One of the most essential ingredients in your content marketing toolbox is an effective method to distribute the content post creation. Writing and publishing world-class content isn’t enough these days. Without effective content distribution, your message is likely to become lost in the digital noise.
Getting your content in front of the right consumers is the key to successful content distribution. While digital ads do work, at least in part, they’re little more than a neon sign on the digital freeway without effectively targeting to the right audience.
The same goes for your owned channels: your website, blog, catalogs, email communications, call center, and newsletters. While it’s true that you can control what content you produce, if the content doesn’t reach the right audience, your hosting fees, labor costs, and other expenses aren’t earning their keep.
Social media, although free to use, operate under someone else’s control. If your favorite social media platform suddenly changes its policies – or even tanks – you’re out of luck. Remember MySpace?
What you need is a way to define your target audience, find out which channels are the best vehicles for distributing your content to those people, and reach them at the right time with the right message. Let’s take a look to see why an efficient content distribution tool is a critical addition to your content strategy.
Distribution: Content Marketing’s “Ground Zero”
Content Marketing Institute’s Jodi Harris put it best:
“The distribution phase is ground zero for your content marketing program – the point where your goals, audience insights, tactical choices, and creative executions get put to the test.”
– Jodi Harris – Director of Editorial Content & Curation
Content Marketing Institute
Content distribution done right can cut through all the complexity of media channels to deliver your content to your likely customer’s virtual front door.
It’s the difference between mass mailings – those circulars that your local discount mattress store stuffs into your mailbox – and hand-delivered certified mail. The latter gets your immediate attention. The mass-mailed circular? Into the wastebasket.
With all the investment of time and talent you put into producing top-notch content, you want your content to get your intended audience’s immediate attention. To do so, you need to take a critical look at your current content distribution plan. Evaluate its effectiveness by how well it reaches your target audience. Here are four steps to get you started.
1. Research Your Target Customers
If you already have a website and social media, you can use Google Analytics and social media analytics to dig into your audience’s demographics, location, needs, online behavior, preferences, likes, and conversions – whether sales, subscriptions, or clickthroughs. Offline, use customer surveys and feedback to find out which channels and formats on which your customers prefer to receive information.
2. Choose Your Channels and Formats
Although we advise businesses to make their owned channels the ones that they ultimately direct their audiences to, it pays to balance your online presence with both social media, as well as carefully researched paid media, such as social media ads that direct readers to your blog posts and sales pages.
- Channels: For example, if you sell crafting products and offer classes, Pinterest would usually be a great choice. For fashion houses, Instagram is usually the preferred social media channel. As for ads, place paid posts on the places your customers frequent most often for optimum results.
- Formats: If your customers prefer visual content, you’ll need to include a ton of infographics and images in written posts. Or, if your videos get more engagement, you’ll need to prioritize video posts.
The most important factor to keep in mind is to focus on your customers – just as you do when you choose which content to publish. It’s not rocket science. Keep it simple and customer-focused, and you’ll be on track for success.
3. Document Your Plan and Choose a Distribution Platform
Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, it’s a good idea to document your distribution plan. Jot down a few notes about the “why” as well as the “what.” As you review your content distribution plan, your notes can jog your memory as to why you decided on Tiktok instead of YouTube, for instance, for your main social media distribution channel.
As your business grows and changes, so might your customer base. Review your distribution plan at least yearly (more often if your business has undergone rapid changes).
One thing you might consider is a content marketing platform. Not only can it keep track of your content distribution plan, but it can also keep you and your team organized and on the same page with a content calendar, collaboration tools, and other amenities to streamline and simplify content production and distribution.
If you’re a solo entrepreneur, a content platform can automate various processes and keep your content production on track through automation. Regardless of your situation, having such a tool can save you a lot of time – time you can better spend building your business.
4. Promote, Reuse, and Recycle
Once you’ve identified them, brainstorm ways to turn them into new content. A blog post that explains how to operate your new widget, for instance, can become an explainer video. If your highest-performing blog post tells how your widget can solve various problems for other businesses, you could expand it into a white paper or an ebook.
Or, you could explore the same topic from a different angle. Use your earlier high-performing content as a springboard and take it in a totally different direction.
For example, reincarnate your how-to blog post featuring your new widget as a new post highlighting all the ways your customers can use it to make their lives easier and their businesses more profitable. A video of yourself performing your latest piano composition can take on new life as a slow walkthrough of the piece for fans who want to learn to play it themselves. Create sheet music to sell those fans, and you can triple the return on one piece of content.
Make the most of your content with a well-organized content distribution plan that reaches all the people who need your products and services. To turbocharge your content with no-fuss distribution, give our DivvyHQ content platform a try today.