What’s a content distribution strategy, why do you need it, and how do you design one?
If you’ve been following this blog, you already know about content’s critical role in growing your business. We’ve talked about how your company blog draws visitors to your website, builds trust in your brand, and nurtures brand loyalty. And we’ve shared tips on creating engaging content that grows your business.
But, creating content is only one-half of the job. You also need a content distribution strategy that moves all that great content you’re creating to the places where your customers are hanging out. And more importantly, you want to ensure that your content marketing campaign results in brand growth and conversions.
So, let’s talk about creating a content distribution strategy that drives results.
What Is Content Distribution?
Simply put, content distribution is the process of promoting your content across a multi-channel landscape. It’s a proactive strategy to ensure that your audience sees your content rather than hoping that they find it.
According to Ahrefs, 90.63% of all web pages get no traffic from Google. Therefore, you can’t sit back and hope that readers will find your articles on your website or read the content on your pages. If you do, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to use the power of content to grow your brand and increase revenue.
Content distribution should be a vital component of your overall digital marketing strategy. You’ll extend the reach of your brand messaging, establish your authority in your niche and build a community of brand ambassadors. Each of these helps you improve the ROI on content creation and drive business growth.
Content Distribution Mapping
When talking about content distribution mapping, we include the following types of content:
- articles and blog posts
- white papers
- email newsletters
So, let’s dive in to look at the primary distribution channels.
Organic Content Distribution Channels
- your website
- social media profiles
- email newsletters
Remember that the only channels you own are your website and email list. You are a renter on social media platforms.
Why does it matter?
You can invest considerable time and resources in creating and publishing engaging, customer-centric content that your audience never sees because of social channel algorithms.
To counter these realities, you want to focus on building up branded content distribution channels, such as your website and email marketing.
Third-party platforms that share your content
Examples are articles you forward to industry blogs or magazines reposted and shared with their audiences. You don’t invest in the distribution, but you benefit from the amplified exposure of your content.
Paid Content Distribution Channels
PPC Ads (Pay-per-click ads on search engines and social media platforms)
Working with influencers has become one of the most popular strategies for increasing brand awareness. Influencers distribute your content across their social media channels, extending your reach and introducing you to new consumers. Even B2B companies turn to influencers to spread the word about their products and services.
You don’t need a celebrity or someone with a million followers. An influencer is someone who influences others to take action. You’re not looking for vanity metrics–you want results.
Now let’s map out your content by distribution channel platforms.
Article distribution channels
- your company blog
- LinkedIn publishing
- industry websites
Simplify and Automate
You don’t have to do it all yourself. Instead, utilize content distribution tools and software to help you automate, track and analyze. Examples include HubSpot, CoSchedule, Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Oktopost (specifically B2B management).
Creating A Content Distribution Strategy
Launching a content distribution strategy requires the same preparation as any other marketing campaign.
Establish Your Goals And KPIs
What are your content marketing goals, and what metrics will you measure to ascertain what’s working and what’s not? For example, your goals might be
- increase web traffic
- brand awareness
- generate leads and increase sales
- get subscribers to your email newsletter
- increase subscribers to your podcasts, webinars, or live events.
What Type Of Content Does Your Audience Like?
The next step is to determine the types of content more likely to resonate with your audience. Your consumers are individuals, and they each consume content differently. Your content distribution strategy won’t succeed if you’re not producing content that touches your customers’ pain points or is in a format they like to digest.
How do you find out?
Conduct Analytics On Current Content
One way to find out which types of content resonate with your audience is to analyze your website traffic and social media engagement. By using Google Analytics, you can mine quite a bit of information about your audience to learn as much as possible to discover their interests and which types of content on your website hold their attention the longest.
Evergreen vs. Trending Content
When evaluating your website content, be sure to separate evergreen from trending. Evergreen is content and articles that are not bound by date. These would include in-depth research reports, tutorials, or white papers on subjects related to your industry. Trending content would be articles about the latest updates, news, and developments related to your industry. Or special sales, events, promos, and other time-limited content.
Social Media Analytics
Analyzing your website content performance will give you the most reliable data because, as mentioned earlier, it’s your real estate. But, your social media platforms have analytic tools that enable you to assess which content types receive the highest engagement. However, keep in mind that algorithms can reduce your content’s reach.
Another way to determine which types of content resonate the most with your target audience is to look at your competitors’ websites and social channels. What types of content are they publishing? What are the engagements?
Ask Your Customers
Lastly, you can go directly to the source—ask your current customers. Try surveys and polls. Include feedback CTAs on your social posts and email newsletters asking your audience what types of content or information they would like to read.
Create A Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar simplifies your content creation and distribution strategy and helps you take advantage of seasons, holidays, and special events. A monthly content calendar is excellent, but if you can only do two weeks at a time, this is also helpful too.
With a content calendar, you can quickly get to the job of design and publication using those automated tools we discussed earlier in this article. You won’t be stressed out with last-minute planning that can easily lead to mistakes. Using a content calendar also ensures that you don’t become repetitive with your content messaging.
You can use many digital tools to create a content calendar. But, if you want to keep it low-key and with little financial investment, you can create a calendar yourself using Google Sheets (excel).
As you already know, creating content takes a great deal of thought, creativity, effort, and resources. So, you should do as much as possible to maximize the mileage of your content.
After analyzing what types of content are resonating, repurpose it.
Do you have a blog article that earned high engagement and shares? Make snippets from the article and post them as tweets. Then, turn the article into a video for your YouTube channel. Or video shorts for both YouTube and TikTok, and Instagram.
You can do the same in reverse too. So, for example, if you produce a “how-to” type of content, you can quickly turn it into infographics and publish it through your distribution channels.
Get as much mileage as you can from the hard work you do. Plus, repurposing content means you need to create less original content.
Measure, Optimize, and Pivot When Necessary
Your content distribution strategy is not a static endeavor.
Constantly measure outcomes against your goals and KPIs.
Optimize your content to reach the goals you’ve set. And be prepared to pivot when something isn’t working, or the tide changes.
The digital media ecosystem is fluid—it’s constantly evolving. So stay on top of trends, measure, optimize, and pivot when necessary.
Content is still king. However, if you only create and publish, you could be wasting your time and money. You need a content distribution strategy to turn all that work into a business growth engine.
***Let us know what you think in the comment box below. And don’t forget to sign up for the blog. You’ll always know when a new article is published.