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Understanding content distribution

You've got great content, but not sure how to distribute it?

There are few marketers today who would argue against the value of great content as part of a marketing strategy. But producing that great content isn’t enough on its own. Getting the right audiences to see and engage with your content is becoming the greater challenge. But research shows that only 26% of us are investing in how we distribute the content.

So what can you do to get your content out there? It may be helpful to think about your distribution channels as ‘owned’, ‘earned’ or ‘paid’.

What are owned channels?

Start with channels that you own — that’s your website and any other relevant sites you control. Also think about landing pages if you are building specific pages to host your content.

If you have an opted in email list then promoting your content to the relevant segments of that is a no-brainer, assuming that you have included a clear call to action as a next step. Note: owned distribution lists like this are your ‘pot of gold’ and ensuring you segment them according to your audiences is essential.

If you have control over your company’s email stationary/templates, add a link or thumbnail to the signatures of your staff. It costs nothing and will increase the visibility of your content.

No doubt you’ll want to promote your content on relevant social channels such as Linked In, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Reaching your own followers is part of the objective, but the real goal is to encourage shares, favourites and re-tweets.

When is distribution ‘earned’?

When someone else promotes your content or message and you’re not paying them to do so, this is sometimes called earned media. And it’s a pretty cool thing. In the social world this happens when your content gets re-tweeted and amplified to a much larger potential audiences than you could reach yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for re-tweets and shares, but make sure your content is worthy. Ask partners, employees, and associates.

Reaching key influencers and commentators in your industry, particularly those with a strong follower base, holds huge value. Targeting those individuals and writing custom updates with them in mind is certainly worth considering.

PR is perhaps a more traditional form of earned media — and can still play a part, especially if your content is newsworthy. If the press picks up your story it can reach a much wider audience through the readership of the relevant publication. But it’ll need to be worthwhile content to attract any PR attention, so save news releases for new product launches or customer wins.

When should you use paid distribution?

Paid media is perhaps the most self-explanatory. Advertising, sponsorship and paid search would all fall into this category. Traditional marketing has depended very heavily on paid media as a means to reach its intended audiences. While that has changed recently, there are still many companies that greatly rely on pay per click, re-targeting, and sponsored tweets and updates.

For B2B marketers looking to dip a toe in the water, LinkedIn sponsored updates are popular and effective, allowing you to select the size, industry and job role of the target audience. You pay per click so you will need to have a landing page ready that converts clicks to leads. You don’t need a huge budget to get going with this channel.

Things to bear in mind

Regardless of the channel mix you apply to your content marketing distribution, planning is vital. Make sure you have consistent coverage throughout the year so there are no unexpected drop-offs in terms of lead numbers. Plan to refresh your content regularly to give your audience something new to download. Not all channels will perform equally well — trial and error is key. What works well for one company is not necessarily the best thing for you.

If you need any help generating ideas about distributing your content to a wider audience, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch to discuss it further.

About the Author: Virginia Bray

Virginia Bray

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