While content marketing has remained the revolutionary game changer in the marketing world owning its own mantra – ‘content is king’, effective content marketing distribution still remains a hard nut to crack for many marketers.
It’s not a palatable scenario to be in at all. When you’ve done everything to create valuable and relevant content. You pushed it out to your audience. One week later you do a performance check for the post but sadly you’re struck with disappointment.
The result is simply not what you expected, no traffic, no conversion, or high bounce rates. People are neither finding your great piece interesting nor engaging.
What could be the problem? Why are you not getting results?
A lot of factors could contribute to this, but if you have done your due diligence in the content creation, then, chances are that there is a problem with your content marketing distribution strategy. Which is why it is a timely issue for discussion.
At the end of this post, you’ll learn the various distributions channels available, their unique nature and how best to leverage them for maximum result.
Distributing relevant content to the right people at the right time is an integral part of any content marketing effort.
With an effective distribution strategy in place, you are able to build and strengthen relationships with your target audience and eventually lead them to take the desired action – which could range from signing up for a newsletter to downloading an ebook.
In an earlier post, We explained in-depth what content marketing is and how businesses are profiting from it. We also discussed the importance of having a documented strategy and the steps involved in crafting one.
You see digital marketing is the saving grace in today’s marketing field, but a lot of persons (marketers) do it with a laiz affair attitude like creating and distributing content without a roadmap to success.
This often meets with a roadblock, failure and ultimately frustration.
Honestly, there’s no need going through the stress of developing a single content; image graphics, video, infographics etc if it will never bee seen.
Distribution is key to your overall content marketing success. With the numerous platforms and channels out there, it’s easy to be carried away without really understanding how to harness the full potentials of these platforms to grow your business.
Hence there’s apt need to look at the overall content distribution atmosphere and how to use them effectively.
3 Main Content Marketing Distribution Channels:
- Owned Content Distribution (Personal Media): These are media channels your business currently owns, like your blog, your website, email newsletters, social media outlets and your landing pages
- Paid Content Distribution (Paid Media): These refer to utilizing advertising channels like Google Adwords or advertising on social media platforms. This basically means paying to get your content distributed.
- Earned Content Distribution (Earned Media): This involves the distribution your content by others. It could be in form of social shares, retweets, guest blogging and PR pieces.
Every visitor or customer is at a particular stage on your marketing funnel, and depending on which stage they’re in, an effective content marketing distribution strategy will utilize the three media channels.
Let’s look at these distribution channels individually and the platforms that come under them.
Owned Distribution Channel
Customers that have either given you access to their personal information like emails or liked one of your social media profiles, have given you express right and access to reach them with valuable contents anytime.
They become your valuable asset, your loyal audience, and your personal belonging.
You need to leverage all the data you’re given, like emails and social likes to strategically reach them. You need to utilize them to squizz as much juice as possible out of your content marketing effort.
While there is no harm in distributing valuable contents through multiple customer touch points, it has to be done in a strategic way because one coat does not fit all.
For a good understanding of what works best, it’s required that you do some testing. Before you start utilizing this content marketing distribution channels, pay attention to your analytics, ask your customers for feedback on how they would prefer to interact with your brand.
Every platform is different and is built for a particular way of interaction.
You need to get this right from unset in your content marketing distribution strategy, because people use different channels with different intent. Testing, would help uncover audience behavior.
Let’s see the owned media platforms and how to leverage them for effective content distribution.
Your blog is your knowledge base. It’s where you give value to your customers. It needs to have consistency – in voice tone and publishing schedule.
Your blog is also the best place to tell your visitors that you are good at what you do. You have the power to prove that you’re a leader in your industry by providing top-notch content and showing your expertise.
Blogging is an important channel of content marketing distribution because it gives you total control of your creativity.
Research reveals that 86% of B2B companies are blogging, while companies that blog report to capture 97% more inbound links. So you see, blogging is an undeniable channel in content marketing distribution and you should look at maximizing it’s potentials to grow your business.
Consistency is very important in your entire content marketing effort because it tells your audience what to expect and when to expect something new from you.
However, don’t just keep a blog because of its tremendous value to businesses, it is primarily for educating your audience – make sure of that.
Every piece of content should add value to your readers. You can alternate different content types in your blog posts to know which one resonates well with your audience.
Readers ought to be led to take action on your website or blog. If you simply don’t ask, they won’t do anything.
Use Call To Actions and lead magnets at the end of your posts to gain leads and gauge the success of your post in engaging your audience.
Landing pages are standalone pages that allow you generate conversions for your campaign without any distractions from other elements of your website.
It’s a good content marketing distribution spot to convert your visitors into leads. It’s part of your website, only that it’s designed to stand alone.
Use your Landing pages to deliver gifts and enticing offers to your visitors, while receiving something from them in return. You should note that for your landing page to be effective, it needs to be optimized for conversion.
Landing page optimization makes sure that your landing page has the right balance design, relevance, and functionality to persuade visitors to convert.
An optimized landing page makes it easy for visitors to understand the offer presented on the page and click the call to action button.
So, when crafting your content marketing distribution strategy, think of creative ways to integrate landing pages to the various customer touchpoints for maximum conversion.
Social Media Networks
Social media just keeps growing and growing really fast. Facebook, for instance, grows by an approximate 20 million active users monthly.
Facebook jumped by 60 million monthly active users from 1.94 billion in March 2017 to 2.1 billion as of June 30, 2017.
The growth rate seems to continue at 20 million active users per month. So by the end of the year, we would expect to see 2.1 billion active users.
Here’s a post where Mark announced the news.
What am I trying to point out?
You see, having a social media presence is something most businesses are embracing in today’s digital world. That’s awesome, you should too.
But what most businesses do not know is that social media is not just a brand awareness tool or a playground where brands go to play in the rain.
To be relevant and successful on social media, you need to understand and build it into your content marketing distribution strategy.
Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are strong tools that help in buyers intent research, market research, build relationships with your audience by communicating with them and even lead generation.
One of the success-tactics for social media is understanding how each channel works and being consistent with it.
The pages you create on social media channels should abide by your brand guidelines, have good quality posts and should interact with users in your brand voice.
Media Sharing Networks
A lot of people generally categorize all the millennial platforms out there into social media. But there’s a little segmentation by the nature in which content is uploaded and consumed on these platforms.
Unlike the social media network, media sharing networks like Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat are primarily used to share pictures and videos contents.
Engagements on these platforms are done mainly by images, videos, and hashtags. Sounds simple? It’s a little complex actually.
You see, in the early days of traditional marketing, marketers and businesses competed for the biggest space on billboards, largest screens, long commercials – just anything that grabs all the available space.
But now, things are different. With digital marketing, the internet has provided us with infinite space. Wo don’t have that space problem anymore, now we have a problem of attention and engagement.
Marketers now have the duty of finding how to grab and retain attention. So while building your content marketing distribution strategy, think of your choice channels as the one that will get the most attention from your target audience and which they will engage with.
On media sharing platforms, the key to getting attention is publishing the right kind of content on the right channel and very important is the quality of content and visuals.
Quality is what determines who gets the followers and who doesn’t. Don’t jump on these media sharing networks if you don’t understand how to engage with quality visual content.
If your content marketing distribution strategy does not make room for how quality content will be produced and distributed, then you may be heading for a long ride to no-where.
YouTube, for example, is enriched with videos on almost anything and it is a great platform where brands also connect with their audience, but if you do not have the resources to produce clean and rich video contents, you have no business opening a YouTube channel.
It is very important to do a hashtag research about your brand, that way, you’ll understand what people are talking about in your niche, leverage on that to create contents that can be found on search.
Consider hashtag research as an integral part of your overall content marketing distribution strategy.
People now hold discussions and meetings on the internet. People form groups where they ask questions and get issues resolved fast by people with similar past experiences.
Discussion forums include places like Quora and Nairaland. Sharing your content on these platforms would yield you the opportunity to listen to what your audience is saying, and contribute to issues within your niche.
People go there to get answers to their problems and hold discussions, this gives you direct insights into what they feel and what their expectations are.
Aside from search engines like google and bing, this is one type of platform where people turn to, to ask direct questions on issues bordering them.
Attending to their concerns and solving their problem is a great way to build brand awareness while positioning yourself as an authority in the niche.
Bear in mind that your owned media is your loyal fanbase. Every content you pass through it should be consistent and always convey your message in your brand language and tone.
Paid Distribution Channel
One way to enhance the reach of your content is by paying for it to be boosted. This simply means extending the capability of your content by increasing the number of impressions and conversion likelihood.
With paid distribution, you simply pay for your content to be distributed using any of the pay period click platforms like Google advertising, social media advertising, PR, etc.
Yes, it is good to have a fan page on facebook with maybe 20k followers. But the potentials of your post will organically reach only about 16% of this population, according to Facebook according to a report by Webics
With this kind of scary statistics, post boost and other forms of paid advertising is inevitable.
Aside reach, paid content has the most potential for optimization because you’re able to control each aspect of your distribution in detail, such as audience demographics details, segmentation and measuring audience engagement.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) involves using the services of search engines like Google and Bing to promote your content to audiences who are looking for solutions.
SEM platforms operate on the basis of Pay-per-click (PPC), they are often triggered by certain preset keywords, which once entered on the search box, the post shows up on the search result as an Ad. Advertisers are only charged whenever an ad link is clicked.
Both networks essentially work on the same principles:
- Specify appropriate keywords you want to show up for
- Set a budget (how much you are willing to spend for the ad)
- Create ads based on those keywords for your target audience
- Link your ads to the landing page that promotes whatever product or service you are offering your audience. Consistency between the ad and the landing page is sacrosanct.
Search Engine Marketing SEM is an effective paid content marketing distribution channel because it gives you the ability to tap into a pool of your audiences who are ripe in a pain point, looking for a solution which you already have, but may not already be connected to you.
Social Media Advertisement
Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn also give business the opportunity to advertise their products and services to their audience.
Social media advertising is an effective and pocket-friendly paid promotion channel because it gives marketers the ability to target their audience based on demographics, interests and behavior.
You have the option to decide how much you want to spend per day and for the entire campaign period. Also, you can decide to pause your ad at will, optimize and test different versions of your ad creatives (images and videos) to make sure you are getting the most out of your ad spend.
For optimal result, information on the ad copy must be consistent with the landing page. Visitors should be taken to a dedicated landing page rather than your entire website.
Google defines Native advertising as
“material in an online publication which resembles the publication’s editorial content but is paid for by an advertiser and intended to promote the advertiser’s product.”
Essentially, people feel more comfortable when they are approached from the educational/storytelling point of view rather than advertising.
Native Advertisement is a good way to get your brand story in front of your audience without them feeling like you are advertising.
The good thing is that native ads do not disrupt the user experience on the host platform. You will continue reading a story on the platform only this time, the story is sponsored by an advertiser.
Why you should use Native Advertisement
- Better brand recall: The average brand recall with native ads is two times higher than traditional banner ads.
- Increased engagement: Reading a native ad headline yields 308 times more consumer attention than processing a banner ad image.
- Retargeting opportunities: Once a user engages with your native ad you can retarget them with display ads to increase your chances of engagement.
Here’s what native ads look like.
This is arguably the hardest channel to slay in your content marketing distribution effort as it largely depends on other people’s interests, behavior, and guidelines.
As stated earlier, earned media is getting other people to share your content, getting people to write about you or writing on other people’s platform.
In any of the cases, you need to write contents that have proven worthy of sharing.
You’ll have to be seen as an authority in the field to allow your content fly on other’s platform.
Once your A-Game is on, reach out to influential people in your industry, try to establish relationships with them so that you can leverage them to reach a wider audience. This will also build strong backlinks for you and strengthen your SEO.
Social listening is another way to start to earn distribution. Listen to what people are saying about your industry, tap into discussions and answer questions. This makes it simpler for you to be seen as an authority and consider your posts worthy of sharing.
You should include social sharing buttons in your articles, blog posts and emails to make it easy for people to share your content accords different channels – at the click of a button.
The truth is creating outstanding contents may not be easy in the slightest way, but if you put in the work, it’s worth any time and resources put into it. Contents once created become assets.
However, the success of your content marketing campaigns relies on how effectively you’re able to distribute the content assets you create.
Choose distribution channels that work for your brand and audience, continuously monitor and optimize, understand your audience.
You don’t have to distribute in all channels out there, only distribute where your audience lives, party, chill and likely to engage with your content.
So, is this post worth sharing? Kindly hit the share button to share with friends if you think the post is worth the read.
No matter how small, even In the tiniest form, we would like to know what you think about this. Really looking forward to your feedback.