If you're gearing up to focus your marketing efforts on content marketing, you'll need a top-notch distribution strategy. No one will see your content if you don't get it front of them. We have a few ideas to help bolster your distribution strategy.
Before we get into the details, you should always ask yourself a few important questions before deciding on distribution channels.
What's your content goal?
Don't throw around your content aimlessly. Formulate a goal for how you utilize it in your marketing. Do you want to build brand awareness, drive leads or boost engagement? Are you driving people to a newsletter sign-up or product on a storefront? Know what you're trying to accomplish, and set a goal.
Who's consuming your content?
Before you even set pen to paper, know who you're creating content for. Who are you trying to reach? Are you reaching out to a particular generation or a narrower demographic? Once you know who you're trying to target, you can create content in their verbal wheelhouse and start looking for the places they consider go-to sources for content.
Where does your audience live?
Discover where you audience consumes content. Not only where, but also how they consume it and when. Don't distribute content for older audiences through Instagram posts, for example. While Instagram is a go-to social channel for younger demographics, most seniors aren't consuming content through Instagram. When you've found answers to these questions, you can hone in on the best distribution channels.
Before you finalize your strategy, make sure you give consideration to the following—if they fit your audience:
Has someone ever told you that "email is dead?" If so, you can officially chalk it up as a myth. Sending emails to your audience is still one of the best ways to keep them engaged. Instead of neglecting to utilize email, start sending out links to your latest content on a consistent basis. You don't have to send it to everyone on your list, either. Try to target your content emails to the relevant contacts in your database.
You can also try reaching out to specific contacts or industry organizations who might be interested in sharing your content. Drop them a quick email, and see what they can make happen. You won't always get a "yes" or free distribution, but you could potentially hit a gold mine.
Even if you don't have an immediate contact in an industry or organization, it's never to late to start making headway. If your content happens to link to any companies or industry influencers, reach out with a personalized email letting them know that you included them in your article, and politely ask if they’d be willing to share the link to your post on their own social channels or in a send to their email lists.
Creating content can take a lot of time, effort and budget. However, the task doesn't have to fall on your shoulders alone. Does your brand have fans? (Yes, your own fans can act as a distribution channel.)
Inviting your fans to distribute content on your behalf can be a huge time-saver, building loyalty and proving a great way to find and promote awesome content. Reach out through social and email, and ask your audience to share content about your products or services. The content could include testimonials or well-composed photos or videos featuring your products.
It's best to offer an incentive to share. It doesn't have to be something that breaks the bank. An incentive could be as simple as sharing the best content through your brand's channels or offering a prize to fans who share one of the best three pieces. Don't forget to include any legal coverage if you're incentivizing through a contest or handing out prizes. You want to make sure you get rights to use the crowdsourced content and avoid liability for unintended actions.
If you've created awesome content in the past or a piece that has plenty of potential but didn't quite hit the mark, don't shy away from using it again. Don't assume people devalue the content if it wasn't popular the first time around—they may have simply missed it. You can give this content a second breath of life by recycling it. This helps you get the most value out of the content into which you put precious time.
Here are a few ways you can repurpose previously created content:
- Republish: If your content still has relevance since its publication but has started to see diminished engagement, simply republish it with updated information. This will get it back into feeds of readers.
- Repurpose: This requires you to deconstruct your original, long-form content, such as e-books, and tailor it into new, smaller pieces. You should keep the primary message itself as the core of the piece, but with new trimmings that will help it fit a different platform.
- Repackage: In the same vein as repurposing, repackaging involves breaking down your long-form content into bite-sized pieces. Then combine those pieces into new, relevant content. This will help bolster newly created content while getting the most out of older pieces.