How to Utilize Content Marketing Distribution Channels to Amplify Your Success
After you and your team have worked so hard to put together content that can help potential customers triumph over their challenges, you want it to reach as many of those people as possible. In this post, we’ll show you how to get your customers to come to your content table. If you build your content marketing distribution channels right, they will come.
In the digital marketing universe, your content has to cut through all the online noise and find an express lane to your potential customers’ eyes and ears. With the right distribution channels, your content won’t just cruise down the express lane – it’ll be riding on the bullet train.
Here’s the volume of online traffic your content must plow through to get into the right hands, according to the digital marketing experts at HubSpot:
- Content marketers pump out around 4.5 million blog posts every day.
- Google alone handles 3.8 million searches every minute.
- Every second, 952 Instagram posts and nearly 9,000 tweets fly out into the ether.
Start at Home: Make Owned Content Your Central Focus
The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, coined a tagline that rings true even today: “Peace at home, peace in the world.” In other words, get your own house in order before you start meddling outside your borders.
That advice applies to content marketing as much as it does to nations. Shore up your owned content before you begin promoting it via other content marketing distribution channels.
Owned content is the content that goes on the channels that no one controls but you. Third-party sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other private and social media channels (a.k.a. shared media), can shut down your account at any time.
Besides, there’s always the risk that these third-party sites could go out of business or become irrelevant. Put yourself in the shoes of those poor marketers who put all their content eggs into MySpace’s basket instead of investing in their website and blog.
Enough said. Don’t think that happens anymore? I can’t even count the times I’ve seen businesses on Facebook and Instagram that use those platforms for their online home instead of investing a few dollars into a website. For that reason, we advise our clients to pour the lion’s share of their energy into their owned media, including:
- Blog posts: Start with your blog. Look at the problems that keep your target customers up all night, create content that helps them solve those problems, and publish them on your website.
- Website content: Update the static pages on your website often. Make sure that customers can find the information they need easily and quickly. Above all, provide plenty of opportunities for them to submit their email address to get them on your mailing list.
- Email newsletters: Use segmentation to divide up your email recipients by demographics, interests, and pain points. Provide them with premium content that appeals to them and helps them meet their needs. Such personalized content goes a long way toward positioning you as the go-to authority in your field – and therefore, more trust.
- Company-owned mobile apps: We’re not talking about third-party apps, such as Zillow for real estate, Yelp for restaurants, or CarGurus for vehicle sales. We’re talking about the branded ones your company has paid for and uses to communicate with potential and current customers.
Use Paid Channels to Extend Your Owned Assets’ Reach
Simply publishing your owned assets is only half the battle. A decade ago, that used to have a much bigger impact as the number of webpages and mobile apps were substantially smaller. Nowadays, paid promotion via targeted channels is all but required to get new eyeballs on your stuff. Social media sites are typically a good starting point.
Like we said above, social media sites have historically been considered “shared media” as they’re the landlords and you’re just renting space. And there aren’t any laws that restrict how and when they can kick you out – so, you shouldn’t make them your online home.
But in recent years, due to the variety of algorithmic changes that have been executed by pretty much every social network, organic reach on social is all but dead as well. So social channels can basically be considered paid content marketing distribution channels in most cases.
These platforms, as well as video platforms and other third-party sites do pretty well at affordably extending the reach of your blog posts. The big benefit of many of these networks are their ability to target your ads based on very specific audience characteristics, of which they have plenty.
Beyond social media channels, there are still plenty of other, tried and true paid options that can extend your reach, including: search advertising, content syndication networks, trade pubs/websites and influencer marketing.
The biggest key here is budgeting. All too often, marketers blow their budget on the content itself and don’t have much left over for promotion. As a general rule of thumb, a 50/50 content-to-promotion split should deliver solid results.
Leverage Shared Channels to Direct Traffic Back to Your Owned Media
When you can get third parties to share and promote your content, you need to use those mentions to steer people back to your website or blog. Shared content marketing distribution channels include journalists who share information about new developments in your company, other related blogs that aren’t direct competitors, product reviews, and invitations for you to guest blog or publish articles on other organizations’ owned media. Online forums, such as TripAdvisor, Quora, Reddit, or Yelp, also provide a platform for customers to share their experiences with your company.
Here are some tips that can help you steer content shared by others back to your website or blog:
- Press releases: Make sure that you include a link back to your website in the boilerplate (a short description of your company) that appears at the bottom of your press release. Journalists will often include contact information in their finished stories. One word of caution, though: Never make press releases self-promotional. Keep them newsworthy and objective, writing them in the third person (he, she, it, they) as do journalists. Focus your press release on your target customers’ needs, including keywords that relate to your products to attract the attention of both potential customers and search engines.
- Third-party forums: When you make a sale, include a friendly request on the receipt for customers to write a review for your product or services. Something like “Enjoy your stay at the Lakeside Hotel? Share your experience with others on a TripAdvisor review. Thanks!”
- Related blogs: Network with others in related fields to earn their respect. As you demonstrate your expertise in your field, make your colleagues aware that you’d be happy to write a guest post for them to build their own reputation. For instance, let’s say you’re a dentist and you’ve met a local cardiologist at last month’s Chamber of Commerce meeting. As you talk with your new colleague, you might want to mention that you’d be happy to write a guest post about the risk of heart damage in patients with severe gum disease. If the cardiologist accepts your offer, it’s a win for everyone involved. Just be sure to include a link back to your website in your guest post. The cardiologist’s subscribers will get valuable information to help keep their hearts healthier. Your subscribers, on the other hand (you’ll want to post a link to your guest post on your own blog and social media), will be more likely to take gum health more seriously. As for your businesses, you’ll likely increase your patient base – and your website traffic.
To organize all this content and your distribution tactics, you’ll need to sit down with your teams and set a content strategy that lays out – in detail – where you plan to pour your resources. Always, always, always start with your target customers – their needs, their pain points, and their online behaviors.
Look at your content analytics to find out where they hang out online and when. Using these tools gives you an edge in knowing what, where, and when to post links to your content on social media.
Use a content calendar to pencil in ideas for content, as well as when you plan to post it and where it should be promoted. Leave room for follow-up content, such as e-books and white papers, for those that want more in-depth information, usually an indication of customer interest.
As we advised earlier, your own blog is a good starting point. Next, distribute your posts on the shared and paid channels that have the best chance of attracting qualified customers. Focus on the most promising content marketing distribution channels, especially if time is at a premium.
Don’t forget about the power of repurposing and reusing existent content. Find your best-performing content and find ways to make it go further. Transform blog posts into explainer videos. Expand short articles into white papers. Turn white papers into webinars that help your audience solve problems.
Finally, once you have your schedule in place, automate as many of your distribution tasks as you can, giving your team more time to plan, create, and distribute even more valuable content. A comprehensive content marketing platform can give you back your time, with everything you need in one place. Collaboration, calendars, and automation tools streamline and simplify your work, boosting productivity and your all-important bottom line.
That’s the kind of strategy that will bring qualified customers to your doors, building your reputation and visibility with every piece of content you publish. If you’d like more time on your hands as you publish and distribute your content, get in touch with our team for a 14-day free trial of our DivvyHQ today.