“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Okay, admittedly content distribution isn’t as philosophical as that age-old question – but I always think of it when it comes to emphasising the importance of a strong amplification plan for content. As a content marketing agency we’re always busy putting our heads together to come up with creative content ideas. But we also know to invest just as much time in developing a plan that makes sure our content is seen and heard by its target audience.
It comes down to this: the content we create can be dazzlingly great – but if no one in the target audience hears about it, does it make an impact? Ultimately, no, it won’t help us achieve the goals our client has set. The tree falls, but it’s not making a sound.
Content distribution matters because it makes the most of the content we’ve worked hard to create. When successful, content distribution ensures the correct audience consumes that content, and makes a positive action as a result. What that response or action is depends on what the objective of the content is – do we want to improve brand awareness, gather data or generate leads?
But how can you make sure your content distribution works? How can you make sure your content reaches people who could become buyers? There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to creating a content distribution plan, but there are few tips and tricks we have up our sleeves as a content marketing agency that can help to make it a lot more effective – here are some of them:
Know your audience
We’re firm believers that a good understanding of your audience can be transformative for your marketing; it can certainly make a huge difference to your content distribution. Knowing your audience takes the guesswork out of where you should be focusing your efforts to get your content seen – you’ll know where your audience is most likely to consume their content and in what format, so you can focus on getting your content out via those channels.
If you’re looking for ways to get to know your audience better, have you tried forums? My blog gives a rundown of how they can help with audience research
Owned, paid or earned – use a blend to get the best results
Consider all the channels you could use to distribute your content – including channels you own (such as social media, email marketing and your website), paid channels (think social ads, PPC, influencers) and earned media (PR, guest posts, reviews, social media mentions).
Allocate a realistic budget
It’s so easy to get carried away funnelling all your budget into the creation of your content. Yes, you need a realistic budget for that part, but you need to put aside a reasonable amount for your content distribution too.
Of course, you won’t have unlimited budget for every content project, but allocating a proportion of spend will help your content go a lot further – and get a better ROI in the long run.
Create great supporting assets
Wherever you share your content you will need some great imagery to go alongside it. Whether it’s social ads, social posts, a landing page or in email, some extra visuals will help to catch the eye of potential readers and give a sneak peek at what it might be offering. The same goes for PR, if you’re sharing your content or story with the press, think about getting some great photography or graphics sorted to support it.
Find out how to write a great press release and get your story seen with these tips from Cetti.
Collaborate for extra reach
When you create your content plan, why not have a think about who you could collaborate with to create the content? If you’re creating a guide or whitepaper, is there an expert in a field that complements your business or content topic who could contribute? When your content is complete, share it with the contributors and you never know, they may share it via their own channels. Bingo, extra reach for your content!
Don’t give up
A content distribution plan doesn’t have to be set in stone – and it doesn’t need to have a clear finishing line. Start distributing the content via the channels you have planned for and see which work, invest more time into those and keep trying different ways to catch the attention of your audience. Try different messaging to promote the content, experiment with various supporting graphics and try a variety of targeting for ads.
Equally, don’t relegate old content to sit without any distribution of its own. If, using Google Analytics, you can see content on your website is performing well – perhaps via social or search engines – and that people are consuming it, then you may want to look at redistributing that content. Don’t give up on it!
If you’re not sure where to start with auditing your old content, take a look at this blog.
Next time you’re creating a content plan, I hope this blog offers a few tips to help make sure your carefully curated content reaches its intended audience. And don’t forget to keep measuring how your content is performing to keep an eye on whether it really is getting the results you want – and reaching the right people.
Looking for a content marketing agency that can create great content and get it seen by your audience? Get in touch with us for a chat about what you want to achieve.