Content marketing makes little impact without distribution. Content shouldn’t be a best-kept secret. Its purpose is to attract, convert, and delight. Beyond organic channels, there are paid content marketing distribution tactics that your enterprise content team should consider.
In this post, we’ll discuss paid channels, how to use them, and how they boost your reach.
The Basics on Content Distribution
Before we dive into the channels, it’s essential to understand the fundamentals of content distribution. First, it should be part of your content strategy. Within your strategy, define the channels you use and what types of content you’ll amplify through those efforts.
Second, you’ll need to elaborate on this further in the content planning process. Make distribution part of your content workflows so that you have details on how to promote it once you publish it.
Third, you’ll need a way to measure reach. You should have specific content analytics in mind when tracking the performance of distribution channels. Those include social media marketing metrics, like engagement and shares. It would also include what channels are the highest referrers to your website.
With these fundamentals, it’s time to align your content goals, audience, and paid channels.
5 Paid Content Marketing Distribution Channels
Paid distribution is a standard tactic for content marketers. In the CMI (Content Marketing Institute) 2020 B2B Marketing report, 84 percent of respondents said they use paid channels. The most popular was social media ads, with sponsorships a close second.
With paid social platforms being number one, the report breaks down the most popular. LinkedIn is the clear standout. That makes sense for B2B companies, and it’s the first channel we recommend.
LinkedIn is the largest professional network. Its purpose is to connect professionals, and many are looking for a solution to a problem. LinkedIn ads are easy to set up, provide many targeting options, and are cost-effective.
Why Use LinkedIn
- It’s the most trusted social media network.
- The platform has significant reach. An ad on LinkedIn can reach 13 percent of the world’s population!
- 33 percent of B2B decision-makers use LinkedIn to research purchases.
- There are over 200 targeting characteristics for your ads (i.e., company type, title, company size).
When to Use LinkedIn Ads
- Niche content that’s written for a specific audience, such as e-books and whitepapers
- Thought leadership content that targets C-suite buyers
- Case studies that feature well-known brands that will catch the interest of decision-makers
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Can SEM be a content distribution channel? All search ads are content. Where they take users is as well. Although most of the time, the ads are direct to purchase pages or conversions for demos or consultations.
However, SEM can be a good channel for gated content, as well. Searcher intent is important here. If the buyer is seeking to make a purchase, you should keep your purchase or conversion pages in place. But if the search is more at the awareness and discovery level, SEM could be a good option for content distribution.
Why Use SEM
- You define the keywords that you think your buyer will search by.
- You have incredible reach potential with Google.
- Paid search on Google can often help your organic rankings, too.
When to Use SEM
- Keyword content that is awareness level
- Low competition keywords, so your budget doesn’t inflate fast
- Content that answers questions and educates audiences
Sharethrough is a native ad exchange that powers over 350 billion impressions each month. The platform is a modern way to advertise online. It works by integrating content from brands and then pushing it out in publishers’ feeds.
Why Use Sharethrough
- Your ads will look better, as ad template technology is a core component.
- The platform has direct connections to over 12,000 publisher websites.
- Choose from enhanced video, native, and display ad options.
- It’s easy to use.
When to Use Sharethrough
- Content that’s already high-performing, so you know you’ll get a good return (It’s pricey, so only use it on your best stuff.)
- Content that is broad enough to generate interest from many types of buyers
Sponsored Content with Industry Associations
Almost every industry has associations or organizations that represent the interests of your buyers. Businesses can be paid members, attend events, and sponsor conferences. Most have options for sponsored content, as well. That can be a great way to expand reach with credibility behind you.
Why Use Sponsored Content
- You’ll reach audiences that are your ideal buyers.
- Co-branding with the association boosts your trustworthiness.
- Depending on the channel, members aren’t likely to ignore it.
When to Use It
- In conjunction with an event your business is sponsoring
- When you have time to create high-quality, well-researched, and expert-level content that speaks to the audience
- In times when there are major industry shifts, and your content can deliver options and solutions
Outbrain is a technology platform that powers discovery feeds on well-known media sites. Content publishers leverage it to manage, engage, and promote. There are options for video, sponsored content, and native ads.
Why Use Outbrain
- It generates 344 billion monthly recommendations.
- It’s a trustworthy site used by the biggest media owners and advertisers.
- Cost-effective, as it uses a cost-per-click (CPC) model.
When to Use Outbrain
- For topical content that would attract various buyer types
- When you want to move traffic to your site (Outbrain boasts that users stay on a site three times longer when clicking on native ads.)
See how it works in the video below.
What Paid Content Marketing Distribution Channels Will You Choose?
If you’re considering where to put your budget dollars, always start with data, if you have it. It will quickly tell you about ROAS (return on ad spend). If not, start off by testing some of these options to see what expands your reach and generates traffic.
Distribution is a critical part of the content marketing process. The more you can expand it, the more likely you will hook new buyers and boost your revenue.
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