- Plan an exciting article on that brilliant insight you’ve had the other day.
- Do your research
- Organize your ideas
- Put the text together
- Revise it
- Send the draft to a friend or colleague who’s an expert on that specific topic and ask for some honest feedback.
- Get back to work, re-write parts of the text, add a linking paragraph, cut-off some unnecessary lines.
- Send it for revision again.
- It’s finally ready for your audience.
But how do you get it to your audience? Is your content distribution effective? Is your content even getting to your target audience?
To ensure ROI on your work, you want to make sure that your content makes it to the eyes of your audience. That’s why the distribution of your content is key, it can boost (or ruin) the reach of your campaign.
The content distribution, as the other stages of your campaigns, should be considered at the earliest steps of planning. It might influence all the others:
Table of Contents
What is content distribution?
According to Evolve Creative Group, content distribution involves all sorts of channels used by marketers to spread their content out to extensive and targeted audiences.
These channels are many and according to Outbrain, they can be grouped in three broad categories – Owned media, earned media and paid media:
Owned media — is yours. It’s under your control, it belongs to your team, not to others. Examples comprise websites, mobile sites, landing pages, webinars and starting a blog. Your core content is your asset, therefore it should only be posted on platforms you own. Following this simple rule you ensure your traffic is driven to your online properties and your content is not subject to changing rules. Social media channels can be considered as “borrowed media” since they seem to be yours and you feel like they’re under your control, until the platform decides to change the rules, charge extra-fees or simply go offline.
Earned media — Your efforts in product, marketing, branding and customer success should, eventually, earn you some spontaneous recommendations. Another idea is to build partnerships with co-related blogs and use PR efforts to earn promotion in websites from your industry. These are really positive, because when other audience members see someone else satisfied with your brand, they immediately give you more credibility and trust.
Paid media — all channels you pay to use and get a broader reach for your content. Building an audience from scratch is quite difficult, that’s why paying for content marketing and distribution can be the shortest path to establish your presence on platforms where people are already engaged in. Make sure your ads link users back to your owned media.
Forrester offers some interesting ideas on the 3 categories on their blog:
- Create a solar system of owned media. Owned media creates brand portability. Now you can extend your brand’s presence beyond your web site so that it exists in many places across the web — specifically through social media sites and unique communities.
- Recognize that earned media is a result of brand behavior. You need to learn how to listen and respond to both the good (positive organic) and bad (spurned) as well as consider when to try and stimulate earned media through word-of-mouth marketing.
- Your paid media is not dead, but it is evolving into a catalyst. Many people are predicting the end of paid media (aka advertising). However, that prediction may be premature as no other type of media can guarantee the immediacy and scale that paid media can. However, paid media is shifting away from the foundation and evolving into a catalyst that is needed at key periods to drive more engagement (e.g., Q4 holidays).
Having all these differences in mind, optimized content distribution strategies should, eventually, merge the 3 groups:
How to Scale Your Content Distribution
Content distribution efforts can scale your reach and maximize ROI, however, there’s no silver bullet. Repurposing content, using social media, webinars (automated webinars) and email marketing to increment traffic are common practices. But usually different brands favor different channels, according to the preferences of their respective target audiences. Get to know yours!
Once you know which channels to favor, get to know hacks that can help you shortcut your way to the top. Hailey has some tips for LinkedIn, for instance.
Contentools blog has some leaks for Instagram too.
Then, choose your stack of content distribution tools
The selection of your digital tools is a strategic step which will have great influence in the performance of your content distribution. There are many free (or freemium ) platforms and affordable paid services.
It happens that, as in the rest of the Marketing Automation World, it’s a pretty red ocean. Quite a few platforms offer similar solutions, present some niche market differentials and there are many overlaps among them. Chiefmartec updates their Marketing Technology Landscape every year, check the number of platforms marketing and sales teams can resource to, once they map the ones that better fit their needs:
It’s such a cluttered landscape, even for experienced marketers. And the competition grows fiercer every day. Without guidance or advice, your research on the most appropriate platforms for your company might easily end up being quite exhausting and ineffective.
Moreover, choosing the wrong platforms leads to an even worse waste of time and energy, since the onboarding and integrations will take time and only then it will be possible for your team to fully acknowledge how ineffective the selected tools are.
That’s why we prepared a list of suggested tools below. They’re all free, freemium or affordable for SMBs.
We don’t intend to exhaust the list of possible suggestions and it would be amazing to have some feedback on other tools and why you’d include them on your stack.
Content Distribution Tools:
1 – HootSuite
One of the most popular and user-friendly platforms out there. Set up your calendar and publish on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. They also have an App Directory where you can find integrations to other platforms, such as Youtube, MailChimp and Salesforce. Freemium.
2 – Buffer
Another very popular and easy-to-learn platform. Share your posts to multiple accounts at once, quickly customize messages for each social network, track and analyze interactions on the posts you share. Freemium.
3 – SocialOomph
Set up your calendar of tweets, track keywords, save and reuse drafts, purge your twitter tweets, mimic follow. And many paid features related to all major social media networks.Freemium.
4 – Tweriod
Reach your target audience when they’re online. In their own words, Tweriod is a Twitter tool that helps you knowing the best time to tweet, by analyzing up to 1000 of your followers.Free.
5 – Click to Tweet
Makes it easy for your website visitors to tweet and share your content by simply clicking on it. Once they do so, you’ll be able to collect data and suggest them to follow any twitter account, including your own. Free.
6 – Rebrandly
Shorten, brand and track every link that you create and share online. Rebrandly also provides a detailed analytics feature that enables you to learn about who’s clicking on your links — such as what country the clicks are coming from, the most popular times and days, and what social media platform the clicks originated from. Free.
7 – Storify
Gather and compile sequences of posts or tweets and repurpose them as stories. Multiple editors can quickly search, filter, drag an drop and publish social content, even from your mobile app. Freemium.
8 – Outbrain
They have a large community of high-profile publishers where your content can be recommended as a reference on related topics. Which means you can also offer your own content as a potential host to others. It’s easy to use and you can set your daily budget for different campaigns. Pay-per-click.
9 – Taboola
Similarly to Outbrain, Taboola offers links on many websites, where your content shows up as “recommended for you” or “around the web” boxes. It has a lot more traffic than outbrain and you’ll have the support of a rep. But you’ll need a bigger budget to play. Pay-per-click.
10 – Mailchimp
As we mentioned above, email campaigns are still an essential part of digital marketing. Mailchimp leads among email distribution services, allowing you to create well-designed, automated messages, track them and analyze the results. Freemium.
11 – sendy.co
If your strategy demands frequent and heavy loads of messages sent, this is one of the top tools you can have in your stack. Send thousands of emails via Amazon and pay a single, one time fee. You’ll need the initial support of a developer to configure your own server, though. One time fee.
12 – Zest.is
A secret weapon for marketing content distribution and a great source of curated marketing content that’s ready to consume. Contribute high quality marketing content and get a boost in views from a targeted audience. Free.
13 – GaggleAMP
GaggleAMP helps your team to engage in your campaigns. In their own words: “avoid those embarrassing scenarios in which someone shares a message that is designed for Twitter but is shared on LinkedIn. (…) you have laser precision of your content while still making it easy and fun for your fellow employees to share. Add to this gamification through leaderboards and rewards and get a powerful content sharing solution that corporate customers are driving unparalleled results from.” Subscription Fee.
14 – PRWeb
Probably the bigger PR network unless you’re looking for a specific niche. User-friendly and efficient. Major media channels are connected to it, relevance of content is the game-changer to get you out there. Subscription Fee.
15 – Medium
According to Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, it’s “a new publishing platform where both paid and unpaid writers can post pieces on any subject and of any length.” It’s UX is clean and simple, while the curation of content offered to each user employs complex AI algorithms to select the best articles according to the people’s interests. That’s why It is currently used by over 20 million people every month and still growing. Free and VIP.
16 – Quora
The Q&A platform allows people to share information about pretty much anything, including your business field. If you have relevant, useful insights to help people, Quora connects you to your audience. Free.
17 – Reddit
The community platform helps people finding the top internet trends every day. Not only for general topics, as Twitter top trends, but also to specific niches, like your industry. Find the community that best fits your target audience, participate in the forums and share your content. Free.
18 – Tribber
Tribber connects brands with influencers. It has multiple aditional, paid features, but the main value proposition is this free connection. Although you’ll have to negotiate with the influencers. This connection is free of charge, but you’ll have to negotiate with the influencers. Freemium.
19 – Contentools
Chances are you’ve already heard of Contentools. Not only for its features related to the distribution of content through different media channels, but also for helping you collaborate and manage content at scale multiple teams, projects and content types, including articles, social posts and others. Click here for a14-days free trial (subscription fee after that).
Now that you can select those you find more useful to your needs and context, take a deeper look at their platforms and try out some of their free features.
It’s a good way of getting to know the opinion of users not only about the products but also about the companies in general, as reviews usually cover topics like on-boarding, support, billing and personal impressions in general.
“Content is king, but distribution is queen. And she wears the pants”
J. Peretti – CEO Buzzfeed
- Quality and relevance precedes content distribution.
- Content distribution has potential to scale (or ruin) your content’s ROI.
- Content distribution should be planned at the beginning.
- Merging owned, earned and paid media is gold.
- Segmentation allows the use of different strategies to specific target audiences.
- A stack of tools can boost your team’s performance.
Have you tried any of this tools and know its shortcuts? Do you employ different platforms in your stack? Would you recommend them to others? Let’s us know in the comment section below!