What is Content Distribution? A Guide to Kickstart Your Strategy20 min read
So you’ve got a wealth of great, high-quality, original content. Now what?
Why not just post it on your socials and let the platforms do the work? Think again. A lot goes into ensuring a piece of content is shared on the right content distribution channels and reaches the right audience.
Not to worry, we’re here to break down exactly what goes into a successful content marketing strategy. From types of content promotion to brand awareness. But most importantly, why content distribution is at the heart of it all.
- Content distribution is sharing your content on various platforms for people to see.
- There are three types of distribution: owned, paid, and earned.
- Types of content include videos, podcasts, infographics, and more.
- There are lots of places to distribute your content, like personal blogs, social media, and online forums.
- Distribution platforms, like Quuu Promote and Buffer, can save a lot of time because of their automation features.
- To kickstart your content distribution strategy you need to identify your audience, audit your current content, make key decisions, and then create a content calendar.
What is content distribution?
Put simply, content distribution is sharing content on various platforms. This can be social media, websites, personal blogs, or even podcasts.
Content distribution should be a key element of your marketing strategy. It is a form of promotion for your created and curated content. Without distribution, your marketing efforts are futile. You might potentially be sitting on the next most successful business. But without getting it out there, no one’s going to know about it.
Semrush’s 2022 study found that most businesses were planning to invest more in the content promotion and distribution elements of their marketing strategy. People are beginning to wake up to the importance of distribution and promotion. Don’t get left behind!
Types of content distribution
There are three different categories of distribution channels:
Check out Outbrain’s handy infographic below:
This is potentially the most valuable type of distribution. When you can sit back and relax while your content gets shared across various channels, then you know your marketing strategy is in full swing. However, this is the most difficult type of distribution to achieve.
If the content is written articles, you’ll need to ensure your domain authority is as good as it gets. By increasing your search engine ranking, your organic traffic will increase because people will then be more likely to find your content, consume it, and share it with their own audience. This will therefore generate backlinks (people linking to your content on their own websites), you can see the benefits of this below.
If you’re focusing more on video content on social networks, then you’ll need to ensure you are following social trends and producing informative, entertaining, high-quality content.
|Benefits of earned media||Drawbacks of earned media|
|Backlinks: The more backlinks created, the higher your Google position will be. This will result in more traffic and more distribution. It’s a great circle to end up in.||Lack of control: If you don’t own the website your content is shared on, you can’t control how it is being used. This makes it harder to update old content or make necessary revisions.|
|Reaching a wider audience: Other businesses within your industry will have slightly different audiences, so the more your content is shared the wider your audience becomes.||Not permanent: The owner of the website can take down the content whenever they please. This means it’s important not to rely on this type of distribution. See it as an added bonus.|
Paid media distribution should always be part of a content marketing strategy. When used alongside your organic efforts, it can have a really positive effect. However, you’ll have to consider which social media platforms will be most successful in this distribution plan, so your ROI is maximized.
Examples of paid media include:
- Facebook ads
- Display ads
- Social ads
- Influencer marketing.
A useful element of this kind of distribution is monitoring the metrics. You can determine how successful each ad has been from the amount of engagement, website traffic, and conversions generated from it.
This can inform your next paid media distribution. Which channel was most successful? What type of advertisement generated the most engagement? Did your click-through rate increase?
For this reason, there is an element of trial and error. Which is why it can be fairly expensive. However, if you implement A/B testing you can eliminate a lot of the ‘error’. By releasing two different paid adverts at the same time, you can analyze every aspect of each of them and find out what works and what doesn’t.
|Quick results: If you want to kickstart a project, campaign, or press release, paid media can be extremely effective in delivering quick and widespread distribution.||Expensive: Even a limited distribution can cost a lot of money. This may not be a viable option for small businesses, despite its effectiveness.|
|Effective: Paid media is incredibly effective for any business because it can reach people who have no previous knowledge of your company. This will increase your target audience, and leads.||Not sustainable: Because of the cost, it is not a sustainable strategy and should be used sparingly.|
This should be the core of your strategy. Without owned media distribution, your marketing strategy will get nowhere. Everything relies on it. And this is good news because it is one of the easiest to achieve. You decide what gets published, when, and where. So you can fulfill the exact vision you want for your brand. This can take the form of email newsletters, tweets, or even webinars. Whatever suits your brand most.
This is a really important aspect for your current audience and followers. Keeping content distribution consistent and relevant on your owned channels means your customers are more likely to stay loyal, and your leads are more likely to turn into conversions.
However, this tactic can also draw in new customers. Forbes magazine conducted a study on posting consistently and found after enacting the strategy for 6 months, new visitor blog traffic increased by 90%.
This is a huge statistic and goes to show how important distributing on owned media can be for increasing traffic and conversions. Forbes is obviously a huge site; however, there is nothing stopping you from achieving the same level of success with consistency.
|You’re in control: You know your business and its audience best, so being in control of distribution will always be a huge benefit.||Time-consuming: You’ll be responsible for creating or curating your new content, deciding on formats, publishing, and monitoring its progress.|
|Turn leads into conversions: By distributing content that explains the customer journey to followers already considering your service, you can guide them down the funnel and increase your conversions.||Expensive: Elements of owned media can be expensive. From website creators, to email marketing tools. So, it’s important to budget well.|
Types of content to distribute
Different types of content will lend themselves more naturally to certain types of distribution. Here is a long but not exhaustive list of content you can share:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Product reviews
- Case studies
It’s also important to remember that repurposing your content is a key aspect of marketing. For example, if a particular blog post has received a high level of engagement, create a video explaining the topic in more detail.
By considering each type of content and its purpose, acceptance, and structure, it’ll soon become clear which one will be best for your following.
Where should you distribute your content?
Personal blogs are getting more and more popular. 77% of internet users read blogs. That’s a huge proportion and a massive potential audience you may be missing out on if you don’t currently blog.
Blogging is a great place to distribute content because, rather than overt advertising, you can produce articles about the customer’s journey. This more personalized approach guides middle-of-the-funnel customers to the bottom, turning leads into conversions.
One of the most important places to distribute your content is on social media. However, we’re not just talking about Facebook and Instagram. More professional platforms like LinkedIn are important to consider as well.
Social media allows your content to reach a wider audience. Algorithms mean your best content should hopefully reach the most people. This is because the more engagement a post gets, the more the social media platform shares it with more users.
It’s important to choose the right channel. Create a buyer persona to really identify the specificities of your audience, and then focus on the platform they are most likely to use.
Online forums are a great opportunity to share your content and increase your likelihood of creating backlinks. Quora is a great site for this. By responding to questions in your area of expertise, you can share relevant content in your answers and build up a following. This works similarly to websites like Reddit.
It’s worth keeping in mind that you’ll need to put in some time on these sites to build a presence in the community. Don’t fill your answers or comments with links to lots of content. Otherwise, it’ll be disregarded as spam. It’s hard to strike the balance, so if you want to learn more, check out this great guide to link building on Quora.
Have you recently taken part in some interesting research in your industry? Or learned something new about your company you think others would find interesting? Maybe you’re just ready to share your business’s story. Whichever it is, guest blogging is a great way to get your content out to a wider audience.
By featuring on another business’s blog, you can leverage their audience and promote your own content. To find great guest blogging opportunities try and find a prominent blog that is focused on your niche. Then you’ll want to pitch your idea. Check out this great article outlining exactly what you need to do to successfully guest blog.
77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months, so this isn’t one to dismiss. Email newsletters are a great way to appeal to your middle-of-the-funnel customers or even bottom-of-the-funnel. This is because it’ll be sent to people already subscribed to your business. Therefore, by sending customized newsletters with personalized promotions and offers, you are likely to generate click-throughs and conversions rather than grow your audience.
There are certain ways to ensure your newsletters are optimized to generate the highest level of engagement:
- customized promotions
- Include a call-to-action
- Optimize your subject line
- Sleek design
Check out HubSpot’s top tips for email marketing to learn more.
Content distribution platforms
This all seems like a lot of work, right? Wouldn’t it be handy if there were some tools that could give you a helping hand and speed up the process? You’re in luck! There are plenty of great content distribution tools designed to make your life easier. We’re going to be taking a look at the ones we think are the best.
Don’t want to toot our own horn or anything, but we’re pretty good at making your life easier.
What do we offer?
We offer complete automation. Just by signing up to Quuu Promote, your content can be shared thousands of times by real people to real audiences. By adding your RSS feed, your content can be ready and waiting to be shared. We’ll then give it a double check, make sure it matches our guidelines, and get sharing. You can track how many shares each piece gets and expect it to be in the hundreds, if not thousands.
This can single-handedly take care of your earned media distribution. If you don’t get as many shares as you were expected to in 15 days, you can get your money back.
Buffer is a social media scheduler. You can link it to your Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn profiles to help organize your distribution strategy.
How does it work?
Buffer focuses more on owned media distribution. You can link up all of your social media channels to the app and schedule posting far in advance. This means you could organize a whole month’s worth of content distribution in just one sitting. You can set reminders for you to post when it’s scheduled, or you can let Buffer post automatically for you.
This is a great option for organizing your different channels for distribution. It can be tricky to keep on top of different posting schedules for each one, so Buffer takes this stress away.
A key aspect of digital marketing is email marketing. Email ROI is an incredible $36 for every $1 spent. So it’s well worth investing, and MailChimp might be the one to choose.
How does it work?
MailChimp can fully automate your email campaigns. They offer beautiful email templates in which you can insert your content, and then they’ll send it out to your email list. Alongside this, they will analyze the data of every single email you send and give you incredible insights into your customer engagement and success. This can help you develop KPIs (key performance indicators) to make your content distribution even more effective.
Join a tribe and get sharing with like-minded businesses. Triberr is a great way to distribute your content within your industry.
How does it work?
“Tribes” are groups of people intending to share content about similar interests. Once you have joined a tribe, you can set up a blog feed and upload your new content. Users connect their social network accounts to the site, so it’s quick and easy to share your content with their socials.
This is a great community-based opportunity for outreach. You’ll only ever view relevant content from tribes you join, and your content is guaranteed to be viewed by interested people within your industry.
How to build a content distribution strategy
So, now you know everything there is to know about content distribution. But how will you implement it? Let’s take a look at how to build a strategy to achieve your business goals.
1. Who’s your audience?
We touched on this earlier, but who do you want your content to reach? The more specific and detailed you are, the better. Try to find out the answers to the following questions:
- How old are they?
- What gender are they?
- Where do they live?
- What kind of income are they on?
- Do they have families?
- What hobbies do they have?
- What industry do they work in?
- How do they spend their time?
- What kind of media do they use?
Do you know how your current content is performing? Public relations are a huge part of content distribution, so it’s important to know how people are currently viewing your business.
Auditing your content includes researching the data behind your distribution. You’ll primarily be using analytics to do this. This should include:
- Types of content (videos, articles, podcasts, ETC.): What type of content are you sharing the most? Which one receives the most engagement? Which one reaches the widest audience?
- Who’s engaging: This will help you to see whether you have reached your target audience. It’ll also help you answer some of those questions above.
- Content that’s underperforming: It’s essential to find out what might be holding your business back. Kill your darlings. If a piece of content is massively underperforming, either update it or delete it.
- Content that’s missing: It may begin to emerge that your company has overlooked a point of interest when deciding on content topics.
You should have everything you need now to make the big decisions for your content distribution strategy.
- What channels will you use? Now you have the key information about your target audience and your current content performance, the right channels to use should become clear. For example, young professionals who favor articles are more likely to view your content if it’s distributed on LinkedIn, with 60% of LinkedIn users between the ages of 25 and 34.
- Will you use content distribution platforms? Based on the volume of content you intend to distribute, you’ll know whether it is necessary to use a platform. Research each one and see if you can budget it into your strategy.
- What types of content will you share? Variation is key. Obviously, you will want to focus on whatever content was performing well from your audit but shake it up. Remember, repurposing content should be a key element of your strategy. So, if videos are outperforming other types of content, focus on them. But don’t forget to sprinkle some articles and infographics in there as well.
4. Create a content calendar
You’ve got the details of your plan. Now you need to organize it. A detailed schedule of content distribution is super important to make sure your marketing team is on the same page, and your content output remains consistent. Check out HubSpot’s free templates to make this a breeze.
Making a content calendar from scratch can be a bit tricky. So here are some great tools to help you out:
- Google Drive: With many free and easy-to-use features, Google Drive helps you build a detailed content calendar that can be shared with multiple teams.
- Loomly: Even though a paid subscription is needed, Loomly is a lot more than just a content calendar builder. It can single handedly manage all your content needs.
- SproutSocial: Again, a paid subscrrption is needed, but SproutSocial can help you create and automate your content calendar.
Once this is in order, you’re good to go! Start creating and curating your content and get sharing.
So, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your content distribution strategy. Have you realized you’ve been overlooking this element of your marketing? If so, keep this easy guide handy and get cracking.
If you put the time and effort in, you’ll see the results. And why wouldn’t you? It’s one of the most important aspects of marketing your business.
Have you recently implemented a content distribution strategy? Let us know in the comments what worked for you!