Over the past few months, we have been exploring the various components of a digital content marketing strategy through multiple blog series. We first reviewed how to identify digital conversations and create smarter content. We then took a look at the various types of digital content and content distribution strategies for each.
Today we’re kicking off the newest series; Using Social Amplification to Get Your Brand Heard. In this series, we’re going to look at how to extend the lifespan on your digital content and distribution strategy by leveraging social amplification and influencers.
What is Social Amplification
First off, let’s identify the difference between social distribution and social amplification. Amplifying your message through social implies more than just your brand promoting it through your own channels. A message is not truly amplified until it has been picked up and carried along the waves of social media.
Social distribution is your brand sharing your digital content on your channels. Amplification happens when your content is shared, either through organic or paid engagement, within social marketing channels thereby increasing your word-of-mouth exposure.
Amplification works by getting your message promoted (amplified) through employees, customers, industry partners, fans and influencers. Each individual sharer extends your messaging to their personal network, who can then promote it to their network and so on. Depending on the amplifier or influencer who has shared your message, their reach could be a game-changer for the exposure of your content.
When done correctly, social amplificaiton can build your brand’s authority in your industry. It also increases social signals and improves search engine optimization and of course, overall brand awareness.
How to Encourage and Nurture Social Amplification
Social amplification can start in-house. Encourage employees and brand partners to share content and messaging socially. Oftentimes, your own team members and affiliates can be the best brand advocates you have. Consider creating an employee advocacy program to enable your team members to share content more easily to the networks they use.
Tip: It is important to remember employee advocacy needs to look natural. It should not be mandatory or seem contrived. Team members should only share content they feel will resonate with their personal networks on each social account.
Another way to build social amplification is to identify industry-related conversations already taking place online. Evaluate those conversations to see how your brand can provide value and then share your content accordingly. Also, identify and connect with industry peers and thought leaders to engage with through social media channels. As you engage with them and share their content, it increases the likelihood they will become organic influencers for your messaging in return.
Amplifying Your Message with Influence Marketing
One major portion of a social amplification for many brands is influence marketing. Influence marketing is the practice of specifically looking to find social users who have strong voices and potential affinity to your brand, product, service or industry type. Influencers can be organic or paid. Many influence strategies will include a mix of each.
Organic influencers are the industry connections discussed above, employees and other non-competitive professionals in your industry, such as bloggers and trade journalists. Paid influencers are professionals who will speak to their audience on behalf of your brand for a set compensation. This may be through blogging, social media or both.
Paid Amplification of Social Posts
Another method of paid social amplification many brands are using is social advertising directly through each social media network. The majority of the major social media networks have paid advertising programs you can leverage, depending on the content you are sharing and the audience you are trying to reach.
One of the true beauties of paid social ads is nearly all social networks allow you to be very targeted in terms of who sees your ads. Often, you can specify interests, location, age, gender, device, etc. Facebook, specifically, even lets you drill into more detailed personal demographics such as relationship status, education and family status. It’s almost creepy. Almost.
Here is a look at a few of the most popular social ad types.
There are a wide variety of Facebook Ad types you can choose from. Each has its advantages depending on the objective you have for your campaign.
- Send people to your website from Facebook
- Increase conversions on your website
- Boost your Facebook post (and Sponsored Stories)
- Promote your Facebook Page
- Get installs of your Facebook app
- Increase engagement in your Facebook app
- Raise attendance of your Facebook event
- Get people to claim an offer created through Facebook
- Get video views on a video posted through Facebook
Twitter Promoted Tweets:
Twitter ads enable you to promote a tweet, your account or both. You can specify your audience targeting and set a budget that works for you. You then choose to have your account promoted in the “Who to Follow” list within Twitter or have your tweet show at the top of a feed. This can even include showing up at the top of a particular #hashtag search.
Instagram Carousel Ads:
Instagram has recently revamped how advertisers can use the network with a new ad format. We mean BRAND new. As in announced yesterday. The new carousel style ads enable you to tell your brand’s story through a visual compilation of 4 images and even includes a clickable URL for users to learn more.
If your focus is B2B marketing, LinkedIn will likely be one of your largest playgrounds. What sets this network apart is that you can target more professional users and be specific about company size, industry type, job title, etc. LinkedIn ads are set up with the same structure as most other ad providers with settings to pay by clicks or by impressions. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn provides a variety of ad types.
- Sponsored Updates
- Lead Accelerator
- Sponsored InMail
- Display Advertising
- Text Ads
Want to Know More About Influence Marketing?
Right now you might be thinking this only scratches the surface of influence marketing and you would like to learn more. Funny you should mention… Check back next week for our full influence marketing breakdown, including paid vs. organic, methods for identifying influencers and tips for building a proper brand ambassador campaign.
Social Amplification Series:
- Part 2 of 3: What is Social Amplification
- Part 3 of 3: The Power of Digital Events
- Webinar: Using Social Amplification to Get Your Brand Heard