As firms continue to invest in content marketing, the need to reach as many qualified prospects as possible becomes paramount. With 96% of social media users that discuss brands online not following the brand’s official profiles, marketers are increasingly looking to paid amplification as a way to boost their reach outside of their follower circle.
Defined by John Lusk, author of The MouseDriver Chronicles, paid amplification is “spending money to leverage somebody else’s channel.” It can be a valuable tool in finding the right target audience and giving your messages a chance to resonate with a pool of qualified customers. If you’re looking to bolster your content marketing reach, here are some tips you need to follow:
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat are all compatible platforms when it comes to paid amplification. Spanning a large and diverse audience, marketers can whittle down their viewers and target a specific segment.
Facebook’s Boosted Posts allow marketers to pay by the click (PPC), set a budget, select a specific audience and integrate their content into their viewers’ news feeds. It’s easy to set up and can circulate your content within a larger audience, as your boosted post will appear higher in News Feed and have the option of being published on Instagram.
Twitter’s Promoted Tweets give marketers the luxury of getting their content directly into a user’s feed. Since Twitter uses keywords, interests and followers as targeting categories, it’s an easy way for marketers and companies to find who they’re looking for, and comes with several free analytics tools to make analysis of your campaign’s performance even easier.
LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content Feature allows for content to be posted to a target user’s home page and news feed—greatly elevating visibility. There is also a PPC advertising platform that uses specific information, like age and job title, to locate users. LinkedIn also provides Matched Audiences targeting which is best for B2B account-based marketing.
Instagram Ads, much like Facebook’s boosted posts, enable marketers to get content in front of people who wouldn’t otherwise see it using audience targeting measurements such as location, interests, and behavior. Additionally, users have the option to create custom audiences based on email addresses or phone numbers, or use “lookalike audiences” which targets people similar to the brand’s existing customers. Alternatively, there is an option to let Instagram automate the process using several of these targeting methods.
Snap Ads, despite not yet offering an opportunity for marketers to promote stories outside of their follower circle, provides several paid promotion opportunities for brands to get their content seen by some of the 166 million people who use the app each day. Marketers can purchase Snap Ads—interactive vertical videos up to 10 seconds long—or sponsored geofilters and lenses. Both options provide the buyer with an ad manager and mobile dashboard through which they can analyze the campaign’s viewability (how much attention it has received), reach (the number of users that saw it), verification (the amount of times it has been viewed), resonance and reaction. Snap Ads would be best for B2C brands that are trying to reach consumers directly in an informal way.
If you’re trying to target a select group, you need to advertise in spaces that are most relevant to your customer and brand. Content recommendation platforms specialize in getting your content onto esteemed news sites and into a placement that complements your message. Two of the most popular platforms are Outbrain and Taboola. These platforms will help your content reach a targeted and engaged audience to help you get more qualified leads.
Retargeting isn’t new, but this is a great paid amplification strategy to close a sale with customers, especially for B2C companies. When marketers use retargeting, they are able to track where a potential customer goes after visiting their site. This way, they can target a branded ad on another page the customer visits and remind the user about your company’s product that they looked at recently. For B2B marketers, LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences has website retargeting capabilities built into the platform.
Paid amplification also goes by another name: pay for play. That should give you a hint that some of this type of advertising can get pricey. It also marks the end of an era where social media marketing was considered “free.” With paid amplification, you can set a budget for your PPC campaign. However, to get your content onto top sites, you’ll need a good sized budget, so plan ahead.
In a post by EConsultancy, author Chris Bishop explains, “If you don’t have a budget for paid inclusion, a senior social manager, paid amplification, an integrated digital media agency, or simply paid social to complement your organic social activity, expect your social presence to decrease.”
With nearly 65% of market leaders planning to increase their spending on digital advertising this year, no brand can afford to lose its share of the social media pie. Companies should do whatever they can to increase their targeting accuracy and get their message out to customers, and with paid amplification, getting better visibility is now easier than ever.