You’ve written killer content on topics that are relevant to your audience. They’re SEO-optimized, engaging, and unique. But, you’re still not seeing growth in organic website traffic.
In fact, it seems like nobody is reading the content you have worked so hard to produce at all.
You see, while great content can certainly have a positive impact on your brand for those who read it, it doesn’t, unfortunately, amplify itself. And without proper amplification, it’ll likely get lost in the void after it has been published (after all, 7.5 million blog posts are published every single day).
And content that has no visibility means low views, low engagement, and low traffic. Hardly the ROI you were looking for.
The sad fact is that even the best-written content will only get seen by a small group of people if it isn’t amplified. To illustrate this point, in a study by BuzzSumo, they found that 85% of all content gets less than 10 shares.
Less than 10.
To add to that, in a study done by Backlinko, they found that 94% of blog content gets no links at all. And most of the 6% that do, get just 1.
And finally, to really hammer the message home, according to an ahrefs study, 91% of all content gets ZERO Google traffic.
So, while there’s always the possibility that the next piece of content you create will catch fire and go viral, you’re betting against the house if that’s your strategy.
What’s that saying about the house and winning? You get the point.
But before you start to panic as you consider how anyone is going to see, never mind engage with your content, there is a solution.
The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Business
What is content amplification?
Content amplification is the act of amplifying the content you produce – be it blog posts, videos, ebooks, or other resources – via free, organic channels, like your social media accounts, your website’s blog, and your email newsletter, as well as paid channels like PPC, PR, newsletter/magazine sponsorships and content amplification/syndication platforms.
You might also think of content amplification as “content promotion” or “content distribution”.
How do I amplify my content?
In the same way, you don’t expect your business service or product to market itself, you can’t expect to hit publish and let content catch fire by itself – it won’t go far. But with the right amplification plan, you can light the spark…
So, grab a cup or a glass of whatever is most time-appropriate for when you’re reading this, and let’s get into how to properly amplify your content.
What’s stopping you?
Let’s tackle the potential elephant in the room first – the reason(s) why you’re not already amplifying content.
In our recent Content Amplification Report, we found out that the vast majority of people (85%) who completed our survey admitted they weren’t amplifying their content enough or at all.
And, of that 85%, 80% said it was due to a lack of time due to other tasks.
Other reasons included a lack of buy-in from stakeholders, a lack of budget to do it, and concern about over-promotion, but the biggest factor, by far, was a lack of time.
1. Find the time
Easier said than done, I know. But it’s essential, right? Because if the content you’re producing isn’t generating results, you may as well not bother creating it in the first place.
One of the easiest ways to find more time is to stop dedicating so much of your working week to creating more content and instead focus on amplifying the stuff you’ve already published. You’ve likely already got a library of great content – go and find it a suitable audience.
Tip – Include the amplification of your content as part of the plan from the beginning and add it to your schedule. If it’s treated as an integral part of the process and not an afterthought, it’ll get done. And the content you produce, while there might be less of it, will likely generate better results.
2. Research is key
Before you start amplifying your content, you should know where it needs to go. In fact, before you even start creating any content, you should have your amplification strategy sorted – understanding the places your content will be published may have an impact on the content itself.
So, spend some time finding out the places your target audience likes to hang out.
Is your audience drawn mainly from B2B industries? Try to find media platforms and social media platforms that cater to that audience. Perhaps your audience is made up of dog walkers? Are there Facebook groups or Subreddits that you can join and be a part of?
What if they’re mainly muscle car enthusiasts? Can you submit some content to a popular magazine and try to get published in that?
Tip – Make sure you stop short at trying to be everywhere – your content must be relevant to the audience you’re putting it in front of or you’ll get zero response. Don’t spend lots of time doing ineffectual things (which is surprisingly easy to do). Rather, find the places that work and double down on them.
Trying to amplify your content on platforms that don’t align with your target audience just adds more noise and dilutes its effectiveness.
3. Lean on your owned audiences
There’s no better ambassador for your brand or your content than your current customers and audiences. They choose you because they believe you offer value to them. And if they’re happy with the value you provide, then they’ll be more than happy to tell others about you.
So, use the trust and loyalty you’ve already earned to get your content into new places and in front of new audiences by asking your current audience to engage with and share your content.
When they do that, by liking, commenting, sharing, or forwarding, it puts your content in front of their networks. That means exposure to new audiences.
And the best part about this tactic is it’s really easy to implement. You just need to ask.
For example, if you have a list of newsletter subscribers, you can make it easy for them to forward your content or pass it on to their friends with calls to action and share buttons within the email.
Tip – The more personal you can get with your ask, the better the response will be. It will take more time to do it this way, but the results will make up for it.
4. Use considered outreach
Yes, outreach can be a powerful tool, but only if done right. Spamming people and asking them to share your content isn’t going to work, so you’ve got to be considered.
Find the right people and make sure you really personalize the email you’re going to send. Do some research on that person, the work they do, and the type of content they like to consume. If done well, the email you send will resonate far more with them and they’ll appreciate the effort, leading to a much higher chance you’ll get a reply.
Don’t ever be pushy, but do try to make sharing your content as easy as possible for them. That could mean creating a template for a tweet or LinkedIn message that they just need to tweak a little, or even giving them a few ready-made options that they could choose from.
Tip – Make sure to thank the people you email for their time and offer to return the favor too. Reciprocity is always appreciated.
5. Pay to play
Free is great. And if you can generate the results you want solely from using free amplification methods, then fantastic! However, you might find that organic reach these days isn’t what it was, and your content might need a little extra help to ensure it gets seen and engaged with.
And that’s why you should consider using paid amplification methods as well.
Going back to our Content Amplification Report, of those that took part in the survey only 32% had a budget for content amplification. The fact that such a small percentage of our respondents have a budget could highlight an opportunity for businesses to take advantage of – there’ll be less competition for the places you want to be seen. And paying to be seen might yield better results while competition is low.
To reinforce that point, of the 32% that do pay for amplification, 93% said that it had an additional impact on their content marketing results.
The lesson? Nearly every person that pays to amplify their content believes it has a positive impact on their overall amplification efforts. With that in mind, it might be time to allocate more budget towards this to see if it can lead to better results for your own content amplification.
But what paid methods are there? Loads…
- Search Engine Advertising
- Social Media Advertising
- Newsletter sponsorship
- Native advertising
- Influencer advertising
- Publishing platforms and content amplification platforms
- Event sponsorships
- And more…
In fact, pretty much everywhere that your audience can be found, there’ll likely be some way for you to pay to boost your exposure to them, so do some research and find out what your options are.
Tip – According to our report, of the paid channels being used, Social Media Advertising (100%) and Search Engine Advertising (53%) were the most popular. Whether these channels are so popular amongst those with budget because of their effectiveness, or because they’re the most obvious channels to use, isn’t known. However, they are likely to be the most competitive spaces for your paid amplification – so it could be worth looking for more niche channels, too.
In summary, commit
If there’s one thing to be learned from this article it’s that getting our content seen is a task that is becoming more and more difficult. Organic results are on the decline and the big boys holding all the keys aren’t going to help you unless you pay them handsomely.
So, without a proper amplification strategy, the outlook for our content is grim.
In today’s uber-competitive content landscape, we have to fight for our work to be seen, continuously. Ad-hoc, when it comes to content marketing, is never the right move, and that’s the same with content amplification. You need to be consistent and committed to the cause.
If you want more of the right people to see and engage with your content, then you’re going to have to put in the work to make sure that happens. Ensure a proper content amplification strategy is part of your future campaigns and you’ll absolutely guarantee a better ROI from all of your future content.
Guest author: James Tennant is a content marketer and copywriter of over 11 years and has worked with brands such as eBay, Universal Studios, and the UK Government. He loves to geek out over marketing reports and is endlessly curious about how businesses can get a better ROI from their content. Twitter – @JamesConverge and LinkedIn.