Content distribution has become an integral part of digital marketing strategy. As marketers and SEO experts, we are often caught asking one pertinent question: "how to develop an effective content distribution strategy?"
Just as a tree falling in the forest needs someone to hear it to make a sound, your well-crafted content needs an audience to derive value.
That’s where content distribution rides in like a white knight, saving your content from disappearing amongst the endless digital murmur. Let’s break it down further.
What is Content Distribution?
Content distribution is the action of promoting and disseminating your content to your intended audience through various methods and channels.
These channels could be owned, like your website or newsletter; earned, such as through guest blogging or media coverage; or paid, like PPC advertising or sponsored posts.
Each content distribution channel you opt to utilize forms a connection to your intended audience, allowing them to interact with your material, learn more about your brand, products, and services, and ideally become a customer.
Content distribution can take place in multiple formats: articles, videos, infographics, webinars, social media posts – the options are plenty, and the choice should be dictated by what resonates best with your audience.
It's not about throwing your content into the digital wild and hoping for the best. Instead, it is about strategically placing your content, so it finds its way to those who will find it most relevant.
Let's dive right into developing an effective content distribution strategy. This section will define your approach and guide your decision-making, ensuring that your distribution efforts are backed by a firm plan and a clear vision.
Why Do You Need a Content Distribution Strategy?
Avoiding Effort Waste: Imagine crafting a beautiful piece of content and then letting it float aimlessly in the digital sea. A content distribution strategy ensures that your hard work gets the visibility it deserves!
Competitive Edge: The digital world is buzzing with content. A sound distribution strategy gives your content a competitive edge, ensuring that it stands out in the crowd.
More Traffic, Leads & Sales: By leveraging different channels and optimizing your content for each, you drive more organic traffic, generate more leads, and eventually boost sales.
Nurturing Customer Relationships: A well-rounded operation involves not just attracting customers but also retaining them. Your distribution strategy can help do that by consistently providing your followers with valuable content, keeping your brand at the top of their minds.
Building Online Authority: The more your content is distributed and shared, the more positive signals it sends to search engines, thereby boosting your SEO efforts and building your online authority.
Hence, a planned content distribution strategy is a crucial gear in the mechanism of digital marketing. It enables your content to reach the right people at the right time, which, in turn, can significantly boost your brand's online visibility and success.
While creating high-quality content is, of course, supremely important, remember the adage: "Content is king, but distribution is queen, and she wears the pants". Hence, a successful content marketing strategy is an amalgamation of stellar content and a robust distribution plan.
In the next part, we will explore how to refine your existing content distribution strategy. So, gear up to uncover new ideas and essential tweaks to make your content distribution even more effective.
7 Steps to Develop an Effective Content Distribution Strategy ✨
Building an effective content distribution strategy involves critical thinking, careful planning, and relentless execution. Here are the key steps that you need to consider while developing your strategy:
1. Analyze Your Content
Start by taking a close look at your existing content.
Determine what type of content you have, who it’s targeted at, and what channels you’re currently using for distribution.
Identify your most successful pieces- what did they have in common?
Similarly, note the ones that didn't do well and try to figure out what went wrong.
Action Step: Conduct a content audit to understand your strengths and areas of improvement. This exercise will give you a great start point, offering insights into what works for your audience and what doesn’t.
2. Set Clear Goals
Next, you need to consider what you’re hoping to achieve with your distribution strategy.
Do you want to drive more traffic to your website?
Are you looking to increase your brand exposure?
Perhaps you’re focusing on generating new leads, or maybe you want to nurture existing customer relationships.
Once you've settled on your goals, you need to set clear and measurable KPIs to track your progress.
Action Step: Write down your primary and secondary objectives and define KPIs for each goal. The more specific you are, the better.
3. Understand Your Target Audience
Understanding who your ideal customers are is the key to any marketing strategy, and content distribution is no exception.
You need to understand their preferences, habits, and pain points.
What kind of content do they prefer? Blogs, videos, podcasts?
Where do they hang out online? Social media, forums, blogs?
What problems are they trying to solve, and how can your content help them?
Action Step: Develop a robust buyer persona that encapsulates your ideal customer. Survey your existing customers, delve into your analytics, and conduct market research to gain comprehensive insights.
4. Know the Channels You’re Dealing With
Based on the preferences of your audience, you'd have to familiarize yourself with the various distribution channels available. These are generally classified into free and paid channels.
Free channels don't cost money but require time and effort. This includes your owned properties like a website, blog or newsletter, and shared channels such as social media, guest blogging, and SEO.
Action Step: Identify the free channels you want to leverage. Aim for a mix that suits your content type, target audience, and business objectives.
Paid channels involve an advertising budget. This could be PPC advertising, sponsored posts, or paid influencer marketing. Utilizing them helps you reach a larger audience faster.
Action Step: Set a budget for paid promotions. Research your options and choose your channels wisely to make the most of your investment.
Content distribution isn’t just about getting your content in front of the audience; it’s about making them engage with it. That means your messaging has to be on point, engaging, and value-packed.
Action Step: Work on your messaging. It should effectively communicate the value your content offers, arouse curiosity, and drive engagement.
6. Build an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar helps you organize your content distribution. It maps out what content is being shared when, where, and how. A well-planned calendar will streamline your process, maintain consistency, and ensure that all your channels are aligned.
Action Step: Craft an editorial calendar that includes content creation, sharing timelines, and follow-up actions. Consistency is key here.
7. Measure Your Performance
Lastly, tracking your performance is crucial. Regularly review your KPIs to understand what's working and what's not so that necessary improvements can be made.
Action Step: Monitor your efforts closely. Use analytics tools to track your reach, engagements, traffic, and conversions. Adapt your strategy based on your performance.
By following these steps, you're on your way to developing an effective content distribution strategy.
Refining Existing Content Distribution Strategy
Just like we constantly improve our content, refining the content distribution strategy is also crucial. The digital landscape continues to evolve and your distribution strategy should evolve with it.
To stay relevant and effective, you need to monitor your strategy, measure your success, and recalibrate where required. Let's explore how you can refine your existing strategy.
Evaluate Existing Channels
Start by evaluating the channels you're currently using.
Are they generating the kind of engagement and leads you anticipated?
Is your target audience active and responsive on these channels?
Do these channels serve your goals and objectives?
If not, it’s time to reconsider your choice of channels.
Action Step: Conduct an in-depth channel performance review. Measure your results against your KPIs, and don’t be afraid to make the necessary changes.
Test New Distribution Channels
As the digital world progresses, new distribution channels keep emerging. From new social media platforms to new content formats like short video apps or podcast channels, the possibilities are endless. Be open to embracing these emerging channels.
Action Step: Keep a finger on the pulse of digital trends. Experiment and test out new channels that align with your goals and your audience preference. Early adoption can reap substantial benefits.
Repurpose Content for Different Channels
A powerful way to maximize your content’s reach is to repurpose it. Not all content fits every channel. Tweaking your content to suit different platforms can help enhance visibility and engagement.
For example, you can break down a blog post into interesting quotes for Twitter, create an infographic for Pinterest, or record a podcast for SoundCloud.
Action Step: Identify key pieces of content and brainstorm how you can transform them for different channels.
Leverage Partner Marketing
Partner marketing can elevate your content distribution. By collaborating with complementary businesses or influencers, you can expose your content to their audience, and vice versa. This cooperative marketing effort helps both parties reach a wider audience.
Action Step: Reach out to potential partners for collaboration. Look for partners who share a similar target audience, and discuss ways to mutually promote each other's content. Remember, it needs to be a win-win for both sides.
Refining your strategy is a process of trial, measurement, and adjustment. It may seem like a tedious task, but the improved results are worth every second invested. With every refinement, you’re one step closer to mastering your content distribution strategy.
Next up, we're going to discuss some handy tools that will make your content distribution journey smoother and more efficient. So keep reading, keep learning, and buckle up as we continue blazing the trails of content marketing together!
9 Content Distribution Tools
Content distribution tools enable you to disseminate your content efficiently across multiple channels, automate your tasks, monitor your performance, and fine-tune your strategy based on precise analytics.
With a wide array of functionalities – from content scheduling to performance tracking, from audience targeting to engagement metrics – these tools are a perfect blend of technology and strategy, designed to make your content distribution efforts more productive.
Let’s explore some of the top contenders in the industry.
HubSpot is a popular all-in-one inbound marketing tool. It offers rich features like content creation, SEO, social media scheduling, and analytics, all under one roof.
A distinct advantage is the ability to automate your distribution tasks, increasing efficiency while reducing manual labor.
Medium is a unique platform that allows you to republish existing blogs to gain additional visibility. It caters to a vast readership across various niches, adding a valuable channel for your distribution strategy.
3. PR Newswire
Widely used for public relations and communications, PR Newswire helps you distribute press releases and multimedia content across various channels, industries, demographics, and geographical locales. Its broad distribution network and media monitoring tools could prove instrumental in a wide-reach PR strategy.
ClickToTweet allows you to create custom tweets that readers can send out with just a click. It’s a smart way of enhancing social shares and increasing your visibility.
GaggleAMP boosts your social media reach by getting your employees and stakeholders to share your content on their networks. It’s a unique way of tapping into their extended networks, multiplying your reach significantly.
Mention allows you to monitor your brand mentions on various online channels, keeping you informed about who's talking about your brand or content. You can engage in those conversations and use the feedback to tweak your distribution strategy.
Wondering how many shares your content got? SharedCount will tell you. You can track the number of URL shares, likes, and comments on various social platforms.
This content discovery platform can distribute your content on topnotch media sites to help generate more traffic. Outbrain leverages AI to decide where and when to deliver your content, thus, promising better engagement.
If you regularly use emails, WiseStamp is a great tool like an automatic email signature, to promote your latest blog posts or important updates to your email recipients.
Now, that’s quite a list! The objective isn’t to use ALL the tools, but rather to choose the ones that align perfectly with your target audience, business objectives, and budget. Not every tool is necessary for every strategy, so select those that align best with your specific aims and content type.
On this note, it's crucial to remember that tools are here to assist you, not to take over your strategy. While they bring efficiency and precision, the creativity, insight, and connection-building still rest upon your capable shoulders!
Case Study: How the Pandemic Impacted Digital & Content Marketing
Learning from real-life experiences can provide vital insights and marvelously practical lessons. Such lessons help us to avoid common mistakes and achieve better results in our content distribution efforts.
In this section, we will discuss the impact of the pandemic on digital and content marketing.
As the global pandemic swept across the world in 2020, it transformed lives and businesses alike. It forced the world into lockdowns, causing a significant shift in consumer behavior and business operations. As face-to-face interactions became minimal, businesses had to pivot online, digitalizing their operations and marketing strategies.
The Shift to Digital
While the marketing industry was already gravitating digital, the pandemic catalyzed this shift, making a strong online presence no longer optional but indispensable.
Lockdowns compelled people to stay home and go online for work, education, shopping, and entertainment. This sudden surge of digital consumers presented businesses with an unanticipated opportunity to reach a more extensive, digitally active audience.
The Content Spike
The increase in online consumers led to a content surge as businesses vied for their attention. As more content became available, businesses had to work harder to ensure that theirs stood out, elevating the importance of a strong content distribution strategy.
The Importance of a Robust Content Distribution Strategy
As marketers scrambled to engage their online audience, the online space grew noisier, underscoring the need for a well-planned distribution strategy. Sending well-crafted content adrift in the sea of digital disruptions was no more viable.
From selecting the right distribution channels and choosing the best formats, to personalizing content and analyzing performance, businesses had to revamp their content distribution strategies to adapt to this new norm.
Digital Presence is Vital: The pandemic validated and emphasized the importance of having a robust online presence for businesses of all sizes. As more consumers moved online, businesses had to catch up or face obscurity.
Quality Over Quantity: With the surge in online content, the focus shifted from content quantity to quality. Businesses had to prioritize creating exceptional content that offers unique value to stand out amongst competitors.
Distribution is Just as Important as Creation: Creating high-quality content is half the battle. Distributing it strategically is equally important to ensure the content reaches the right audience.
Getting your content to the right people is as significant as crafting the right content itself. In essence, content distribution is about making purposeful connections between your valuable content and your target audience.
As we proceed, remember we're all students in the grand journey of life and even more so in the rapidly evolving world of digital marketing. Each moment holds a lesson, each experience presents an insight. All we need is the curiosity to learn, the humility to adapt, and the courage to grow. Let's carry these lessons as we move forward and keep sharpening our content distribution skills!
In the upcoming section, we'll conclude this comprehensive guide with a recap and benefits. So don't go anywhere; we're about to bring it all together!