Sadly, writing interesting, thought-provoking and useful copy is, at most, only half the battle. The absolute glut of content on the web means that new copy has to shout louder and strut prouder than the competition to get itself noticed. Setting even the most skilled of copywriters and designers to task cannot guarantee results, and an effective content amplification process is required to ensure that the content will be seen by the desired numbers and the requisite audience.
Even now, exquisite copy will be floating around the unloved stretches of the internet without the attention and readership it deserves. Like the works of Van Gogh, Bach, Kafka and the other great unappreciated creators of history; this content is doomed to haunt the web until the end of time (or until it redirects to a 404 page).
Amplifying content is absolutely central to an effective content marketing strategy (although it can seem daunting to us shy and coy copywriters), so it’s vital that every piece of content produced on behalf of your brand has the backing of a considered amplification process. Here, we’ve compiled five ways to effectively amplify content, so its readership and influence grows.
1. Ego Baiting
Those influential industry voices can carry much power when it comes to content marketing. One of the most effective strategies is getting these powerful voices to champion your content, and in turn your brand. With fans and followers aplenty, as well as a reputation as a trusted source; the backing of key influencers could be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful content marketing campaign.
Like Rafiki, the wise old baboon from the Lion King, lifting your content before the baying kingdom of Serengeti animals; key influencers can ensure that your content is seen by more eyes and your brand receives increased exposure. But they can also be a difficult beast to tame.
One of our favourite techniques is to combine the knowledge of trusted influencers and compile them in the content. Offering your influencers a part on this ‘knowledge committee’ can be attractive for many a blogger and industry expert. Plus, this gives your content a great deal of value, and multiple avenues to be shared and distributed from trusted sources.
2. The Skyscraper Technique
Whilst I may have lambasted the ever-expanding body of content currently published on the net in the opening to this blog, it actually serves a useful purpose. With millions of users viewing billions of pieces of content on the web, we’ve got access to a hugely detailed and comprehensive insight into what people are searching for and reading online.
Using tools such as Buzzsumo and SEMRush, it is possible to take a look at what your competitors and industry pals have been focusing on when creating content. You’ll be able to see the topics and areas of the industry currently creating a buzz, and check out your rivals’ content. Take the inspiration from the successes of your rivals, and create content around the same subjects, but make it’s much more in-depth, useful and/or better designed.
For example, turn a fact-based article into a useful and digestible infographic, or turn an opinion-led blog into an in-depth investigation with multiple sources. Like the skyscraper race of New York, it’s your job to make your content bigger, better and more eye-catching.
Then you can use Buzzsumo to check out the influencers who viewed, liked and shared the content which inspired yours, and direct their attention to your material – potentially increasing its visibility.
You can read more about the Skyscraper Technique here.
3. Tease with Titbits
A favourite of tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines — pull out (and slightly paraphrase where appropriate) parts of your content to share on your brand’s social media channels. Rather than linking to the same piece of content with the same message multiple times, using different quotes and passages from the text can offer unique angles and draw in increased readership.
For example, The World’s 50 Most Beautiful Beaches, could be shared multiple times with several of the entries taking centre stage in turn (complete with an Instagram-worthy image, of course). Social media followers not wowed by Isola Bella Beach in Italy may have their head turned by Legzira Beach in Morocco instead.
Monitoring the click-through rates of your titbit teasers can also help you identify social wins, providing the opportunity to streamline the process of sharing your content via your brand’s social channels.
4. Rework Content Material into a Guide
If your brand has been diligently turning out copy for a considerable amount of time, earning modest traffic along the way whilst sticking to the brand’s key subjects, this old copy can be turned into a comprehensive industry guide. Skyscraper-ing your own copy, you’ll be adding increased value to the content by positioning it in a full A-Z guide.
As collating all your previous blogs into one mega blog can be messy, we’d recommend either editing the entries into a .pdf guide. A huge resource is far more likely to be advocated and shared by influencers than one-off pieces and can demonstrate your brand’s worth to the wider industry – great brand exposure.
In a world where an immeasurable volume of short copy is being added to the web daily, something a little longer can really stand out from the crowd.
5. Make Sharing Easy and Rewarding
Whilst we’d be reluctant to advocate dumbing down copy to its lowest point, there is real value in making sharing the content as simple as possible. Big, bright, shiny social buttons in prominent (but never obtrusive) positions can help increase the number of readers who click ‘share’. You’d never make your website’s checkout process more complicated than it needs to be, so why would you make sharing difficult? Simple CMS plugins are available to neatly slot in the sharing buttons wherever they’re most effective.
Positioning the social buttons can take a little planning, but we’d recommend either placing them at the top of the post (favoured by the likes of TechCrunch and Mashable) or coding them to follow the reader like a hungry wolf (favoured by us). It may be worth engaging in some light A/B testing to determine which position earns the most shares from your respective audience, to again streamline your offerings.
Additionally, it’s important that the entire content is rewarding for those committing to click ‘share’. Most users are fiercely protective over their social media activity, so will be unwilling to publicly advocate a webpage or site which is ugly, poorly considered or out of touch with their tastes and demographic. Consider the whole package which the user has to share, and not just the content contained within.
All of these methods can be used as part of a concerted, collaborative effort to improve the visibility of your content, and subsequently, your brand – all whilst giving your copywriters the exposure they undoubtedly deserve.
If you’re interested in learning more about the finer arts of content marketing, send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.