If content is king, content distribution is queen. Creating amazing content is crucial, but what’s the point if no one reads it?
Building a content distribution plan means being strategic with the types of content you produce in relation to the channels (website, email, social media) in which you want to promote and share them. Being intentional about distribution also helps you understand the best methods to connect with your customers in a meaningful and engaging way.
So how do you get started with establishing a content distribution strategy? This guide covers what approaches work best and why a strategy matters for long-term success with your brand.
Content distribution is sharing and promoting your content based on specific channels and content types.
These channels include:
Owned channels—you have full control over the content.
Paid channels—you may see traffic jump, but once you stop spending, it drops quickly.
The specific type of content, such as a case study or blog, will dictate the most appropriate channel. For example, you may use LinkedIn to promote your newest case study showcasing an important partnership or customer acquisition.
Since every brand is unique, there is no particular channel that is better than others. It depends on where your audience is and what their engagement behaviors tell you, so you can make the most significant impact.
A content strategy and distribution method are essential because it helps get your content in front of the right audience at the right time. This means you have a deliberate approach rather than just randomly sharing or making the mistake of posting everywhere, which is sometimes referred to as the “spray and pray” method.
A thoughtful system means your content is distributed in a way that touches your audience at the best moment and persuades them to convert—whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, downloading an e-book, or scheduling a call with someone on your sales team. By creating a plan, you’re providing structure and a process that you can continuously use, experiment with, and make adjustments based on the data you collect.
Content that resonates means you understand your customers and their behaviors first, then tailor the content to help solve problems or meet their needs. You may even consider “working backwards” with your content and first figuring out where your audience is most engaged, and then creating the blog, social post, or infographic.
A distribution strategy also allows you to reach new or potential customers unfamiliar with your products and services so you can grow brand awareness. Don’t overlook this metric—according to one study, 89% of marketers say it’s their number one goal since awareness is the first step in building trust.
Every distribution plan is different. The best content distribution strategy for marketing success is the one that is tailored to your specific audience, goals, and budget.
Keep tabs on content performance and how your audience engages with your content on a particular channel. Measure, make changes to the content or where you decide to promote it, and see how the changes drive more (or less) engagement.
Here’s how to get started on your distribution method.
What are their interests and pain points? Where do they spend time online? To generate interest based on behavior, consider whether your audience will find value in your content for that particular channel.
Once you get this information, you can personalize your strategy to reach them where they are. You do this by analyzing their preferences to better understand which platforms and channels they engage with the most. You’ll discover where they prefer to consume your content, whether it’s on Instagram, your blog, or monthly newsletter.
There’s no rule that says you have to post everywhere. It’ll just end up being more work with little return.
Instead, focus on a specific channels by looking at your previous campaign performance and what types of content did well vs. what didn’t. Check the metrics for those channels and be aware of how much you spent vs. the effectiveness. If you see patterns or trends emerge, you can use that as a guide in developing your distribution plan.
Then, you can see if it makes sense to expand your reach into other uncharted channels. For example, TikTok, because your audience is mostly in their early twenties. Or suppose your target audience is C-level executives at big banks. In that case, you may consider paying to appear in industry publications or websites. A strategic approach is to use paid campaign efforts simultaneously with organic.
Examine the metrics that support your business goals. If you’re looking to build more leads into your pipeline for your sales team, you may keep track of how many downloads you get for a gated white paper or case study.
Or perhaps you want to turn your subscriber list into paying customers through an email drip. Assess the conversions that show how many phone calls are scheduled with your sales reps.
A distribution strategy will fall flat if your content is generic, doesn’t provide value and isn’t targeted to your specific audience.
Just like you don’t have to post on every channel, you also don’t always have to create brand new content. Audit your existing blogs, whitepapers, case studies, and infographics, and gather the evergreen pieces that stand out. Make small changes such as new graphics, links to newer studies, and update blog publication dates, and then repurpose them.
Make sure your messaging aligns across different channels and types of assets. Create informative, engaging content that will pique your audience’s curiosity. Make it stand out with graphics and visuals that make it easier to digest.
Built-in sharable buttons that are easy to access are another great way to get your audience to share and promote it.
You need to know whether your campaigns were effective, right? Make use of platforms like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and your individual social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, to gather your results and data.
You can understand what’s working and what isn’t and then establish next steps to make adjustments. This can lead to a more robust distribution strategy over time. It also ensures your audience is getting the most from your content.
In addition to the platforms mentioned above, CRM platforms such as HubSpot or Salesforce, can also help you track performance. Tools like Post Tracking also provide information about referral traffic, shares, and backlinks. It gives you an estimated reach of your articles distributed from your various channels.
Other tools like SEO platform Semrush, or AI-powered ImpactHero (which breaks down content based on the customer journey), allow you to examine which pages on your site led to conversions. You can also keep tabs on data for custom events.
Go back to your data and analytics and get clear on how you define “success.” For example, maybe your team is focused on brand awareness and education, so you look at email open rates, click-through rates, subscribers, and views.
Or, if revenue is at the top of your mind, look at conversion rates for gated content downloads, form completions, or webinar signups.
Be sure to tag your content with UTMs to easily track and measure your campaigns and paid content distributions, such as sponsored posts.
If you’ve been winging it with your content distribution strategy, it’s time to develop a plan.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your content distribution strategy and try new channels like TikTok or podcasting. Use automation where you can, such as scheduling posts and social media ahead of time.
A strong content distribution strategy helps support the fantastic content you’re already creating so it can get in front of more people. Foster the kind of engagement that drives brand loyalty and long-term trust.
Need some help with your distribution plan? Reach out to us and we can support you with a strategy that makes sense for your goals.