Marketers and influencers create tons of engaging content each year to keep their audiences interested. With content creation tools right at our fingertips, it’s easy to create amazing images, videos, blogs, and other content types. However, even if we create tons of great content, our target audience won’t even know they existed without strategic content distribution.
Content distribution is the most important aspect of content marketing. It determines a brand’s success potential.
Our Ultimate Content Distribution Guide will show you the tools and techniques you need to bring your content in front of your audience. By the end of the guide, you’ll have a working content distribution strategy that you can implement quickly and efficiently.
The Ultimate Content Distribution Guide:
What is content distribution?
Content distribution involves publishing and promoting your content across multiple online channels. This is how your audience encounters and consumes your content.
We often think content distribution comes after content creation. We plan an amazing photoshoot. Create beautiful images. Then worry later about which platform to publish it. This is the wrong approach.
Content distribution is ground zero for any content marketing initiative. When creating a content strategy, you should plan first for the distribution channels before conceptualizing the content type. This ensures that you maximize your efforts and resources to create the most profitable and effective content.
Importance of Content Distribution
Over 5 million blog posts are created on WordPress every day. However, Ahrefs reports that more than 90% of content on the Internet doesn’t receive traffic from Google. This implies that a vast majority of web pages never rank in Google and never get organic traffic.
What’s the prime suspect? Zero backlinks.
Backlinks are links from one website to another. These are important SEO ranking factors that help secure Google’s ranking. One way to get backlinks is through content distribution.
Content distribution helps brands to stand out amidst an ocean of overwhelming content. There’s a big chance that what you’re saying isn’t new. Creating lots of content is useless if they are not reaching your intended audience. To win the content battle, your content distribution must be on point.
Content distribution increases brand awareness, leading to increased brand authority and brand loyalty. The more you distribute your content across various channels, the more you earn social media shares, mentions, and backlinks. This increases traffic to your website, which improves your conversions and revenues.
Content Distribution Channels
Content distribution channels refer to platforms where you share and promote your content. They vary depending on your audience and resources.
There are three main types of content distribution channels. These are:
Owned channels are platforms you own and control. You can dictate how frequently and what type of content to publish on these channels. Some examples are:
- Blog accounts
- Social media profiles
- YouTube videos
- Email newsletters
- Mobile publishing apps
Take note that you don’t own the hosting account for all your owned channels. Social media profiles, for example, are subject to the rules of the platform that owns them. You must follow these rules, so your content is not banned.
In contrast, you own the hosting account for your website and can dictate the rules of what gets published.
In this regard, it’s important to invest time building your website, which you control completely, instead of solely relying on third-party platforms.
Earned channels, also called “shared” channels, happen when third parties like bloggers, journalists, influencers, or your customers share content about your brand.
- Product reviews
- Social media mentions and shares
- Guest articles
- Online community mentions
- Word of mouth (WOM)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
You don’t pay for these exposures. They are the effect of creating quality content naturally enjoyed by your audience enough for them to share it.
Investing in public relations, direct media outreach, and organic amplification also helps increase your earned channels.
Earned channels are the best validation of your content marketing initiatives. Having lots of it means you are producing the right kind of content as well as creating products your customers love.
Paid channels are platforms you pay to display your content to your target audience. These includes:
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising
- Paid influencers
- Sponsored content
- Social media ads
- Native ads
- Display ads
- Paid press releases
These channels cost differently and vary in distribution efficiency.
For example, Facebook ads allow you to set a specific budget and control the type of audience you want to see those ads.
In contrast, the costs and results of influencer marketing can be harder to estimate as it depends on various factors like how the influencers promote the content, how their audiences respond, etc.
Paid Social Ads
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn allow you to amplify your content to a larger audience through paid social media ads. You can target a specific set of users using their advertising tools.
Since users share a lot of data with social networks, you’d be able to find and target your intended audience through these platforms.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads are a popular form of paid advertising because advertisers only pay for the ad when someone clicks on them. This is the most common type of ad seen in search engine results (SERPs). When done properly, this generates high-quality leads.
Google is the top platform for running PPC ads.
Paid Influencer Marketing
Influencers are effective channels to increase brand awareness and promote your products. They are well-known in their niche and have sufficient authority to recommend products to their followers.
Influencers can help drive traffic and increase conversions. Just make sure to work with the right influencers who fit your brand.
Influencer marketing works because it relies on powerful marketing strategies like word-of-mouth marketing and social proof. Today’s consumers buy from brands endorsed by people they trust. Influencers fill that gap.
Sponsored content is any promotional media created by another person, blogger, influencer, brand, or publisher and paid for by an advertiser.
It feels natural to audiences because the person or brand creating it already targets the advertiser’s audience. Viewers are also more likely to trust a sponsored post over any invasive ads.
Sponsored content can be blog posts, images, videos, podcasts, and social media posts.
Content Types for Distribution
Different people prefer to consume content in different ways. It’s important to mix and match the types of content you produce to reach the largest audience possible.
There are countless types of content you can create. It’s important to match the right content with the right distribution channel to achieve maximum impact.
Publishing articles and blogs on your website are great ways to reach new audiences. Create high-quality posts optimized for the right keywords. Make sure these keywords add value to your consumers and feel natural. Do this consistently and be rewarded with organic traffic.
The best types of articles are long-form articles. They offer opportunities to rank for long-tail keywords so your piece would show up in more Google search results.
Your goal should be to increase traffic to your website. You want your customers to interact solely with your brand.
As such, avoid syndication websites. While they can help your content reach a wider audience, Google may rank their page higher than yours. If you want only your website to rank for search queries, then avoid syndicating or republishing.
You can also complement your blogging efforts with a regular newsletter. Offer your audiences a chance to opt-in to a weekly or daily newsletter that summarizes your best and recently published content. This helps amplify your content as well as keep your brand connected with your audience.
If you publish a lot of blog posts and articles, consider creating specific categories with their own homepages and newsletters.
Case studies highlight your company’s ability to solve customers’ problems. They provide in-depth details about specific customers you’ve worked with, the challenges they faced, and how you helped them become successful.
Case studies demonstrate your ability to provide solutions and are powerful proofs for future clients. They usually have a dedicated homepage with some case studies being featured in other parts of the website.
eBooks are in-depth content about subject matters important to your audience. They are commonly used as growth marketing tools.
You can give for free in exchange for customers opting into an email list. Different opt-in forms can be located on a unique landing page, after blog posts, in pop-ups, or other locations on a website.
You can also opt to boost social media posts promoting the opt-in form.
White papers are usually more technical content compared to eBooks and articles. They are authoritative reports highlighting specific problems and solutions. These are often targeted to very specific types of persons like C-Level executives.
You can use white papers to build an e-mail list via opt-in forms. Or you can simply make them available for free download to demonstrate your expertise.
Podcasts have been exploding in popularity in recent years. According to Statista, almost 40% of US adults have listened to podcasts at least once.
Podcasts are great ways to deliver audio content featuring in-depth discussions about subject matters important to your audience. They can feature expert interviews, commentaries, or entertaining narratives. You can interview industry experts, customers, employees, or influencers.
If you create videos, you can easily convert them to podcasts. You can distribute podcasts via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.
Podcasts provide opportunities to reach new audiences who prefer consuming audio content instead of video or written ones.
Videos remain to be the most popular type of content consumed by billions of people around the world. YouTube has 2.3 billion active users worldwide and is the 2nd most popular social media network.
Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn have improved their sites to cater to videos and address the growing demands of creators.
Creating and distributing videos is also efficient. You can create longer video posts for YouTube and trim them to shorter counterparts for social media channels.
You can also feature videos on your website to ensure customers discover your other content types.
Infographics are data visualizations that help present complicated data in an easy-to-digest format. They are often visually pleasing, and consumers are prone to sharing them across social media sites. It’s worth investing in creating this kind of content because they have great potential for creating social media shares.
You can distribute infographics via social media channels like Pinterest. You can also include an embed code to your infographics so other websites can embed them to their pages with a link back to yours.
Webinars help demonstrate your knowledge of a specific topic. They provide added value to your audience and position you as an expert. Live webinars also allow you to interact in real-time with audiences via polls and question and answer portions.
Recorded live webinars can be recycled as evergreen webinars on your website. You can post them on YouTube and create smaller clips for distribution via social media channels. You can also place them on relevant blog posts.
There are many ways to create and distribute presentations online. If you’re holding a live presentation at a conference, you can record it and distribute it as video content. You can also pre-record a presentation using a screen-sharing tool.
Or you can simply upload a presentation on a site like SlideShare and share it with your audiences.
Surveys involve gathering huge amounts of data, extracting valuable insights, and sharing those with your audience. You can use surveys to create authoritative content that helps you generate huge ROIs.
For example, if you offer a content creation tool, you can survey 100 prominent content creators and ask them about the best practices in their work. Compile the responses in an easy-to-understand format and distribute them as a blog post, infographic, SlideShare deck, or even a creative video.
Email newsletters are far from dead and have increased in popularity recently. Email newsletters, when done correctly, create loyal and engaged communities.
The key is to curate topics relevant to your audience and share posts not just from your website but from other complimentary authoritative sites.
Content Distribution Platforms and Tools
Content distribution can be arduous. There’s a vast number of platforms and tools you can use. It might be overwhelming to begin, but you shouldn’t fret. Simply focus on one or two, then gradually increase as you become more adept at distributing your content.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea of what’s available.
List of Content Distribution Platforms
- Social Media Platforms
Social media networks are some of the largest networks to date, with 4.62 billion people using them worldwide. This makes them the most popular content distribution platform for marketers.
Bear in mind that various social media networks have different target audiences and effective content types. To be effective, you need to tailor-fit your content to what works in these networks.
- Video Distribution Platforms
Video lets you create immersive content for your audiences. You can make bite-size videos, long-form videos, webinars, and even live streams.
- Blog Distribution Platforms
The company blog is the most obvious place to publish blogs and articles, but you shouldn’t be limited to it. To reach a broader audience, you can consider publishing versions of your blog posts to content distribution platforms.
- eBook Platforms
eBooks help you have more credibility as an author, as opposed to blog posts. The self-publishing platforms above can help your eBooks achieve better visibility.
- Infographic Distribution Platforms
- Third-party blogs
Infographics may have reduced in popularity, but they are still great ways to gain visibility. They require significant effort to create, so you should be smart about how to distribute them.
- Podcast Distribution Platforms
- Google Podcast
- Apple Podcast
Podcasts are easier to produce these days, which is why there are more podcasters now than ever. Some of these podcast platforms are free to use (with certain limitations) and offer distribution options to other podcast platforms.
List of Content Distribution Tools and Software
Content distribution tools and software help you manage content types, schedule publishing in advance, and monitor content performance. These tools are either free or paid and designed for small and big brands alike.
Whether you’re just starting, or have loads of content ready to publish, you should check out which of these tools can make distribution easier and faster.
- Hubspot.com – an all-in-one content management platform
- CoSchedule.com – content management, headline generator, social media scheduler
- Falcon.io – content management, analytics, and post scheduling
- Mailshake.com – personalized outreach emails and social media posts
- Outbrain – paid tool for amplifying content on major publications
- Zapier.com – automate content distribution tasks
- Agora Pulse – content management, multi-account management, post scheduling
- Planoly – analytics, content management, automated publishing
- Quuu.co – connect with influencers to promote your content
- Goodbits.io – curate content for publishing in a newsletter
You can also check out our influencer marketing tools, social media monitoring tools, email marketing tools, and social media marketing tools for an exhaustive list of various content distribution tools and software.
5-Step Content Distribution Strategy
For content distribution to be effective, it must be scalable and intentional. You can’t do it randomly and hope that it performs as expected. It’s also important to maintain consistency and build momentum. Otherwise, you won’t reap the benefits of content marketing.
- Research your target audience
The key to every successful content strategy is audience research. You don’t need to get your content seen by everyone on the internet. It only must be seen by the audience that matters.
Understand what kind of content your audience responds to well. Map their customer journey and create a buyer persona to help you identify what kind of content will be useful to them.
Look at your existing content and analyze why some did well and others didn’t. Determine what distribution channels are working. Which content got the most shares and reactions? This will give you a sense of the topics your audience cares about.
Also, look at your competition. What are they doing? What content are they publishing, and where? Your competition can give you additional insights into your target audience.
- Create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and goals
It is important to have goals for your content marketing strategy. Determine the goals your content should meet and establish KPIs to measure it.
Is your goal to generate more sales? Then your KPI for your blog post should be conversions. Is your goal to increase reach? You can use an overall number of leads as a KPI for your eBook content.
Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound). This ensures that they are effective and can deliver the most results.
- Establish a content calendar
A content calendar will help your team identify what, when, and where your content needs to be published. It is an integral part of any content marketing program. The content calendar should always be updated to keep everyone on track.
It should be accessible to the entire team and contain the names of the team members responsible for each step of the process. Content calendars help marketing teams run smoothly and efficiently.
- Distribute and market your content
Now that your content calendar is ready, you know when and where to publish your content. Using content distribution tools, you can find out optimal times for publishing and automate it.
If you decide to run ads, understand the best practices, and strive to follow them. Make sure to abide by the rules of the platforms where you decide to share your content.
- Measure and optimize your content for better results
Content distribution doesn’t stop with publishing content. It includes measuring how well the content performs. When you have your KPIs set, you know what data is important and which metrics to measure.
This will guide you in analyzing which content is performing and why. You can then replicate any top-performing content and improve underperforming ones.
When analyzing your content, determine if the success or failure is due to the content itself, the channel where it’s published, or both.
Great content is wasted without an efficient content distribution strategy. Don’t let your hard work go to waste. Investing in strategic content distribution will ensure your audience sees your content. This will create brand awareness, build brand affinity, and lead to increased conversions and revenues.
With the tools and strategies outlined above, wasted content will become a thing of the past.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a content distribution strategy?
A content distribution strategy is a plan on how to systematically publish and promote the content so that it gets in front of its intended audience. This involves having an editorial calendar outlining the publication schedule, the types of content to be published, and the persons responsible.
Understanding your customer and the kind of content they’d appreciate is the key to a successful content distribution strategy.
What are content distribution tools?
Content distribution tools are online tools and software that make the arduous task of content distribution easy. It involves tools for content scheduling, automated publishing, monitoring, analytics, and content management.
There are various tools and software available, both free and paid. Choose one that fits your budget and meets the needs of your business.