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08 May 10:20

5 Tips: How to Create a Winning Content Distribution Strategy

Cool, you just produced an amazing piece of content. But what next? Who is going to see it? How do you get it into the hands of your target audience? Let’s delve into an often overlooked, but SUPER important component of content marketing – distribution.
By Jackie Lisk
As Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, writes in his piece on 2017 content marketing trends, “No longer can we afford to create and execute on content projects without them ever seeing the light of day.” Companies are investing more of their content marketing budgets in distribution and promotion than ever before. But it is not easy.
 
Distribution is one of marketers’ biggest content marketing challenges, according to a recent survey by ClearVoice. This survey also found that marketers’ number one, most cited content marketing challenge is time, or lack thereof. They struggle to find time to create content, execute on all their ideas, and to develop and manage distribution strategies.
 
At Mediaplanet, formulating creative and effective distribution strategies is kind of our jam. We excel at not only producing high-quality, engaging content, but also in making sure it gets noticed by our target readers. Here are some tried-and-true tips for creating distribution strategies that work, inspired by our own award-winning tactics.

 

1. Define your audience

Many companies still lack a proper content marketing strategy. Here is where you start. Your content needs a purpose. The strategy should include a clear definition of your target audience. The more information you have here, the better you can find and engage with your prospects and customers.

 

2. Have clear metrics and a means for measuring them

How will you measure your content’s effectiveness? For example, Mediaplanet measures clicks, page views, time on page, repeat viewers, bounce rate, and social media shares to name a few. We even take things further and monitor people’s viewing behavior. We can see how much they scroll, where and how they move their mouse, how long they spend with a particular video or infographic, and much more. This information helps us understand what content is performing best. It can also be tied back to traffic sources so we can see which of our tactics is driving the highest-quality users.

 

3. Understand the realities of an organic traffic strategy

Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could create an engaging piece of content and then sit back and wait for the traffic to roll in? For most businesses, that is a fantasy.
 
Let’s use blogging as an example. Regularly publishing content on your company blog is a great way to improve SEO, engage with visitors, drive conversions and time on site, and showcase thought leadership. Building an audience for this content takes time, though. How will people know how to find it? You can invest in an SEO strategy in which you build your content around the keywords most likely to perform well on search engines. In time, your content will begin to rank in searches, and people will find your content organically – but that won’t happen overnight, and it might not drive the volume of traffic you need to achieve your goals.
 
To increase readership, you can also share your content on your social media sites. Nine out of 10 small businesses use or plan to use social media, according to a study conducted by LinkedIn. Back in the day, this was a blissfully effective way to drive traffic. But the percentage of Facebook followers who see your company’s posts in their news feed has been diminishing in recent years. According to Facebook, business posts only reach an average of 16 percent of their fans, unless the business is putting marketing dollars behind them.
 
There are other ways to grow your traffic, such as investing in PR and creating an email marketing strategy, but, the truth is, businesses have to be prepared to invest in growing their digital audiences and in promoting their content so that their target audience actually finds it.

 

4. Choose the right paid distribution channels

Armed with an understanding of your marketing goals and the performance of your organic traffic, you can set a budget for paid channels. In digital, this can include social media marketing, paid search, native advertising and branded content opportunities, and display, mobile, and video advertising.
 
Content marketers can also invest in print channels, such as magazines, newsletters, and newspapers, to draw attention to their content. Mediaplanet uses a cross-channel approach to raise maximum awareness for our campaigns. We create printed special sections and distribute them within leading newspapers, as well as at relevant conferences and events. This helps us break through the clutter and create beautiful, memorable publications that people can hold onto. We run extended versions of this content online, and we drive traffic to these stories via both organic and paid channels.
 

Consider a few things as you map out your distribution plan:

Your target audience

Does this advertising tactic successfully connect you with your target group?

Your goals

Does this tactic make sense for your campaign objectives?

The cost, pricing structure, and performance

Are you paying per impression, per click, per conversion, or something else entirely? Cheaper isn’t necessarily better. Monitoring traffic performance is crucial so you can assess the value of your marketing. Let’s take an oversimplified example. Traffic Partner A charges you $1 per click. You pay for 1,000 clicks on your content, but the bulk of that traffic drops off immediately after clicking. Traffic Partner B charges you $2 per click and 30 percent of the traffic it delivers goes on to click a subsequent page of your website. Five percent even fill out a form to request more information. It makes more sense to spend your budget with Partner B, but you won’t be able to determine that if you are not measuring things properly.

Your marketing message

The better the marketing message you create, the better your results. When Mediaplanet creates targeted ads to drive users to our content, we test out different headlines and images and optimize tirelessly to drive as many users as possible to our content hubs.

 

5. Use influencer marketing

More than 80 percent of marketers find influencer marketing effective. To get your content into the right hands, you should identify and partner with influencers – people whom your target audience respect and engage with. When these influencers share content, their followers take notice.
 
Brands are investing big bucks in paid influencer marketing strategies, in which they pay celebrities and other social media sensations to share their content. One of Mediaplanet’s fortes is our ability to work side-by-side with influencers on our campaigns. We enlist the help of industry leaders, experts, and even celebrities from the start of a project. Influencers don’t have to be mega-stars. We identify the people who matter most to the industry we are covering. These people help us draft our content calendar and create our stories, infographics, and videos. They are as passionate about our content as we are, so of course they are keen to share it, too. This helps drive quality traffic to our content hubs, which is a good thing for us, and for our advertisers.
 
Creating, managing, measuring, and optimizing a distribution strategy for your content marketing is not easy, but it is vital. If this feels overwhelming, don’t be shy. Your friendly Mediaplanet office would be happy to help.
 

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