There is no doubt that content marketing is a necessity for any business, in any sector.

We are all being saturated with articles in regards to content production. Yet, whenever I read these blogs on how to make great content, I’m always left with the same thought – what next?

Good content is just one part. The next step is to get it out there to be seen, shared and respected.

This is why I have written this post. We need to discuss the next stage – let’s talk about content distribution tactics.

The issue with content marketing

Content marketing is big business.

Telling a story, creating something which is informative, or entertaining revolves around creating material with substance.

It’s creating value.

Being seen as an information resource, means you have an opportunity to build relationships with your audience.

The problem is it’s far too noisy out there.

Anything that is being launched will be lost amongst a sea of digital material. This is why we need to focus on the distribution and the outlets we use.

Content needs to be moulded and built for the type of publishing we are leveraging.

There are various methods for content distribution, but these can be categorised into three main types.

Content distribution planning

For many businesses, and individuals (including myself) social media has become the main outlet for content distribution.

The challenge is that we require a large following in order for our content to get noticed.

When you look at the tactics employed by PR experts, outreach to publications or even ‘NewsJacking’ are critical methods for engagement.

For ‘instant wins’, many social media platforms enable us to pay for content to be prioritised on News Feeds.

Influential blogging platforms and publications enable us to place content on their website for a fee.

Relying on paid methods can be costly. However, utilised in the right way, they can be used to build our own outlets. Enabling us to receive greater organic growth.

There are three types of distribution models: Paid, Owned and Earned.

Paid media

When it comes to pushing content out into the public domain, some of us  will rely on the following as the first point of call:

Paid distribution channels diagram
Paid distribution channels

These provide a quick and measurable way of getting our content immediately to our audience.

Of course, these can be costly and another major technique within content marketing is the outreach process. Contacting various publications to host the content we create.

Earned media

The process of sharing means that we have earned the coverage. Here are a few examples of earned distribution:

Earned distribution channels diagram
Earned distribution channels

These methods create a way of gaining traction for material through methods which do not require financial backing.

In order for this process to be successful, Content Marketers have to actively seek out suitable outlets for the material.

This is where PR tactics come into play.

Owned media

When it comes to pushing content out into the public domain, many of us will rely on the following:

Owned distribution channels diagram
Owned distribution channels

For most, social media is our first point of call for our content marketing distribution. But, this is difficult if we don’t have a substantial presence.

It becomes a form of validation when our audience organically interacts and shares our content. It means it has value.

Our audience and potential customers are actively coming to our outlets. Seeking information we’re hosting. The difficulty is establishing this presence in the first instance.

The new Content Distribution Model

Content distribution model

If you plan for the long term, these three models fit together as a self-fulling content distribution tactic. Supporting us to build an active and engaged audience.

Paying for the content to be promoted helps to make it stand out on newsfeeds.

The value people see in it helps to push the message out further through engagement. Earning that additional coverage. Our audience starts to grow.

Eventually, our presence will build. We will be able to rely on our audience and not our financial budget. People actively seek our owned channels for the content.

Once we have identified our outlet, the next step is to allow our chosen channel to influence our content marketing planning.

Improving our content distribution

The trick to improving our content marketing is to simply reverse engineer the process we have – work out the distribution channels and outlets first, then the content.

1. Define the purpose of our content

When planning your material, you need to have a clear idea of what the objectives are for your piece – what are you looking to achieve?

Do we want the reader to share the content for branding purposes? Is this to encourage sign-up or an application?

2. Adapt the content to our chosen outlet

There are many outlets available at our disposal.

Whether these are paid options or organic. Different outlets provide different promotional opportunities.

However, we need to take into consideration the type of outlet that we are using and adapt the content accordingly.

Blogs should be on a website, images used on social media platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest etc.

Use this as an opportunity to influence the content design.

3. Answer the question – ‘Why?’

Material needs to have a clearly defined purpose and message. If our content is informative or entertaining, then this will give reason to it being engaged with.

We need to give the audience a reason. Justification for consuming our material.

Put yourself in your audiences’ position – why would they watch/read/share this material?

Share your thoughts

How do you develop your content marketing material? Are there any outlets or tactics that you have engaged with and seen significant successes?

Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me @CJPanteny.

See you next time.

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