Help Your Content Marketing Stand Out from the Crowd with Amplification

Your brand may produce awesome content. And if you’re like many of your fellow content marketers, you likely produce a lot of content. Frequency in content publishing is a golden rule, right? In fact, 73 percent of B2B content marketers produce more content than they did a year ago, according to a 2014 survey from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.

What’s not so awesome is if no one discovers your content. How’s that possible, you say? You’ve worked hard to make sure your content is highly engaging and relevant to your customers’ needs. And you’re following your carefully crafted editorial calendar to a tee.

Well, the challenge is that everyone else who’s following best practices for content creation is doing the same thing – and at a high frequency. The trick is finding smart ways to stand out from the crowd.

For many marketers, content amplification is showing promise as a potential answer. At its core, amplification is a paid media tactic that allows you to get your content in front of targeted audiences on media sites, social media platforms and other valuable outlets. From there, you can drive social shares and traffic to your owned media assets, which leads to more opportunities for engagement and conversion.

The ubiquitous examples we all see on a daily basis are recommended headlines listed near news stories on sites like CNN, Mashable and Slate. These compelling and provocative headlines get readers to click through to your website for further lead nurturing.

From a purist content marketing perspective, the notion of amplification as a supporting tactic may seem like a strange bedfellow. After all, content marketers live quite contently
(couldn’t resist the pun) in the warm and cozy world of owned media. Paid media almost feels like going backwards. And yet it’s the convergence of paid, earned, shared and owned media channels – which I wrote about last fall – that  is fueling the best results for smart marketers.

You can see this multi-channel approach in the rapid growth of content discovery platforms such as StumbleUpon, Outbrain and Taboola, and paid social amplification tools like Facebook’s Promoted Posts and Promoted Tweets from Twitter. All these tactics leverage a simple truth: Content distribution and amplification tactics get 70 percent to 80 percent of the content budget at most companies when compared to content creation efforts, according to a recent MediaPost blog.

To get the most from your content amplification efforts, consider the following three tips:

Fast track:

Content marketing is not a quick-win tactic. Content amplification can be used judiciously as a tool to jumpstart your campaigns and get a quick traffic spike after the launch date. Monitor your results to see when you may want to throttle back, as your organic traffic kicks in from all the excellent blogging, ebooks and infographics you’re producing.

Pick the right partner:

There are a variety of content marketing agencies that can help you incorporate amplification into a larger content strategy. Finding the right fit isn’t easy, but a good rule of thumb is to choose an agency that has a comprehensive understanding of content marketing – from content creation and strategy to workflow platforms and analytics/optimization.  A good content marketing agency can help its clients pick the right discovery platforms and social amplification tools that are best suited to their specific campaign goals.

Optimize your headlines and photos:

This is the fun part. A/B testing of various headline and photo variations will deliver more engagement and lower your CPCs. Shoot for provocative content that piques readers’ curiosity.  Sometimes a question-based headline will work, other times a negative slant may spike clicks. Ultimately, you have to test – and then test some more. Never stop optimizing. Finally, be sure your messaging is appropriate for the desired audience. Networks like Reddit, Facebook and LinkedIn have very different readerships.

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