of the many academic online guides offering content amplification 101, here’s a handy content amplification checklist. Just liberally apply these amplifiers to your content, to help drive more traffic to your website.
Wait, What’s Content Amplification?
Think of content amplification as simply the steps you can take to strengthen the web signals that let prospective readers know your post is available for them and where it is. Amplification amounts to a whole array of powerful methods to expand your audience and multiply external links to your content. It’s the best kept secret of sophisticated content marketers who know how to get the word out about content they produce and how to generate traffic for a website.
As more and more companies invest more and more of their precious marketing resources into creating high-quality content, the benchmark for great content is being raised higher and higher. Attracting attention to your article or blog through the crowd of competing posts is also becoming more challenging as more content pours online.
Use as many of these methods as applicable, to help you amplify your content and maximize your success in drawing readers to your site:
1. Deliver Content Value that Inspires Influencers.
Just write awesome content, with compelling information in a style of delivery and a context that resonates with influencers. In other words, go above and beyond to produce the highest possible quality of content. That’s the simple formula for appealing to experts who are inclined to share information with others who have an interest in their chosen subject.
When you earn the respect of influencers in your subject area, and they find your work benefits readers within their spheres of influence, the magic happens. They tell people about you. And, word of mouth once again does its incomparably powerful thing.
Prospects start materializing from far and wide, because they heard about your content from a friend who heard about it from a family member of an influencer who loves your stuff. Voila! The timeless combo of two basics — delivering quality and people telling others about it delivers again and again!
2. Expand Existing Small Content Pieces into Great Ones.
Dive deep into topics that competitors are covering with surface-skimming treatments in their content collections. This high-quality approach is for content marketing strategies designed to achieve longer-term gains for your site. Meanwhile, competitors with short-term goals are turning out high volumes of superficial content. So, poke around in your competitive market to see what others in your industry are offering, and then, you know — do it bigger and better.
For a few good resources for shopping your competitors, try SEMRush, Buzzsumo or another online self-service competitive marketing data tracking and research options. Identify the pieces that are most relevant to your content need and that are performing best online, and build on what those offer.
Consider creating a guide from your content that people can depend on accessing repeatedly for reference long-term. Larger pieces like eBooks, Guides, White Papers, and in-depth articles help elevate the reputation of your brand as a go-to industry expert.
3. Share Excerpts From Your Content.
Make the most of the content you’ve created by using parts of it to increase the usefulness of the article or blog post. For example, share some sage quotes or amusing blurbs from it via Tweet, or Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn post, or all of the above plus others.
Link to the Tweets and other social platform pages containing your excerpts. Even pop an excerpt from your latest piece into your email footer. Sharing bits around your online neighborhood will expand the reach of your content piece and help drive traffic back to your site via the linked posts you create.
4. Serve Niche Content Markets.
Understand the potential for strong ROI in reaching out to small niche markets that are likely to have a high interest in your content. Don’t underestimate the value in building your base from a collective of these niches. Bring them on board, one by one, until you’ve developed a wide following of narrow markets! This doesn’t mean you should ditch your digital and traditional PR programs, as long as they’re working for you. Just add engage with folks in some niche markets too.
Providing value to niche communities can be very rewarding. It’s also a good way to draw attention to your content from other bloggers and media outlets who may pick up your content and syndicate it in their publications.
5. Go Native to Succeed with Your Content.
The concept of native advertising is not so vague as it may seem. It’s about providing content that is not stuffed with blatant selling. Avoid loading pages with excessive numbers of keywords and keyword phrases. Dial it back on the praise for the content sponsor, the one-sided, or effuse narratives, and the CTAs littering every paragraph and margin. Instead, provide more objective presentations of factual information, supported by well-established authorities in the field, and offer some guidance toward a conclusion that delivers some truly useful insights for readers. Still, have fun with readers, of course.
Additionally, if you remember to entertain along with informing, you’ll have better success in appealing to readers on that native level. That’s where their interest in information and enjoyment of it converge. People want a great experience in consuming your content.
6. Fit in a Mention of Your Influencers.
Ask yourself who is most likely to share your article, and why they should share what you’ve provided. If you can’t see why anyone should really want to share your content, then maybe rewrite it. Of course, reasons for sharing content vary. One common reason is that it’s from an author they like.
So, if you’ve built a bit of a following, mention influencers and companies that you know who have been consuming your content, if relevant, or give them a more straightforward acknowledgement, if it fits your situation well to do so.
7. Reciprocate By Sharing Others’ Content.
Share worthy content from other providers. This enables you to add value to your own content by funneling excellent related materials that you curate for your readers. It effectively provides them with a package of content. That’s a bonus. It saves them the legwork of searching on their own. It gives them confidence that something beneficial has been located for them by a trusted source — you. Altogether, that customer experience helps build your brand and increase the frequency of your site’s regular and referral traffic.
Try Snip.ly for creating banners that display at the end of the shared content, for you to use to direct readers back to a related content piece you wrote. This is an excellent trust-building, value-added method of giving your audience more. It exceeds expectations and thereby builds traffic. It helps the writer of the shared article, your readers, and you. So, triple win!
8. Go Beyond Your Content Through Social Ad Amplifiers.
Amplification through paid social ads is an easy approach to promote your content across a broader audience on a given social platform and across multiple social channels. You can do it with the touch of a button and a comparatively small number of marketing bucks invested.
Most social platforms offer inexpensive paid ad options. Facebook, Twitter, Google AdWords, the Yahoo Bing ad network. Adding some paid promo ads can super-charge your content amplification. It gives you the benefit of an actual ad campaign, expanded across your social media audience, to max out your amplification efforts in the way that often little else can do as well as good old frequency of compelling, well-placed ads.
9. Let Your Hair Down in Your Content, as Appropriate.
Use imagery. Mix it up, B&W, 4-color, graphics, photos, illustrations, fonts, video, more video. Create something visually compelling to complement your exceptional text content. Break up your text blocks into digestible little chunks. And, put some bits of humor in there, as appropriate. People like to smile, and even chuckle. So, fear not. If you’re kinda funny, go ahead and be amusing, as suitable for the decorum that makes sense for your topic and audience.
Go business casual in your language too. Stretch this policy as far as feasible along the spectrum from witty sarcastic all the way to the driest of technical analyses. Even in the latter, at least keep coverage as short as points allow. Amplify your content by using whatever the best attention grabbers in your particular field of subject matter writing do to hold an audience’s attention throughout. Remember, content writing Rule One: Don’t be dull.
10. Be a Compelling Story Teller.
Everyone loves a well-told story. Story-telling is one of the ageless preferred methods of teaching. From the youngest to the oldest audiences, readers absorb information better when it’s woven into a narrative that is touching, amusing, inspiring, or that triggers some other strong sensation as it delivers information to be retained. So, to help readers optimally enjoy and remember the key messages of your content, and want to share it with others, by all means, tell a story.
Offering your information with a more personal touch makes it more likely to connect with your audience and ultimately cause them to want to come on board with you. Appealing on a personal level is more likely to make your content memorable too. Consider using multimedia story-telling tools. Try Storify. Pages created using that tool have gone viral. One even won a Pulitzer! A viral story can be a mammoth link builder.
11. Use Email To Build Your Brand’s Community.
Learn how to develop an emailing contacts resource, and how to use it for building and maintaining relationships with your nurtured prospects and customer base, through personalized automated emailing campaigns. This is an ideal approach to content amplification. Research to identify an effective keyword. Examine Google SERPs for the kinds of content competitors are using. Identify trends, discover areas in which information is lacking, and fill the need users have for that missing information.
Arrange your content to include the information you want to provide, any facts you want to argue, make it all more exciting with visual complements breaking up the text content. Ask around to get help from experts. Credit them in the content for their contributions to it. Mention them in your email roll outs of the promos for your content.
Include influencers on your emailing list. Then, email your base sparingly, but whenever you have something worthwhile to share that you’re confident will excite and benefit them. Of course, include a link to your published content.
12. Seek to Collaborate with Influencers.
Influencers promote the relevancy of your content in their circles of influence. They validate its information value to their own audiences. If they find your content worthy and are convinced of its benefit to people with an interest in what it offers, they can be pivotal to the success of the article or blog post and to the rate at which you succeed in building your brand. So, amplify your content and earn new links by going a step beyond. Reach out to collaborate on projects with influencers for your brand.
This is an important way to create a stronger array of backlinks that the Google algorithm can assess to improve your ranking with the search engine. You might use a simple approach, such as just asking influencers to offer some comments on their experience or opinion on a topic you’re writing on. Social amplification requires some extra work in this way. But, it can pay off bigly.
13. Include a Shout-Out or Two in Your Content.
Social shout-outs enable you to let people know when you’re mentioning them in your article or blog post. Amplify your content by inserting the necessary hashtag prior to publishing your content on your social platforms to send your shout-out via your article or blog post. It’s a veritable assurance of capturing the attention of a few close to the recipient of your shout-out, and a premium way to associate your content and your brand with prominent industry experts.
Plus, it’s just a gracious way to thank others for the knowledge they’ve shared that has benefited you and your readers. It’s also a strong approach to building important mutually helpful relationships with potential collaborators and/or supporters of your own work.
14. Syndicate Your Content to Expand Your Audience.
One exciting way to amplify your content is by syndicating it, to make it accessible to more niches and on more sites and media. The idea is to publish your content on a third-party websites. You might find good venues for publishing your entire article, or maybe just an excerpt, or even just a link. The possibilities vary from one outlet for syndication to another.
Check out Search Engine Watch to help you get your content featured along with other experts in your industry. You can create a free account and actually publish your content there and have it syndicated through their site’s protocols.
15. Put Some Social Buttons on Your Site.
Passively earn links by amplifying content with promotion button or pop-up message on your website. These should display an easy-to-understand incentive and a compelling CTA. An attention-grabbing headline bar that relates to your content amplifies your content and can help draw traffic.
Try AddThis, for some user-friendly tools to promote and share content. You need social buttons on your site, with whatever online marketing strategy you use. Social buttons track a post’s likes and shares on social channels, which validates your content’s value, and by extension, measures your brand’s increasing credibility. The buttons help your readers amplify your site’s content and bring links.
A creative pop-up can earn links. Your pop-up message needs an appealing personality, an attention-getting yet non-intrusive quality to it. Use imagery that is relevant to your text, a motivating level of value for the user, a style that suits your brand, and an effective CTA.
Keep It Mind
Getting more people to consume your content is obviously one important way to facilitate growth through success of your overall marketing program. You will need to measure your results, in order to get anywhere with your content marketing program. You’ve got to know what’s working and what needs tweaking or replacing in your strategic content marketing program.
So, commit to media monitoring to track how many people are seeing your content, rates of conversion to leads, paid media vs. organic traffic numbers, etc. Also, think links. People will link to a good piece of content, but that doesn’t happen automatically. Expect to have to nudge it, to stimulate interest and get the action started. And, explore the numerous content amplification tools and services available to help you crank up the amplifiers on your content.
Of course, no amount of amping it up, tracking it, linking it or doing anything else to it peripherally can substitute for producing exceptional quality content. But, again, even the best quality content just isn’t enough on its own. It’s dependent on media monitoring that produces actionable data, effective content distribution, as much effect from as many forms of earned media as possible, and a generally smart content marketing strategy. Those are all cylinders on which your content marketing generator must be banging, in order to produce reliably for you.
Did we forget to say don’t forget your reader. If you provide people with something of exceptional value to them that appeals to them on a more personal level, and just let them know where to find it, they’ll come over and use it, and they’ll tell others about it.
Learn more about content amplification and many other important methodologies for increasing the success of your content marketing program at the 2020 Content Marketing Conference. For more information about the 2020 CMC and to make reservations, visit the 2020 CMC website.
Bobbi J.‘s background includes sixteen years in business management, including eleven years supervising large chains. She has taught countless classroom sessions on business management, sales, advanced sales closing, CRM, and various business software applications. Bobbi has written numerous articles on topics in business management for websites, corporate newsletters, business blogs, and a major private US American university. And, she has written a vast array of business management, sales training, marketing, sales scripts, customer services, operations, and technical processes training materials, including comprehensive company training manuals in two industries. She also wrote nationally-distributed teaching materials for a federally funded non-profit organization.