Amplification. The missing link, the golden egg of content marketing. With so much competing for our attention online, how can we get our content to the surface without big advertising dollars?
The truth is that the best ‘viral’ episodes these days are often raw and unexpected, especially now that we are so spoilt with carefully produced and curated content in our daily feeds. But there are some affordable tactics you can utilise to increase the reach of your content and messages. These tricks will help you take some of the big slice of readership pie that viral has left behind.
Before we start, it pays to make sure your content is ready for the amplification stage. The key to ROI-based content marketing is to realise that your real goal is only to reach the right people, not all of them! To do this, we need to assess the content itself, before attempting to place it. Who did you write this content for? Is the content a good fit for this audience? To find out more about this, check out our content checklist.
Now that you’ve confirmed your content is awesome, how can we get it out there?
1. Database lists
Probably the most underutilised tactic in content marketing today. We’ve all been using email marketing for a while, but did you know you can also upload your email lists into tools like Facebook and Twitter? Targeting your content to lists of people who already know your brand is a good way to start advertising/promoting your content on a tight budget. In Facebook ads, you can overlay your database lists with other targeting settings like location and demographics, so there are quite a few powerful options to consider.
2. Snaps / stories / video
Don’t be deterred by the video component of communities like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories. Static content, images and quotes can easily be adapted to this format. In fact, they often serve as great teasers for static content and websites.
The social apps are constantly changing, but today, the post on your page feed might get missed by those who just came to the app to watch videos/stories. In Facebook and Instagram for example, the ‘stories’ are separate to the feed (along the top of the app), so this is a great place to promote something new on your feed or website.
Facebook has just released autoplay and sound to videos in the feed too. So getting your message across via a video may be easier than having it behind a post click.
3. Soft email
Give it away now – Rather than spamming your customers with each new article or update, a good way to share new content via email is by bundling it up with other more regular or important communications. If your quote, invoice or report emails have great open rates, try including links to your new content in the email body or footer.
You don’t always have to pay influencers to share your content. A nice way to get on their radar could be a preliminary ‘list’ piece that includes them. E.g “Five PPC experts you need to be following” or just an inline reference/quote about their brand or content. And don’t forget the biggest influencers of all – your customers. Prompt and genuine interaction with peers and customers on social channels is a great way to get your brand and content in front of the right audience. Consistent examples of great communication on your pages encourages customers to advocate the brand and get involved too.
5. Facebook Pages
There are a few ways to leverage your free Facebook assets:
Audience targeting – Even for free posts, you can select which fans to show to. For example, why advertise a competition or partnership to your whole community if it is only available in one country or state. Only show people the posts that are relevant to them.
Page Real Estate – Your Facebook page has lots of features that can be customised to help you boost your content:
- Pinned Posts – Pin your most important post to the top of the page so it gets the most coverage.
- Profile photo/videos – Profile photos now include video. Change it up to draw attention to your latest content. Tip: put the link in the photo description.
- Cover images/videos – A great big banner that you can use to promote your latest content. These now include video and can be used in lots of quirky ways to tie in with your profile photo.
6. Mentions, Check-ins and Hashtags
Once you have set yourself up with a branded page on social networks. A great way to extend the reach of your content is to reference the relevant people, brands, places and key topics.
- Tagging in or mentioning another person or brand will notify them, and potentially show to their audiences. If your business relies on other suppliers and brands day-to-day, find examples and tag them in. This is a great way to invite others into a conversation about your content and to encourage them to amplify it through their own page.
- Checking into locations on tools like Facebook and Snapchat, can expose people in the area, and researching the area to your content.
- Hashtags are gradually being utilised on more networks as a means to filter through to the most relevant information. There are different norms on different channels but if there is an option to tag or hashtag your content, adding the most descriptive/relevant tags will help the right people find it.
7. Google My Business Posts
Posts are a relatively new addition to your Google My Business profile. Here you can share a copy of your latest update/article, including images and links. They last for a week and during this time, may show in your website’s call out box when it is displayed in Google search results. This increases the impact of your maps listing and immediately invites people to engage with it which is a great first step in brand building.
If having a Google My Business page doesn’t isn’t a workable fit with your brand, you can still share posts on Google+ brand pages, which don’t feature in maps or require a physical location.
8. Community pages and forums
Both LinkedIn and Facebook have established dense ecosystems of group communities. Groups can be quite specific now in terms of locations and topics so finding the right group(s) can be very valuable. Groups are a place for discussion and information sharing so one-way content and sales-related content won’t do well here. Asking for input and feedback on a piece of content is a generally a softer way to start your presence in a group. Another approach is to keep an eye out for questions in the group that your content has answers for, and use your content to reply to the questions of others.
9. Website Features
Adding a few extra features to your website can help with the reach of your content:
- Email Subscribe forms – Quick and easy way to add people to your database.
- Social sharing buttons on content pages – let people share your website content to their social page with one click.
- Feedly Subscribe buttons – Let Feedly users subscribe to your future content.
- Remarketing code – Placing remarketing code on your website makes it easier to get in front of your website visitors again. Most social and advertising tools these days will have remarketing codes you can place on your site. For content marketing, paying attention to where the visitor was on your site can give great insight into the type of content they would be interested in, so try to segment your remarketing lists wherever possible.
10. Rinse and repeat
There is no rule that says you can only post your content once. On high-churn channels like Twitter and Instagram, it’s almost crazy not to. Content can be refreshed in the following ways:
- Share the content on multiple channels.
- Break longer content up into a series of posts.
- Invite others to share popular content on their own channels as a feature.
- Write annual update posts on popular topics. In fact, recent studies have shown that refreshing the existing strong landing pages on your website can increase the SEO visibility of those pages even more.