Producing quality content is only one half of your brand’s success equation. Your strategy for promoting and distributing your content is the other half, and it plays a significant role in whether or not your brand becomes successful eventually.
Without strategic distribution, your carefully crafted content cannot reach your target audience. This means potential clients and customers will know nothing about your brand, product, or service. Ultimately, your product or brand will not sell without effective content distribution.
But what does content distribution mean, and is there a right way to go about it?
In simple terms, content distribution means publishing, promoting, and sharing your content to online audiences through various media formats and channels. Your business must have an efficient content distribution strategy in place to rake in consistent sales leads from email, newsletters, ebooks, blogs, webinars, podcasts, and other channels.
However, content distribution is not merely spamming online forums and bombarding social media platforms with your links. It certainly isn’t running random advertising campaigns in the hope of gleaning conversion. To correctly use content distribution to build a brand (or grow an existing one) to a point where you have a community of loyal clients, you need to understand the three major components involved. These include:
1. Evaluating Distribution Channels
Many businesses rush to start promoting their content without realizing that not every distribution channel suits their purpose. If a channel doesn’t target the right audience, then your efforts will go to waste.
The first order of business in distributing your content is to determine whether or not a channel is of value to you and your brand or product. Regardless of how highly popular a channel or publishing platform is if it doesn’t have relative value for your brand, it is best to avoid sharing your content on that platform.
Typically, platforms for content distribution can be grouped as follows:
- Owned channels: This refers to channels owned by you, such as blogs, websites, newsletters, and email. You have control over these channels, and you can decide how and when to distribute your content here. But it takes quite an effort to get the right audience to visit owned channels consistently.
- Shared channels: These are third-party channels that share your content. They include social media platforms, forums, online communities, bloggers, and so on. Shared channels are controlled by third-parties, which means that the performance of your content on a shared channel can be affected by the decisions of the third party without prior notice.
- Paid channels: This involves sharing your content on specific channels at a cost.
It is a lot easier and more efficient to stick to just one channel to keep things simple at first. This is especially true if you are new to content distribution or if you are launching a new product or brand. Preferably, an owned channel (for example, your blog) is easier to track.
You can expand to other channels as soon as you have established a strong relationship with an engaged audience. But before expanding to other channels, make sure you consider:
- The type of audience that is mostly on that channel
- The type of media (video, audio, photos, text, and so on) that is most suitable for the channel
- Is your content right for the audience? Are they any off-limit topics?
2. Developing Your Strategy
Next, you need to plan how to distribute your content on your chosen channels. Carefully consider the following:
- How often to engage the audience (daily, weekly, or multiple times daily)?
- What is the best time of the day to post your content on the channel?
- Should you contribute more to conversations or do more listening?
- What style of communication resonates best with the audience?
- How would you drive traffic to your owned channel using ongoing discussions? How would you call your audience to action to bring about conversion?
Don’t wait to get a perfect strategy. Document what you have arrived at and then implement the strategy. Documenting helps you to quickly refer to your plan, tweak and update the plans, and also share your strategy with your team.
3. Promoting Your Content
Distribution doesn’t end with merely publishing your content, even on the right channel. You need to do some promotion so that the right people will discover your content and consume it. This involves optimizing your content for search engines. By optimizing content, it will be categorized appropriately and featured prominently. In turn, it becomes easy for your target audience to discover your brand or product when they run relevant queries on search engines. Consider engaging paid channels to promote your content. Avenues such as paid influencer marketing, social media campaigns, and pay-per-click (PPC) are excellent examples of paid channels to engage.
Periodically recycle your high-performing content to help extend its value. You can do this by republishing the content with necessary updates. This is particularly useful if the content is still of high value but is no longer performing as expected.
Another method of recycling content is to repackage it. Break your content into smaller assets and infuse fresher relevant information to attract a newer audience. You can also enter into a partnership with other sites that would want to republish your content. This arrangement could be a one-off or an ongoing thing, and it can be unpaid or paid syndication.
Besides publishing your content on your blog or website, you can take advantage of content distribution tools to reach broader audiences. Examples of these tools include LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, Outbrain, AddThis, WiseStamp, ClickToTweet, among several others.
It will be a shame for superb content to go to waste! That’s what happens if you don’t do a killer job for people consuming your content. For your product or brand to grow, you need to distribute and promote your content – there’s just no shying away from it.
Luckily, there are a plethora of content distribution tools that are easy to use, and which can help the right audience discover you. If you combine these tools with the tips you’ve learned, your content will find its way to your target audience.