The One Thing You Need to Succeed in Content Distribution

By John EganAugust 13, 2015

These days, it’s a no-brainer that creating high-quality content helps any number of companies generate sales leads and brand awareness. But you can’t just produce the content and expect audiences to find it. You’ve got to distribute the content to get it in front of the right eyeballs. That’s easier said than done, however.

One significant hurdle could be standing in the way of success in content distribution: lack of a content-distribution strategy. Eighty-four percent of marketers who say they’re ineffective at content marketing don’t have a solid content-sharing strategy in place, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s and MarketingProfs’ 2014 B2B content marketing report.

“There’s a delicate science to promoting your content, and if you don’t come up with a strategic plan, you’re going to stay stuck at the bottom,” infographic specialist Ivan Serrano wrote on EContent magazine’s website.

In its 2014 report on content marketing, media technology company Contently predicted 2015 would be the year that content distribution would get “proper attention.”

“The newspaper companies used to have two things that gave them control of the world’s information: printing presses and delivery trucks,” the Contently report says. “Tools for creation and publishing online have given brands the virtual press; this year and forward, they’re going to need to start investing more intelligently in the trucks.”

Before investing in those “trucks,” brands must devise a content-distribution strategy. Any distribution strategy worth its weight should address three channels: owned (you control the content), earned (others share your content for free) and paid (you fork over money to get your content shared).

“It’d feel great to get your content in front of as many people as possible, and there is certainly no shortage of tools, channels and strategies to help make this possible,” content specialist Kevan Lee wrote on the Buffer blog. “If you’re interested in paying for distribution, many sites and services can place your content in visible spots. And if you’d rather not pay for any extra distribution, there are plenty of owned and earned channels to try.”

Shannon Byrne, Chief Content Officer at freelance marketplace CloudPeeps, diligently aligns distribution channels with her company’s content. When she was content and PR manager at Mention, which provides a media-monitoring tool, Byrne would check the company’s content strategy document against every possible distribution channel and would pick the channels that were the best fit.

“Then I get to work immediately, dedicating an hour or so uninterrupted to distribution only,” Byrne wrote on the Kissmetrics blog while she was working at Mention. “If I don’t approach distribution with this process, it simply won’t get done.”

If a solid distribution plan (like Byrne’s) is absent at your company, SEO expert Jayson DeMers recommends that you stop producing content altogether. Rather, he wrote on Forbes.com, you should funnel money being spent on content creation toward other revenue-generating tactics.

“Without the proper promotion and distribution of your content, you’re likely to find your content strategy ineffective and simply not worth your time, money and effort,” DeMers wrote.

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