Companies are investing more and more resources in creating great content, meaning the bar to creating great content is continually rising and that distributing said content is growing increasingly more difficult as well.
Looking to help as many marketers as possible become more agile and increase their team’s performance, we at Proof HQ decided to track our own content marketing efforts to see what was working best for us, as well as others, and pull together the best of what we’ve seen. Here are 13 of our favorite content amplification tactics:
1. Mention Companies & Influencers Where Relevant
Rand Fishkin suggests that everyone should ask, ‘Who will share this and why?’ before they even think of publishing a post. If you cannot come up with a clear answer, then your content likely needs to be reworked.
While the reasons people share content varies quite a bit, the likelihood of someone sharing an article from an author they genuinely admire is very high. So, sometimes it’s best to start with giving credit to companies and influencers where it’s earned.
2. Ask Influencers to Contribute
While earning a guest posting spot or convincing an influencer within your niche to contribute to your blog can be a difficult task, asking them to make a small contribution by way of a blurb or tip is not too much to ask and it allows you to include the brightest minds in your industry in your content.
For example, Vero executed this perfectly when they asked 15 email marketing experts to share their best email tip. Instead of starting from scratch, they now have quality content sourced from 15 individuals, several of whom have a large following and are recognized as very credible sources.
3. Give Influencers Something of Real Value
At ProofHQ, we’re huge fans of Ann Handley, so we knew she was releasing her book titled Everybody Writes months in advance.
Instead of just retweeting a post or two about her book a week before it released and then hoping that’d be enough value to deliver, we decided to conduct a podcast interview where we bought five copies of Everybody Writes and gave them away to people who left insightful comments on the blog.
In addition, we’ve been promoting that podcast and have been advocating Ann’s book to everyone involved in creating and promoting content.
The bottom line: do much more than is expected while delivering real value, and influencers will be much more likely to take you seriously.
4. Extract Shareable Pieces From Your Content
Very few companies actually take advantage of all of what their content has to offer. A blog post is worth so much more when you can share tweetable snippets (and allow your readers to share via click to tweet links).
Onboardly, a content marketing and digital PR shop for startups, created an amazing list of tweetable startup quotes in which they successfully combined several proven content distribution strategies into one awesome post. Over a year later, people are still referencing this post.
5. The Skyscraper Technique
What if we were to tell you that content distribution actually begins before the content is even created. Brian Dean from Backlinko is a content marketing and SEO mastermind. One of his most reliable strategies works so well because he’s willing to put in the work and focus on big content when others are simply looking for small, short-term traffic gains or give up on content marketing altogether.
In short, The Skyscraper Technique is a method in which you see what content created by your competitors and other people in your industry has been doing well by using tools such as Buzzsumo, SEMRush and Topsy. Then, take the best performing and most relevant piece, make it much better through more in-depth content and better design for example, and distribute like crazy by using the aforementioned tools to see who linked to and shared the content you improved in terms of content, design and depth.
If you want to use the Skyscraper Technique for yourself, read these two articles for more detail:
- How I Increased My Traffic by 110% in 14 Days
- The ‘Skyscraper Technique’ May Actually Improve Your Content Marketing
6. Engage With Niche Communities
While traditional and digital PR are still immensely powerful promotion outlets, genuinely engaging and providing value to relevant niche communities can be extremely rewarding. Plus, if your content is well-received, there’s always a chance that other blogs and media publications will syndicate your content.
For instance, if your core audience is digital marketers, then you should be active on:
If you’re targeting small business owners in general, take a look at these communities:
- Yahoo Small Business Advisor
7. Turn Your Content Into A Guide
Chances are good you already have a blog with lots of great content around a consistent theme. To repurpose and redistribute that content, leverage a site like Guides.co to turn it into a guide as a lead generation asset and for additional brand awareness.
Frontleaf, a Customer Success Management Platform, took \content they created for their blog, which focuses entirely on Customer Success and how companies can implement CS strategies, and repurposed it into a guide on Guides.co, which exposes their content to a completely new audience, generating hundreds of additional sign ups without any paid promotion.
8. Natively Promote Your Content
Native advertising is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit, and many of us have our doubts about what exactly qualifies as native advertising. The good news is that when content actually entertains and informs people, without coming off as too ‘advertise-ey’, it usually performs much better than a traditional banner ad.
In short, native advertising is a paid placement of content that fits in with the layout of the site it’s on, usually without a clear call to action.
Other ways to promote natively include:
- Facebook Dark Posts
- NamoMedia (mobile)
9. Focus On Creating Big Content
As mentioned, thinking about your content promotion strategy should come before you create content. To illustrate this point, WordStream put together a great visual showing that four percent of their content generates 85 percent of their shares and five percent generates 95 percent of their high-quality links.
As stated by Larry Kim, focus 20 percent of your time on creating fewer high-quality pieces of content and the other 80 percent on promoting that content.
Mackenzie Fogelson from Web Mack Solutions wrote a great piece explaining how they previously relied solely on blog posts, infographics and so forth until they turned to a big content piece and created a 147 -page guide book on building communities, which lead to significant earned media and credibility for their agency.
10. Buy a Niche Media Property
Buy an entire site? To be clear, this strategy does work best for larger businesses that have a clear proposition on who their ideal audience is, but buying a niche blog doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Joseph Pulizzi from Content Marketing Institute has been a vocal advocate of this strategy, and I can’t say I disagree with him.
Owning a media property allows you to directly engage with your audience through content and establish your brand as a thought leader. It’s a strategy that should be taken with caution, however, as you don’t want to bombard this audience with advertisements, but rather see it as a platform to help your audience at scale.
11. Use Twitter Lead Gen Cards To Target Events
Jordan Skole, Director of Marketing at Ambassador recently released an article on generating high-quality Twitter leads where he shared some great insights on targeting relevant events because:
- Conference attendees clearly have a budget
- Events are focused on a certain topic
- Participants are active on social media & searching for a specific hashtag
- Follow a predictable schedule
It’s best to distribute a guide, eBook, case study or something of value in exchange for an email address for this strategy to work best.
12. Reserve Additional Content Only For Visitors Who Share
Andrew Chen, a popular tech blogger known for popularizing the term ‘growth hacker,’ regularly writes about viral marketing, analytics, and growth in Silicon Valley. As an investor and advisor in AppSumo, he wrote a free eBook titled Rational Growth which he put out for free on AppSumo that required visitors to share to one of their social networks to download, resulting in over fifteen thousand downloads.
13. Use Snip.ly When Curating Content
Just like you want people to share your content, it’s always good to share others’ content (as long as it’s worthy of sharing). Curating others’ content doesn’t mean that you can’t bring additional value to your readers and benefit from the process as well.
Snip.ly allows you to create a banner that goes on the bottom of the content you share, in which you can then share a relevant piece of content that you wrote that will resonate with the same audience that the article you’re sharing does.
If done right, you’ll bring your readers more value, help out the author of the article you shared, and generate more traffic to your content.
While creating great content is always a must, thinking about content distribution even before you create content is often an overlooked step and thus huge missed opportunity. Remember to always ask yourself, “Who will share this and why?” and have a clear answer before you hit publish.
What other content distribution strategies are you using effectively?