As content marketers we see and make good stories all the time — it’s in our DNA. From story development to video production and editing, we know how to take a brand’s message and give it a special, narrative twist. Of course, one of the most important parts of the process is making sure your stories get seen. But without a strategic media plan, getting views, likes and audience engagement is easier said than done. With the tips in this case study, you’ll be able to see how an amplification strategy can push content to earn millions of views.

Start with Good Content

Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children had a unique story to tell: a mother, father and 14-week old baby had been involved in a horrific car crash, killing the husband and severely injuring the child. Ten years later, mom Kellie Haddock wanted to reach out to the hospital staff who had saved her son’s life with a simple mission: saying thank you.

We know that heartwarming stories can have a huge impact in terms of inspiring people worldwide. So, Arnold Palmer Hospital crafted a touching video that detailed Kellie’s story, following her as she acknowledged hospital staff and called for a culture of gratitude. The next step? Finding the national audience that this story so deserved.

Find Your Audience

To ensure that Kellie’s expression of gratitude was seen across the world, Arnold Palmer Hospital turned to MediaSource to craft a strategic media plan. The next question was how could we help them get the most views and tell Kellie’s powerful story. To tackle the amplification, we pitched the story to the “Today Show as the perfect fit for their style of programming: uplifting stories that show people overcoming adversity. Of course, the “Today Show” is a huge outlet that can earn views and engagement by brand power alone, but we thought of an even better strategy to take this story to the next level.

Think about Timing

Kellie’s story had an important theme: thankfulness. And what better time to pitch this story to an outlet like the Today Show than during Thanksgiving, right before the Thanksgiving Day Parade? When the story played, it was an instant hit, earning over 12,000 social shares. Even more impressive was the fact that the story’s total earned, owned and paid media resulted in over 109 million audience views — talk about using a strategic plan and good timing to reach the right audience! When you pitch a story, don’t be afraid to “newsjack” an opportunity that would be fitting for your story’s message. In this case, Thanksgiving was the perfect time to remind connect with audiences about the importance of gratitude.

Unbrand Your Content

If you look carefully, Kellie’s story is just that: hers! While working with Arnold Palmer Hospital, we made sure that the content’s goal wasn’t to “sell” something or a place to throw in a brand — that would have worked against Kellie’s entire narrative. Another great way to make sure your content reaches the right people is to approach it through your customer’s point of view. From content creation through to the final pitch, this was a story that emphasized our shared humanity, allowing empathy to drive people to brand engagement.

Now, when you have a great story and don’t know how to amplify it, try using these tips to make sure your content is seen. Remember the importance of noticing a story’s natural opportunities for engagement and from there, you too can build content worth millions of views!