What Is Content Amplification and How to Use It to Reach More People?
Content amplification is a set of strategies to get your content in front of more people through earned, owned and paid media. It is, essentially, a fancy word for "content promotion". But in an era where ads rule, it's more important than ever to think about what happens to your content once it's ready.
Here’s the simple truth about social media and the internet at large - Just because your content is great doesn’t mean anyone will get to see it. Or more precisely, it won’t be seen by the right number of people. That’s because there’s only so much organic reach can do. For the rest, you need content amplification.
After all the hard work that you may have put in your social media post, article, blog, video, or helpful listicle, this isn’t what you want to hear. But the sooner you realize that organic traffic and search intent aren’t going to do the job, the better you’ll be.
Before we proceed, let’s make one thing very clear - This isn’t a judgment on your content. This isn’t an indictment of your talent or your efforts. In fact, your talent, as seen through any piece of content, has pretty much nothing to do with its reach.
This is how social media algorithms work. They don’t promote non-paid content. Facebook, for example, shows it only to around 5.2% of your followers. That’s why you need content amplification.
What is content amplification?
It’s a set of strategies to promote your content through earned, owned, or paid media. The goal is to increase the reach of your content across channels. Eventually, it raises your awareness, builds your brand, and helps with conversion.
A good content marketing strategy will have content amplification at its heart. Merely creating great text, audio, or video will not ensure that your current and intended audiences will see it. What’ll make the difference is the amplification of that content.
Why not organic reach?
Does it mean that you can never grow through organic reach? Of course not. Several influencers and online businesses have grown sheerly through organic reach. But if you think you’ll be able to do what they did, you need to understand two critical factors at play.
The first is that most celebrities would have already made a name for themselves in the offline world or on a different online platform. That makes it easy for them to amass a significant number of followers overnight. That’ll ensure that most content they create hits well above a minimum viable audience.
The second factor is time. Any influencer or a content creator with a large audience would’ve taken years to build it. A one-off piece of content, however excellent, will not quickly rise in organic reach.
James Clear is the author of the multi-million bestseller, Atomic Habits. His emails reach more than a million people every week. But he isn’t an overnight success. He started his blog in 2012 and it took several years of consistent and unique content to be successful.
So, content promotion is crucial to expedited visibility. If you’re a creator looking to increase your reach, here are six steps by which you can use content amplification.
6-step guide to content amplification
1. Use your best work
Before you get busy with content marketing, you need to find your best work. Although you may feel that all your articles and videos are of excellent quality, some would be demonstrably better than others.
What you pick shouldn’t just be the best but also should define your other work. It should be easy to consume ,not too long, and have a clear value proposition. You can go through your work and look for the one with the most comments or shares.
Remember that the number of likes is secondary to the quality of your audience’s reaction. Look for pieces that got your audience engaged enough to leave appreciation or lengthy feedback.
What you amplify will be your new audience’s first interaction with you. And as you know, first impressions go along way. Someone encountering it should be able to pick out something from it that can add value to their lives.
2. Reach out to influencers
In the online world, you are who you engage with.
To effectively use content amplification, you have to find and convince an influencer to boost your work. You could look for someone in your broad category but not someone who could be a direct competitor in the future.
You can reach out to them via email with your best work and request their views. If they like it and share your work, it’s excellent news. But remember that influencers may receive hundreds of emails a week and may not have the time or inclination to open another one.
If email doesn’t work, try contacting through social media. You could share a link to your work and briefly state what it’s about. To make it more fruitful, you should select influencers whose work may have inspired you or whose work you may have quoted.
3. Guest post on other sites
If you want to be seen, you’ve got to be in places with a lot of visibility. Like news sites and successful online publications with national or global audiences.
A proven method to amplify your content and increase your reach is by guest posting on other publications. Before you start emailing editors, there are certain things you should keep in mind.
First of all, you should have an interesting body of content that’s accessible through your site or blog. By interesting we mean that it should interest another publication.
Secondly, you shouldn’t be repeating your content. You should understand that publication’s audience and create a new piece of work customized to their preferences.
If they agree to publish your work, you should add a short bio and a link to your site at the end of the article.
4. Owned media
These are digital assets that you own that include blogs, newsletters, and social media accounts. Each one of these will give you opportunities for content amplification.
No matter what category you’re in, you need a regularly maintained blog. Don’t wait for a big idea to strike but be consistent with small ideas. With every article, you’re building a body of work and making it easy for both users and search engines to find you.
If you're still struggling, we've also put together an actionable guide on how the best writers get ideas for their blogs.
People who believe emails don’t work wouldn’t have heard of Tim Ferriss or MorningBrew. The fact is that newsletters are one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience, by reaching them through a format that’s easy and simple.
Remember, all it takes for someone to share your email is to click on the ‘Forward’ button.
As mentioned earlier, social media doesn’t give you the kind of visibility that you deserve. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be serious about it.
Of course, managing social media is time consuming (especially if you're active on multiple platforms), so make sure you pick a tool to help you do that effectively.
5. Paid social media promotion
Since organic traction will take time, paid social media is the next best thing. But the key here is to understand the unique characteristics of each platform and then tailor your content promotion accordingly.
You’ll also have opportunities to granularly target your audiences. That too will depend on which platform you use. For example, LinkedIn is an excellent platform to reach C-Suite professionals across industries. But it’s also how you can target younger executives by their education or interests.
Through Twitter, you can promote a tweet that might link to your best work. Or, a piece of content that’s topical for the Twitter audiences. Facebook is where you can boost your best content to carefully selected audience groups.
Depending on your niche, you mayor may not use YouTube. But remember that video is the fastest-growing form of content and with some imagination, you can create interesting videos for any topic or category.
6. Content syndication
Content syndication, where a website republishes content from another site, is a smart tool to amplify your content. This is a highly effective tactic especially when you’re starting out.
If you’re in the B2B space or if your content is targeted mostly towards working professionals, you should get your work published in LinkedIn Pulse. If you add value, solve a problem, or bring to light an issue, and do it consistently, your content will be amplified in front of the right audiences.
For others, there’s Medium. The publishing platform has become renowned for its ease of use, minimal design, and global audience. Whatever category you develop expertise in, it’d be a smart idea to offer some of your content through Medium to reach a larger pool of users.
Content amplification isn’t a substitute for talent and hard work. But it helps you reach more people in a shorter span. For that to work, your content amplification strategy should be tailored to your niche and you should learn from your tactics. Importantly, what you amplify should interest, excite, and add value to the users.