Introducing Amplified Marketing
Remember the early 2000’s? It was the era of crazy AIM screen names and angsty away messages. Back when pink Razr flip phones were all the rage and Beyonce was rising to fame as the face of Destiny’s Child. And people lived in Pukka shells and Juicy Couture tracksuits. Oooof - are you cringing? I know I am (except for the Beyonce part).
Now think about your content marketing strategy. Take a good hard look at it because what was once cutting edge and innovative 5 years, or even 2 years ago, simply won’t cut it in 2021. Ask yourself: Is the way you’re currently approaching content marketing already outdated? Are you cringing at your strategy, the way you cringed about the Pukka shells?
The playbook you’re using is a variation of the same old handbook that was initially written nearly two decades ago, somewhere between 2000 and 2005, when the concept of content marketing had just burst on the scene. Almost immediately, it was an overnight sensation.
The Internet practically exploded, a new generation of brand websites were published, and blogging quickly became the ubiquitous foundation for every brand’s content marketing strategy worldwide.
For some perspective, this was before social media had taken the world by storm and become an integral part of our everyday communications—particularly for brands. There was no iPhone or Facebook. And TikTok? Forget it… this was way before the internet comfortably supported video streaming and way before any of us had even heard of podcasts.
It’s honestly hard to remember what we did before all of these things entered our world and truly changed our lives in so many ways. Since that time, technology has evolved to make life easier, and people now have endless options for consuming content. Think about it: People are connected to their “gadgets” at the hip and religiously rely on them for nearly every facet of their lives and communication.
Go to any public place and look around. What do you see? Nine out of ten people will be on their phones or tablets and consuming some sort of media. Yet, here we are as content marketers, wearing the Juicy tracksuit and listening to Nickelback, and using the same outdated strategies and tactics that we have for two decades that don’t focus on the audience.
Seriously, many of our content strategies over the years have worked to serve search engines (keywords, rankings, traffic) and business objectives (new product launches, feature sets, sales) and done far too little to focus on the pain points the customer is facing. In truth, the customer is king, and your content marketing style needs to undergo an extreme makeover to reflect this new trend.
That’s why we’re here to introduce a whole new era of marketing. Think of it as a way to continue to connect with your audience, but through content that actually serves them. It’s a choice to prioritize audiences over algorithms. And an added bonus? By creating content that actually helps your audience, you’ll be forging connections that will fuel conversions—humanizing and connecting interactions that will set your brand apart from the bland masses and setting it up for continued success.
Are you intrigued? This new approach is called Amplified Marketing, and we are confident it will replace the content marketing playbook of the past.
In this article, we’ll explain more in-depth about Amplified Marketing, including why it matters, how you can do it—creating your own distinct style for your brand—and offer you useful examples of brands already implementing this practice.
Dive in to learn more about:
What is Amplified Marketing?
First things first… what IS Amplified Marketing?
Amplified Marketing is the next generation of enterprise marketing that focuses on putting expert interviews and conversations at the center of your content strategy, and then amplifying those voices into your marketing and business strategies.
Amplified Marketing sees the flaws in the old system, the silos between sales and marketing, the focus on algorithms over humans, and the constant pressure on content creators to do more, better, faster. This new approach aims to bridge the disconnect.
The goal is to take a whole new approach: Start with an expert.
Talk to these experts and leaders in the industry, talk to your own internal experts, and then take that rich content and turn it into the media that your audience wants most right now: audio and video content.
From there, it becomes a more efficient process, a more unified and cohesive strategy, that will increase your audience exponentially as the amplified content is released on all channels. The possibilities are endless: social media content, content for your sales team, blog content (from those naturally keyword-rich conversations you have with those experts). The list goes on.
Who does Amplified Marketing serve?
Shifting your marketing mindset to focus on amplifying expert voices throughout your marketing strategy will have an incredibly dynamic impact on your entire organization. But first and foremost, it will revolutionize the experience and effectiveness of the enterprise marketing team.
Content Marketers have the hardest job in marketing. Content Management is a huge part of this issue, as according to an Accenture study of over 1,000 marketing executives from 17 countries and 14 industries, 100% of respondents agreed that content overload has become a top challenge. In this same study, 92% said the volume of the content being produced is much higher than it was two years ago, and 50% said they currently have more content than they are fully prepared to manage.
For most brands, content is one of the main, if not the main, marketing strategy, yet our content marketing teams are some of the most overworked, underserved and under-budgeted teams in an organization. There is clearly a disconnect here.
Think about it: There is an incredibly unrealistic expectation for these barebones teams to regularly produce a high quantity of high quality content. They also have the added pressure of serving as experts in everything your company does and about everything the brand wants to be recognized as a thought leader. That synopsis of ridiculous workload expectations doesn’t even include the advanced, multimedia, or social content, such as whitepapers, articles, videos, social clips, etc. So yeah, the bar is set high, and something has to give.
Enter Amplified Marketing, offering your team the support and guidance it craves and needs.
The Amplified Marketing Way
Instead of the way you’re doing things now—calling a big, boring meeting in a room, conducting copious amounts of keyword research, hosting yet another brainstorming session about how to write content that will rank in hopes that it will convert—start with an actual conversation.
Record that conversation, then prepare to publish it. Maybe it’s perfect in its raw state. Maybe you turn it into a video or a podcast episode. Maybe it becomes a lesson. Perhaps it’s shared in an internal resource center. Regardless, this conversation is your foundational content and an excellent beginning. But don’t stop there.
Next, wring-out that conversation. Transcribe it, then use that transcription as the source of supplemental written content, like blog posts, written lessons, white papers, ebooks, etc. Then, clip it. Pull audio clips from that content to use on social media, on your website, in emails, and more.
Bottom line: The episode you create from that conversation is just your first piece of many that will come from that singular conversation (think of it like the gift of gab that keeps on giving, literally).
When you wring-out this content and pull all your other pieces from it, there is a through-line tying together all of your content—from the first words spoken by that subject matter expert, all the way through to every last piece pulled from it.
Lastly, measure it. But don’t settle for vanity metrics that were not made for you, like downloads or likes on Instagram. Instead, look for the metrics that tell the stories of real performance—what was, and inform strategy—what will be.
How to Execute Amplified Marketing
The great news is that you can already do this with whatever team you have in place. There is no need to hire new team members or reassign people to different roles. If you have anyone currently working on content for your brand right now, all it takes to mature your marketing efforts is a little rearranging of your approach. For instance:
Instead of this:
Coming up with topics
Make a list of experts to talk to
Writing around keywords to rank for
Use keyword research to identify what conversations to have
Trying to write like the subject matter expert
Interview the subject matter expert
Trying to write the very best blog posts so they’ll rank
Have the very best conversations so they will connect with your audience and produce even more great and engaging content
Publishing and moving on to the next piece
Publish and explore all the ways you could pull more content from each piece
Measuring downloads as a direct indicator of success
Evaluating all the metrics you can get your hands on and looking at them holistically to tell the bigger story of past performance while also fueling future strategy
Accomplish This in 5 Easy Steps:
Have a conversation, formal or informal.
Record the conversation and share it.
Wring it out across other channels.
Measure and reflect.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Have a Conversation
Each of us has many conversations every day. They’re natural and often happen without us even really thinking about what’s taking place. The official definition of conversation is a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.
So, what’s a conversation as it pertains to your content strategy? Well a conversation should be authentic and original. It should be securely founded on what your audience wants to hear. Again, the audience is your VIP – they are the MOST important person (or they should be). This means that the conversation should be about the interviewee and what they have to say that the audience will find relevant to them, not centered on the interviewer. And perhaps most importantly, the conversation should be natural, not scripted. Think of it like a highly curated chat.
Who should I Talk to?
The answer depends on who your audience is and the overall goal of your content. Think about who you’re trying to reach and what would be most interesting to them specifically. Who are the voices they want to hear? It could be your customers, partners, or even prospects. It could be external industry leaders or internal subject matter experts.
Depending on your audience and the topics your content will cover, these conversations could be with individuals at any level, in any role, and with any relationship to the brand. The one common must-have thread is that the people you talk to should have passion and expertise in the subject matter that matters to your audience. In short: Interview whoever has something to say that will be most interesting to—and relevant for—your listeners.
What Should We Talk About?
That depends on who you’re talking to, who your audience is, and the purpose of your content. Ask yourself: What does the audience want to get from this? Do they want to learn? Be entertained? Do they want to come away with tactical how-tos or be inspired on a higher level to think differently about something? Once you find the answer to those questions, provide whatever that is through your conversation.
When your conversation truly is founded on your audience, centered around what they want to get from the content, and includes how you can uniquely serve them, the answer reveals itself. And it’s your brand that’s bringing it.
How Many Conversations?
There is no specific number that is correct, but this is one instance where quality trumps quantity. One really great conversation with a compelling expert on a topic your audience is hungry for can create a successful and engaging episode and spin-out many successful blog posts, social media content, video content, slide decks, etc. It can also fuel messaging for your brand, for campaigns, and even inform products.
Let’s look at Alex Blumberg, who started the company that would become Gimlet. When he was starting out, Alex recorded many, many conversations, the majority of which were most likely never even used. But because of those he did capture, the content he was able to spin out was incredibly compelling, nonetheless. The first season of his podcast, Startup, featured clips of many of these conversations, which were raw, authentic, and original.
This example is just one that shows how many great conversations can be fantastic, but just a few excellent quality conversations can transform your marketing efforts. Our best advice: Start small. Reframe your process so you don’t get overwhelmed with podcast recordings you cannot keep up with. Start with one conversation, wring it out, refine your process, then repeat. And then repeat that… again and again.
How Long Should They Be?
Remember when you were in school and were assigned an essay to write? When you asked your teacher how long it needed to be, they would often answer: “As long as it needs to be.” The same is true for these conversations. Whether it be a quick 5-minute chat or a deep dialogue that takes place over a couple of hours, your job is to keep the conversation as on-topic as possible. As you are conversing, keep your audience and what will be of interest to them constantly at the forefront of your mind. Explore topics that they will find interesting. Ask questions other interviewers never have, thought-provoking questions that spark further discussion. Uncover new ways to look at things. Innovate and engage.
The bottom line is that your conversation has to hold the audience’s attention and provide them with something they are looking for. Let’s face it: How long your conversation is won’t matter at all if it isn’t a good one. So focus more on capturing a conversation your audience will love and less on the clock.
You can use whatever you have on hand like your phone, but you can also purchase basic USB microphones and headphones that will elevate the sound quality.
And to actually capture the audio and video, use whatever tool makes you most comfortable. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, in fact we use Zoom. It’s an easy way to get the full episode, with separate tracks, and it’s free to start.
For a more in depth look at the best equipment suited for this, check out this article.
Once you’ve got a recorded conversation—be it a raw audio file, a highly produced video, or anything in between—share it. You can push this content out publicly or share with a small internal team. Regardless of what the final product looks like, take those expert-rich conversations and share it with your audience.
As you share it, think of the best way to own the experience with your brand and your audience as they consume your content. It’s true that they can—and will—ultimately consume that content wherever and whenever it’s most convenient for them. Still, that first interaction is an opportunity to make an excellent first impression.
Wring It Out Across Other Channels
Many people make the mistake of sharing once and then thinking they’re done. At Casted, we’re huge proponents of getting more value out of every piece of content you create. Think about it: Why create content, only to promote it once, then move on and never give a second thought to the countless ways this content could be used across your channels and throughout your marketing, sales, and customer strategies? That would be madness, right? Our thoughts exactly.
That is exactly why we came up with what we call our “Wring-It-Out” mantra”—and yes, we are pretty religious about it. We take it so seriously because of how seriously it can affect your bottom line, adding exponential value and even dramatically easing your workload while simultaneously producing more and more content.
Whether it be with podcast embedding, transcription, audio clips, audiograms, social sharing, or numerous other ways, Amplified Marketing—thanks to the wonders of wringing out content—makes it easy to fuel your entire marketing strategy from a single conversation.
We also hate to waste things, including content! Listed below are some of the questions we ask—and help our clients answer—by “wringing it out”:
Have you done all you can to drive traffic and engagement using an episode’s content? Or are you letting a good thing go to waste?
Is there a new and useful way to repurpose an episode? What spin could you put on it to get more mileage?
Can you translate your episode into another medium easily to wring more goodness out of it?
Can you take part of an episode and go just a bit deeper for an entirely new piece of content?
What are some smaller nuggets you could pull out for bite-sized content your audience would love?
Is your episode just begging to be turned into a blog series, social campaign, or something else new?
The answer to all of the above questions lies in wringing out content—spreading your resources as far as they can go with minimal effort, maximum reach, and one step closer to that desired ROI.
Measure and Reflect
Once you have wrung it out and gotten the content out there, great job, and kudos to you! But, you are not done yet—far from it! It’s now time to take the next step and evaluate the results (across ALL channels) that your content is producing. Basically: How is the message being received and responded to by the audience? Is it hitting home or falling flat? How many downloads and listens are you getting? How many people are visiting your website off of your show notes or podcast blogs or pages? Metrics can clearly show this, offering you invaluable insight into how you are serving your audience and engaging with them.
You will be surprised at just how impactful quality content can be on your bottom line revenue when it hits its target audience and really connects. In fact, a recent study showed the dramatic effects of content marketing, including the following key highlights:
Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without.
Content marketing generates three times as many leads as outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.
61% of online consumers in America made a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog.
Content marketing conversion rates are six times higher than other marketing methods.
Even Twitter jumped onboard and did some analytics to show just how worthwhile their content marketing investment was. Its stats for content marketing ROI revealed that 66% of people have found a new business on the platform, 69% of people bought something because of a tweet they saw, and a whopping 94% plan to make a purchase from a business they currently follow.
It’s crucial that you take the time to study this data and pinpoint exactly what is working—and what is not. See what’s creating engagement; what episodes are resonating with the audience; what’s growing your audience and leading to conversions. When you commit yourself to devoting this time to reflect and take stock of how your audience responds, it allows you to ensure that your brand is staying on the pulse of what your audience really wants, and not falling behind and staying stagnant.
Let’s be honest: The world is moving fast, and we need to be sure we are keeping pace, and a big part of that as a brand is by continuously providing relevant content that is connecting to our client base. The last thing we want is to infuse money and resources into content that is a fire and a miss, so when we see what is working and not working, we can know exactly where to channel our resources and across which channels.
As you can see, this is—and always will be—a necessary process, with no end.
Some key metrics that you can focus on to help you assess how your efforts are going are listed below.
Brand Awareness indicators:
Social media mentions
Verbal mentions to team members (tracked via CRM, customer service portal, etc.)
Traffic to conversation-driven content
Conversions from conversation-driven content
Content's impact on the buying cycle
Revenue attributed to content
Seeing how your audience engages with your podcast, brand, and other content will provide you with a clearer picture of your audience and their journey with your brand. Basically, measuring these metrics gives you a proverbial road map to trace the typical lead’s journey between your podcast and other content.
This will provide you with an invaluable advantage of creating a cycle that guides them from listener to lead to conversion, and give you further insight into the content, guests, and topics that really resonate with your audience—all of which only serves to help you continue to strengthen your brand and make (and keep making) it better and better as time goes on.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Don’t quit now. In fact, don’t ever stop. Continue returning to your conversations and amplify those voices into your marketing strategy. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to repeat this process. You want to keep growing and stay relevant, and the only way to do this is to constantly be engaging and providing relevant content to your audience.
Also, while continuing to expand your reach and attracting new audiences is critical, don’t fall into the trap of overlooking your existing audiences, which you must stay focused on continually engaging through closed content paths that keep people along for the ride.
Listed below are a few great ways to do this:
Create a Content Package:
Your podcast should never be a silo but should instead be integrated into your overall content strategy as just one part of the entire customer journey. A great strategy is to map out how it fits in with your other channels and how you can take people from one piece of content to the next, moving them with a trail of proverbial “brand breadcrumbs” from your blog and your podcast to your newsletter, social media, and website—all of the marketing channels you use to keep your audiences continually interested, invested, and engaged.
Think of it as innovative content recycling—a creative way to keep audiences engaged. Do this, often, whenever you can, with everything you can, and however you can. Then, you guessed it, repeat.
Be a Friend
If there is one thing this past year has shown us is how much the world is hungering for more humanity, and podcasts are a great way to create authentic connections with people worldwide. The intimate nature of this medium lends itself perfectly to building genuine connections with others. So, become a brand that is a friend to your audience, then repeat—keep being friendly, and go on to make more and more friends. And don’t forget that part of being a good friend—even as a brand—is to be (and stay) tuned in to what your friends (audience) needs and wants. Every. Single. Day.
Adapt as Needed:
As you move forward in your friendship with your audience, part of your brand being a good friend will be your ability and willingness to pivot and make any necessary changes as different situations and needs arise. And again, this is not a one-time thing. It is a constant adjustment (like going to a chiropractor to keep everything aligned as things shift), which requires you to work the Amplified Marketing approach on repeat.
Brands Already Finding Success with Amplified Marketing
So, is anyone out there taking some of this advice and flipping their content marketing upside down already? The answer is a resounding YES! We’ve been lucky to work with several brands that have already been using the conversations they’re having on their podcast and videos to forge a new approach with great success.
We recently spoke with some of these brands, who were gracious enough to share with us their experiences as they continue to take hold of this unique Amplified Marketing approach.
And what better way for us to share these insights with you, than by practicing a little of what we preach? Check out some of the highlights we pulled from our own conversations below:
Salesforce has more than 25 shows broadcast worldwide, which they use to build connections with their audiences. They’ve also aligned their podcast to company-wide campaigns to allow the conversations they are having to initiatives across the business.
For Salesforce, their bottom line comes down to being resourceful and leveraging the things that they have access to and getting the highest possible return for their effort. It also doesn’t hurt that they are incredibly passionate—and intentional—when it comes to their goals and vision, both of which are characteristics they share more with us about via podcast interviews. In fact, determining the vision, looking forward, and considering the podcast's future version is among their not-so-secret super weapons in their arsenal of content marketing world domination. They’re definitely on their way.
After starting their first show a few years ago, OpenView has since used it as fuel for lots of other content. Meg Johnson, the Multimedia Marketer there, is doing some really amazing things that is amplifying the voices of their experts across all of their marketing channels.
Just a few of their strategies for doing this involve extending their podcast's shelf life by moving to a biweekly publishing schedule, thus extending the immediate life of every podcast episode and increasing their listenership. They are also dedicated to reusing and repurposing their content, repurposing their podcast into several different content pieces to get more value out of every episode. Meg also discusses how the brand contributes to what they call a “Content Carousel,” which you create using content that takes you on a ride, one you don’t ever want to get off (i.e., clicking on a blog about a podcast from a newsletter > reading the blog > listening to the podcast > doing it all over again). And the ride goes on and on.
LogicGate uses their podcast to fuel their content strategy, wrings it out across channels, and does so much more. We were able to chat with LogicGate’s Director of Marketing, Carolyn Chapin, to discuss the brand’s podcast strategy, specifically diving into exactly what they’re doing to squeeze the juice out of every single podcast episode.
Carolyn also shared how she and her team use the content produced from every interview to fuel not only other marketing efforts but also sales enablement.
The benefits of Amplified Marketing cannot be overstated. Not only does this unique and innovative approach enable your brand to streamline the content creation process for your content marketers, but you’re also able to create engaging content for your audience that works across all formats and channels. What other marketing strategy creates these efficiencies for your employees and customers?
If you are tired of the churn and burn cycle that prizes quantity while sacrificing quality and are sick of putting forth so much effort for little to no tangible, measurable ROI, Amplified Marketing has the cure for what ails you. How? By bringing your outdated content marketing playbook into the present, placing the focus back where it belongs—on the audience—and empowering you with the tools and strategies you need to create—and share—content that is relevant and brings real results.
Ready to get started on the next exciting chapter of your content marketing journey? Reach out to us for more information on how exactly we can help you take that fateful first step into the Amplified Marketing realm. You can also schedule a demo with us to discuss how specifically you can implement our strategy on your podcast.