It’s no mystery that the Internet is a cluttered space. I tend to think of it as a messy, overstuffed closet that makes it hard to find anything useful.
Consumers are overwhelmed today with the sheer volume of content that’s available to them on the Web. Sure, there’s a ton of quality content out there and advertisers are adopting content marketing at a rapid pace. According to PQ Media’s Global Content Marketing Forecast, “The industry is on track to generate $313 billion in revenue in 2019.” And for good reason—enterprise brands like Cisco, Marriott, and DemandBase are earning a major return on investment from their content marketing programs. By combining a number of content assets through just one content marketing campaign, DemandBase was able to generate 1,700 leads, 125 webinar participants, 5,000 views on Slideshare, and $1 million in new business.
But for many brands, once they’ve nailed down their strategy, begun production, and launched their content hub, they’re faced with a frustrating challenge: No one is viewing their content.
The truth is, more often than not if a brand hasn’t put aside funds for paid amplification, the cherished pieces that they’ve poured their blood, sweat, and tears into will see poor results and slow traction. Why? Because their content is competing with 3.5 million blogs posts published every week, according to the Content Promotion Manifesto by Chad Pollitt. Not only that, but 571 websites are launched, 48 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded, and 347 WordPress blogs are published—every minute of every day. In addition to these staggering numbers, their content is reaching the same people they’ve always reached: their owned audience. And chances are, at the beginning stages of a content marketing program, that’s not a very big audience.
Breaking through the noise clearly isn’t easy. Even with an editorial calendar that’s planned in advance that publishes original, well-written content, brands struggle to get their content to gain traction through organic amplification channels. This is where paid amplification can help lift your social media posts onto the screens of relevant audiences who wouldn’t otherwise engage with your content.
On top of accelerating the pace of your audience growth, you’ll start to see some good page-view traction on your promoted pieces. So where do you begin?
Start by promoting content through the channels you’re actively maintaining and have an engaged audience. Twitter, for example. Choosing your target audience and launching your sponsored Tweets campaign is intuitive and can be tweaked as you monitor the results.
But don’t promote just any piece of content; make sure it’s an important update or brand story you anticipate your audience will love, and include some sort of a visual—a photo or video—with the update to maximize clicks.
There are plenty of resources and strategies to help you get the performance you’re looking for with your content amplification. Matthew Gratt’s article on Convince & Convert takes you through promotion via owned, earned, and paid media. Also, check out our trends piece on how to develop a content promotion strategy for 2016.
Here’s some more good news: Paid posts are great for increasing your brand awareness and growing your following through social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, while content discovery vendors like Taboola or Outbrain can drive a significant amount of traffic to your site via promoted articles.
The sheer noise on the Internet today has made paid amplification a necessary component of any content marketing program. Luckily for new content marketers, there are plenty of ways for brands to get their content off the ground. My best advice would be to start with a small portion of the budget you’ve allocated toward content amplification. Once you’ve started to get the hang of it, you can begin to add more money to existing campaigns. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to a successful content marketing campaign driven by paid content amplification.
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