Content Distribution

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What Is Content Distribution?

Content distribution is the process of sharing content across multiple channels and audiences. Marketers strategize the multichannel distribution of content so that it doesn’t go out in a vacuum. To be effective, content needs to intercept the right people at the right time, through the appropriate medium. After all, what’s the point of spending valuable time, money, and talent creating phenomenal content if no one’s going to read it?

A content distribution strategy begins with understanding your audience and how they consume content. Which devices and platforms do they use? Which content formats do they prefer—videos, blog posts, white papers? Which websites and social media channels do they frequent? For example, Facebook is widely used in the consumer sphere, while LinkedIn is typically a better place for B2B marketers to find their audience.

How to Activate Your Content

Marketers should consider as many channels as possible to ensure the widest reach. For example, a website makes a great home base for a launch, and social deployment through email blasts and social media posts works well to announce that launch.

This method of guiding your audience to your core content through social channels is called content activation, or merchandizing. To start, first prioritize your company’s highest-value content assets, such as websites and ebooks. Then, create social media posts or email blasts that will drive to these larger assets and thereby “merchandize” or “activate” them.

These activation assets are crucial to a well-planned content distribution strategy.

3 Categories of Content Distribution

  1. Owned. When you distribute content to properties that belong to you, such as your company website, email list, or social media page. Repurposing content in different formats is also a key tactic for maximizing owned distribution and creating a consistent content experience for users.

    Examples:
    -Blogs
    -Websites
    -Emails and enewsletters

  2. Earned. When third parties publish, promote, or share your content on their own channels.

    Examples:
    -Social shares
    -Media coverage
    -Product reviews
    -Guest blog posts

  3. Paid. When you pay to distribute your content; for example, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

    Examples:
    -Display ads
    -Social media ads
    -Paid content promotion

Why It Matters for B2B Marketing

A successful strategy will generate more leads, boost content marketing ROI, and increase brand recognition. But sometimes distribution isn’t prioritized at the same level as content creation. Organizations often have multiple distribution groups competing with each other, or distribution groups that are disassociated from creation groups. In these environments, content distribution can get lost in the shuffle. People in charge of content creation might just hand off assets to marketers. This isn’t optimal, but it’s a reality of the way many organizations work.

Cross-awareness of content creation and distribution will ensure that you sidestep this divide and get the most out of every content asset.

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