In today’s marketing landscape, it’s no longer enough to simply have great content. You also need a content marketing distribution strategy in place to ensure your content is seen by your target audience.
In this guide, we’ll explain what content marketing distribution is and how to optimize your content marketing distribution strategy so that you can be certain the people consuming your content are the ones who most likely need your products or services.
What is Content Marketing Distribution
Content marketing distribution is the process of sharing and promoting your content across your business’s various acquisition channels with the goal of getting your content seen by the people you intended to target.
A good content marketing distribution plan aligns your team around your content goals and gives you benchmarks to measure against. It simplifies the process of reaching your target audience and increases the likelihood that they’ll take a high-value action.
Because content marketing is so competitive, you should consider your content marketing distribution plan even before you create your content. Think about it: everyday, over 4.4 million blog posts are published. In order to stand out from all that noise, you need to be strategic about what type of content you’re creating and where you’re going to distribute it.
Dumping links everywhere isn’t going to cut it. You need to be thoughtful about the content marketing distribution channels where you’re sharing your content.
This means familiarizing yourself with the content marketing distribution channels at your disposal.
Types of Content Marketing Distribution Channels
Your content marketing distribution channels can be pared down to three categories: owned, paid, and earned. Most businesses use a combination of all three distribution channels.
Owned Content Marketing Distribution
As the name suggests, owned content marketing distribution channels are the distribution channels your company owns. This includes your blog, social media profiles, YouTube channel, and email newsletter. These channels allow you to control how and when your content is published. The types of content you would publish on your owned channels include blog posts, videos, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, and webinars.
Paid Content Marketing Distribution
Paid content marketing distribution is when you have to pay to distribute your content on different channels, such as pay-per-click campaigns on search engines, paid social advertisements, and paid influencer content. You can pay to promote most types of content, but paid content marketing distribution usually refers to ads.
Earned Content Marketing Distribution
Earned content marketing distribution is content about your business published on third-party channels that you don’t have to pay for. Examples include press coverage, guest blog posts, guest podcast interviews, social media mentions, and backlinks to your website. While any type of content can generate earned distribution, the most common formats include data-driven reports and press releases.
Developing a Content Marketing Distribution Strategy
Now that you know what content marketing distribution is, and the channels available to you, let’s determine what the best content marketing distribution plan is for your business. Your content marketing distribution strategy can generally be broken down into three steps:
Step 1. Determine Your Distribution Channels
No business can have a presence across every single owned, paid, and earned content marketing distribution channel out there—nor should they want to. Instead, be strategic and only target the content marketing distribution channels that can most effectively reach your target audience.
In order to do this, you need to know your audience. This means creating buyer personas—fictitious representations of the ideal buyers of your product or service. To create your personas you need to understand who your ideal customer is, what information they need, how they consume content, and their communication preferences.
Once you know who you’re creating content for, you can select the distribution channels that make the most sense. Then, research the heck out of those channels to find the content that resonates with those audiences. For example, if your customers often use LinkedIn, you’ll want to create content around work, productivity, and business news, since this type of content gets a lot of engagement on LinkedIn.
If you’ve published content in the past, you should also perform a content audit to help determine which distribution channels previously worked for you.
If you’ve never published content before, we recommend starting with a blog and email, as they are the two distribution channels that deliver compounding growth.
Step 2. Roadmap Your Distribution Plan
Once your content marketing distribution channels are selected, the next step is to create a roadmap for how you’re going to execute your strategy. This means setting goals and creating your content calendar.
Your content marketing distribution goals help you understand if your content distribution efforts are working and what success looks like. Common metrics indicative of content marketing success include traffic, time on page, bounce rate, engagement, click-through rate, backlinks generated, and sentiment toward your content (including comments and social media reactions). Note that the metrics you track will vary by channel.
So if, for example, the time on page for a particular blog post is high, you can infer that the blog post is reaching your desired audience.
With your goals set, you can arrange your content calendar and set a publishing schedule that you believe will enable you to reach your goals. Your content calendar should include distribution plans and goals for each piece of content.
Step 3. Distribute Content and Measure Success
With your strategy in place, you can begin the process of creating and distributing your content. Different types of content will have different methods to obtain maximum impact. For example, blog posts should be written using search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, and social media posts should be posted at specific times during the day to maximize exposure. Furthermore, if you’re distributing paid ads, be sure to target the channels where your customers are most likely to be found.
Finally, measure the impact of your content marketing distribution efforts and iterate as needed. Every strategy will require some tweaking before it’s perfect.
Additional Content Marketing Distribution Tips
Now that you have the basics down, here are additional tips that can help take your content marketing distribution plan from ordinary to extraordinary.
Different Types of Content Should Be Distributed Differently
You shouldn’t have the same plan for distributing a blog and a podcast. You might create a dedicated page on your website for each, and share it on social media, but that’s where the similarities should end.
To promote a blog post, you might pitch it to third-party outlets and see if you can get some coverage. You might also have sales send it to customers. A podcast, on the other hand, should be shared on audio streaming services like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. If you want to get creative, you can also share the audio as a YouTube video and publish the transcript as a blog post.
You could even pull quotes from the podcast and use them in separate articles.
This way, you can reach your audience from multiple channels, while repurposing high value content.
Get Creative With Where You Distribute Your Content
Distributing content on your owned hubs is a given. You should also aim to distribute content on third-party hubs whenever possible.
But there are additional outlets you can distribute your content on—often at no cost. Using these channels will help you reach an ever broader audience. Here are a few to consider:
- Medium: Medium is a publishing platform used by brands and individuals to share content. You can use it in lieu of a traditional blog, or in addition to your blog. Thousands of people read Medium everyday, so sharing your content on this platform can greatly increase your exposure. What’s more, it’s free to set up an account.
- LinkedIn Pulse: LinkedIn Pulse is a news aggregation app built right into LinkedIn. Similar to Medium, it allows you to share your content for free. The only difference is that it lives on LinkedIn.
Use Content Distribution Tools
In addition to free content sharing channels, there are some helpful tools you can use to increase your chances of generating earned media and expand your reach on social. Here are a few we recommend:
- HARO: Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a service that connects journalists with sources for their stories. Journalists submit questions explaining the information they’re looking for, and then sources can respond to those questions, and potentially get quoted in an article or generate a backlink to their website. HARO is completely free to use, and there is also a paid version.
- PR Newswire: If you have something important you want to promote, you can send out a targeted press release via PR Newswire. This paid service allows you to target specific journalists, regions, industries, and topics with your press release, increasing the chances of generating earned media.
- GaggleAMP: GaggleAMP is a social media tool that allows you to post company content directly to your employees’ social media channels (with their consent). By sharing your content with your employees’ social networks, you can greatly increase the reach of your content.
Knotch Can Help You With Content Marketing Distribution
Executing on a content marketing distribution plan requires a variety of tools, including a content management system (CMS) for creating content, and a content calendar app for staying organized. But arguably the most important tool you’ll need is a Content Intelligence Platform that can track the success of your content marketing distribution efforts and help you identify improvements.
This is where Knotch can help.
With Knotch Blueprint, you get the key insights you need to plan and distribute your content marketing. Using Knotch Blueprint you can perform in-depth analysis of competitor brands, publishers, and keywords, allowing you to better roadmap your content marketing strategy.
Visit our website to learn more about Knotch Blueprint.