Your content marketing team has spent months researching, collecting data, and interviewing experts for a report. They publish the report, expecting press attention and social sharing. But nothing happens. The team wonders what it did wrong.
This scenario highlights an important content marketing lesson: Even the best content won’t gain traction if it just sits on your website.
The content amplification process is a simple method for promoting content after it’s published.
We at CanIRank realized that we weren’t getting enough eyes on our blog posts. That’s why we began creating a thorough promotion plan meant to add value to our content.
Use this article to apply content amplification at your company.
What is the content amplification process?
Content amplification is a three-step approach to promoting your content online.
The steps include:
- Identifying your target audience
- Determining which amplifiers, or platforms that publicize content, will work best for your content
- Reaching out to influencers and online communities to promote your content
The content amplification process is important because producing blog posts, podcasts, or infographics is part of an effective SEO strategy. But if you don’t do something with that content, it’s just going to sit there.
Identify Your Target Audience
The first step in the content amplification process is defining your target audience, or the people most likely to engage with your content.
Find Your Content’s Purpose
First, think about what your content is trying to accomplish. Is it attempting to teach your audience something? Is it aiming to solve an issue? Is it just a unique opinion on something that interests them?
For example, each time foreign exchange analysis website MarketsNow produces content, the author, Deb Shaw, knows exactly who will be interested in it:
- Speculators looking for information on trading
- Travelers trying to understand how the US dollar is performing abroad
That’s why Shaw’s MarketsNow articles appear on an array of promotional platforms, including popular speculator websites (such as Forex Factory), Quora, and online Facebook communities providing tips for expats and tourists.
Here, Shaw successfully promoted his article on Quora by responding to a related question using his expertise on currency value.
To find the same success, you will need to do a bit of testing – which is step two.
Test Your Audience
As you explore ways to promote your content, you will see which audiences respond well and which audiences are not interested.
Make adjustments accordingly. Don’t waste your time continually reaching out to an audience that does not care about your content.
Determine Where to Promote Your Content
Below are five common platforms for content amplification.
Sites with Roundup Posts
Blogs often curate articles and share them in a weekly or daily list-style post, creating a round-up article that includes links from around the Internet.
Below is an example of Search Engine Land's daily link roundup.
Featuring your content in a roundup article establishes you as a thought leader by grouping you with other experts.
The website Drop My Link is a helpful tool for identifying these roundups. On this website, you type in your keyword – we’ll use SEO as an example – choose “Link Roundup” as the category, and decide among the following Footprints:
- Best articles of the week
- Best of
- Best post of the week
- Daily link roundup
- Friday link roundup
- Link roundup
- Monday link roundup
- This week
- Top posts this week
- Weekly link roundup
Once you choose the settings, you will be taken to a Google page with the results of this search, and you can find roundups from there.
Below is an example of BizSugar’s posts.
When submitting your content to BizSugar, create an account, then simply click “Submit an Article.”
Paste in the link of your post, fill out a little information about it, and submit.
Forums on Relevant Topics
Forums such as Biz Warriors Forum have discussion threads where users can ask questions or request feedback.
Forums tend to be heavily monitored and usually prohibit self-promotion. When you share your content or direct users back to your site with a link, ask followers to comment on the theories, arguments, or observations in the content. Avoid saying, “check it out.”
This post on Biz Warriors received constructive comments, engagement, and clicks because it asked a question.
The user provided context about the case study to prove its relevance, included a link to the article, and then asked a question about it. Try the same approach.
LinkedIn & Facebook Groups
Social media groups are valuable outlets to share your content with those interested in a certain topic or industry. They usually provide a small, immediate boost in traffic.
On Facebook and LinkedIn groups, encourage engagement. The best way to do this is to include a question in your caption, just like on forums.
For example, the following post received significant engagement and clicks because the tone was relatable, and the question engaged the audience.
The post pointed out an audience frustration, but also made the audience curious about the post without giving away all the details.
Social Media Influencers
Connect with influencers on social media to get your content in front of a larger audience.
An influencer is someone who has expertise in a certain area and, as a result, has a large following. Celebrities and entertainment figures are influencers, but so are talented bloggers and notable businesspeople.
For example, Clutch tagged Rand Fishkin, previously of Moz, in a Twitter post that broadcasted a new report on SEO.
The SEO data caught Fishkin’s attention, and he retweeted the content, allowing the Clutch team to engage with a broader SEO audience and interview Fishkin later on.
Here are a few tips for engaging influencers on social media and email:
- Tag target influencers in a Tweet or Facebook post
- Direct message influencers to explain why the content may interest them
- Email influencers you reference or hope to build a relationship with directly to thank them and show how you included them in your work
Question and answer sites such as Quora help establish you as an expert in your field. Since Q&A sites allow you to link back to your website, answering questions can boost traffic.
Below is an example of a Quora query about a blog post on SEO resources for startups.
Stephen Jeske from CanIRank responded with a list of recommendations, which included in-depth explanations as well as the content he was promoting.
If you’re answering questions on Quora, try to get into the nitty-gritty of your field. Answer questions from people who are truly curious or who genuinely need help.
Make a Content Amplification Plan
Choose “amplifiers” - or the platforms where you will post your content - that are specific to your audience.
The template below is what we use at CanIRank.
Here’s how to fill it out:
- Put your audiences on the top row. Ours include SEOs, marketers and startups.
- On the left-hand side are various amplifiers.
When filling in your template, use both the audience and the roundups to guide your research.
For example, CanIRank wants to find a roundup that is specific to SEOs or startups. MarketsNow wants to find LinkedIn Groups where speculators are spending their time. Patagonia would want to find Facebook groups focused on environmental enthusiasts.
Continue with this type of research until the entire template is filled.
How would you fill in this template? Consider your audiences for these main amplifiers or platforms:
- LinkedIn and Facebook groups
- Q&A Platforms
Monitor Your Content Amplification Efforts
If your content amplification process is working properly, you will see the following:
- Boost in traffic to your content
- Social media engagement
- Higher ranking for target keywords
However, if you don’t see results right away, don’t panic. It takes trial and error to solidify your content amplification process.
Content Amplification Attracts People to Your Work
Putting your content together just isn’t enough anymore – you need to put a plan together so that it gets in front of your target audience. The content amplification process is a menu outlining your target audiences and desired platforms where you will promote your content.
With this process, we have had significant success increasing clicks, boosting traffic and engaging with our target audience. Most importantly, this process has helped us build links, boost keyword rankings and get conversions.
About the Author
Matt Bentley is an entrepreneur, data scientist, and rock climber with 15 years experience building Internet startup companies. He is the Founder of SEO and content marketing software CanIRank.com and intelligent marketing assistant GrowthAI.com. He covers topics including SEO, growth marketing, growth hacking, content marketing, and social media.