When you distribute content to your online prospects then it’s called content distribution. You distribute content through different online channels and strategies. They can be owned, earned or paid ones.
Why should you distribute content at all? Won’t search engines do their work?
Answer this: Of what use is content that doesn’t reach its audience? You have to disseminate your content to a large and targeted audience.
- Owned Distribution Channel – this includes the web properties that you own like blogs, social media accounts or microsites.
- Earned Distribution Channels – as the name suggests, you indirectly acquire these channels when your content is shared, tweeted, reposted. It also includes the channels acquired as a result of creating awareness about your brands like public relations, word-of-mouth (WOM) or social mentions.
- Paid Distribution Channel – you pay for acquiring this channel, like Facebook and Twitter advertisements, Outbrain, Taboola etc. you have to spend money to acquire these channels.
Before you plan content distribution, it’s better to understand the types of content that you can distribute.
- Blog posts or articles
- Case studies
- White papers and ebooks
- Social media posts
You also need to be very clear on the audience you are targeting (also called buyer persona). Knowing the channels where your prospects hang out will help you plan a more effective content distribution strategy.
The content also performs better because you have written the blog post for your buyer persona.
Now that we know the three categories of content distribution marketing (owned, earned and paid), and the types of content that can be distributed through them, let’s go in-depth into each of them.
(A) Owned content distribution channel
This includes your web properties like businesses and social media accounts. You own them and target your existing communities and followers.
Start sharing content on these networks, if you are not doing so. For advanced content distribution strategies, these tools will help you.
1. Email Marketing tools
These can be MailChimp, ConstantContact, Aweber, GetResponse and a lot more. You have to do proper email marketing to your subscriber base.
Email marketing has the highest ROI. Whenever you create fresh blog posts, send an email to your subscribers, informing them about it.
2. Click to Tweet
This is a simple, yet a valuable content distribution service.
It lets you to simply create a tweetable link from your blog post and put it somewhere in the blog post to create a content distribution option for your reader.
If someone wants to share links to their Twitter timeline, they simply have to click on that link.
It is focused on slideshows and presentations. Many people use it to find great content. You can upload content from videos to infographics.
If you have a blog post, repurpose it into an infographic, a SlideShare presentation or a video. Upload it to Slideshare with a link to your blog and see the traffic coming to your site.
This is a great content distribution platform. You can link your social media accounts and schedule updates right from its dashboard.
You save lots of valuable time going the each of your social media accounts and posting at different times catering to different time zones.
HootSuite also has its own analytics dashboard which keeps track of the analytics of your social media platforms. This way, i can see your retweets, messages etc. right from Hootsuite.
(B) Earned content distribution channels
These distribution channels/media are earned by a brand as a result of the brand awareness. They are retweets, likes, shares, social mentions (in forums or online communities), word-of-mouth and public relations.
Earned media are very important for a business because people trust word-of-mouth and social proof more than anything else.
Some examples of easily acquiring earned media are:
Quora is a community of questions and answers on the internet. People visit Quora to ask questions and seek explanations to their problems. There’s an equal number of an engaged community that provides answers or solutions to these problems.
Here’s your chance to provide answers to questions in your niche. If you provide value, people will notice you and your brand. Gradually you’ll build an authority in your niche. You’ll get social mentions and gain earned media in the process.
This is definitely a platform you should engage with.
HARO stands for ‘Help A Reporter Out.’ Getting featured in the press is a great way to position yourself as a thought leader.
Since the press has a great exposure, you can take full mileage from it. HARO connects journalists to great sources of information.
Once you sign up to the platform, you’ll get emails from journalists asking for sources of information. If you are a credible source of the information being sought, you can get featured in the press and earn lots of media attention.
Reddit is a community of almost all the topics that you can imagine. All the information is arranged in subreddits. The homepage of Reddit is self-described by Reddit as the ‘front page of the internet.’
So, how can you use these communities or subreddits? First, search for a relevant subreddit depending on your target audience and the topic you are concerned about. Start participating in discussions, post valuable content, solve people’s problems and post your valuable content, with a link back to your site.
Remember to read the rules of Reddit and the subreddit in which you are participating. Posting too much about your content and links without providing value or participating in discussions can even get you banned from Reddit.
But, if used wisely, this can be a very valuable source of traffic to your site.
(C) Paid content distribution tools
In this form of content distribution method, you pay the channels or networks to distribute your content to your target market.
Here you can distribute content in various forms like blog posts, videos or infographics. The paid content distribution media can be social media advertising, influencer marketing or aid content syndication.
Paid content distribution tools allow you to extend your reach outside your existing content network. It can generate massive traffic very fast.
1. Social media advertising
One of the most common types of social media advertising is through Facebook ads. They are very effective in distributing content through Facebook.
In Twitter advertising also, promoted tweets have a much higher engagement rate than normal tweets.
To start with social media advertising, get the basics of social media marketing right. Then the next logical step will be content distribution through Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.
Each social media channel caters to a different type of audience. So choose the channel wisely and within the channel also, select your target audience carefully.
Influencer marketing is a very powerful option for brands who want to distribute their content and grow their business. Influencers are people who have established themselves as an authority in their fields and have a large following. Every word they say and brand they recommend is taken with sincerity by their follows.
Triberr is a platform that connects businesses with influencers. It’s a free platform but if you have to use the services of influencers, you have to pay.
This is a great paid distribution option. Through Taboola, you can place your content on many other websites.
While browsing the internet, you must have seen ‘recommended for you’ or ‘around the web’ boxes below articles or on the sidebar.
If you want to get your content out there, Taboola can be an option. It is meant to reach out to new audiences to which your business hasn’t been exposed.
Just like Taboola, Outbrain is also a content placement service that has its own set of publishers. It allows you to do the same thing (place your content in different box spaces) in Outbrain’s publisher network.
These content distribution networks have advanced targeting and matching content to audiences algorithms. So your content shows up at the most relevant places.
The key to a successful content distribution strategy is maintaining a balance between owned, earned and paid distribution models. You should also check what works for your business.
Remove the channels that don’t work and focus more and the ones that give results. Keep testing what works.
So what’s your content distribution strategy? How have you tweaked it so it gives results for your business? Please share in the comments below.
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