Quality content might win you the much-coveted title of a thought leader and a ‘sweet’ rank on Google’s first page. However, it doesn’t guarantee conversions. You can research deep on a topic, use tons of examples, and provide interesting use cases, for your product’s eBook. However, if it’s just sitting pretty on your ‘website blog’ it’s just a waste of all that time and effort.
Producing content is one thing; distributing it is altogether a different ball game. While you start existing on the world wide web with the first, it is with the second that your existence starts getting noticed.
Till 2010-2011, content distribution was thought of as a secondary activity. There wasn’t any proper method to it. Most of the times, and for most people, it meant dumping links, spamming forums with poor content, and running absolutely goal-less ad campaigns.
2014 onwards content distribution things started to look up for content distribution. This was the time the world opened up to newer digital channels. For example, though Whatsapp has been around since 2009 it wasn’t until 2012-2013 that it was eyed as a content marketing and distribution channel. The channel reached 200 million active users by 2013. In mere 4 years, the value of WhatsApp had grown up to $1.5 billion.
By 2014, it had 600 million active users. And, as on February 19, Facebook announced to acquire WhatsApp for US$19 billion. All these numbers and stats have been researched and generated by users on Quora. Today, Whatsapp is one of the biggest marketing channels, and has (kind of) replaced word-of-mouth at the job it does!
Some of the obvious reasons why content distribution (and syndication) is really important today are that:
- It’s an omnichannel world. Your users are everywhere, and so should you.
- People don’t rely on traditional channels anymore. They have shifted to smarter, digital ways of doing things. Newspapers are now largely read online, by young AND old.
- Content marketing gets 6 times more conversions than traditional marketing means.
- Information overload is killing attention spans. So, even if you are making sure your content is on every channel, you can’t be sure if it is being noticed. Double check this point.
Casting a larger net doesn’t mean you’ll get more fish. And, even if you do get a larger catch, it doesn’t mean it’s the best of the fish that you get. This point takes us to the real role of content distribution (and to how to do it right) in 2019 and beyond.
Content distribution in 2019 and beyond – What you need to know
The world wide web is brimming with content. Statistics have it that 86.4 million blog posts are published every month solely on WordPress. However, most of the content never gets to the intended audience. It gets lost in the dump just like matter in the black hole.
To get traction from the content assets that you create – eBooks, newsletters, webinars, audio series, podcasts etc. not only do you need SEO friendly, quality content but also a rockstar content distribution strategy.
Now obviously, content marketing is driven by technology. It means that any change in technology is the driving force behind content marketing too. Because technology today is a highly disruptive landscape, content marketing managers too need to be extremely flexible, quick, and smart to keep spinning newer ways of marketing and distributing content. It’s a matter of keeping up or giving up.
An experimentative approach is important, however, it is also important to do proper research and planning. Not to forget, distributing content on the ‘right’ or ‘most profitable’ channel is a must. To arrive a content distribution plan that will work for you let’s first answer a few questions:
Does an all eggs in one basket approach work for content distribution?
You can’t use the same channel of distribution for all your content. You cannot have the same distribution plan for every piece of content that you’ve created. A webinar is different from an eBook. It has a different goal, a different objective.
You can put up a webinar recording on YouTube. But, you can’t convert a 50 page eBook into a Youtube video! That would be foolish.
Instead, it would make a whole lot of sense, to rather promote it on your webinar’s thank you page. Or, even put up paid social ads to get more eyeballs on the ebook.
How do I know if my content distribution approach is working?
Creating content, distributing it intelligently, getting leads from the channels used – that’s a plan, right? Only partially. Without analytics set to measure your performance, your plan isn’t still completely in place.
Also, your content might be able to get you a good (or even brilliant) footfall, and even likes, shares, and mentions. However, it still might not get you anything of real value, which is close to your macro goals.
Right performance measurement begins with setting the right metrics.
You need to be absolutely sure about what you want to track and measure. Vanity metrics such as blog post views are myopic insights. You can’t call them performance goals. Instead, insights such as ‘newsletter sign-ups, eBook downloads, webinar sign-ups from email marketing, wishlisted items from Whatsapp marketing, tutorial sign-ups from Youtube channel, etc. are some good metrics to delve into.
Creating a content distribution plan for success
There’s a basic content distribution plan outline that we’ve created that can be easily understood and used by everyone. The plan will equip you well enough to maximize your conversions from all distribution channels.
Know your audience
Personas are a rage with marketers. Creating user and buyer personas can make content distribution seem like a breeze. When you know who your audience is, what age group they belong to, where they live, what device they prefer using, climatic conditions that they live in, how much income they earn, if they have kids, are married, etc., creating content that’s absolutely aligned with their needs and also distribute it in ways that it aligns with their exact requirements at the exact times becomes a magical reality.
Know your budget
Your marketing budget is the first deciding criteria on the channels that you will be picking in your channel mix. However, you don’t have the choice of going by guts either. To attribute your budget correctly, you must delve into analytics to find out which are the channels that are fetching you highest user engagement, conversions from those users, high-value conversions, as well as repeat engagement.
Know channel-specific user activity
Find out where your target audience spends the most time, where do they ask most questions, which channel do they use most for search, which device they make most purchases from, which channel wins at getting most conversions. For example, 80 percent of B2B leads come from LinkedIn while only 13 percent of B2B leads can be attributed to Twitter.
For B2B specifically, Zest.is, and Growthhackers are two platforms that can help connect and engage with the right audience who is highly interested in your product. If you are a B2B business and haven’t explored these two platforms yet, you are missing out on being at the right place and losing possible conversions. Some articles reach a whopping 1000+ readers – but of course, quality matters.
Repurpose content based on channel preference
Making content distribution effective requires repurposing it based on how users interact with a certain channel. You can’t simply re-publish an entire blog post on Twitter. It is neither possible nor in accordance with the ‘channel’s purpose’. You could, instead, repurpose your blog post’s ideas and findings into an infographic and use it in form of a Tweet-able image along with hashtags. Basic, but important.
It isn’t possible to know how much improvement you need to make unless you know where you currently stand. Measure your results from all channels that you’ve used for distribution. Find out if a podcast drove more conversions than a video webinar, and then, optimize based on those results.
Moving ahead of basics – New channels of content distribution
Social media – a bit more of it
Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube – these channels of distribution are still going strong. However, new channels are spurring every day and beaming. These include:
Progressive web apps
User’s hate downloading apps on their mobile; however, they prefer an app like interface. Progressive web apps understand this behaviour and allow users to use websites like apps without having to download! A smart way of distributing content on mobile ( a preferred channel), in a way that users like (based on user behaviour).
This new technology will surely make ‘clickable links’ a passe. One-of-a-kind revolution, once in full bloom, Google Speakable is likely to empower marketers to reach customers through voice, without having to touch the keyboard even for a second.
As per Tim Varner, co-founder of Roost, Fifteen percent of people opt-in for push notifications. This means, those fifteen percent have the highest affinity for your brand and are most likely to convert. People opting-in for push notifications are also nine times more likely to share social content than those who do not. Why shouldn’t then this channel be used to market and distribute content extensively?
Syndicating content – More power for your content marketing plan
The whole idea of content distribution is to get those people to notice you who could have never reached you organically. In a way, content syndication also helps you achieve the same goal. Some of the benefits of syndicating content are as follows:
- You get access to a larger audience base
- You get authority backlinks
- You get brand mentions and also more lead-generation opportunities
- You don’t have to spend too much. Syndication is cost-friendly
You can increase your audience base and get relevant users by syndication only if you know how to do it right. For example, if you have a B2B blog, it will make a lot of sense to syndicate on platforms such as LinkedIn Pulse and Medium. Similarly, if you have a content marketing blog you will gain tremendously by syndicating with big blogs like Content Marketing Institute or Search Engine Journal. Syndicating with platforms that have a high domain authority, a vast readership base, and a price audience for your product means win-win.
Obviously then, you must syndicate your content regularly.
I think that’s it for now. Now that you have plenty on hand already, looks like it is time to rock and roll, and get started with taking your content to your readers – especially before your competitors do!
What are some of the things that you keep in mind when distributing or syndicating your content?