There are two primary ways that content is amplified – by sharing a link on social media platforms or by including a backlink. No amplification strategy means a poor return on your content investment Without the amplification from social shares and backlinks, your content won’t reach enough people to be valuable to your business. Why will they link to it? Think about the articles you looked at today, how many did you find via a search engine and how many from a social network? Social shares matter, but social sharing on its own is not an amplification strategy. These posts also gain links as people want to reference articles in support of their view, as a jumping-off point for discussion, or to take issue with the post. Content amplification strategy Content amplification is so much more than social sharing. Some tactics to consider are: Manual promotion Targeted mailing Influencer advocacy Link-building and search-engine visibility Paid promotion Emails A targeted email to our audience can drive far more traffic than social sharing. They will also name you in a blog post on their site or in a guest post for a major media outlet, and they may include your link. Even high shares and mentions by influencers do not mean your content will gain links, build authority, or drive traffic.
Editor’s note: You may have missed the original article by Steve Rayson when it was published last year. Given the topic’s relevancy today, Susan Moeller has updated it.
Competition for audience attention is fierce. Successful content marketing depends on creating and amplifying exceptional content.
WordPress users create an average of 70.5 million blog posts per month. With other CMS platforms contributing new content, the volume of new material added to the web each day now exceeds 2 million posts.
In this content landscape, social sharing alone won’t push content enough to generate business value.
To reach the widest possible audience, build authority, and drive traffic, content needs both social shares and backlinks.
In this post I look at the issues, including the importance of an amplification strategy and content that achieves both links and shares.
Content and social sharing
Social shares have not kept pace with the amount of content available, and content marketers have felt the impact.
An American Marketing Association survey found brand marketers increased their publishing by 800% from 2011 to 2016, but engagement per post declined by 89% over the same period.
Our BuzzSumo Annual Content Trends Report looked at 100 million articles and found a similar decline in the number of social shares. The average fell from eight in 2015 to just four in 2017.
What is amplification?
At its simplest, amplification is a digital connection to content. These connections give other audiences a chance to see your posts and interact with your websites.
There are two primary ways that content is amplified – by sharing a link on social media platforms or by including a backlink. Backlinks can be added anywhere, including the text of an article, an author bio, or post attribution.
Email and messaging apps are also used to share content, but these “dark sharing” mechanisms are more difficult to track because they are often private.
No amplification strategy means a poor return on your content investment
Without the amplification from social shares and backlinks, your content won’t reach enough people to be valuable to your business.
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: It’s not enough to publish content and hope that an audience will find it.
(If you are not convinced, give it a try. I started a personal blog. I told a few friends and family members about it. I posted about it once on LinkedIn. That’s all the promotion I’ve done. Total site visitors to date: 10. If this were a business site, I’d be in trouble.)
As Rand Fishkin says, there’s no prize for hitting publish. Even publishing great, high-quality content is not enough.
Content creators need to think about how and why their content will be amplified before they create it. Why will people share it? Why will they link to it? How will they find it?
Social sharing alone is not an amplification strategy
Social networks are important content discovery platforms. Think about the articles you looked at today, how many did you find via a search engine and how many from a social network?
Social shares matter, but social sharing on its own is not an amplification strategy.
Here are some limits of relying only on social shares to draw an audience to your content:
- Most links shared on social are never clicked.
- Many people who share the articles don’t even view them, let alone read them.
- Social posts tend to have a limited shelf life. If you missed a tweet this morning, will you ever see it?
- Social sharing usually declines quickly in the days and weeks…