Practical Guide to Content Distribution in 2018 and Beyond

October 26, 2018 - 13 minutes read

Learn how to craft an effective content distribution strategy.

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With an ever-growing wealth of ways to produce meaningful content aimed at your target audience, promoting your brand or business is no longer confined to print, television or banner advertising. Now it’s possible to reach out to a prospect and inspire them on a personal level.

But your content is only effective if it’s visible to the right people, at the right time, and through the right channels.

90% of web consumers need to conduct ample online research about a brand before making a purchase. This means that if you engage these floating shoppers with a piece of content that not only entertains them, but also offers the answer to a vital question, issue, or query, you stand an excellent chance of gaining their custom and potential brand loyalty.

A recent study from eMarketer discovered that, on average, only 10% of the average brand’s time or budget is dedicated to content distribution, with the remaining 90% committed to content creation – and in many cases, this approach has proved ineffective.

While creating content is of vital importance, distributing it strategically and using the best possible methods is the key to sustainable commercial success. And here we’re going to guide you through the content distribution process, thereby helping you become a glistening needle in an otherwise digital haystack.

 

Common content distribution mistakes

 

To help you ensure solid content distribution success from the outset, here are the cardinal content distribution mistakes you should avoid at all costs:

  • Failing to diversify your content for specific platforms. Some people live solely on specific social media platforms and, to spark their interest, you should create content for those platforms rather than developing one piece of material and sharing it across a multitude of touchpoints.
  • Sharing your content on the wrong platforms. By using demographic data and conducting consumer research, find out where your target audience is most engaged and focus your distribution efforts on those platforms.
  • Not reusing or repurposing your content. Evergreen content is an incredibly effective tool for content distribution and boosting your search engine optimization (SEO) profile, or search engine rankings.
  • Poor timing. Monitor, research, look, listen, and find out when your target prospects or current audience is most engaged on particular social platforms and distribute your content during those times.
  • Limited influencer reach: A failure to guest post or leverage influencers in your industry or niche will limit your commercial reach and stunt your content distribution efforts.

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Create a shareable content framework

 

While there is no secret or entirely definitive formula for making your content go viral, there are methods that you can apply to significantly increase your chances. Creating a shareable content framework is one of these methods.

Revered psychology books ‘Made to Stick’ and ‘Contagious’ both offer frameworks for creating ‘sticky’ content ideas that will ultimately get distributed organically – and this train of thought will provide the very foundations of your content distribution efforts:

The Made to Stick (SUCCESS framework):

Simple
Unexpected
Concrete
Credible
Emotional
Story

Contagious (STEPPS framework):

Social currency
Triggers
Emotion
Public
Practical value
Stories

Follow these concepts when you’re developing your content and you’ll stand an excellent chance of choosing something worth distributing.

 

Publish in volume but with consistency

 

This is a relatively short, simple tip but it’s hugely important and often overlooked: create content in solid volumes on a consistent basis as this will gain you the authority, traction, and presence you need. And while you should publish in volume, you should never go for quantity over quality – remember, valuable, inspiring content is the key to generating worthwhile leads.

 

Learn from your data

 

In a world rich in deep-rooted digital data, using this wealth of insight to your commercial advantage is critical to the ongoing success of your content creation and distribution efforts.

You should always review your content’s performance by looking at the data available to you. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine the topics, angles, ideas and tones that perform the best for you and connect with your audience.

Metrics including page visits, conversion rates, page bounce rate, and social media engagements are all ways of understanding the potency of your content – so, use these insights to give your content the direction it needs to thrive.

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Use scheduling tools

 

At this point, you will no doubt be aware that to justify the distribution of your content, you must first work on developing it in a thoughtful, strategic, and focused fashion. Also, at this point, you will have no doubt deciphered the channels that work best for your business and the times of day or night that are likely to yield you the best results.

Now it’s time to start sharing – and as we mentioned about content creation and publishing – being consistent and distribution in volume is vital if you want to boost brand engagement and connect with your promotional assets.

To help ensure that you’re able to share your no doubt scintillating content consistently and at optimal times while remaining productive, you should use social media content distribution and management tools. Here are the best platforms for 2018:

  • eClincher: An automated content publishing platform with a robust library of free Creative Commons-friendly images for blog and social posts.
  • Buffer: A multi-channel social media sharing tool that allows you to schedule your content and posts on platforms at optimum times while offering invaluable performance data on your efforts.
  • Crowdfire: While similar in nature to both of the aforementioned tools, this particular tool is driven by automated bot technology, meaning you will receive smart content distribution recommendations via the platform’s online chat messenger.

 

Leverage trending topics

 

This concept may seem glaringly obvious but you’d be surprised at just how many eCommerce brands overlook this priceless approach to content distribution.

To gain traction, expand your reach and squeeze every last drop of value from your content marketing efforts, you should develop content creation and distribution campaigns based on renowned annual events including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s, including events or trending topics niche to your industry.

Bespoke Xmas shopping guides, reasons to be thankful videos or social polls, and Easter egg hunt are all examples of engaging, shareable content that work well when distributed through the right channels. And to ride the crest of trending waves relevant to your geographical location, brand values, or industry, you should consult Google Trends – this will give you a wealth of valuable data, segmented into location, performance, and topic.

 

Source influencers, and use them wisely

 

A considerable 74% of consumers trust social networks to guide them on critical purchasing decisions. Moreover, 49% of those people rely on an industry influencer recommendations before investing in a service or product.

In today’s world, influencers hold a significant amount of power with the Millennial and Gen Z cohorts in particular looking to these bloggers, vloggers, and social media personalities to tell them what’s worthwhile and what’s not.

By reaching out to influencers in your niche and encouraging them to test, plug, and promote your brand, products, or services to their social media audience in an organic, meaningful way, offering them a nominal fee, a chance to experience your offerings or cross-promotion in return for their buy-in, you will boost your brand reputation, your content reach, and your fan base exponentially.

But remember, for the best results you need to build these bonds organically, engaging with your target influencers before branching out to them with an offer – partaking in social media conversations and showing an interest in their content from the outset.

You can also use this approach to guest blogging. Like influencer marketing, you can produce content for other influential blogs and publications relevant to your industry, showcasing your knowledge while opening your brand up to an entirely new, highly engaged audience.

Guest posting and influencer marketing are both invaluable means of expanding the reach of your content, boosting your web authority and expanding your audience – that said, they should make essential parts of your overall content distribution activities.

 

Embrace emerging technologies

 

We live in an age where digital technology is evolving at a head-spinning rate, which means there are more content creation and distribution avenues and alleyways than ever before.

The likes of VR and AR as well as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and voice technology are quickly becoming an everyday part of our existence. As such, new channels for content distribution are emerging. By remaining abreast of these trends, advancements, and developments, you will be able to deliver your content to an even wider, more valuable audience.

To help inspire your efforts, here are two guides you should explore:

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” – Craig Davis, content evangelist

 

These essential tips offer all of the key ingredients for content distribution success in the modern age, and we hope they serve to enhance your ongoing efforts.

We wish you the best of luck, and if you need a solution to help streamline your most essential eCommerce activities, we have a several solutions that can help.