To see best engagement and visibility on your content, a distribution strategy is vital. Here are tips to consider when addressing how to share and distribute your content.
Why Content Distribution?
Content is the fuel that powers marketing and sales campaigns.
So if you’re creating high-quality, audience relevant content on a regular basis - surely you’re set for success?
If only it were that easy!
With the proliferation of online content channels available today, it's never been easier to find an audience for your content. Yet that presents a challenge. Competitive channels, growing market ‘noise’ - and audience overwhelm - means businesses and content creators still struggle to get their work in front of the right people at the perfect time, even when they’re producing great quality content.
We know that Vincent Van Gogh is considered one of the greatest artists of all time. Yet during his life, he barely saw a penny from his work - not due to a lack of quality, but because of poor distribution and visibility - his work didn’t get in front of the right people at the right time!
A content distribution strategy is the answer here.
By approaching content distribution as a core phase of the content creation process, after creation and publication, we as B2B marketers can quantify and qualify how our content is seen, and who engages with it.
So let’s say you want to start defining and creating your content distribution strategy. What are the first steps to take to ensure you adopt the right approach for your business’ needs?
Key Considerations When Developing A Content Distribution Strategy
Audience/ Persona Development
Hopefully you’ll have done lots of work on persona development and audience identification before you started creating your content.
Content created without a clear audience in mind is likely a waste of time! Sure, you may get lucky and have your content appeal to the people it needs to by chance - but it’s fairly unlikely.
However, once you have defined exactly who your ideal audience is, understand their challenges and preferences - and know where that persona audience is active online - you’ll be better able to tailor your content to resonate, and distribute that content to them more effectively.
Think about how those personas consume the type of content you just created.
Maybe you’ve made a video. Great! But does your ideal customer watch videos on YouTube or on Instagram? Do they like a longform video that really digs deep into the subject matter or do they prefer a 'snackable' social-media-friendly clip?
By identifying where and how your target personas consume content, you can begin to form a distribution and promotion strategy and determine the best channels and platforms to place your content.
Has your customer made a decision and is ready to buy? Or have they just made their first search related to your product or service?
Where a content consumer is in their buying journey very much informs the type of content they’re interested in, and also where and how they will consume it. This should in turn, inform your decisions on where and how to distribute your content.
For example, if your content is a product demo for someone close to making a purchasing decision, it makes sense to host the content on your own site and direct warm leads to it through CTAs on social or on industry blogs. Or, if you have a “What is X?” explainer-type blog post, it may be best if optimised to appear well in organic search, promoted on social, and perhaps even developed into, or linked to/ from a pillar page.
You want people to find your content, right? Distribution options of course, include social media, word of mouth, and paid ads. But you can also leverage the power of search!
According to Google:
71% of B2B researchers begin their research with generic Google searches
And 90% of B2B researchers who are online, use search specifically to research business purchases.
That means that search plays an integral role in the B2B buying journey. So if your content isn’t optimised for search, you’re missing out on a crucial opportunity to attract and engage potential customers.
Search optimisation then, should be built in to any good content distribution strategy - because the majority of content that informs a purchase is found through search results.
5 Content Distribution Strategy Tips for 2019
1. Don’t Forget Existing Customers
Your existing customers are your greatest asset for marketing. If you can use your customers as fans and advocates of your brand, you’re already a step ahead of the competition.
Shareable content is key here. If you have a piece of content that can be used as a means to communicate a message or aspect of a service easily, make sure that content is also easily shareable - share buttons, short-links and embeddable codes are super useful and mean that your message can spread how and where you want it.
2. ‘E-book-ify’ Pillar Pages and Blog Posts
It might seem counterintuitive, but repacking existing content into a downloadable e-book or guide, and then promoting that on the page where that content sits, is actually a great way to increase uptake and engagement.
Lots of people prefer to consume content at their own pace. This may mean they’d rather download a PDF than keep your site open in a browser tab. So why not give them the option? That way, they could read your blog to get a feel of things, and then download a related guide to read later. This works particularly well with pillar pages because the volume of content makes for a more substantial content offering.
The additional benefit of this distribution tactic is the ability to gate downloadable content (place it behind a conversion form).
3. ‘Video-fying’ Everything
We all know by now that video converts better than any other medium on the web; by grabbing and keeping attention.
From a distribution perspective, creating video content, and supporting existing content with video provides a better chance of hitting even more people on the channels they use.
What should this look like? You might:
Create a talking heads-style piece, with members of your team explaining a key client challenge (or summarising key points from a blog post).
Turn your case studies into interviews with your clients, giving a more human feel to your results.
Film an event you’re running, and use key elements of the presentation as content items in their own right.
Or, if you already have some great video content, why not transcribe it into a blog or other content, and combine your content formats?
Video tools such as Vidyard are a great place to start creating some relevant, resonant content to use throughout your campaigns (and can even support your social selling approach!).
4. Out of Office and Email Signature Promo
Already in the process of speaking to a lead? Perhaps they need a bit more information or content about your service to make a purchasing decision.
If you’re in contact over email, there’s a great way to serve up this content without being too sales-y. By including a link and CTA to a piece of relevant content in your email signature, you can subtly move a potential client toward content that will help them.
Similarly, you could also add a link and CTA to a more generic, informational piece of content in a custom out of office message. If the content is messaged correctly, it allows you to keep leads warm even without speaking to them directly.
These are two quick and easy tactics of content distribution that can apply to different stages of the buying journey. Always test what works of course, and do more of what sees best results for your audience!
5. Streamline and Prioritise
Of course, not all tactics are quick and easy. There are many tactics, and many channels available, so it’s important to prioritise those that actually work, and adapt those that don't.
Effective channel tactics will be different for different people, markets and clients.
Assess what’s best for you by testing, testing, and testing again. Analyse the results and compare across channels to make an informed decision about which strategies to use.
Ultimately, how and where you distribute your content should be a constantly evolving process, and consistently measured. Stick to these principles and your content distribution will truly be a work of art!