Creating great content is one thing – distributing it is another. Content distribution is the key to any successful content marketing strategy. Without distribution, content stagnates. No one sees it. The heart and soul you poured into greeting a top-quality piece of content, that people will love, get wasted because no one knows it exists.
In this article, we will cover the types of content distribution, how they work, and why you need to add content distribution to your marketing strategy.
Content distribution is promoting, sharing, and publishing your content to audiences across various channels. It is a marketing strategy based on the idea that your content needs to find its audience rather than the other way around. Content distribution can normally be broken up into three categories and each works in its own way: owned, earned, and paid.
The three types of content distribution all work a little differently.
Owned Content Distribution: publishing content on channels you own. This includes your blog, your social media, your email newsletter etc.
Earned Content Distribution: your content or content about you is published on a third-party website or platform. This is normally in the form of press releases, guest posts, retweets, or product reviews.
Paid Content Distribution: your content is published on a third-party website because you have paid for it to be there. Payment can be an explicit contract of paying a certain amount to publish on a well-regarded website. Or, it can work in the form of paying for a link to be placed on a publisher's website and paying on a cost-per-click basis for every visitor that clicks through to that link.
There are 7.5 million new blogs published every day. And that's only blogs, there are also millions of Tweets, Instagram posts, email newsletters, and more, all fighting for the attention of their audiences. Content distribution helps you fight in this fierce battlefield and grab the attention of your audience.
As the volume of content has grown, the amount of content shared has declined. Users are less likely to share content with their friends, family, and followers. According to Search Engine Journal, the median number of shared posts has dropped by 50% since 2015.
It is more difficult now than ever for content to organically distribute itself to your audience through social shares. Content distribution is a tactic that can help give your content a nudge and make up for the decline in the number of social shares content now receives.
Great content goes to waste if your audience doesn't consume it. Content distribution is key to getting your in front of new and existing audiences, building a loyal following and generating brand awareness.
By connecting with publications that you know have an audience that is similar to your target audience, you can tap into their existing network to promote your content and brand. For example, if you sell vegan protein powder, you can look for publications such as Healthy Living Magazine, or Forks Over Knives (a vegan magazine) because their audience will be interested in your product.
Content distribution and SEO go hand in hand. It is a great SEO tactic for small businesses. Earned content distribution from high authority publications or from social media influencers that are within your businesses niche can do wonders for your SEO.
Content distribution helps with generating backlinks to your website, which is a key ranking factor. It also helps you rank for your keywords, when you target publications within a keyword that you want to rank for. For example, if you are frequently mentioned in articles relating to protein powder you may then be able to rank #1 for a search term such as “vegan protein powder vs whey”
In recent years we can see that content is shifting. Content is no longer King – distribution is. You still need great content. You will find it incredibly difficult to gain earned content distribution (and even paid content distribution) if your content is not top tier. However, top tier content is no longer the main factor in a successful content marketing strategy.
Distribution is what will get your content in front of new audiences. It will help you build brand awareness, reach new audiences, build communities and improve your SEO.
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