In digital marketing, there is a lot of focus on creating quality content, and rightly so. Great content provides value to your readers. It establishes your brand as a thought leader, helps you build relationships with your customers, boost conversions and so much more. This is why a content marketing strategy is a crucial piece of the digital marketing puzzle.
However, before your content can work its magic, it needs to be seen by your target audience. Simply put, there is no point in producing quality content if no one knows it exists or if no one knows where to find it. You’d only be wasting your time, money and energy. That’s why, apart from content creation, you should also focus on content distribution.
Below, we talk about the importance of content distribution and provide pointers on creating and implementing an effective content distribution marketing strategy.
Content Distribution Strategy: The What and Whys
“Content distribution” refers to the process of publishing and promoting content in various formats across multiple channels. Content distribution involves various methods to ensure a brand’s content gets seen by its target audience.
To put it simply, it’s not enough to write articles and post them on your website or share them on your social media pages. There’s just too much competition online for your target audience’s eyes and attention span. Just consider these numbers:
• There are at least 600 million blogs on the internet. (GrowthBadger, 2022)
• YouTube has approximately 800 million videos.
• Every day, users share one billion Stories across Meta’s (previously Facebook’s) family of apps.
For your content to achieve maximum impact, it needs to reach the right people at the right time and in the right channels. And this is precisely what a content distribution marketing strategy helps brands achieve.
To go into further detail, a content distribution strategy is crucial to your digital marketing efforts for the following reasons:
It Dramatically Increases Your Reach
A well-designed and carefully implemented content distribution marketing strategy helps expand the reach of your content. This means your blogs, videos, posts and other forms of content are available and accessible to your target audience through various platforms and websites. A content distribution marketing strategy gives your target audience more ways to discover, enjoy and share your content.
It Lets You Set Measurable Content Marketing Goals
Content distribution includes giving your content creation and publishing efforts a purpose and direction. In turn, it helps guide you in developing timely and relevant content to your target audience. By having content marketing goals, you get better results, and at the same time, you have benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) by which to measure the performance of your content.
Types of Media To Use in Your Content Distribution Plan
Content distribution includes all platforms and methods by which your content can be published. These are classified as Paid, Earned and Owned.
As an experienced content marketing strategist or content distribution company will tell you, a balanced content distribution plan will not rely on only one type of channel but have a healthy mix of all three types.
A paid channel is any platform that requires payment for you to distribute content on or through. Some examples are:
• Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
• Display ads
• Social media ads and sponsored posts
• Paid influencer posts
• Native ads
• Google Display Network (GDN)
• Programmatic advertising
Paid channels allow brands to target specific audiences based on their demographics, locations, interests and other targeting options. Ad targeting helps build brand awareness and empowers businesses to enter new markets. Additionally, paid media typically offers quicker results than organic content marketing solutions.
Owned media refers to media, platforms and properties you’ve created as a brand and own. You exert complete and direct control over the messaging, content and distribution of owned media. Some examples of owned media are:
• Company websites
• Social media profiles
• Mobile apps
• Email lists
Brands are bound by the rules of the social media platforms on which they post. However, the profiles, posts and other multimedia they create and share on these spaces are “owned” by these brands. For this reason, social media brand properties are considered “owned.”
The most apparent benefit of owned media is that it’s cost-effective. You don’t have to pay to utilize content marketing solutions through channels you own unless you opt for paid options like sponsored posts and social ads. Other advantages are:
• Complete control over your media, including its content, the timing of its posting and how you optimize it.
• The ability to showcase your brand personality across your owned channels and social media profiles.
• Options and features, such as forums and groups, that allow you to build brand communities that boost engagement and brand loyalty.
This type of media refers to visibility and reach that your brand has earned through third-party sources rather than channels you own or paid for. For brands, generating and using positive earned media is a top priority.
These mentions, recommendations, suggestions, shares and discussions that center on your brand make excellent content marketing solutions. They can help improve your brand reputation, expand your reach and increase your credibility.
Some examples of earned media are:
• Word-of-mouth recommendations
• Social media mentions and shares
• Reviews and testimonials
• Industry awards
• Media coverage
• Influencer endorsements (not paid)
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Content Distribution Strategy
Content distribution includes many channels, processes and variables, so it might feel challenging to know where to start. While a full-service digital marketing agency or content marketing consultant can make this task easier for you, you can get started on your own by following the steps below.
Identify Your Target Audience
Remember that within your content distribution plan, you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, post on all available channels.
“The most important factors to consider when planning a content distribution strategy starts with identifying your target audience,” said Brandon George, Director of Content at Thrive Internet Marketing Agency.
“You need to know everything about your target audience in order to know where and how they consume information.”
Brandon George provided an additional tip: “You’ll also need to build out an editorial calendar for your content that is comprehensive and focuses on the KPIs you’ve set for the campaign. Along the way, you’ll want to measure and track your content to find out how it’s performing and adjust accordingly.”
Focus on Your Main Owned Channel
The first step is to choose your primary channel. To determine which of your content distribution channels should be your primary one, consider the following:
• Which channel do you tend to post on most often?
• What type of content do you produce the most?
• What type of content are you best at making?
For instance, if your brand is known for engaging videos, you might want to focus on your YouTube or TikTok channels. On the other hand, if your content marketing goals include building your thought leadership through long-form content, then you should prioritize your blog.
Remember that if you choose your website or blog as your primary channel for content distribution, you will need to optimize it. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website or blog rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs). In turn, this helps boost your organic traffic.
Distribute to Your Secondary Owned Channels
Your secondary owned channels are your pages and profiles on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. These content distribution channels provide two advantages:
1. They allow you to share your messaging and visuals directly with the people following your socials.
2. They help you drive traffic to your primary owned channel.
For instance, your primary owned channel is your blog. You upload a long-form article on the benefits of content marketing services. You can use your secondary channels to promote your article to your followers.
Using your secondary owned channels this way also has another benefit: providing more information to those who need it to make a purchase decision.
For example, you might be tempted to use your social media platforms for short-form videos because this media type is popular among Internet users. However, providing more information by also pushing your primary blog or landing page can deliver value while encouraging conversion.
“Maybe your target audience needs more information in order to make a confident buying decision, so deeper, enriched content is the right strategy and not videos that feature short content over a few minutes of someone’s time,” said George. “Also, there is value in including both. You can combine an in-depth blog post or landing page with a video alongside it and push it out via social media posts for a more comprehensive approach.”
For best results, choose the social platforms that your research has shown your target audience prefers. For example, if you want to target young adults, you might want to choose Meta (previously Facebook). About 29.9% of its 2.963 billion monthly active users are aged 25 to 34. Meanwhile, if your company is B2B, you would want to distribute on LinkedIn, which has an older audience of B2B professionals (SproutSocial).
Increase Your Earned Media Generation Efforts
Earned media can be challenging to get, but it is well worth it. As mentioned briefly, earned media is powerful. This is because it’s seen as unbiased and authentic information about a brand and its products or services. It increases brand awareness, boosts credibility, expands reach and builds a company’s thought leadership.
In light of all these advantages, it would be wise to invest time and effort into generating earned media. There are many ways to do this, including:
• Sharing value-adding content to Meta (previously Facebook) groups and forum websites like Reddit.
• Guest-posting on other blogs within your industry.
• Stepping up your review generation efforts.
• Encouraging your followers to create user-generated content (UGC) through promotions and contests.
• Working with a full-service digital marketing agency to develop sharable, potentially viral content.
Invest in Paid Content Distribution Channels
Paid content distribution channels are your go-to solution when you want to see results faster. Twitter, Google, Meta or Facebook and native ads are some examples of paid distribution channels that can help you earn more visits, clicks, engagement and even conversions in a shorter amount of time than earned and owned channels.
However, if you are going the paid content distribution route, it’s best to work with a content marketing consultant or a trusted content distribution company. Consultants and content distribution companies can help ensure you get the most ROI from your content distribution and content marketing strategy.
Additionally, creating and implementing a content distribution strategy that incorporates paid media and implementing it is time-consuming and challenging. If you don’t have the time or expertise to do it yourself, content distribution companies will help you get the job done.
Track Your Progress and Measure Your Results
Content distribution companies monitor the progress of their strategies to see how effective they are, and you should do the same. Some tools that a content distribution company or content marketing strategist may use to do this are:
• Hootsuite Insights
• Sprout Social
• Adobe Analytics
All of these tools provide valuable insights about your content distribution efforts, including which channels are working best, where your visitors are coming from and whether a particular channel is converting more people.
Remember that to access the full functionality of these tools, you’ll need to pay a subscription.
1. Research each tool to choose the best one for your needs.
2. Learn to make the most of these tools to monitor your content distribution strategy. There will likely be a bit of a learning curve.
3. Be prepared to read the guides and tutorials before you can get down to setting and monitoring your strategy’s KPIs.
Take Your Content Distribution Strategy to the Next Level With Thrive
Content distribution is a critical part of any content marketing strategy. By distributing your content effectively, you can reach a wider audience, boost your brand awareness and generate leads.
Ready to take your content distribution strategy to the next level? Turn to Thrive, a full-service digital marketing agency and content marketing services provider.
With our help, you can leverage the power of paid, earned and owned media to amplify your content’s impact and achieve your digital marketing goals. Beyond that, we will also track your progress, measure your results and leverage smart insights to take your content distribution and marketing efforts to new heights.
To learn more about our services, contact us today.