Marketing

What is Content Distribution? Guide for 2021 (& Checklist)

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 15/12/2117 min read
What is Content Distribution? Guide for 2021 (& Checklist)

Table Of Contents

  • What is Content Distribution?
  • The Importance Of Content Distribution 
  • 10 Content Distribution Platforms You Need to Know
  • Four Steps to a Successful Content Distribution Strategy
  • Tools to Help You Get Started with Content Distribution 2021
  • Must-Dos For A Successful Content Distribution Strategy In 2021
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

In this content-driven era, it’s easy to get creative. But, channeling that creativity correctly across all platforms can make all the difference for achieving a successful marketing campaign. That’s where understanding what is content distribution and how to strategize for it becomes key. Read on to learn how to leverage content distribution to optimize your marketing goals.

What is Content Distribution?

Simply put, content distribution is the process a brand uses to promote a variety of content formats for audiences across different platforms. 

Across all marketing platforms, there are three main ways to distribute content:

1. Owned-content distribution channels

Sharing free content on web assets that your brand owns, such as your website and social media profiles, is known as owned-content distribution.

Owned content forms a significant part of any marketing strategy as you have complete control over it. It’s essentially the backbone on which your brand image is built over time. Some examples include: 

  • Blog posts, eBooks, and infographics on your website
  • Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter posts
  • Videos on your YouTube channel
  • Email newsletters 

2. Paid-content distribution channels

Paid content refers to sponsored content. Here, you make use of third parties who’ve built larger online bubbles with a significant market reach or follower-base to promote your brand. 

  • Press releases
  • Native advertising in popular magazines and online journals
  • Influencer marketing
  • Guest blogs

To improve brand visibility, you can also use PPC (pay-per-click) and banner ads available with popular search engines and social media platforms. 

3. Earned-content distribution channels

Earned content is fuelled by the organic public engagement that helps you gain popularity online. You aren’t paying for the traction but have “earned” it due to the creativity or virality of your content or even the buzz generated by the quality of your product or service. This channel includes third-party promotions and shares from customers, bloggers, vloggers, and journalists.

  • Product reviews from influencers
  • Reddit, Quora, or other niche communities and forums relevant to your market
  • Guest articles and roundups

The Importance Of Content Distribution

Any marketing campaign aims to improve brand visibility and gain quality leads. But did you know that it takes five to seven impressions on average for people to remember your brand? What’s more, according to Forbes, presenting your brand consistently across platforms can improve revenue by 23%.  

Source

You may have heard those creators who post Instagram reels regularly get better visibility. Or, posting blogs consistently helps companies rank on the SERPs faster. Every platform or channel (social media or search engine) encourages more users to spend time on their site, meaning creators, not just users. Therefore, your brand must retain engagement by creating content consistently across as many channels as possible. Otherwise, you are susceptible to losing leads to your competition, even if the quality of your content and your products or services are far superior.

But, how do you decide which platform or channel to concentrate on more? How to budget ad money for paid content channels? How much to post each day/week/month? Before we get to the nitty-gritty of a solid content distribution strategy for 2021, let’s take a look at the top ten channels available for content distribution. 

10 Content Distribution Platforms You Need To Know

As mentioned before, you can post content on a content distribution channel or platform. This can include anything from the email inboxes of your leads to the local newspaper. Here we list our top 10 choices. 

1. Facebook

With roughly 2.91 billion monthly active users around the globe, Facebook is the global giant for social media marketing. More than 200 million businesses use Facebook as part of their brand outreach strategy. This undoubtedly makes it a powerful platform for garnering leads. 

Demographics

Roughly 43.5% of Facebook’s users are women around 25. Male demographics for the same age group stand at approximately 32%. Note that this statistic varies significantly by country. Facebook users belong to all income groups. This makes it helpful in targeting all types of audiences.

Engagement 

Facebook allows you to post various content types thanks to its legacy existence. This can include videos, photos, questions, events, and simple text matter. Facebook communities and groups will enable you also to target hyper-local audiences.

Paid content

Is paid marketing an option? Yes, Facebook allows you to post sponsored ads and PPC content. 

2. Twitter

Launched as a microblogging site, Twitter took the social media world by storm as the go-to place for connecting with celebrities and entrepreneurs. A vast majority of entrepreneurs and C-Suites still use Twitter to celebrate company milestones. 

Today, though, Twitter is much more widely known as the place to find entertaining, friendly banter between competing brands. Among the most famous include the tweets between KFC, Burger King, and McDonald’s. This allows brands to show their lighthearted side while letting the creative teams generate virality in non-traditional ways.

Demographics 

Twitter’s gender distribution is more or less equal. The median age group is between 25 and 34 years old. Thanks to the presence of top-level executives, Twitter can be an excellent place to start with B2B marketing as well.

Paid content 

Twitter’s paid options include ads and promoted tweets. The cost for PPC is relatively low, if not competitive.

3. Instagram

A photo- and video-sharing app owned by Facebook, Instagram is a graphics-friendly platform that lets you create a brand persona within seconds. The app allows users to apply filters quickly, edit photos, create stories, and more. This makes it a popular choice for vloggers and lifestyle influencers. 

Demographics 

Most users on Instagram are between the ages of 18 and 34. In terms of gender demographics, 68% of Instagrammers are female. Instagram is a popular platform for small- and medium-sized consumer-oriented businesses in niche industry segments to grow organically.

Paid content 

Instagram allows you to promote stories, reels, and posts. Recently, video ads on IGTV have also been introduced. You can link your IG and Facebook accounts to track paid content on one unified platform. Apart from ad content, Instagram is a useful place for gaining traction through influencers.

4. LinkedIn

Possibly the first social media platform dedicated to business only, Microsoft’s LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with nearly 800 million users. Naturally, LinkedIn is the networking platform for C-Suites and entrepreneurs. With LinkedIn, you can post blogs, articles, company news, and highlights to help promote products and brands.

Demographics 

The interesting thing about LinkedIn is that it has a relatively even distribution of Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z. Gender distribution is also even. This means you can find people from all spheres, from entry-level to super-senior professionals.

Paid content

LinkedIn allows users to upgrade their business accounts for premium features. This gives you better network access. Moreover, it’s designed to encourage B2B marketing.

5. YouTube

The go-to place for long-form video content, YouTube is a great place to post informative or entertaining content for your brand. One of the best examples of how YouTube can help you get viral quickly is the series of Cred ads.

Demographics

YouTube is most popular among the age groups 15-35, and globally, more women use the platform than men. The most staggering statistic is that more than a billion hours of content are consumed on YouTube every day. 

Paid content 

You can place both video and text PPC ads on YouTube using the Google Campaign Manager. You can also promote your brand by collaborating with famous YouTubers who have garnered a significant following in your niche.

6. Web content

Utilizing your digital properties forms a crucial step in gaining the ability to build organic reach quickly. Web content development involves using SEO, User Interface, and User Experience strategies to help the crème de la crème among your target group fully engage with your brand. 

After all, what’s more, important than ensuring that quality leads reach you when they’re trying to find a solution to their problems or requirements online? Your website should be a powerhouse of blogs, articles, case studies, and resource pages that provide users with all the information they need to make a purchase decision.

Promoting your website for free

Of course, you can promote your website for free by including a link to it across all your online and offline marketing channels. It’s also common to highlight the latest blog posts on social media platforms. After all, it’s the landing page for interested leads to viewing your products and services. Although figuring out SEO is essentially free, investing in the knowledge, tools, and software to help you track and audit keywords can go a long way in bringing organic visitors to your website quickly. 

Paying to promote your website 

Google Ads are one way to leverage SEO to promote your website. Google Ads reaches a network of more than 2 million websites and applications. While technically, this could be considered a separate channel from web content, the two are interlinked to bring organic visitors quickly. The cost for Google Ads is based on the competitiveness of target keywords, so it varies by niche. It’s essential to follow good web copywriting practices while using Google Ads to ensure maximum RoI.

7. Email newsletters

Email newsletters take advantage of interested leads by providing promotional, educational, and informative content right in their email inbox. Email marketing is considered owned media as your subscriber base has consented to receive emails from you. 

The RoI for email newsletters is much debated. However, data shows that 89% of marketers use some form of email communication for marketing. Successful email marketing campaigns ensure that frequency is maintained appropriately such that click-through rates are high while the risk of unsubscribing is low. Monthly and weekly campaigns are standard practices with email marketing.

Paid content 

You can set up native Gmail Ads using the Google Ads Campaign manager. However, it’s not a popular choice, and Google has recently made significant policy changes to Gmail Ads that affect RoI. It’s also not a good practice to buy bulk email lists from online firms. Besides, targeting the subscriber base that’s consented to receiving email communication is more likely to bring you the best results. Rather than email ads, it’s wiser to invest in automation tools that help you track, analyze and create email segments with ease.

8. QA platforms

Earned media channels like Quora and Reddit are a great way to improve popularity without spending much. While they don’t allow you to pay for promotions, they bring organic content shares that significantly improve virality. 

Quora is a straightforward QA site where users can post or answer questions. Quora’s biggest USP is that if you’re searching for answers for a particular question, the site also shows you more “relevant questions” that can help users navigate the site quickly to find what they need. Building a Quora marketing strategy is pretty simple: find the questions that are relevant to your industry and answer them with passion. Quora also offers paid marketing options that can help drive traffic, brand awareness, conversions, app installs, or leads. 

On the other hand, Reddit is a slightly more complex website to understand. The Reddit site uses a voting system to help decide the top posts of the day. These need not be questions per se but simply any post. Each post is organized into Subreddits that focus on a particular topic – from world news to labrador retrievers; there’s a subreddit for every topic you can think of. Admins can moderate each subreddit to ensure that posts, questions, and answers are up to the standard set by the subreddit creator. 

Like Quora, Reddit also helps build brand awareness by letting you self-promote on relevant subreddits. Although building a strategy for Reddit is slightly more complicated and requires experience for navigating the site with ease, it’s well worth the effort as it’s practically free. Note that Reddit also allows you to post ads and promote them. The site’s robust audience insights kit helps build optimization strategies with ease. 

9. Podcasts

Seen as a replacement for the radio when they first started, podcasts are a much more popular platform now than ever before. According to MusicOomph, podcasting now boasts 30 million episodes in 100 languages. Perhaps, the most well-known podcast in this era is by India’s baking queen Pooja Dhingra who brings several high-profile guests from all walks of life on her simply structured talk show. 

The great thing about audio content is that it keeps your user-base entertained during mundane chores like passing through peak hour traffic or doing the dishes. Everyone has time to spare to make do with the virtual company, and that’s where podcasting fits in. There are many ways to leverage podcasts for marketing. You can set up sponsored ads with podcasting influencers or have your own podcast. The easy in-between is to join talk shows relevant to your niche. 

10. Native advertising

First introduced by the newspaper industry, native advertising seamlessly blends with existing informative content on a page to seem like it’s simply providing valuable insights to readers. Native ads are paid ads that don’t look like paid content. The idea has now expanded beyond offline daily news media. You’ll be able to find native ads on online news sites, apps, and even famous magazines like Forbes. Here are a few examples of native ads.

Source

The above image shows a native ad of OnePlus on the Inshorts news app. The article is essentially a paid press story on the Times Now Media group.

Can you spot the native ad from the above screenshot of the Forbes website?

Arguably, native ads cost far more than regular PPC ad content. But, they’re an effective means of communicating essential news about your brand or products to a large general audience.

Four Steps To A Successful Content Distribution Strategy

Now that you’re familiar with the top content distribution platforms available today, it’s time to start building a solid plan to make the most significant impact online with every piece of content you create. 

1. Evaluate

Before you begin creating content, it’s essential to balance the time taken to create content and the budget available. On the one hand, it’s imperative that you keep abreast with competition and consistently push content across your chosen platforms. On the other hand, you also need to plan which platforms deserve extra attention for paid marketing campaigns. Calculating the RoI based on these two factors combined can give you the best results.

So, how do you decide what’s the right balance for you? It’s simple. Listen and learn from your target audience. Today, it’s not uncommon for brands to cater to up to three brand personas. Evaluating where each segment of your TG spends time and how well your paid ads are doing on each platform can help you determine your action plan for content distribution.

2. Document

Once you have a clear picture in mind, note down the budget and timelines for each platform. Also, clearly visualize what creative work needs to be produced for your content distribution channels. It’s also important to know how consistent you can be across each channel.

Most importantly, be thorough with the brand voice you’re using with each channel. Determine how to match your brand persona with the primary TG of each channel without losing consistency across platforms.

In most cases, brands plan out their content at least three months in advance. This helps ensure that you make the most of known spikes in traffic like festival seasons.

3. Promote/amplify

It’s not enough to simply produce quality marketing content and hope it gets you traction. You ought to understand along the way when your audience is most active on which channel. What time should you be posting that reel on Instagram so it can garner traction views within the first two hours? When you’re promoting B2B content, it’s essential to ensure that you’re targeting the real decision-makers. It’s also crucial to spend time and resources personalizing content for specific channels – especially with paid marketing. 

Another critical factor that can help you optimize the content production cycle is to recycle existing creative pieces into different formats. This is especially important for content that has performed exceedingly well. Content repurposing forms a critical part of SEO-based articles, too. 

4. Audit

Tracking and analyzing the performance of your content distribution plan forms a significant aspect of continuously improving your content production cycles. It’s important to recognize what type of content performed well and which content distribution channels significantly contributed to generating quality leads. Double-down on what worked, and single out everything that didn’t. Next, you also need to set aside a marketing budget for reinvesting in the proper distribution channels for upcoming campaigns. Also, invest in opening up new channels that you think you may have missed out on. Set up a Go-to-Market strategy for upcoming products with this crucial information well in advance.

Tools To Help You Get Started With Content Distribution in 2021

Although most social media and search-engine content distribution channels cover everything you need to kick off and track and analyze your content’s performance, some tools can help you achieve significant parts of your marketing goals faster. This section discusses tools that you can use to optimize your content distribution strategies.

1. HARO

Help A Reporter Out is an online platform that brings journalists closer to legitimate sources. You can sign up to be sent daily email queries from journalists, and if you respond to these queries, you may be quoted directly in an article on leading online or offline press. This helps you garner backlinks to improve your SEO performance.

2. Click to Tweet

Do your blogs include killer one-liners that people would want to tweet? Make it easy for them to share your quotes and refer to your piece using Click to Tweet. If you see results, identifying shareworthy one-liners will become a force of habit while creating blog content.

3. Buffer

Not sure when to post on any social media site? Let Buffer handle it for you. Buffer allows you to take control of post scheduling across all social media channels.

4. Edgar

While repurposing existing content is one way to generate consistent posts, it’s also essential to regularly recycle or reshare evergreen content to help set up brand authority. Use Edgar to give your best blogs the spotlight they deserve by resharing them regularly.

5. MailChimp

Make the most of your email subscriber list with MailChimp. The tool allows you to set up and automate email marketing campaigns and provides an easy-to-use drag and drop tool so you can build clever emails without the need for too many resources. It’s highly recommended for small and medium-sized businesses.

6. SumoMe

SumoMe is a WordPress tool for list building, generating subscription boxes, and more. SumoMe also helps your readers share images from your blog posts quickly. This is especially helpful if you want to leverage the power of infographics in your content stream. 

7. OnePress Social Locker

If you see that people spend a lot of time reading blogs on your site, don’t hesitate to ask patrons to share or retweet. Even better, you can lock some super-valuable content behind a “Share Wall.” OnePress Social Locker hides part of your content until readers share your post on social media. While using this, it’s best to be careful as it may significantly increase bounce rates on your site, but it’s a handy tool for viral content.

8. PR Newswire

Make it easy to share newsworthy content and build native advertising content using PR Newswire. The platform can help you make announcements to various news portals and gain traction with a large general audience.

9. List.ly

There’s no doubt that listicles garner more traction than any other type of blog post. Whether you’re an up-and-coming lifestyle blogger or a reasonably large brand, you can use list.ly to quickly create share-worthy lists that are relevant to the news cycle.

10. Outbrain

If you want to gain quality leads from top sites like NYT and Mashable, Outbrain is the tool for the job. The PPC platform helps readers find content by matching their interests with your RSS campaign.

11. Quuu

Make the most of high-quality brand content by promoting it specifically to influencers in your industry. 

12. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo identifies and compares trends about content performance from your and your competitors’ site. This provides you with a considerable advantage. You will understand how your brand can carve out a niche in highly competitive markets.

13. Pushup

Pushup gives you the option to aggregate social media content onto your site. This helps bring a human element to your site, which creates a lasting brand impression.

14. WiseStamp

Customize email signatures so that potential leads can find you on social media platforms quickly. This tool is a must-have for B2B branding managers and business development executives.

15. Peppertype.ai

This automation tool makes it easy to generate social media captions and blog post titles. The AI-powered platform offers a quick solution for generating high-quality content across various platforms. 

Must-Dos For A Successful Content Distribution Strategy In 2021

Be it paid, earned, or owned media, there are a few must-dos to ensure that every platform you use co-exists and works in tandem to help your brand create impressionable experiences for your customers. Here’s a checklist to ensure that you successfully leverage each channel and content type’s value.

For SEO content

  1. Optimize one blog for one keyword. Select a primary keyword that your blog should focus on. Include it in images, alt texts, headings, subheadings, and meta descriptions to get maximum results.
  2. Choose your keywords carefully. Note that SEO works differently for paid, earned, and owned channels. Learn the rules for Google Ads, blog posts, and web content separately. Most importantly, it’s essential to pay attention to competitiveness and trends so that you can balance quality and quantity appropriately.
  3. Make use of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are made up of four to five words and have a very specific search intent. They could also be in the form of a question. This allows you to create well-curated posts that bring very high-value traffic.
  4. Track & analyze: Perform content audits frequently and repurpose old content that has worked well.
  5. Ensure that brand blogs have an author. Build bios for various content authors. Work with agencies and ghostwriters who don’t need you to credit the actual author but provide top-quality SEO-optimized content. Typically, it would help if you chose people experienced in the field from your in-house team as the blog’s author. Note that people must know that a real person is behind the information provided.

For Social Media

  1. Make scheduling tools your best friend. Scheduling tools are your go-to partners for handling social media posts if you want to maintain consistency. Hootsuite and Jetpack are some of the most popular tools for the job.
  2. Sprinkle share buttons everywhere. In today’s online world, people must be able to find you online on the platform of your choice. From business cards to blog posts, add your socials in as many places as you can.
  3. Custom profile descriptions: Brand presence needs to be tailored to the channel’s demographics. The first step to do this? Ensure that your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram bios aren’t the same. Keep LinkedIn professional, give your Twitter bio a brand twist, and ensure that Instagram is friendly and pleasant.
  4. Leverage the power of communities. Facebook Groups, Quora Spaces, Subreddits, and more can very quickly bring you closer to precious leads. Spend a part of your marketing budget to create content that is community-friendly.

For third-party and syndicated posts

  1. Always retain the rights to your content. Platforms like Medium allow you to get around Google’s duplication block and help you repurpose content quickly. However, note that the point of this is to gain traction with your blog. Never give that right away.
  2. Include internal links. One way to ensure that your website gains footfall is by including internal links to other blogs on your site. This not only helps SEO but also allows users to bounce from sites like Medium to your website directly, without having to search for you or your brand online.

For PPC and sponsored campaigns

  1. Promote high-value organic content instead of sponsored posts. Keep your budget flexible so you can promote any organic content that especially resonates well with the audience that already follows your brand. Remember that engagement is the objective.
  2. Leverage the value of lead magnets. Give away free resources like eBooks, webinar slots, and more to ensure that you gain quality leads with your paid and sponsored ads. 
  3. Test your custom audiences. Don’t stick to a single formula when selecting the target audience. Test the algorithms, build customer profiles, and use lookalike profiles to understand which demographics work well for the content distribution channel.
  4. Make ad-specific landing pages. Write ads keeping in mind a target audience and build a landing page on your site specifically for them. A landing page typically should appear like the homepage of your site. Here’s an example of how IndoChino suits have tied up with a famous online lawyer and have built a custom landing page just for his sponsored ads. Even the products on the landing page are specifically tailored for business professionals, although the company also targets the wedding industry.

Key Takeaways

  1. A diversified content distribution strategy is the key to optimizing every digital marketing campaign.
  2. It’s not only essential to match your audience to your content for building brand awareness, but you should also match your audience with their preferred content consumption platform.
  3. Make the most of owned media because it’s all yours. You make the rules.
  4. Never underestimate the power of earned media. You can never plan when your posts go viral, but you can continually optimize content for virality. Here’s the inside scoop on how to create viral content.
  5. Monitor and analyze paid content distribution channels to know more about your audience.
  6. Ensure that SEO and social media work hand in hand to promote each other.
  7. Build a comprehensive content calendar that can help you track all content distribution channels simultaneously.
  8. Invest in content distribution tools to maximize your reach.
  9. Don’t forget to repurpose, reshare and recycle your top-performing content.
  10. Last but not least, keep things consistent across all platforms.

Conclusion

This ultimate content distribution guide helps you leverage all available online outlets to maximize your marketing RoI. Unfortunately, most brands make the mistake of giving up control to one platform in such a way that they’re helpless if it malfunctions. You may see a significant downfall in revenue unexpectedly if you, too, are making this mistake. Diversify and get down to the nitty-gritty of numbers and analytics so you can be sure that you’re not missing out on any opportunities. Still not convinced? If you want to know the content distribution and why it’s so significant, think about this. Figure out why luxury jewelry brands, like Tiffany & Co., which thrive during the wedding season, have an active LinkedIn profile. Is it just for hiring? 

Why does a video-streaming platform like Netflix spend its marketing budget on blogs?

You can never be sure of what content distribution can bring to you unless you try, track and test!

FAQs

1. How to distribute content effectively?

Exploring, analyzing, and testing various media platforms can help you distribute content effectively.

2. What are the different types of content I need to create?

There are various types of content that you can create before building a content distribution strategy. This includes blog posts, email newsletters, website content, social media, and much more.

3. Which platform is best for content delivery?

The answer depends on where your target audience spends most of their time. It also depends on the niche and whether your brand provides B2B or B2C products and services. Most importantly, it’s important to distribute content across various platforms to get the best results.

4. What is a content distribution strategy?

A content distribution strategy helps you determine which platforms you need to post your content on and at what pace to get valuable leads for your brand. It also enables you to understand how you can budget your content marketing plan effectively. Note that content distribution is different from a content marketing strategy.

5. What are content distribution platforms?

Content distribution platforms are where your leads visit to find your content. This could be anything from your website or Facebook account to the local newspaper.

6. How do you distribute blog content?

Apart from posting blogs on your website, you can use syndication sites like Medium to distribute blog content. You can also share valuable snippets from your blog on social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Lastly, you can post guest blogs on other non-competitor sites and send out or promote your blogs in email newsletters.

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