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New to Content Distribution? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Content Marketing
Content Marketing

Having been so much focused on the production of valuable content, small business owners are nearly clueless as to how to distribute content effectively across multiple channels.

Being a digital marketer, I’m often asked intense or even simple questions from my executives or clients like how to effectively distribute content! Besides this, the other most prominent questions they ask are given below:

  • What is content distribution?
  • What type of content distribution channels exists?
  • What are various content distribution platforms?
  • What is a content delivery network?
  • How to write a distribution plan?
  • What is content aggregation?

In this post, I’d try to answer all these questions. So stay tuned!

Distributing relevant content you’ve created for the right people at the right time doesn’t need to be an excessively troublesome task. It’s all about learning and executing new ideas, building and strengthening the relationship with your target audience and eventually driving them to make the ideal move – which could vary from subscribing for a youtube channel to downloading an ebook!

The first step to effective content distribution is understanding what content distribution exactly is — especially since distribution has become increasingly more imperative to the success of your content!

Let’s begin.

1. What is content distribution?

Creation of excellent content is just the beginning – it is the content distribution that helps your content get discovered, read and re-shared, increasing the reach and the overall impact of your content.

Content distribution is the process of promoting your content to specific, targeted individuals and communities where the likelihood of engagement is increased. Any content creation effort will be worthless if newly developed content is not being timely distributed in multiple media formats through various channels!

There are 3 main types of content distribution channels – Owned, Earned, and Paid.

A. Owned Content Distribution Channel:

It includes distributing content to media channels that your company owns and controls such as, your blog, email newsletter, social media channels, or microsite.

The advantage of an owned content distribution channel is that marketers can distribute their content out to as many people as possible – you can rush to post more blog posts, more newsletters, etc.

Let’s have a look at how owned media platforms can be used for better content distribution:

* Blog posts – Make sure that the content on your blog is consistent as consistency ensures the trust of users in your brand! Write about the topics that would prove to be of value to your audience. Consider experimenting with different content formats to have a better understanding of what works best for your target audience.

* Landing Pages – They are dedicated standalone pages that can prove to be ultimate conversion tools for your campaigns. An optimized landing page omits many of the distractions found on blogs and traditional websites resulting in better conversions.

* Social media channels – Social media and content marketing are great companions! There exist a wide range of social networks that help you build brand awareness, perform market research, generate leads and build a relationship with customers. All that you are required to do is stay consistent on these social media channels, use a call to action in all your updates, upload high-quality images, and abide by your brand guidelines across all these channels.

* Discussion forums – They include platforms such as Reddit and Quora, that empower you to share information about topics related to your brand, product, and solutions. Users utilize these platforms to ask questions and hold discussions, allowing you to connect with them, answer their queries and build better relationships.

B. Earned Content Distribution Channel:

It is hardest distribution channel to achieve and optimize as it involves the distribution of your content via third-parties. They can share the content in the form of press coverage, reposts, shares, or product reviews. Interchanging guest blog posts with notable brands is a standout amongst other earned media distribution strategy. It results in excellent quality backlinks as well as better user engagement as you can reach out to a broader audience.

Here’s a case study on how Coca-Cola does Earned media:

While numerous organizations and advertisers trust that earned media or online networking specifically don’t produce genuine sales lift, Senior VP of integrated marketing communications and capabilities at Coca-Cola ‘Wendy Clark’, stands firmly behind her interests and investments in earned media.

Following 3 are the earned media success stories that Coca-Cola has generated:

a) London Olympic GamesThis earned media campaign by Coca-Cola was activated in 110 countries with a variety of content including the following:

* An hour-long documentary on the making of the global anthem – “Moving to the Beat of the London Games”
* A Beat Maker application that gives purchasers a chance to make their very own beats, and uploads them to the Global Beat on Facebook.

b) 2012 Super Bowl – Coca-Cola leveraged second-screen engagement amid the game by live streaming the Coca-Cola polar bears. Above 9 million individuals tuned in to engage.

c) 2013 Super Bowl – It is my personal favorite. Coca-Cola aired a 60-second ad that ended with a cliffhanging call-to-action that directed viewers to the URL CokeChase.com, “where they could help decide the outcome by voting in favor of their most loved team and even sabotaging their rivals in fun, ridiculous ways.”

 

C. Paid Content Distribution Channel:

This is when brands explicitly pay to get their content in front of their audience through different paid promotion channels. I must say, money still talks! This form of distribution ensures placement and delivers eyeballs instantly to help achieve
your objectives.

A tremendous number of options are available to enable you to extend your reach and elevate engagement with your brand:

* Search engine marketing – It is one of the most effective ways to grow your business in a competitive marketplace. It involves using search engines such as Google and Bing to elevate your promotions to your intended audiences. You can bid on keywords that users of ‘Google and Bing’ might enter in the search box while looking for specific products or services. Doing this shows up your promotions close by results for those search engines and give you the opportunity to motivate your visitors to sign up for your service or buy your products.

These ads are often called PPC ads, where you’ll have to pay every time a user clicks on your ad.

* Social Media Ads – Social media networks also allows you to advertise your offers to your target audience employing paid advertisements. Facebook boosted posts, promoted tweets, Youtube ads, and Linkedin sponsored ads updates are extraordinary methods to increase your content’s reach much further, and do so much faster, by building paid promotional campaigns around your strongest content assets and special features.

But what makes social media extremely suitable for paid promotion?

Social media is incredible at paid promotion as it provides you with fantastic targeting opportunities based on the following – demographics, interest, and behaviors.

As per eMarketer, Facebook produces the best ROI in social media platforms:

social media platforms emarketer

* Native advertising – If you were to ask me, “What is native advertising?” my answer to it would be – “Native advertising enables you to publish your content in the publications of online publishers. Your content will be totally “branded,” however it will to a great extent match the look and feel of the of the platform on which it appears.”

Basically, native ads don’t look like ads at all, i.e. they are non-problematic to the user’s experience on a webpage.

Native ads show up as following on different platforms:

native ads

You can use networks like Outbrain, Taboola, and Adblade to run your native ads.

The success of your content marketing endeavors relies upon how effectively you distribute the content assets that you created and choose distribution channels that work for your brand and audience.

To round out this talk, how about we compare the challenge of content distribution with a long-standing dilemma: If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is around to hear, does it make a clamor?

Similarly, if you publish your content, and nobody sees it, will it have an effect?

2. What is a content distribution network?

A content distribution network also addressed as content delivery network plays a crucial role in the distribution of content. It comprises a large group of servers that are strategically placed across the globe to accelerate the delivery of rich media and web content to devices that are connected to the internet.

These servers pull the assets that are static from the origin server and cache a copy of those assets empowering visitors to retrieve the data from the server that is closest. This helps to bridge the gap in distance between a visitor who is situated in Australia, while the origin server is situated in North Carolina, for instance:

Distance plays a significant role in latency times. Thus having a dispersed bunch of servers that each hold cached content from your website could help to reduce latency and improve website performance.

Other benefits of Content Distribution Networks are as follows:

* Enhances SEO
* Less expensive than you may suspect
* Traffic spike & downtime security
* Increased security
* Easy integration
* Better user experience

3. How to write a distribution plan?

The accompanying will demonstrate to you generally accepted methods to make a compelling substance promoting circulation plan in five simple advances:

There are chances that your content is losing all sense of direction in the crowd without a proper content distribution plan in place! If you want to perceive any positive results, effectively promote your content with the goal that your target audience come across it. It is believed by many marketers that you should spend 20% of your content marketing time on content creation and 80% of your time promoting it.

The following will show you how to create an effective content marketing distribution plan in 3 easy steps:

a) Research your audience – The first step to creating an effective content marketing distribution plan is to create a buyer persona – a profile detailing your ideal customer based on market research.

You want to know as much as you can about your ideal audience. Find the answers to the following questions to ensure that you are sharing the content with the right people:

  • How old are they?
  • What do they do?
  • What are their interests and hobbies?

You have to create and distribute with your buyer persona in mind, always. An excellent way to learn more about your audience is through Google Analytics. Pay attention to what content is performing better than the rest.

b) Create specific goals and KPIs – After creating the robust buyer personas, you’ll want to set the key performance indicators and your goals. KPIs are precise measurements of performance that demonstrate to you how well your objectives are being met.

Think about the following:

  • How many shares you’d like across each platform you distribute through?
  • How much engagement do you anticipate from your audience?
  • What number of views do you want to reach monthly and yearly?
  • What percentage of growth you’d like to see in the upcoming year?

Find answers to all the above questions and write the numbers down. Once you’ve noted them down, create a schedule for your content using a content calendar. Content calendars let you see weeks, months and perhaps years ahead with the goal that you can design your content distribution strategy accordingly.

The key is to optimizing your distribution strategy from the beginning to guarantee meaningful outcomes and meet your objectives.

c) Promote content through various channels – As said before, Creating the content isn’t sufficient. You have to promote your content to your target audience consistently.

  • Social media channels – You can post to different social media platforms that suit your audience. Suppose you’re a wedding photographer trying to get a word about your recent wedding photoshoots, platforms like Facebook and Instagram might be great options for promotion while Pinterest and LinkedIn might not. Always keep your targeted buyer in mind when promoting.But sharing your content once and then forgetting about it won’t get you the traffic you want. Remember the 80/20 rule? You’ve to be consistent if you want concrete results.Social media management tools save you a great deal of time by allowing you to schedule what’s going to get posted, when and how often. This lets you post at the most engaging times during the week since research shows that, generally, weekday afternoons are best.
  • Emails – Email advertising is fundamental in disseminating content. For each $1 spent on email advertising, there’s a $38 ROI.If in case you already have an email list, email your supporters each time you publish new content. You can likewise add it to your newsletter if you have one.
  • Q&A platforms – Another method for getting your content saw is by advancing it through question and answer platforms. Quora and Reddit are incredible for content sharing and enable you to shape authentic associations with potential clients while naturally developing your supporters.

4. What is content aggregation?

In its most straightforward form, content aggregation is the collection of information based on a common topic involving one or more related keywords.

Aggregating other people’s information conveniently augments your original content while providing a broader perspective.

Benefits of content aggregation:
* Support of real-time information distribution
* Low-cost approach
* Expanded content offering
* Associate your original content with influencers in your field.

Wrapping Up!

Content distribution isn’t rocket science, nor there is some secret recipe behind it. All you have to do is find best network, write engaging content, stay consistent and make it easy for your customers to engage.

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Robert Katai

Content Marketing Strategist

"Content isn’t king. Usefulness is. Robert does this in the online marketing and social media space with ease."

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