Learn how to perfect your Content Distribution Strategy
Are you spending hours creating amazing content and publishing it on your website in the hope that people see it? Without a solid content distribution strategy in place, even the most inspiring content will fail to get the recognition and readership it deserves. A successful distribution plan will not only place your content in front of your target audience, but it will also establish credibility and trust.
By forging this online relationship with prospects, you are increasing the likelihood of them taking further action by signing up for your blog subscription, downloading an eBook or requesting a free consultation.
Content distribution can include both paid and unpaid strategies. Establish where you target audience is and base your activities around this knowledge and overarching business goals, determining a strategy that best fits your needs and ambitions.
Before we get started, you should consider the following questions:
Why do you want people to read your content?
Determine what your content marketing goal is. Is it to drive website traffic, increase brand awareness, improve interactions or lead generation? For example, do you want to increase newsletter sign up or purchases on your website?
Who is your target audience?
Identify the people you want your content to reach. Do you want to target existing customers or acquire new ones? Would you like a young audience to find your content and share it with their followers to build awareness? Or do you want to target the company decision makers who have the power to purchase?
How and which channels do your audience use to find content?
Find where your audience spend their time and use your content to speak to them in a way they understand best. By identifying where and when they engage with content, you can tailor your distribution strategy to successfully reach them. For example, sharing content on Facebook or Twitter will more likely reach millennials, whereas email or LinkedIn InMail might be more suitable for senior management and decision makers.
Now that you’ve answered these core questions, you’re ready to evaluate the content distribution options available.
Organic distribution is free and refers to the channels that you can use to build and engage with your audience without additional costs. The most popular organic methods include email, social media and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
- Social Media
Actively using social media is advantageous for companies in numerous ways. By getting involved with topical conversations, conversing with customers and offering helpful content, you can get an understanding of how your brand is perceived and what customers want from your product or service.
Regularly sharing updates and posting content keeps you fresh in your follower’s minds and although they might not be ready to purchase a product or invest in your service just yet, when they do, there’s a strong likelihood you will be their first port of call.
The thing to remember with social media is not to overdo it by trying to focus everywhere. Each platform has different benefits and specific methods for optimised performance. Focus your efforts on the ones that best fit your goals, audience and type of content and base your posting plan around this.
Organic social media distribution tips:
- Share video content: Social networks are progressively prioritising video content in user’s newsfeeds.
- Not forgetting visuals: Amongst a sea of content, grab user’s attention with appealing visuals and persuasive text.
- Posting times: the optimum posting time varies between networks. Use analytics to identify the times when your target audience are most active to plan your posting schedule.
- Always be social: It’s easy to get carried away with optimising your posts and forget that it is a ‘Social’ network meant for communicating with people. Reach out and interact with your followers by asking questions, address queries and participate in industry chatter.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the activity of using suitable keywords throughout your content to help it rank higher in search engines. Implementing a targeted keyword strategy helps search engines determine what your pages are about and how relevant and valuable they are to users. While search engine algorithms are constantly changing, here are a few guidelines to improve your content ranking:
- Find and evaluate the predominant search terms for your business. Find some valuable keyword research tools to help you identify the most searched terms, how many people are searching for them and ranking difficulty.
- Make it easier for search engines to determine what your content is about by focusing each piece on a relevant keyword. The keyword should be included in the headline and naturally throughout the main body of text. It’s a good idea to link to other content with similar keywords, both external sites and your own website.
- Longer, more detailed and informative content tends to rank higher, with search engines prioritising this content to ensure users find the answers they’re looking for.
- Lead Nurturing Through Email
Lead nurturing involves building relationships with your prospects from the early stages of their buying journey. Using your content, you can educate and interact with them until they’re ready to make a purchase.
To build an email database, capture visitor information when they’re filling out a form to join your newsletter, download an eBook or access gated content. Structure the form to request information such as job role, industry and budget. This will give you a deeper insight into your audience so that you can segment lists and send tailored content specific to their needs.
Lead Nurturing Content Distribution Tips:
- Optimised forms: only request information that is relevant and beneficial to you. For example, if you’re trying to target B2B companies in the tech industry or people with a specific job title, make sure to include these as required fields.
- Tailored content: take a personal approach when nurturing prospects. With each interaction, provide them with valuable content in the form of ‘How To’ guides, videos and emails. This will establish trust and credibility as leads move through the buyer’s journey.
- Trial different pop up forms throughout your site to determine what entices more visitors to fill out forms. Does gated video content perform better than Ebooks? Do sign ups at the bottom of blogs generate more leads than those that appear before downloading an offer?
Using paid distribution is valuable for companies who want to attract reliable sources to their content.
Paid distribution works best when:
- You want to boost views of high performing content
- You’re introducing a new product, service or event
- You want to promote and build awareness around the launch of a new campaign
Bear in mind, with paid promotion the results aren’t sustainable unless you continue to put money towards it. So, while paid content distribution can be beneficial, it should be used strategically.
However, one big advantage of paid content is that you can measure results and easily estimate the traffic you’ll receive compared to the relatively unknown audience of an organic strategy.
- Search PPC
- Display advertising
- Paid Social
Paid social media enables marketers to target their ads to reach specific segments of users. Social media advertising varies between platforms and depending on how you allocate your budget.
Before implementing your paid social budget, consider the following:
▪︎ Do you want to generate awareness around a new service or product? Or, do you want to improve lead generation?
▪︎ Do you need a quick win and a fast traffic increase? Or, do you want to spread spending over the entire campaign?
▪︎ On which network/s do your target audience spend most time?
With over 2 billion monthly users1, Facebook is one of the largest social platforms where you can reach out to and engage with your target audience. Facebook’s paid features allow marketers to create and personalise ads to your business goals.
Source: NewsCred Insights
Facebook audiences can be segmented based on demographics, a user’s network, interests and behaviour (pages and apps liked & interacted with on Facebook). Ads usually run on the right hand column on desktop, or in the News Feed on mobile and desktop.
With over 320 million monthly active users, the real time social network enables users to share updates of up to 140 characters.
Twitter ads should be used to achieve the following:
▪︎ Increased followers
▪︎ Increased engagement
▪︎ Increased website traffic
▪︎ Increase website conversions
▪︎ Encourage app installation and re-engagement
Similar to Facebook, you can target ads based on demographics and interests but also by keywords and behaviour (interactions)
With over 500 million users (Fortune magazine), LinkedIn is the prime spot to reach a professional audience. Bearing this in mind, LinkedIn is especially valuable for B2B companies who are interested in a more specialised, business and employment approach to social media.
Sponsored LinkedIn content enables companies to attract new followers to their business page. Targeting options means audiences can be targeted based on industry, company size and job titles ensuring your content reaches the relevant users.
LinkedIn sponsored InMail also lets businesses send targeted messages and content directly to users who matter most to your company.
To wrap up the discussion on paid social media content distribution, here are some tips that are relevant to all networks:
▪︎ Lead generation: To benefit from social media, you need to have a plan in place to make the most of social traffic and leverage peaked intrigue into leads. For example, use paid social to drive people to gated content, where you can capture users’ information with a form – that way, you’ll gain a valuable return on your investment.
▪︎ Alternate your campaign to ensure your conducting it in the most effective way possible. Many networks allow you to carry out A/B testing, so be sure to make strategic changes such as different posting times/styles/images; analysing the results to assess what is proving to be the most effective with your target audience.
At its core, your content marketing strategy is your business’s ‘why’. Why people should choose you over your competitor. Why you can help alleviate consumer pain points. Why you’re the real expert.
Apart from being a source of valuable information for customers, a reactive content strategy provides companies with a robust foundation to increase their revenue, lower costs and refine their customer base.
Nevertheless, finding the right formula is vital for success is by no means an easy feat. By testing a combination of the above distribution tactics; optimizing posts along the way, you can try out alternative channel strategies, core topic areas, and team processes to see what works best. These experiments will help grow your audience, get your brand message across, and encourage more people to convert to customers.