You write a blog post. A couple of hundred people read it on your website.
The views are slowly decreasing and you don't know why; it really was a great blog post!
Publishing content only on your blog isn't enough anymore. It's like throwing a party without sending the invites. Maybe your neighbors would stop by, seeing the decorations and all.
But you really made an effort with picking the right playlists and preparing the snacks, all for nobody to appreciate it. That's exactly what happens with any content you quietly leave on your blog and hope for the best.
The ultimate guide to content distribution
The days of bombarding customers solely with print ads are gone. Customers have become immune to this practice and it's more challenging to catch their attention.
Brands and businesses are realizing that to truly attract customers, they need to find other ways to catch attention. Instead of suffocating customers with ads, brands need to provide value. Content marketing brings three times more sales-qualified leads and costs 62% less in comparison to outbound marketing. It's at least worth a try, don't you think?
If you put yourself in your customers' shoes, what would you choose? Being chased by ads in every corner of the Internet OR learning about a product/service through an awesome blog post with heaps of added value?
Of course, your goal is still the same: to generate leads and increase sales. But attracting customers through valuable content - be it a podcast, blog post, infographic or an ebook, works better for several reasons. It will:
- Create a trusting relationship with the customer.
- Bring added value to the customer.
- Educate the customer.
- Position you as an industry expert.
- Bring you higher quality leads in the long run.
What is content distribution?
Content distribution is the process that brings your content to readers through promotion efforts in multiple online media outlets and channels. There might be people who would really like to read your blog posts but simply don't have an idea that your blog exists.
Once you publish your blog post, it's time to start distributing so it gets to as many people as possible.
Content marketing and content distribution don't mean you produce two ebooks per week. Rather, once you create some content, you try to come up with different ways of distributing or even repurposing it.
For example, if you write an interesting blog post, can you use the information to create an infographic? Or record it for a podcast? Publish excerpts of it on your Instagram stories?
There are so many possibilities of using the content you already have at your disposal. The key to success when creating and distributing content is to apply the 80/20 rule. It means that you'll spend 20% of your time creating the content and spend 80% of time distributing it.
The best content distribution channels
When it comes to content distribution channels, there are a lot to choose from.
If you fear that posts published on your blog won't reach as many people as you'd like them to, try publishing somewhere else. For example, you can create an account on Medium and try to engage their community of writers and readers. Or you can submit your blog post to one of the publications on Medium.
You can choose from publications on many different topics. Some of them might have a considerably higher following than your blog. If you're lucky, your blog post will catch the attention of a Medium.com editor and it can end up in a newsletter or on their homepage.
Quora should not be missing in your content distribution strategy, especially if you are a B2B company. By answering questions on Quora, you position yourself as an industry expert.
Furthermore, by replying from an account with your name and profile picture, you're lending a human face to your company. Try not to be overly promotional in your replies. Always provide value for the reader and if applicable, include a link to your blog post that explains the matter more thoroughly.
Additionally, you could send a newsletter. Start collecting email addresses and building a database. You'd be surprised how many people would actually like to receive your content in their inboxes once a month. Newsletters contain all the links and information your readers need to discover your blog posts.
3. Instagram stories
Instagram stories are a great channel for content distribution. You can get really creative with all the different features. Add funny GIFs to your stories, let your audience ask you a question, create a quiz for them. Make use of the swipe-up feature to direct viewers to your blog/website.
Twitter works well for content distributions, especially when targeting the US or UK market.
It doesn't matter which content distribution channels you will decide, as long as they fit your goals. Be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other distribution channels. You can play with sponsored posts, or try posting at different times of day. Don't forget to measure what works best for you.
Once you decide on all the different formats you use to play with the content, it's time to set your content distribution strategy in motion.
Social media content distribution plan
It may seem that sharing your content is easy. You just create a Facebook post, a tweet or an Instagram Story. There's nothing to it really, is there? But there are so many things that could go wrong. For successful social media content distribution, you need a plan.
Creating a social media marketing plan from scratch is usually a bit intimidating for social media managers. If you get over the first uneasy feelings and proceed step-by-step, you'll have your very first social media strategy ready in no time.
There are many important steps in creating your social media marketing plan. The most important ones that you definitely cannot omit are:
- Setting objectives - can you reach your goal if you have no idea what it is? To avoid running in circles and struggling to find direction, think hard about what you want to achieve. Also, think about when and how you want to achieve that. That's where clear and smart goals come in handy.
- Defining your target persona/audience - how can you create and distribute content it if you only have a vague idea about who your audience is? Spend some time creating target personas to make sure that you're using the right channels and language to reach them.
- Choosing social media channels - when it comes to a social media marketing plan, some brands/businesses have a “go big or go home” attitude. Trying to be present on all social media networks doesn't guarantee success. Go take another look at your target audience definition and then choose the social media channels that your audience uses the most.
- Creating, planning and scheduling content - this is the fun part. It can also be the part where you cry and cry, not knowing what to do first. Picking the right social media management software is essential in this step.
- Analyzing and optimizing the results - data help you understand how your content is perceived by the audience. You can easily see what your followers like, what post they comment the most on or what didn't resonate with them as you had hoped. Brands are looking to become more data-driven because that's what helps them optimize their marketing efforts.
The Internet is full of social media strategy templates, so there's really no excuse why anyone should hesitate to create their own. Maybe you will have to try a couple of times to get it right.
Whether you decide to focus on social media content distribution strategy or rely on marketing automation tools, it's up to you.
Benefits of content distribution tools
There's a lot of content everywhere, these days. Brands cannot afford to publish blog posts (or anything else, for that matter) and then just leave them sitting on their website. Using content distribution software will enable you to share your content with as many people as possible.
There are various options when it comes to content distribution software. You can choose from paid or free solutions, depending on your needs. For a better idea about this, check out the best content distribution software in 2019.
Using these tools will save you time and energy. Most of them have mechanisms that can predict and identify the perfect target audience for your content. Your blog posts will be shown to specific groups of people with the highest probability of being interested in them.
You can also distribute content across social media. Then it's up to you whether to use social media management software or publish everything manually (but who has time for that, right?). Social media management tools let you create and schedule posts for multiple platforms at once.
Distribution, in conclusion
There's no reaching a destination without a map. There's no way of meeting your goals if you don't know what your goals are. Writing amazing content is not enough. Businesses should focus on content distribution strategies to get their content to as many people as possible.
We live in a time when there's so much content produced daily that most of it will never reach the readers. Fortunately, we're not alone in this. There are a lot of marketing tools to help. Using content distribution tools is not a luxury anymore. In the age of content marketing, we'd be lost without this strategy and the adjacent solutions.
Looking to learn more about content? Everything you need to know about content marketing, here.