Going Up to 11: How to Incorporate Content Amplification into Your Marketing Strategy
Spent some time strolling through the internet at any given moment and you’d no doubt come to one conclusion, the internet has reached a point of saturation. At last count, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is generated every day, that’s a grand total of 18 zeros. Focusing our attention on social media sites alone, the landscape is no less crowded. For every 60 seconds, there are 510,000 new comments and 293,000 new statuses on Facebook. On Instagram, 95 million photos and videos are shared on a daily basis.
If you think that marketing is difficult in the 20th century when reaching out to potential customers can be hard without the proper resources, the problem affecting marketing in the 21st century is the exact opposite. With the proliferation and democratization of the internet, where a total of 4 billion people have access to the digital frontier, standing out in this crowded market is a formidable task.
It’s not enough for companies to simply create and distribute contents anymore; you have to amplify those contents to ensure that they reach your audience.
Content amplification as a marketing strategy
Content amplification is an extension of content distribution. The content cycle essentially goes like this. First, you as a company create contents to be uploaded on whatever channel and medium you wish to use, whether it’s a blog post or a YouTube video. Once the content’s been uploaded or published, you distribute those contents through digital marketing channels, like posting a link to your blog post with a Tweet or a Facebook update.
Content amplification is distribution that doesn’t directly involve you. It could be something that you initiated, like what goes on in influencer-based marketing or it could be something that has absolutely nothing to do with you, like when a random individual shared your post on social channels through their own volition. Using the advertising feature available in platforms such as Instagram and Facebook can also be described as paid content amplification.
The idea of viral marketing relies on the practice of content amplification, enabling your content to spread like wildfire even with little active participation in your part. The practice of content amplification itself is comprised of several different methods, which are:
- Influencer marketing and other collaborative process
The idea of influencer marketing is to tap into the fanbase of certain public figures and expand your company’s reach into an audience that’s been previously left untouched. It can be a simple top down process, in which you pay other people to promote your product or it can be for objective evaluation, such as giving out examples of your product for free in order for them to review or dissect, hopefully giving you a favorable result when all’s said and done.
- Doing provocative contents
Clickbaits carry a bad rep in the business thanks to certain tendencies for publication to write suggestively misleading titles but attention grabbing articles, pictures or even one-liners is still a valid way of gaining publicity. Being politically provocative might not be a good idea given the current landscape but you can still be provocative in other ways. Take for example, this highly courageous columnist from minor publication The San Diego Union-Tribune that takes aim at man’s best friend, dogs.
The internet can be a hateful entity but the one thing that’s always been certain is their fascination with dogs and cats. Cat videos are still some of the most viewed videos on YouTube although for my money, videos of dogs reacting to magic tricks are far more entertaining. The above example realizes this and managed to parlay that into something that while being provocative, is still relatively grounded, highlighting the sheer absurdity of excessive pampering like plastic surgeries for dogs.
The reception, unsurprisingly, leans on the negative side, provocative and controversial contents tend to be like that but given the intent of the column in the first place, it achieved what it set out to do.
- Giveaways or other forms of community participation
Everybody likes free stuffs and you can leverage this by creating a giveaway contest in which the entry ticket is community participation. For example, asking participants to share stories or pictures relating to your products and/or services as a way to enter the giveaway is a tried & true tactics that have been used repeatedly by multiple brands. In addition to simple publicity, you can display what the community has given you instead of having to create contents of your own.
Starbucks, realizing that their iconic white cups have played home to some of the coolest instant art ever launched a contest for customers based on that practice. Customers are asked to submit their best designs to the company and the winner of the contest had their design printed on a limited edition Starbucks reusable plastic cup. Other than the publicity, Starbucks used that design to bring a limited edition product to their lineup, which is a pretty smart thing to do.
Leveraging social media for content amplification
All three of the methods outlined above make great use of the potential of social media as a marketing platform. This is because content amplification mainly relies on the nature of social media itself, where sharing and the use of hashtags are a common practice. Content amplification is indispensable because when it works, your brand could be carried over to all four corners of the world without you having to lift a single finger and as such, it should always be accounted for in your marketing strategy.