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Social Amplification Defined (With and Without Ad Spend)

5 Min Read
PAN Communications
  • Blog
  • Public Relations
  • Content Marketing

Social Amplification Defined (With and Without Ad Spend)

PAN Communications

As the amount of digital content being created continues to grow, so does the need to increase content visibility and reach. That need applies to brands in every industry, from healthcare to technology and beyond. What’s a marketer to do?

Keep social amplification at the heart of your content strategy.

What Is Social Amplification?

Social amplification is the process of using social media to increase content visibility and reach. However, the goal of social amplification isn’t just to get a piece of content in front of as many people as possible. It’s to get that content in front of as many of the right people as possible. We’re talking Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and buyer personas here.

How can audience targeting be achieved without a paid advertising budget? Read on to find out.

Content Amplification Strategy: How to Go From Social to Owned to Earned in 5 Steps

Assuming an up-to-date ICP with thoughtfully crafted buyer personas is already serving as a northstar for your brand’s content, the following social media-fueled amplification strategy should be table stakes to implement.

Step 1. Put out social feelers

Post a targeted question or opinion about a topic on your brand’s social media. See who engages.

Step 2. Crowdsource

Invite those providing interesting perspectives on the topic to contribute a quote to be featured in an article you write and publish on your website.

Step 3. Own and give due credit

Write and publish said article, making sure to include the contributed quotes with proper attribution.

Step 4. Tag, you’re it

Share the article via social media post and tag the quote contributors as well as the people who engaged in the earlier conversation or shared the original post. Bonus: Thanks to the magic of social media @-tagging, the post may be shared with the networks of each person you @-tag.

Step 5. Plant the earned seed

In that same social media post from step 4, offer to freely collaborate with anyone who would like to write about said topic anywhere else. As a result, earned opportunities to contribute quotes, guest blog posts, and thought leadership about the topic should begin to come to you.

This five-step strategy not only increases the visibility and reach of your content within your target audience through social media @-tagging – it also attracts organic social engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares from those same @-tagged people and their networks. Be sure to engage with the comments and shares. Audience engagement is key to increasing visibility and reach on social media.

The cherry on top of this strategy is that it accomplishes content amplification without any ad spend.

Related Read: 3 Ways to Grow the Value of Your Thought Leadership

Paid Content Amplification: When to Use It

Brands also can choose to maximize the ROI of content assets by leveraging paid advertising. Social media advertising and native advertising are both viable avenues for paid content distribution. For marketers, the question typically isn’t how but when to put ad spend behind a piece of content.

To get the most bang for your buck, use paid amplification for content that highlights your company’s key messages, a priority business unit, or a new product or service offering. If the content is a piece of earned media coverage, make sure the article isn’t behind a paywall. That way, the audience won’t be limited to subscribers of the publication. 

At the same time, bear in mind that you don’t need to focus all your ad spend on amplifying top-tier business press stories — you may want to promote a strong piece of trade or regional coverage or give your lead generation efforts a boost by promoting a piece of owned content gated behind a form on your website. Again, take into consideration your ICP and buyer personas when making these strategic decisions.

Content Amplification Example: A Multi-Faceted Approach

Trinity, a life sciences consulting firm, partnered with PAN Communications for a content amplification program leveraging a whitepaper bursting with insights on the clinical and commercial attributes that drive ultra-orphan, non-oncology drug success. The whitepaper and program helped position the brand as an industry thought leader and get the company in front of its niche target audience.

In addition to driving amplification with a news release and organic content distribution across Trinity’s corporate channels, the whitepaper authors’ social properties, and select employees’ networks, native advertising via Outbrain was used in tandem with an EndPoints News email marketing campaign. PAN also used insights from the whitepaper to serve as a relationship builder with high-value media targets and employed a variety of internal communications tactics to ensure executives disseminated the information to their networks.

The content amplification program was a success. The whitepaper received more than 2,400 downloads, with social engagement witnessing a significant spike around the whitepaper release date. A number of leading industry executives also reached out to Trinity directly, sharing positive feedback. As a result, Trinity received several inbound requests from new business prospects and secured a sizable new project for the firm.

Related Read: Repackage, Repurpose, Reoptimize: 3 Rs of Content Marketing for B2B Brands

The Moral of the Story

In today’s day and age, even cream-of-the-crop content benefits from amplification. PAN can help you design and execute a content amplification program with and without ad spend to drive additional eyes to your earned and owned assets, and move ideas among high-value audiences.

Next Step: Take a Growth Phase Assessment

Take our quick 10-question assessment to see which growth phase your company is at and learn about other ways PAN can help you elevate your content and brand.

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