January 3, 2014

Distribution takes a seat on the throne

Content has reigned supreme for decades, but now distribution is assuming the throne (or at least sharing it).

Content has reigned supreme for decades, but now distribution is assuming the throne (or at least sharing it).

If you’re a marketer or small-business owner, you should be creating high-quality content that gets shared and ranks high in search engines. But with more than 750 million websites competing for people’s attention, how can you make sure your online audience is receiving your message?

The answer is effective distribution.

Most of us have heard that “content is king.” And it’s true — no one is going to read your message if it’s not intriguing. According to Chad Pollitt, director of marketing at DigitialRelevance, great content goes unread everyday, and tweeting or posting it on Facebook isn’t going to cut it. In this day and age, you need to create a distribution strategy to connect your content to a larger audience.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Determine your target audience.
  2. Set a budget.
  3. Identify channels to grow your audience.
  4. Research influential bloggers and journalists.
  5. Explore engagement opportunities.

What is distribution?

According to Ryan Skinner, the author of Put Distribution at the Heart of Content Marketing, distribution is “getting your content in front of your target audience, through any channels that the audience has selected to use, to drive brand awareness and conversions.”

Don’t rely solely on social media like Facebook and Twitter to distribute your content. Think about using earned and paid media instead. Earned media is when your content is distributed for you, free of charge, such as through the media or influential bloggers.

Earned media distribution

People will be more receptive to messages about you if they come from a third party, such as feature writers and bloggers. Research influencers who could be interested in writing about your business, then connect with them. If you’re promoting your baked goods, for example, you want to pitch your content to influencers who write about food, not to people who write about cars. Remember — keep it short and simple when pitching. If they’re interested, they will reach out to you for more information.

Paid media distribution

If your budget allows, take advantage of the many paid services that can help you place your content in front of new audiences. What paid services should your company consider using? Mashable published an article on six tools that can help companies distribute content. Two of my favorites on the list were Outbrain and ARC.

Outbrain: headline distribution

Outbrain recommends your content on other websites to expose it to highly engaged audiences. Outbrain’s networks include CNN, Fox News, Hearst and MSNBC. It also recently launched a platform that allows small businesses and blogs to distribute their headlines with ease.

ARC: newswire distribution

If you’re launching a product or making a business announcement, do you send out a press release? If so, you may want to consider using ARC. ARC — an engagement platform — can showcase visual media so that brands can use videos, photos and infographics in addition to a press release to drive higher engagement. This platform automatically distributes content and gives you the flexibility to update your content once it has been distributed.

Content has reigned supreme for decades, but now distribution is assuming the throne (or at least sharing it). The next time you write an article or blog post about your business, take the time to think about the best way to get it in front of the people you’re trying to reach. After all, what good is good content if no one sees it?