Regular old content marketing had a good run. It worked really well for a time before it eventually buried marketers under an ever-growing pile of MORE.
Ask any marketer how well content marketing of the past is working for their company today, and they’ll tell you they want a better way to establish and drive customer relationships.
Amplified marketing is a new approach to content marketing that focuses on putting expert interviews and conversations at the center of your content strategy, and then amplifying those voices into your marketing strategy.
Why do conversations matter so much? Well, because they’re a human interaction, and that’s what customers want from brands these days. As a business, you can reach your audience in a more meaningful way when human conversations sit at the center of your content marketing strategy.
Let’s take a closer look at what amplified marketing can do.
What Is Amplified Marketing Replacing?
The short answer? Stuff that doesn’t work so hot anymore. Especially when it comes to engaging customers with content.
Amplified marketing is the next generation of content marketing. It’s replacing the way we’ve been doing it up to now (i.e., keyword-ridden, blog-centric media) and pioneering and paving the way for how B2B brands will be doing content marketing in the future.
What Problem Is Amplified Marketing Solving?
The problem with content marketing today is that it is outdated and puts a heavy burden on content marketers to produce more and more just to rank high on a SERP, rather than connect with customers. Amplified marketing flips the old playbook on its head.
The Content Marketing Origin Story
Back in the day, as the internet started to explode, it was exciting, and everyone was buzzing about it. The trend of that time was blogs. Blogs were thrilling because they were brand new, and for the first time, companies could engage with audiences in a way that was much more “real time” and personable. It was like a whole layer of separation that had existed before between the marketing teams and the customers had been done away with, creating greater access and intimacy.
It was a winning formula, and part of that formula was leveraging search engine optimization. Basically, we were saying: “Hey, we can not only speak to our audiences, but we can also write in certain ways and use certain keywords to rank above everybody else who’s also trying to speak to our audiences about the same topics.” It was a clever way to use technology to our advantage by zeroing in on what matters most, hitting home with potential clients and creating that ultimate connection (and sale).
Following that, the focus shifted to calls to action and web page optimization to get people to stay as long as possible, and hopefully find your amazing content. The goal would be to get people to read the content, convert, become a qualified lead, and then ultimately connect with salespeople and become customers.
And all that was great. In fact, it was golden, and it worked like a well-oiled machine for years. But then something happened.
Things Got NOISY
The market got really congested and oversaturated. This created a whole new problem: To win at the game, you now had to publish more and more and more content. Likewise, you had to get better and better at serving search engines so that you would continue to rank higher and higher. You also had to understand algorithms and keyword opportunities and optimizing pages for conversions.
Naturally, everything came to a head, and it simply wasn’t working so well anymore. Content marketers kept putting more content out and got less and less back from it. Why? The problem was that the whole process lost its focus: It was serving search engines over audiences. The customer was no longer the focus.
Another contributing factor was the way that the whole marketing team functioned (or, in this case, didn’t). More often than not, the person who owned the blog, arguably the most valuable asset in the old school content marketing engine, was a junior-level content marketer in the early stages of their career. This was a huge burden and expectation to place on one person, let alone a professional just starting out. It’s simply unfair and unsustainable. There has to be a better restructuring and redistribution of workload.
Where the Problem Led Us
You can’t expect a content marketer to be superhuman, an expert in every area, AND also excel at content marketing. Yet this is exactly what our old models have done, placing content marketers in an untenable position.
For example, if you're selling an e-commerce marketing solution, you have a person who’s good at content marketing (the job they were actually hired to do), trying to write on behalf of experts in the space of automation, AI, channel marketing, and more. And they are not only expected to do this once or twice but constantly — at a breakneck pace because that is the nature of the beast. They have to have lots of content, which also has to be better quality than anybody else’s — all to rank higher than the competitor so that anyone searching for e-commerce marketing solutions will find your brand’s content first.
Clearly, the system is broken, placing the poor content marketer in a tight spot with no way to win. They’re simply expected to keep going, producing more, better, and higher-ranking content, day after day after day. Always producing net-new content for the masses ultimately leads to burnout.
A Necessary and Better Way for Content Marketers
But the good news is that there is a new system that can help. Amplified marketing sees the flaws in the old system, the silos between sales and marketing, and aims to bridge the disconnect.
The goal is to take a whole new approach: Start with an expert. Going back to our previous example, begin straight away with a person who knows more than anybody else about e-commerce marketing software. 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 B2B Content Marketing team.
Content marketers have the hardest job in marketing. Content management is a huge part of the problem, 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 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 seen as a thought leader for. 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.
And the great news is that amplified marketing doesn’t only serve content marketers. It serves all enterprise marketers. The key is that when you turn your focus from serving search engines to serving humans, you automatically level up your content. You’ll be amazed at how this approach will take you — and your specific team — to the next level.
Amplified Marketing at Work
Here’s how an amplified marketing strategy will impact various departments in a company:
Sales: Ramp up your reach — and increase your ROI — by letting amplified marketing elevate your sales strategy. Instead of content that focuses solely on what a brand wants an audience to know, inform content with what an audience wants to know. Infuse the human element into your sales and marketing strategy via real-life examples from customers, real stories that your audience can relate to, and attention-grabbing clips that could interest — and land — prospects. This is impactful content for your audience that humanizes your brand and will create more engagement with your prospects.
Customer Success: Education is an important part of keeping your customers engaged and happy with your brand. Amplified marketing can help take the conversations you’re having with your customers and turn them into insights that will fuel content and strategies that are more impactful to your customers because they’re built on real-life use cases and scenarios that they can relate to. Your customers are a wealth of information for your brand. If you’re not already talking to your customers and using their insights and knowledge, it’s time to start. This strategy can also help you develop ideas to serve up to your clients, among which include flattering them by featuring the work they're doing or their individual expertise in your business’ content.
Enablement: Unsure of how to arm the different teams across your organization with new information quickly and efficiently? Remember that amplified marketing starts with conversations, but those conversations don’t have to just be for public consumption. Some of the most helpful and important content for your employees happens in meetings and brainstorming sessions. So why not record those conversations and highlight the important scenarios and questions that will serve your team? You can then distribute this content easily across the organization and give them the tools to succeed.
C-Suite: Your C-Suite is likely made up of individuals with years of experience, different expertise, and talent. What else does amplified marketing bring to the table for this specific niche? Unique perspectives, expert solutions, thought leadership, and much more.
Business Growth: When brands align to the needs and wants of their audience, instead of chasing more content, more traffic, more everything, they start to see something amazing. Higher engagement and higher conversions. That’s because, as we’ve discussed, humans crave connection and relationships. We don’t want to be sold to. Amplified marketing puts the focus on building a connection with your audience by offering them truly unique and helpful insights. Conversations forge connections, and connections eventually fuel conversions.
The old way of content marketing is broken. It just doesn’t work the way it once did. Amplified marketing solves this conundrum by serving our audiences before we serve search engines. Instead of product and sales relying on marketing for inbound leads with blogs and social media — and marketers having to create an endless stream of that content — start with a conversation, build your content from that conversation, and connect with your audience in a more insightful and meaningful way.
For more on amplified marketing, check out The Amplified Marketing Playbook: The Next Generation of Content Marketing.