Systematic Content Distribution

By David Smith
CX Content Marketing

Content marketing is more than developing quality content. It’s also about distributing the content to the audience.  Allowing them to consume it during the customer journey and provide feedback (intentional or otherwise). Content distribution will enable you to build, grow, and engage with an audience of content consumers. Before we move forward let’s put definitions to the two segments of the title: Systematic Content Distribution. Google “systematic” and you’ll get this definition: “done or acting according to a fixed plan or system; methodical.”  I like to think of that as doing the same thing time after time. Outbrain defines Content Distribution this way: “the act of promoting content to online audiences in multiple media formats through various channels.” That cover several different areas that we’ll discuss here; promotion, multiple formats, and various channels.

Goals First

If you want to get value from your content someone has to consume it.  And putting in place a plan to allow that to happen implies there is a goal.  The goals for your content distribution will fall into two categories; your efforts and your results. Your effort goals are based on the work involved to distribute the content.  Are you working the plan? Are you repurposing your written content into social media, video, and SlideShare? Your results goals must be based on the growth and engagement of your audience, the relevance of specific channels, and supporting your overall marketing goals.  The size of your audience isn’t nearly as important as their engagement and behavior.   Ensure your goals and your measurements are the right ones and not vanity driven. Systemizing a process means that if do consistent actions (add 2 + 2) I’ll get to the goal (4). That’s the plan: system execution that can be measured and improved.

The simple view of content distribution

If you simplify the distribution process, it breaks into two big questions:

  • What content and where you will distribute?
  • How will content be distributed?

Once you answer those two questions, you can document your plan. Then execute. Measure and improve to reach the goal. Easy, right?

“The first step? Understanding your ideal customer.”

Where will you distribute your content?

Determining what content and where to distribute is based on three marketing strategy elements; your ideal customers, the channels they prefer, and their preferred content type (URL).  The more you know about how your ideal customers “buy,” the more successful your plan for what and where will be. A prospect researching a professional services automation solution may want written content (both short and long form) and video content for their education phase of the journey.  They may rely on search, industry sites, and social to find the content that satisfies their needs. For your content to be in their education path, you’ll need to use your internally published content (for example a long-form article) and repurpose it across multiple channels in multiple formats.   The article itself can be shared on social media, posted as an article on LinkedIn and Medium, used to respond to question on Quora and Reddit, converted to a video and posted on YouTube and LinkedIn. The article could be turned into a SlideShare.  The piece could also be broken into multiple bites and used across your social channels. It could also be converted to an eBook and utilized in PPC ads on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And finally used as the basis for a guest post on an industry site. In case you’re counting: that’s five different content types (article, video, social, eBook, SlideShare) and five channels (social, research sites, YouTube, PPC, guest posting). You would use this scenario to build your first plan entries.  For now, concentrate your planning on your articles and blog entries.  Identify how they will be repurposed and note the formats.  That may be as simple as Article, Video, SlideShare, Guest Post, 10 social media posts.  You would then add the distribution channels for each type of format.  For example, Article will be posted to LinkedIn, Medium, Guest Post.     Video will be posted to YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Your plan will also document your timing and tempo. Once you have structured your plan, begin to attach your expected outcomes, measures and goals.   For example, your social media outcome might be traffic to the website, measured with Google Analytics for the article page, with a goal of 100 visits within seven days of publication. Pay attention to the media types; owned, shared, and paid.   Owned media is primarily your website.  You have a great deal of control, but you’ll need to venture out into shared and paid to distribute to the greatest extent.  Some people include social in owned, but I view that as shared, which also includes your opportunity to guest post. Content distribution is an important element of content marketing success.  To do it correctly you need to rely on your marketing strategy elements and let the customer dictate the formats and channels you will use. This article is part of The Valens Point Guide to Content Marketing Success

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