26 content amplification triggers to help increase engagement


There’s so much content out there these days that it can be difficult to cut through the noise. You really need to go the extra mile to make an impression. 

Even some of the best content can wither on the vine. I’ve committed all manner of schoolboy errors over the years, from publishing at the wrong time, to failing to make the most of an opportunity, to taking my eye off the ball completely.

Nowadays it is more important than ever to work on amplification tactics, to help spread word about your content – and boost engagement – over the long term. If the word ‘engagement’ sounds as passé to you as it does to me, just pause to remember why you are creating content in the first place. It matters a great deal, otherwise what’s the point?

Here are a bunch of things to consider when publishing your next piece of content, to do a better job of getting your existing and prospective audience on the hook.

1) “Leave a comment!”

I invariably finish an article with an invitation for the reader to chime in with a comment. I’ll do so at the bottom of this post. If a reader participates in some way then they’re mentally engaged, and will be more likely to share your content. 

2) Comment management

Comments are all well and good but if they exist in a vacuum then it’s going to send the wrong signal to readers. Authors should reply and moderate the discussion. Kill spam with a rusty hammer. Good hygiene in this area is incredibly important in attracting more quality comments, and making sure readers don’t tune out.

3) Remember your manners

There is much to be said for sourcing content properly. It’s good manners, and it also gives other content creators the heads up. Ask if you can use a quote, or picture, before publishing, then send the originator a link after you’ve published. They may be inclined to share your work… 

4) Know your emotions

The content that works the best invariably makes the reader or viewer feel something. In my Periodic Table of Content Marketing I devoted a whole section to emotion, because ‘meh’ content doesn’t do very much for anybody.

5) Write a post to answer a question

The internet thrives on questions and answers. Dedicated Q&A sites like Quora – and countless niche blogs – are permanent fixtures towards the top of Google, which is itself becoming something of a Q&A platform. 


6) Write a post to ask a question (in the headline)

I love question-based headlines. More often than not a question will make me think before I’ve decided to click on the link. 

How often do you answer a question in your head before reading an article? It’s a super-effective way of drawing a potential reader to a) visit, b) read, and c) respond with an answer or opinion.

7) Ask a question on Twitter/Facebook

I’ve crowdsourced plenty of posts over the years by asking my followers to provide some answers, suggest examples, or share an opinion. Involve people from the outset and they’ll take an interest in the finished piece.

8) Include influencers in your content

What better way to get on the radar of someone influential than to invite them to be a part of your content? I’ve had a lot of success with ‘Ask The Experts’ posts, and other crowdsourced formats. 

9) Give shoutouts

If you’ve do reference other people in your article then doffing your hat when sharing it is always a smart idea. Append ‘featuring @xyz’ to your tweet when sharing, especially if you share more than once. It will raise a flag.

You should definitely do this if a big part of your content was crowdsourced from your network. It is always a good idea to thank people for their brainpower.


10) Contact people directly

I loathe those irritating cookie cutter ‘please share’ emails and begging tweets. It’s less about being asked to share something, but more to do with the frequency, since some people will email you every time they publish something. Requests like this tend to offer little, but ask for a lot, and appear to have been auto-generated. Not cool.

Still, there are ways of doing this in a way that doesn’t make you come across as a robotic beggar. It’s about taking a personal approach, and not just getting in touch with them because you really want to get in front of their network. And not bothering them every single time you release a new piece of content. 

11) Include a compelling visual

Social platforms are increasingly all about sharing images, gifs and videos. Twitter used to be a text-only medium, whereas nowadays a text only tweet is a rare sight (Twitter is actually doubling down on images).  

Micro visuals – such as tweetable stats in chart form – seem to be more popular than ever. If there’s an opportunity for you to split up a bigger piece of content into smaller chunks, then micro visuals are worth experimenting with.

12) Add some sharing buttons

I remain unconvinced about the power of social sharing buttons in driving up shares. Research shows that the vast majority of readers do not click them, and most shares are done via other methods. 

Even so, there is something to be said for showing a Twitter logo to a reader, or adding an ‘Add Pin’ hover state CTA to your images. Put the idea of sharing in the reader’s mind, and let them share any which way they see fit. I use Buffer, you might use something else. It doesn’t matter, so long as word gets around.

13) Show your share counts

You’re effectively saying: “Look at all of the people who have shared this post!”. It’s social proof, and it plays a big role in influencing the reader. People behave differently in groups. Unfortunately, it is now very difficult to do this for Twitter, because insanity.

14) Leave space in the headline

All too often I share headlines that leave no room for me to add a comment. Twitter’s recently launched ‘quote tweet’ function is a great workaround, but it’s also prudent to keep your headlines to a minimum. I try to abide by the 65-character rule. 

15) Google News (short term search)

If your content is newsworthy, then you may be eligible to be included in Google News. This can give you a short-term shot in the arm, both on Google News itself, but also on the main index, where recency is a factor in elevating web pages beyond their natural position. You’ll need to tick a few boxes before Google will add your content to its news platform.

16) Know your SEO (long term search)

Given that you are SearchEngineWatch visitor I don’t suppose I need to preach too much here, but great content is like a gift that keeps on giving if you manage to secure a high placing on the search engines. 

There are a few ways of future-proofing your content. Evergreen posts are a great idea, and spotting rising trends early is another sure-fire way of attracting traffic over the long term. 

Great content will be shared regardless of when it was published, unless it is incredibly timely (news fades fast). These days you need to produce 10x content and/or mine the gaps to make an impression on Google. It goes without saying that your audience can help a great deal in making this happen.

17) Write a definition for the big SEO wins

Sometimes an answer to a question will result in Google giving you the special treatment. Citations like this that sit at the top of the listings will be referenced more and more as time goes on. The rich get richer!


18) Get to grips with Reddit 

Reddit is a mega-amplifier. Not only will it delivery insane amounts of traffic, it will reveal your content to journalists, bloggers, influencers, and millions of people, all of whom may share or write about what you’re up to. 

It is difficult to game Reddit, as the community won’t stand for any rubbish, but there are definitely things that you can do to maximise your chances. 

19) Ask your team to help

I’m not a huge fan of the entire team auto-tweeting via IFTTT or whatever, but you should definitely encourage your team to share your content. Preferably they will do this manually, using they’re own voice rather than following the corporate style guide to the letter.

20) Make your content newsworthy

Journalists will jump through hoops to write about your content if you have a news hook. Timeliness is next to godliness when it comes to content marketing. 

The best content creators are agile and are set up to quickly turn things around. Remember that advertisements make for highly shareable content too, especially when they’re crafted for social!

That crumb of Oreo wit has had more than 6,000 mentions on Google News alone…


21) Press releases 

The death of the press release has been somewhat overstated in recent years. If nothing else they remain a good excuse to bother journalists. Remember that one story in the mainstream media that references your content can generate a sharing snowball.

22) Bloggers: pay it forward

PR is really the art of influencing the influencers by building up relationships. Getting noticed is the first step in the right direction, and since bloggers pay more attention to analytics and the sources of traffic than the average journalist, it’s a great idea to link to them. They may thank you for it, whereas journalists don’t tend to notice.

Follow up your references and citations with ‘hello’, and a coffee, beer or – preferably – a fat lunch.

23) Build an audience first

This is just too obvious, and if you’re just starting out and looking for a short term fix it’s going to drive you nuts (and so will some of these other tips). But, it’s the number one thing you can do to help push your content. 

Having an existing audience that is already tuned in is the easiest way of attracting attention. If you haven’t got one, then figure out which social platforms are right for your business and start sharing the good stuff. 

Note that it doesn’t need to be your own content at this stage. It’s really noisy out there: there is a surplus of content, and a deficit of quality curators. 

24) The art of good timing

Nothing is going to bury your content better than releasing it at the worst possible time, e.g. 4am. Analytics can be useful in this regard but it’s worth noting that the optimal time for sharing may be different to when your website is most active. 

In B2B media, I’ve found that the best time to release an article is invariably mid-morning on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, whereas the afternoon is often the time for peak visitors. You need to find your own particular sweet spot. All brands – and audiences – are different, so take all generic guidance with a heavy hand of salt.


25) Make the most of email

If you have an audience – perhaps they’re your customers – then I’m sure you know how powerful email can be. It is worth overhauling your email to ramp up your focus on content. That could mean the introduction of a weekly newsletter, or sending ad hoc emails to support your content. Don’t overdo it though…

26) Get your wallet out

If you’ve produced some decent content, then why not shout about it? There’s no shame in buying promotional spots. 

Ads on social platforms can help to increase engagement, extending the lifecycle of your content in the process. Social ad formats are often native, in the true sense of the word, as they allow people to like and share the content from within the ad unit itself.

What do you think? What did I miss? What works best? Do leave a comment below!


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