Growing your audience with targeted amplification

Stephen Hobbs

Strategy & Planning Director

Content Marketing

Marketers who still believe in the stand-alone power of ‘organic reach’ are stuck in the past...

Google’s algorithms have evolved: they are smart enough to reward quality, rather than content that is gratuitously stuffed with keywords.

But while SEO still has its place — a regularly updated blog hub with good links from trusted sites will build your authority and attract engaged users — it will no longer drive large amounts of traffic in the short term. It’s a long game. The same principle applies to social media. Today brands have to pay to reach even a fraction of their own followers.

Whatever your level of content marketing maturity, you need to pay to play – but it doesn’t have to break the bank…

Use paid social and search to understand your audience

Simple paid approaches with small budgets can help you to understand your audience and deliver results. A small paid campaign can prove its value quickly. Define the right target audience for each piece of content, deliver it using paid tactics, and use the data – alongside feedback such as comments – to plan your next pieces of content.

Search marketing campaigns tend to have slightly higher budgets, but if you use Google’s keyword tool to identify specific, relevant key phrases with low costs, you can drive a small but important stream of traffic to your on-site content. This is particularly useful when you’re trying to test the effectiveness of a variety of content-rich landing pages.

Take a smart approach to influencers

Brands that engage with appropriate influencers see huge benefits.

But don’t simply be seduced by big names. It’s more beneficial to focus on mid-size (<100,000 followers) or micro-influencers (<10,000) who share common traits with your customer segments. Rather than promoting your brand to their followers, they can co-create sympathetic content.

For example, when one of iCrossing’s longest running clients, high-end loudspeaker brand DALI, wanted to move into the competitive Bluetooth speaker market, we designed a long-running content campaign comprising a series of films and posts capturing the work of DJs, artists and performers. These were shared on social media and curated on a Tumblr page. Users who engaged with the content were retargeted with product information and promotions, leading to a 128% increase in ecommerce visits and a five-fold increase in product search terms.

Check that your influencer’s followers are real, and that engagement with their audience is high. And for maximum impact, let them speak in their own voice.

Unleash the potential of partnerships

Social media influencers aren’t the only possible gatekeepers to a valuable audience. Working on content campaigns with partner organisations can be an effective way of amplifying content, particularly if your partners stand to benefit from exposure to your audience, limiting or completely mitigating additional costs.

For example, our work to develop a swim-tracking app with Speedo led to a successful partnership with Samsung, which pre-loaded the app on its smartwatches. This provided a point of difference in the wearables market for Samsung, and delivered a new base of engaged customers for Speedo.

Other examples of partnerships include charities, sports organisations and cultural institutions that align with your customers’ worldview. Work with partners to create content that demonstrates that the sum of the partnership is worth more than the individual elements.

Combine content with cutting-edge media planning

Sophisticated content marketers begin with a documented amplification strategy that puts content at the heart of the brand’s paid channel communications.

Built around a calendar of events that is targeted to your customers, cross-platform content will be optimised with the help of machine learning, and insights will be passed back to the content team for integration into the strategy.

Talk to iCrossing

It's really important to assess user journeys and where they are failing.

Moreover, the quickest way to make a big difference to your bottom line is to increase the conversion rate of your website or app.

  • Identify micro and macro conversions

  • Analyse user profiles and content consumption

  • Analyse funnel and exit/bounce rate

  • Identify revenue leakage

  • Review usability and heat maps

  • Undertake remote user testing

Call +44 (0)20 3176 2632 or contact us to find out more.

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