No matter how much effort you put into creating great content, it probably won’t get noticed unless you employ an effective content distribution strategy. A content distribution strategy will ensure your content reaches its target audience. It will also help you develop a relationship with your audience and lead them down the sales funnel.
Before developing a content distribution strategy, you need to consider the following:
- Content marketing goals – What are you trying to accomplish with your content? Are you looking to drive leads, generate sales, or improve brand awareness?
- Target audience – What kind of audience are you trying to reach? Does your target audience consist of prospects, existing customers, or both?
- Content distribution channels – How does your target audience prefer to consume content? What type of content are they looking for?
The three main types of content distribution include owned content distribution, paid content distribution, and earned content distribution. Your content distribution strategy should include elements of all three types.
Owned Content Distribution
Owned content distribution is the distribution of content via your company’s owned content channels such as your company blog, social media pages, and email list.
To save both time and money, it’s important that you approach owned content distribution strategically. Not every type of content will produce great results on all of your owned content channels. You need to test different content types and see which types of content perform best on each channel.
You can use your blog to write about topics that your audience is interested in.
Make sure to provide value with your blog content and try to stay consistent by regularly publishing new blog posts.
Take the time to optimize all your blog posts for search engines in order to improve their organic reach potential.
Analyze your results to determine which topics and posts perform the best and try to produce more similar content.
Social Media Pages
Your social media pages can be an excellent channel for distributing your owned content.
Distributing content via your social media pages on networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can do wonders for improving brand awareness and driving sales.
It can also help you build and nurture relationships with your customers and prospects.
Make sure to use a consistent tone across all your social media channels and develop a regular social media posting schedule.
Don’t try to be on every social network out there.
Pick the ones that seem the most relevant for your business and keep posting on the ones that provide good results.
If your content doesn’t seem to perform particularly well on a certain social media network, do some testing and try to improve the results by using different types of content.
If that fails, consider dropping that particular network from your content distribution strategy completely.
If you’ve done a good job building your email list, it’s most likely filled with people who are interested in your products or services and would probably enjoy your content.
Send your email subscribers weekly or bi-weekly content to keep them engaged.
Make sure to regularly clean your email list by removing subscribers who haven’t interacted with your content in a while.
Paid Content Distribution
Paid content channels can be a reliable and consistent source of traffic for your content, as long as you continue paying for it. However, you will need to find a way to convert that paid traffic into owned traffic.
A great way to convert paid traffic to owned traffic is to create lead magnets such as ebooks or email courses that contain information valuable to your visitors, and then asking users to either subscribe to your email list or follow you on social media in order to receive the lead magnet.
The types of paid content distribution channels you can utilize to distribute your content include ad networks, content discovery networks, and social advertising.
Ad networks such as Google Adsense and Bing Ads allow you to distribute your content to users via ads which charge you for every time someone clicks on them to access your content.
Take time to craft a compelling copy for your ads to improve your click-through rate and get the best return on your investment. If you’re on a tight budget, consider only distributing your best content with paid advertising.
Content Discovery Networks
Your content then appears on the publishers’ websites through the use of special widgets.
You can also distribute your content through social media ads on websites such as Facebook and Instagram.
These networks offer a large variety of different ad formats and targeting options so you will need to do some testing to find out the best way to promote your content using their ads.
Social advertising provides you with highly-specific targeting options based on demographics, interests, and behavior.
Take advantage of these advanced targeting options to distribute your content to the most relevant audience.
Earned Content Distribution
Earned content distribution involves your content being distributed by third parties in the form of press releases, social media shares, mentions, comments, and guest blog posts.
Earned content distribution is almost never under your control and earned content can sometimes be very difficult to acquire.
The best way to acquire earned content is to produce content that others would value and would consider sharing.
You might also want to try pitching your content to relevant bloggers and influencers in your industry.
Content Distribution Tools
There are a number of content distribution tools that can help you distribute your content effectively. Here are some of our favorites:
Simple Reach is a tool that can help you understand how your content is performing across all of your distribution channels. It provides you with valuable data that you can use to further optimize your content distribution strategy.
Hootsuite is a social media marketing and management platform that can help you publish and manage content across all your social media channels. It also provides you with detailed social analytics to help you understand how your content is performing on different social networks.
NinjaOutreach is an influencer and blogger marketing software designed to help you identify and reach influencers and bloggers in your industry. This type of software can save you a lot of time when it comes to distributing your content via third parties.
ConvertKit is an email marketing tool that allows you to distribute content to your email list subscribers. Its advanced automation and segmentation features can help you distribute content to your email subscribers more effectively.
Content Distribution Mistakes to Avoid
There is a lot of potential for error when crafting a content distribution strategy. Here are some common mistakes you need to avoid.
Focusing on one type of content distribution
Plenty of marketers focus on a single type of content distribution that is currently giving them good results.
Such an approach can severely limit your content’s potential.
An effective content distribution strategy should use owned, paid, and earned content distribution channels in order to achieve the best possible results.
Not understanding your audience
You need to make sure that you completely understand your audience before you attempt to employ your content distribution strategy.
Not understanding your audience could result in wasting time and money by distributing content through a channel that your audience doesn’t prefer or sharing your content at the wrong time of the day or week.
Using the same strategy on all social media channels
All the big social media networks differ in their purpose and their average user.
This is why it’s a big mistake to try to use the same distribution strategy on all your social media channels.
You will need to research where your audience spends most of their time and which type of content they respond to best.
Not building relationships
You should constantly be working on building relationships with people in your industry, especially bloggers and influencers.
You can leverage these relationships to help you distribute your content through your contacts’ websites and social media profiles.
Not repurposing content
If you tend to create a certain type of content frequently (e.g. blog posts) but you never take the time to repurpose it, you’re missing out on a large amount of content you could be creating and distributing.
For example, a blog post you create could be repurposed to create an infographic, an ebook, a video, or an email course.
Developing a proper content distribution strategy can be a very difficult task.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered and a lot of planning and testing that needs to be done.
The most important thing you need to do before trying to develop a strategy is to clearly define your goals and your target audience.
Once you’ve decided what you want to accomplish with your content and what type of audience you want to reach, decide which distribution channels you are going to use.
Make sure to avoid the common content distribution mistakes we’ve outlined in this article.