You’ve got great content. You spent plenty of time and money writing blog articles, creating infographics, recording videos. Your creative team was relevant, witty and profound and you’re impatiently awaiting the explosion of business opportunities that are bound to be generated from it. So you send it out to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all of your other relevant social media accounts, sit back and wait.
And…well you get the idea.
So many people jump into content marketing thinking that it’s going to be the be all end all in lead generation. A lot of this assumption has been in no small part due to the marketing industry’s penchant for “mild exaggeration” but what more and more people are realizing is that it’s really not as simple as “write it and they will buy”.
Last week we talked a bit about the different roles that you need for a successful content marketing team. This week, we’re going to talk a bit about content distribution. Once you have all this great content, how do you get it out to the masses?
The Three Types of Content Distribution Channels
There are three “buckets” of channels through which you can distribute this amazing content of yours:
- Owned Channels
- Earned Channels
- Paid Channels
Any distribution plan (that should be a part of your overall content marketing strategy) should account for all three so let’s take a look at each of them.
Your owned channels are, as the name suggests the places you can distribute your content that you own directly. They’re things like your website, your blog, your Facebook page and other social media accounts, your email list, etc. These channels are beneficial because, presumably, you’ve taken the time to grow your following, your lists and other traffic with targeted viewers. If you’re trying to sell solar panels but your email list is full of oil executives, you may not be as successful as you’d like to think you’ll be. If your list is made up of members of Sierra Club, your message has a higher likelihood of resonating with them and inspiring action.
In our last article discussing the different roles of your content marketing team, you may remember the Promoter – the digital social butterfly. It’s their job to get your content in front of the right people who might be interested in sharing it with their audiences. Those are your earned channels. Think of these as great referral partners. They’re the blogs, social media profiles and email lists who have a similar audience to the one with which you would like to connect but they don’t compete, in fact if they’re complementary to your business, it’s even better. These relationships take a bit of time and effort to develop and maintain and, as all good relationships do, they require a bit of give and take, but they’re hugely powerful.
Again, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what we’re talking about here. Your paid channels are the ones you pay for. You’re essentially buying eyeballs here, which can get expensive but will provide you with hyper-targeted traffic to your content, increasing your conversion rate. Facebook and LinkedIn have tremendous targeting capabilities, as do Google, Bing and most other search engines and social media platforms. There are also a number of other paid channels that will syndicate your content to other blogs and websites. Distributors like Outbrain and Taboola are two that I’ve seen quite a bit and there are plenty of others that do the same.
So how is your content distribution strategy looking? Are you testing the different channels to see which ones will have the greatest impact for your content? My advice is to put together a spreadsheet with the different buckets and make sure that each one is being addressed. Once you do that, you’ll start seeing your roadmap come together.