Content marketing can be a soul-crushing endeavor.
It’s like this. You spend several hours or maybe even days meticulously putting together what seems like a brilliant blog post, slideshow, infographic, etc.
But even with all your hard work and dedication, your content falls on deaf ears.
You post it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other network you can think of, but there’s no reaction.
Maybe you get a handful of shares, but your content never gains any momentum.
Are you alone?
Some startling stats on content marketing
Here’s the deal.
There’s a lot of content that gets published every day. I mean a lot!
Just take a look at the skyrocketing number of blog posts published on WordPress between 2006 and 2016:
And according to BuzzSumo, “The number of pages Google has indexed over 7 years from 2008 to 2014 has increased from 1 trillion to 30 trillion.
This means one thing: more competition.
As more and more content gets created, it results in more “noise,” which inevitably makes it harder to bring attention to your content.
Here’s the most disturbing stat of all from the American Marketing Association:
“Marketers are blogging 800 percent more but getting nearly 100 percent fewer shares.”
Here’s what that looks like:
This isn’t exactly encouraging if content marketing is one of your primary means of advertising.
So, how can you get your content in front of your audience?
More importantly, can you amplify its reach without digging into your budget?
It all starts with an effective content amplification strategy.
You need to implement tactics that ensure your content attracts two key things: shares and links.
These are the foundation of content amplification.
I would now like to discuss five techniques I have personally had success with, which—if done correctly—can work for you too.
1. Create content that features original research
Let’s start from the top.
I’ll begin by going over a couple forms of content I’ve found to receive an insane number of shares and links.
After all, the first step to amplifying your reach is to create content people are genuinely interested in.
This is a natural catalyst for shares and links.
One type of content in particular that kills it is content that includes original research.
By this I mean statistics, graphs, charts, and other forms of data that provide readers with in-depth insight on a topic.
One particular piece of content I really love and have linked to on several occasions is this one from OkDork: Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us
Noah Kagan (the creator of OkDork) partnered with BuzzSumo to analyze 100 million articles to determine things like:
- which content is likely to get the most social shares
- the correlation between content length and number of shares
- which emotions you should target
Here are a couple of graphs to illustrate the point:
It’s incredibly thorough and well-written and has received a lot of attention as a result.
I’ve also noticed that sites such as The Content Marketing Institute and ConversionXL that provide users with consistent original research perform very well.
I’ve been doing this myself, mining data that has never been collected before and turning it into actionable marketing tactics.
Some of it is super technical data.
But it always has value. And that’s the whole goal!
I realize that performing your own research can be time-consuming and expensive, but it can really pay dividends in the long run.
I suggest incorporating this into your content strategy.
2. Create exhaustive “what is” or “how to” guides
Readers will inevitably have questions.
The resource that answers those questions most effectively is usually the one that gets their attention, which is often followed by shares and links.
You can amplify your reach by being the one who creates the best, most thorough, and most exhaustive guide.
Typically, this will come in one of two formats: “what is” or “how to” guide.
Your goal is to use your knowledge and expertise to walk readers through a step-by-step process, answering any questions they may have along the way.
Here’s an example.
I wrote a long-form article on neilpatel.com called SEO Made Simple: A Step-By-Step Guide.
It covers most aspects of SEO and walks readers through them in a way that’s easy to follow.
I was sure to provide lots of examples, data, screenshots, etc. to provide them with the most comprehensive explanation I could.
The end result was that it received a boatload of shares and links.
Here are the numbers for shares on different platfroms as of February 2017:
I’m not showing you these numbers to brag. I want to highlight the impact creating this type of content can have.
Whatever your niche may be, you can usually amplify your reach by creating be-all and end-all guides like this.
3. Base your content on industry trends
Another strategy I’ve been using for a while involves choosing the topics for my articles based on what’s trending at the moment in my industry.
Although this may not have the longevity of evergreen content and get you shares for years to come, it is a viable strategy for quickly amplifying your immediate reach.
Here’s the logic behind this technique:
- you know for a fact your audience has an existing interest in a particular topic
- you can prove it by analyzing metrics such as shares and engagements
- you’re likely to get plenty of shares and links by creating high quality content based on that topic.
But how do you know what’s hot at the moment?
Well, there are several ways to tell:
- you could simply pay attention to social outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and even Reddit
- you could stay on top of industry publications to see what’s being talked about
- you could check Google Trends
- or you could streamline your efforts by using one of my favorite tools, BuzzSumo.
It’s quite easy. Just enter a topic in the search box. I’ll use “SEO marketing” as an example.
Here’s what pops up:
Just like that, I can see what the most popular content is based on metrics such as social shares and engagements.
I then use that information to base my next piece of content on.
The likelihood of that content “sticking” and reaching my audience increases considerably as opposed to the content I might come up with off the top of my head.
To learn more about how to use BuzzSumo to generate content ideas, I suggest reading this post from Moz.
4. Share only the best of the best
I feel like many content marketers think it’s a good idea to post every single piece of content they create on every platform they can get their hands on.
And I get it.
You’ve worked hard and are trying to get as many eyeballs on your content as possible.
But here’s the cold truth. The bulk of content of most brands isn’t overly impressive.
Usually only a fraction is super-interesting.
In other words, not every piece of content is a unicorn. The majority are donkeys.
But you want to post “unicorn content.”
Now, I’m not saying you should share only one blog post out of 20.
But you should maintain rigorous quality standards when choosing what to post on social media.
If someone does click on an article that’s clearly sub-par and reeks of mediocrity, two things are going to happen:
- you won’t get any shares or links
- it’ll turn many people off, and they won’t want anything to do with your brand
By being selective and sharing only the best of the best on social media, you can uphold your quality standards, which should amplify your reach.
Only share content worthy of unicorn status, and you should be good to go.
5. Leverage connections with influencers
All right, you’re probably getting sick of hearing about “the power of influencer marketing” and all that jazz.
I feel like it’s a topic that’s been done to death at this point.
But the fact is that getting your content featured by a key influencer or even having them give you a subtle nod can amplify your reach dramatically.
Here’s a quick example.
I like Tim Ferriss’ website The Four Hour Workweek.
I like to read his blog, listen to his podcast, and get his take on things. He’s an all around interesting guy, and I think his content is jam-packed with value.
He recently featured a guy who goes by the name “Mr. Money Mustache.”
Long story short, this guy has a blog about how he and his family live a comfortable lifestyle with annual expenses of no more than $27,000.
He tackles topics such as frugal living, efficiency, achieving happiness, and so on.
His content interested me, so I checked out quite a bit of his site.
I had never heard of “Mr. Money Mustache” up until that point, but being featured on Tim Ferriss’ site gave him instant credibility in my eyes, and I was interested in what he had to say.
I mean if Tim gave him his seal of approval, he must be legit. Right?
But if I simply came across his site on my own, I doubt I would give it the time of day.
The point I’m trying to make here is that having your content featured by influencers can take you from zero to hero insanely quickly.
I won’t give you a step-by-step guide to influencer marketing right here. But I will point out a few helpful resources on this topic:
6 Ways to Get Influencers to Link to You
The Ultimate Guide to Writing Epic Content That Will Go Viral
Getting someone influential in your industry to share your content is your ace in the hole.
Content amplification is a way to increase the reach of your content, delivering it to more of your audience.
With such an ungodly mass of content already out there and piles of it being produced every day, content amplification has never been more important than today.
Using the strategies I discussed above should help you amplify your reach without having to dig deep into your pockets.
This should also minimize the numbing sense of disillusionment that so many content marketers feel these days when their content falls flat.
Your content will go further, and your brand equity will continue to grow at the same time.