Wondering why your content isn't getting the attention it deserves? It could have something to do with your content marketing distribution strategy.
Find out what content marketing distribution actually is, why it matters, and how it works, plus the steps you need to create a killer strategy of your own.
What Is Content Marketing Distribution?
Put simply, content marketing distribution is the practice of distributing your brand's content via multiple marketing channels.
Those channels can be broken down into three categories — owned, paid, and earned.
Owned channels include your:
Paid channels can include:
- Influencer marketing
- Paid search ads
- Display ads
Finally, earned channels include:
Sure, you probably use those channels already. But it's the specific way you choose to distribute your content across some or all of those channels that constitutes your content marketing distribution strategy.
Why Does Content Marketing Distribution Matter?
Imagine your teams have spent hours upon hours crafting a new ebook. From your writers to your graphic designers to your sales experts, everyone's gotten involved.
Now that it's finally complete, you publish it on your site, send out an email blast, and post a tweet announcing it. You get the traffic and downloads you're looking for...until you check back in a few days to see that almost no one's reading your ebook anymore.
It all comes down to your content marketing distribution strategy — sure, you used a couple of channels to announce your new piece of content, but you stopped there (and so did your traffic).
With a more sophisticated content marketing distribution strategy, though, you'd be able to promote your content across a broader variety of channels in a way that delivers consistently increased traffic over time. Doesn't that sound better than a short burst of visitors?
That's the power of content marketing distribution, and that's why you need to create one that works for your brand.
How Does Content Marketing Distribution Work?
Now, instead of imagining a content promotion scenario like the one above in which you send an email, make a Twitter post, and call it a day, imagine this:
- You publish the content, send out an email blast, and make a post tailored to each one of your social media channels.
- After the initial spike in traffic has subsided, you create a paid ad campaign to reach a brand new audience.
- As you let your paid ad campaign do its thing, you work with relevant influencers to create thoughtful sponsored posts that will appeal to their audiences. Those posts are all scheduled to go out over the course of a month.
- Using social listening, you're able to know what your audience thinks of your content, and you use those insights to promote it even more effectively.
- After some time has passed, you work your content into another email newsletter in order to get clicks from subscribers who may have missed the first one.
- While responding to comments and questions on your brand's social media accounts, even if it's months later, you make sure to link to your content when it's helpful and relevant.
We could go on, but you get the picture: An effective content marketing distribution strategy works by promoting a piece of content across multiple channels over an extended period of time.
By doing so, you'll be able to reach far more people than you ever could have with a few social media posts published on the same day.
How to Create a Winning Content Marketing Distribution Strategy
Ready to make a content marketing distribution strategy of your own? These are the six steps you'll need to follow.
1. Research Your Audience
The whole point of content distribution is getting more eyes on your brand's content, so it makes sense that you'll need to research your audience in order to do so more effectively.
Start by creating in-depth buyer personas. These will help you focus your efforts on your ideal customer.
Next, use your best analytics sources to determine which platforms your audience is most active on, how they prefer to interact with your content, and the times at which they're paying the most attention.
2. Choose Your Channels
Using the information you gathered about your audience in the previous step (as well as past sales and traffic data), choose which channels to include in your content marketing distribution strategy.
Your decision should be based on the channels which drive the most revenue, traffic, and engagement over various periods of time.
For example, maybe you pick some channels to use within the first few weeks of releasing new content, while others are reserved for months later.
Also remember to include channels from each of the three major categories we outlined above — owned, paid, and earned.
3. Audit Your Content
Now it's time to turn your gaze inward and analyze how your brand's content is performing. You'll want to pay attention to the types of content that do the best, such as blog posts, videos, or webinars, as well as to individual pieces of content that stand above the rest.
If you feel your brand's content is lacking or is in need of expansion, you could also try using a content gap analysis tool like the one available from Ahrefs. Doing so will enable you to quickly see the blank spots in your content strategy.
4. Plan Your Content
After getting a clearer picture of your brand's past and current content, create a plan for the future. This could be a brand-new, fully fledged content strategy, or it could be a brief list of the general types of content you'd like to create — the choice is yours.
Whatever content plan you come up with, just be sure that you know what your goals are and how your content will help you achieve them.
5. Create a Content Distribution Calendar
Now, use everything you've learned from the previous four steps of the process to create a detailed content distribution calendar for the coming months.
Be sure it includes:
- Each piece's title and type
- The dates on which each piece will be published
- The platforms and dates on which each piece will be promoted
This way, you won't have to think about your content distribution strategy on a daily basis. Instead, your teams can simply adhere to the calendar.
6. Conduct Periodic Check-Ins
It's crucial to note that no content marketing distribution strategy should remain stagnant for long. After all, your audience's behavior and preferences will change over time, so your strategy will need to adapt accordingly.
As such, remember to periodically check in on your content distribution strategy to ensure it's up to date.
There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all content marketing distribution strategy, which means that if you want yours to be effective, then you'll need to put in the legwork to customize it.
But if you do, you're not going to regret it, and your rising engagement, sales, and traffic are sure to be all the convincing you'll need.