How To Create a Content Distribution Strategy in 8 Steps
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Content distribution is the means a company uses to disperse its content to consumers. When done effectively, this strategy can help raise brand awareness and create discussion about your brand. Learning about the process for planning content distribution can help you increase the chances that your audience sees the content you create. In this article, we explore content distribution, list the different types of distribution channels and provide steps for creating a content distribution strategy.
What is content distribution?
Content distribution is the process of promoting content through a variety of mediums to consumers. This involves the sharing, publishing and promoting of content. Unlike content marketing, content distribution targets a specific group of people with its content. Some types of content for distribution include:
Social media posts
Related: What Is Content Marketing?
How does content distribution work?
The content distribution process varies depending on the channel you use. There are three main types of content distribution channels:
Owned: This is the distribution to channels that belong to your company, such as blogs, emails or social media.
Earned: Earned distribution is when a third party shares your content through mediums like press releases, product reviews or guest article contributions.
Paid: This is a distribution method where a business pays for content distribution through advertisement methods like pay per click, social media ads and paid content promotion.
Certain brands prefer using one distribution channel over another, but it can be helpful to use a mixture of the three. Each channel has its own advantages. For instance, an owned channel allows you to interact with consumers more, and earned media increases engagement. Sometimes, it's best to begin with owned channels for a more organic approach before experimenting with paid channels.
Why is content distribution important?
Content distribution is an important component in digital marketing strategies to improve brand awareness and conversion rates. Dispersing your content can help you get more shares and begin a conversation about your company. Content distribution also helps ensure consumers see your content so that they take action, such as subscribing to your newsletter or buying your product.
How to create a content distribution strategy
Here are some steps to help guide your marketing efforts when creating a content distribution strategy:
1. Learn about your target audience
Research your target audience to see what sorts of information they are interested in consuming. You can gather information, such as their age and income, by looking at demographic data on your website visitors, social media followers and email subscribers. Consider asking your audience directly for what they are looking for and how your current content distribution practice could improve. From your research, create a buyer persona to model your ideal customer and preferences.
Related: How To Plan a Marketing Strategy
2. Perform an audit
Review your previously published content to see if it helps your content distribution strategy. To do this, determine if the content aligns with what your buyer persona would like. While reviewing content, you can find topics you already covered and where you could expand more. Also, identify content gaps or areas where you could add more keywords.
3. Review your distribution options and content types
When choosing your content distribution channel, keep your audience's preferences in mind. Discover what channels they spend a lot of their time on to make sure your content reaches them. Once you decide where to distribute your content, you can begin thinking about what type of content to create. This considers what your audience would prefer. It's sometimes good to begin with a business blog to serve as a starting base for consumers to visit. Since this is an owned channel, it can be easier to control.
4. Set your content distribution goals and KPIs
When developing your content distribution strategy, set targets for your key performance indicators (KPI) and metrics so that you have something to evaluate after your distribution. Consider creating SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Having a SMART goal helps remind you of the purpose of your content and that it goes to the right audience.
5. Create an editorial calendar
To organize your content marketing and distribution, use an editorial content calendar. This tool can help your team stay aligned when working on the project, since it outlines tasks to accomplish. In your calendar, you can include key information such as the marketing purpose, keywords and format. You may also include where you plan to publish the content upon completion. A calendar can help you decide when to release content by creating a schedule to follow.
6. Build your content
Once you determine the logistics, begin creating your content. Consider using websites or tools to help you build your marketing materials. When designing content, make sure the style and message align with your overall brand. Also, consider focusing on one specific area or niche to reach a target group of people. For instance, an ice cream company may choose to create a campaign that highlights its coconut milk ice cream to appeal to those who are lactose intolerant.
Related: 32 Helpful Content Marketing Tips
7. Distribute your content
Following your calendar and content distribution strategy plan, publish your content on your selected channel. When posting on your channels, think about what time is best to post for more engagement. For instance, if your audience tends to be on social media in the evenings, consider posting a social media ad at night.
8. Evaluate your content distribution strategy
Upon distributing your content, measure your results to see how you did. Reflect back on your KPIs to see if your metrics demonstrate success. For example, if your KPI was to get more engagement on your website, you may look at the average time visitors spend on your page and bounce rate to see if more visitors stayed on your page. Regularly measure your KPIs to see how they change over time and access what changes you need to make.
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