What is Content Distribution? The 2021 Strategic Guide


Brands invest billions of dollars each year in content that nobody sees. In fact, Ahrefs estimates that 90.63% of all web pages get no traffic from Google. Why? Because content marketers generally prioritize production and leave content distribution up to the broader marketing team.

This mindset is amplified by the explosion of new content creation tools that turbocharge productivity.

But, more content doesn’t mean more brand visibility. To capture your audience’s attention, you need a content distribution framework that works cohesively with your entire marketing mix.

Read on for a deep dive into the best content distribution channels, platforms and tools to get in front of the right audience at the right time.

What is content distribution?

Content Distribution

Definition

Content distribution is the process of promoting your content to your audience in a variety of formats across multiple channels and media platforms.

Why is content distribution important?

Content distribution is a critical component of your overall digital marketing strategy. It can increase brand awareness, solidify your brand as an authority, and help build a loyal community of followers.

Gaining access to a wider audience also increases your chances of earning media mentions, backlinks, and social media shares as well as growing your website traffic.

More importantly, a comprehensive content distribution plan unlocks greater content marketing ROI for your brand by amplifying visibility.

getting content in front of your audience

Content distribution channels

There are three primary content marketing distribution channels. Which ones you utilize will depend on your audience, your content formats, and the tools available to you.

Owned content distribution channels

Owned content distribution is controlled by your company. In other words, you are responsible for publishing everything across these channels. Examples include websites, social media profiles, blogs, email newsletters, videos on YouTube, etc.

It’s important to note that with some owned channels, you don’t own the platform on which the channel is hosted.

For example, you control the platform of your website and can publish your own content whatever you want. You don’t own the LinkedIn platform, you only own your company pages. You have to abide by the rules of the platform and the reach of your content is determined by the LinkedIn algorithm.

Why does this matter?

Because if you invest all your time growing a channel on a platform you don’t own, changes in the platform can dramatically change how effectively you can distribute your content.

On the other hand, if you focus first on growing branded content distribution platforms, such as your website, you have much more control over the distribution process.

Earned content distribution channels

Earned distribution is when someone else shares your content. This type of content promotion might be the result of marketing efforts such as public relations and direct media outreach, or organic amplification.

For example, if you publish an article on LinkedIn that goes viral and is seen by thousands of people, you earned that distribution. You didn’t pay anything for the additional exposure. Rather, you earned it through the quality of the content you published.

Earned channels include things like Reddit, Quora, social media shares, online communities, online product reviews, mentions in articles, word of mouth (WOM), and search engine optimization (SEO).

Paid content distribution channels

Paid distribution channels are where you pay to get your content in front of your target audience. Options for paid distribution include:

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Social media advertising
  • Paid influencers
  • Sponsored content
  • Display ads
  • Native ads
  • Press releases via wire service
  • Retargeting social ads

The amount you pay and the distribution you receive depends heavily on the channel you choose. 

For example, if you promote your content through Facebook ads, you can set your budget and have a relatively accurate estimate of how many people will see your content and click on it. You can also closely track the performance of the campaign in real time.

With influencer marketing, it can be more difficult to estimate up front what your results will be since they depend on how the influencer promotes the content, how the audience responds, etc.

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Types and formats for content marketing distribution

Everyone prefers to consume media in different ways, and on different platforms. So, to reach the widest audience possible, it’s important to mix up your content formats.

Articles and blog posts

Articles you publish on your website can be an effective way to reach a new audience. If you consistently publish high-quality content that’s optimized for relevant keywords and adds value to your audience, you’ll be rewarded with increased organic traffic.

Long-form articles give you an especially good opportunity to incorporate long-tail keywords into your content. As a result, you’ll rank on more queries in the Google SERPs.

One important caveat to note, if your goal is to drive traffic to your own website, don’t syndicate it.

While it may give you a broader audience, there’s the possibility that Google will rank the syndicated piece rather than the one that’s on your website, especially if the syndication website has a higher authority.

Here’s what Google has to say about it:

If your goal is that only your site ranks for those queries, then syndicating / republishing is a bad idea. Pick your goals & select the work that helps you reach them.

Ebooks

Ebooks are an excellent way to distribute in-depth content on a subject to your audience. They’re also a powerful growth marketing strategy to expand your email list. 

Create a free ebook and use it as an opt-in offer to build your list. The opt-in form could be on multiple locations across your website, including a dedicated landing page, at the end of blog posts, or in a pop-up.

Podcasts

Podcasts have exploded in popularity over the last few years. They can be an incredibly effective way to give your audience audio content that they can listen to on the go.

They’re particularly useful for distributing longer-form interviews with experts, employees, customers, or influencers in your industry. Furthermore, if you already create videos, you can easily convert them into podcasts. As a result, you’ll be able to distribute your content to those who wouldn’t normally watch something on YouTube.

41%

41% of U.S adults have listened to a podcast within the last month.

Statista

White papers

A white paper is an authoritative report that is used to highlight a specific problem and then present a solution to that problem. They tend to be more technical than articles or ebooks and they’re often geared toward a very specific type of person, like a Chief Marketing Officer or Director of Human Resources.

Like ebooks, they can be used to build your email list via an opt-in form, or you can make them available without any gating for the purpose of facilitating access and demonstrating your expertise. As an example, the CTA below takes you to one of Terakeet’s white papers.

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Video content distribution

Videos are one of the best ways to distribute content on multiple channels. YouTube is the 2nd most visited website in the world, with approximately 2.3 billion active users globally.

Billions of people consume billions of hours of video monthly on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok, as well. You can easily create a longer video to post on YouTube and then post smaller, standalone clips from the videos on other platforms.

Data from Wistia shows that just from 2019 to 2020 alone, the minutes of videos watched on the Wistia platform increased by 84.8%. Their 2021 State of Video report also shows significant growth in various areas of video production and consumption .

Infographics and data visualizations

Infographics and data visualizations are a great way to distill a significant amount of information into something that’s easy to digest and visually appealing.

Visual content like these tend to get shared a lot on social networks, which can drive traffic to your website. Additionally, you can create a snippet of HTML code that allows the image to be embedded on other websites with a link back to your website, which gives your SEO a boost.

Case studies

Case studies provide in-depth details about specific customers you’ve worked with, the challenges they faced, and how you were able to help them achieve greater results. They can be highly effective at demonstrating your ability to solve problems for your target audience, which instills trust in prospects considering whether to work with you.

Usually, case studies have their own page on a website, with one or more highlighted on the home page or in contextually relevant locations on the website.

Published by PPCRAO

PPCRAO, a veteran Digital Marketing Trainer. PPCRAO has trained more thant 700+ students , 75+ batches. Most of the Students of PPCRAO got placements and working MNC's like Google, Accenture, Cognizant etc. PPCRAO has more than 16+ Years of Real-Time Industry experience.

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