Content marketing is a highly effective and popular strategy used by nearly 90% of B2B organizations. This approach is intricate and split into two key areas- content creation and content amplification. Over recent years, many businesses have started investing additional resources into content creation, keen to position themselves as industry experts and trendsetters. Whilst creating relevant and exciting content is essential to an effective approach, this is only 50% of the journey. Without content amplification, all your hard work in creating content has been for little gain, and your department will struggle to achieve the lead generation results desired. Discover content amplification and build an effective strategy to maximize results gained from your content marketing approach.
What is content amplification?
Content amplification outlines the process of sharing and distributing your content assets to ensure they reach a wider audience. The amplification process helps increase content conversion, as a higher number of people engage with the amplified asset, learning about your product and how it can benefit their business. Web content specialist Dan Shewan describes this essential process, stating “Your content is the signal, and [amplification] is the noise”; though your marketing assets stand alone as pieces of valuable content, without the appropriate amplification channels, your target audience will struggle to access their insight.
There is no single strategy fuelling effective content amplification – many different, individual techniques feed into this detailed process, and the routes chosen heavily depend upon your target audience and the content assets in question. Your content amplification strategy will be built upon a collection of unique approaches and tactics, so it’s natural to ask where best to start.
Learn how to build the ultimate content amplification strategy with these best practices, ensuring your assets stand out from competitor content, and produce the exceptional new business results your team desire.
Research audience channel preferences
It’s important to ask what channels of amplification work best for your ideal buyer. Do they engage with social media often? Do they enjoy email distribution, or regularly access specific newsletters? Understanding the behaviors and preferences of your target audience can help your team understand which channels are essential to your content amplification strategy, and which will have little effect and can be removed from initial consideration.
Start by turning to your client base, asking which assets they engaged with prior to purchase, and how they discovered these assets. Whilst you want to reach a broader audience, it’s important to ensure the channels you choose to amplify content speak directly to prospects that meet your buyer criteria and have a genuine chance of gaining business value from your product or solution.
Understand owned and paid amplification channels
Though all amplification strategies differ, they are usually comprised of owned and paid distribution channels. Owned channels are those your team and business have full control over, such as your website, social media profiles and email distribution. These amplification types are usually free (as your business already “owns” the channel) and can be employed and executed in any way your team sees fit. It’s likely your content is already published on your website, taking the essential first step in amplification.
Paid distribution encapsulates the content amplification channels out of your direct business control that require an investment. These channels include third party promotions, influencer marketing and paid advertizing. These channels have the broadest reach, alerting many new prospects to your brand and product, but the investment attached to these processes can carry varying risks.
The best amplification strategies balance these two media types to achieve earned media– this occurs when people outside your business share and amplify your content for free, based on the quality and merit of your assets and brand. Understanding these three amplification types is essential, helping your team properly assign budget and ensure the most effective approach.
Select your best content
When using paid distribution channels, it’s important to identify your best content; which assets are especially informative and interesting, practicalizing your product effectively for your target audience? Whilst some paid channels, like social media advertizing, may seem cost-effective at just a few dollars per-asset share, it’s important to prioritize the right content. An all or nothing approach won’t yield the results you need, as your content needs to appear unique and rare- something your audience can’t access anywhere else. If you promote 30 assets all at once across paid social media campaigns- they don’t seem so special!
Select the top 1-2% of your content assets, proved popular by their subject matter or format, and focus on amplifying these specific pieces for the most effective strategy. Whilst everything you create can be easily shared across owned media, be sure to only invest in amplifying the content you believe will produce the best results; this effectively streamlines your strategy to ensure a detailed understanding of which assets are most successfully engaging through paid channels. This approach also ensures you gain the desired lead results from paid amplification– it’s better to discover a channel is ineffective after paying for the amplification of just one asset as opposed to dozens.
Discover niche communities
To improve the effectiveness of owned amplification, take time to identify social groups on platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook that share a common interest or passion relating to your product and your business goals. These communities are ready-made audiences, perfectly poised to discover and love your content- but don’t rush into things.
Just sharing content into these groups is ineffective- focus instead on becoming part of the community, sharing useful hints, tips, and insights that benefit other businesses, getting involved in their conversations and discussions. Once a well-established member, start to share your own content. Select the assets you think the group would enjoy; your recommendations will be taken more seriously, and these communities will engage with your content because it’s from a trusted, reliable source. Though this approach takes some time to implement, it’s free and helps your team take control of your owned media distributions in a unique and exciting way.
Offer engagement rewards
Whilst your team can carefully strategize the use of paid and owned media to ensure an effective amplification approach, earned media is difficult to influence; as its name suggests, earned media comes from a place of trust, where prospects, leads and clients feel your brand and content are of such quality and expertise, their colleagues would benefit from its insight. However, promoting engagement rewards provides your team some slight leverage over the production of earned media, by offering business benefits for sharing content.
Popular technology blogger and investment adviser for AppSumo Andrew Chen wrote an eBook he offered for free if visitors shared the book on one of their social networks; this was a huge success, as the eBook saw fifteen thousand downloads! Not only did fifteen thousand people engage with the brand by downloading the content, but at least another fifteen thousand also discovered the content through the social network shares. (That’s assuming each person who downloaded the book only has one follower!)
Encouraging those engaging with your brand to share your latest content by offering them a rewardis a simple but highly effective approach. Whether you offer free content access, an entry into a prize draw, or a product offer, this is a cost-effective way to amplify content that improves lead generation success. 9 in 10 purchasing decisions are influenced by colleague recommendation; leads generated through earned media are highly valuable to your business, and far more likely to become clients.
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