Some people are just super smart. And you can tell the first time you meet them.
Two years ago at Content Marketing World, I went into the main hall for a keynote presentation. There are 4,000 chairs in that space and somehow, miraculously, I ended up sitting next to Arnie Keunn, CEO of Vertical Measures. Arnie immediately struck up a conversation with me about my work at the library. He seemed genuinely interested and supportive, which surprised me because he mixes with the big fish and I am a really small fish! But he was thoughtful and I could tell the guy knew what he was talking about. Keunn’s agency in Phoenix helps companies to drive more traffic to their content through a number of smart, scientific methods. (Sign up for this newsletter to get weekly insights on SEO and content amplification.) When I saw that he was speaking at this year’s CMWorld, I signed up for his session.
I find nothing is as frustrating as writing a great article or shooting a beautiful video and then watching the days, hours, and weeks tick by without anyone seeing it. That’s where content amplification comes into play. Content amplification is the use of paid or organic channels to promote existing content to increase how many people see your stuff. You can use these principles on just about anything your library creates for marketing on digital channels, including search, social, blogs, and email.
Why amplify? Keunn says there is only a two percent chance of followers seeing your organic post. YIKES. To get the most reach, put a little money behind your content. I know a lot of libraries, mine included, simply don’t have the budget for paid content amplification (which is a real shame. We need to fix that, right?). But even without the budget, Keunn’s ideas can help to increase the reach of your organic posts.
Step one: Write down your objectives and goals. Are you trying to grow your audience? Do you want to increase traffic or get more people to convert or take an action at the library? Then you’ll want to identify your audience behavior and interests. You can do this by looking at how they interact with your website and by doing surveys and online research. The more you learn about your audience, the more content you can create specifically for them. That increases the likelihood your audience will engage with your content and share it, and that increases your reach. Anyone with knowledge of how the Facebook and Twitter algorithms work will understand this concept–it works for all kinds of content on all kinds of platforms.
Step two: Look at your website analytics to figure out how you should approach your content amplification. Ask yourself a couple of key questions.
Where is my traffic coming from?
Who is taking an action, like placing a hold or registering for a program? Which channels greet the audience? Which help? Where do people go after they take an action–do they head to another page on your website or do they leave? Which web page is their last touch point? (Hint: for most of us, its catalog, catalog, and catalog!).
Once you look at what people are looking at on your website, you’ll start to see the gaps are in the cardholders’ journey. It will become clear to you where your cardholders are going to find information and if they are getting what they need–or do they jump the ship for some other site. Those gaps in content are your opportunities.
Step three: Test, test, test. A piece of content is not a concrete creature. It’s has a thousand parts that can be tested and perfected. You can play around with the look of your graphics, the length of videos, the headlines you use on your blog posts, the length of the blog copy, what words you use in your call to action, how you layout the content, what your landing pages on your website look like, what custom URL’s you create, and how the content looks on desktop versus mobile versus tablet.
Step four: Find your fans on social. Keunn says 71 percent of people purchase a product after learning about a brand on social media or because someone in their social network gave a recommendation. The same concept applies to libraries. If we want to get more people in the door, we need to start asking our biggest fans to talk about us openly on social media.
Need more content to play with? Watch this video from Kuenn!
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