You could build (or have built) the best, most amazing piece of content – but if no one reads or views it, does it even really exist? Recognizing the right avenue for sharing your content and then finding the best way to amplify the message through social influencers and employee advocacy will ensure that you get your message out to your target audience and hopefully fulfill your purpose.
Best Social Media Avenues
- Twitter - Posts are limited to just 140 characters. This can be a good thing, as it forces the message to be succinct, containing only the most important aspects. It also becomes the avenue from which to launch most campaigns. Your post, which is a form of writing in and of itself (thus content), is focused to your audience and the sharing begins with those in you and your employees’ networks – that is those following you on Twitter. Then they share, then others share and so forth, snowballing the message throughout the virtual community. Be careful not to lose your focus though, which is easy with Twitter where all posts are viewed by anyone.
- LinkedIn - Designed for business relationships and thus is easy to maintain a highly professional tone. Businesses should have a page on LinkedIn, especially if they want to reach other businesses. The reach here is to business focused individuals, so if not presenting a product aimed more at enhancing business, then it isn’t likely the best approach. This does allow a tighter niche for business focus purposes, with employees showing their personal business connection to a company.
- Slideshare - This network is becoming increasingly popular for SEO and image-based content. Recently, it was acquired by LinkedIn and is becoming one of the one of the most popular search engines for content. When your employees are on LinkedIn and connected to your company, they can easily share a Slideshare, making it a more viable option than Instagram for enterprise social media amplification.
- Instagram - An outlet for images and often links with either Facebook or Twitter for greater ease of sharing. If a visual is an important aspect of your content – this is a must for you to use. If image isn’t a must, this may not be the approach to take.
- Facebook - Without question, a business should have a Facebook page that they regularly update. If it just sits there, it isn’t helping you at all. From Facebook you can share links to any style or form of content, but the image ends up being a driving force. Include a picture, then the link, and you will get more traffic from Facebook. That said, it may not be the best arena to share more technical jargon that is geared toward a specific and highly technological business audience. Another avenue may work better.
There are many other approaches than the above listed social media outlets. And new sites pop up every day. Again, weigh the needs of your purpose against the reach of your target audience to determine the best approach for your current campaign. Most important, don’t go stagnant with your contribution of content. Keep it constant, lest your audience will lose interest and move on to the next big thing.
Advanced Amplification Techniques
- Employee Advocacy - Employees are always the best starting point for sharing the content you have put so much time into creating. Not only do they know your company and products, but offering them the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas, and opinions in the creation of the content inspires them to want to share it with their circle. Employee advocacy is an essential element for successful engagement with your customers. Your employees should be the one talking with customers and offering support for questions. But this shouldn’t be limited to just the marketing or customer service staff. Everyone in the company should play a role, from executives to sales to maintenance. They all have a stake in the company’s outcome, so encouragement to participate in advocacy efforts is a must. When employees feel like they are part of the process, they are excited to become engaged in the process.
- Customer Advocacy - Customers are the whole point of business, right? Businesses know this. Or they should. Without customers buying products, businesses would go out of business. And they are the best marketing voice you have when it comes to sharing the benefits your company has to offer. Word of mouth marketing will never go away – as people like recommendations from their friends, colleagues, and even admired strangers. The place where people share has been moved from the watercooler to the Internet, but the impact is still the same – people telling people they know what they should or should not buy. Customer advocacy cannot be overlooked. Rather, incorporate them into your amplification efforts, ask them to share your content. They already buy your product, so becoming an ambassador for it shouldn’t be a stretch.
Amplification comes down to how the message gets shared, no matter the content. If you have followed the steps above, created a purpose with clear goals, determined your target audience, selected style and form, chosen a writer, wrote quality content that includes a good title and SEO consideration, and decided who to share the message, then the next step is to find a way to reach the most people with the lowest amount of effort – you need to amplify your message.
Content marketing is getting more saturated by the day. Getting your content out there and in front of your target audience is arguably the hardest aspect of content marketing. Social media promotion and leveraging employees and customers are easy ways to ensure your content is reaching the your target audience.
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