Are you digging your new role as a continual content creator? Have you now started to think and act like a publisher all of the time too? Is your head always filled with thoughts about your next blog post, ebook, infographic or how to fill up your social stream with great content?
Are you now always capturing and sharing photos on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or your Pinterest board? And are you using tools that continuously feed you relevant content that others produce so that you can share it with your growing communities?
For those who have embraced content marketing, it’s no exaggeration that the “to do” list isn’t getting any shorter. And with so much competition for attention online, the challenge to develop something worthy of sharing—what the gurus describe as “engaging”—isn’t getting easier. Yet, if your goal is to become a surging factory that pumps out an unending stream of great content that your prospects and customers will find relevant, entertaining or valuable, there’s one important consideration that you can’t afford to dismiss.
Once you publish, you’ve only just begun.
That’s right. Those important content assets that you invested real resources and time into now have to turn into business value. That means that people have to see the content you’ve created, react to it and hopefully accomplish the “media” part of Social Media by sharing it with others outside of the communities that you’ve joined online.
Like it or not, it’s now essential that to have a distribution plan for every content asset that you create. Whether it’s a campaign on the social network of your choice, targeted email, paid advertising on a social network to extend reach, content sharing or aggregation into other popular sites, blog article sharing with peers or all of the above, your stuff has to get out and get seen to turn into clicks—and then value.
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Share it where they’ll see it.
Recent research from GWI asked respondents from 32 markets (representing roughly 90% of the global Internet audience) “Which of the following online sources are you primarily using when you are actively looking to find out more information about brands, products, or services?”
20 content distribution platforms that respondents ranked in order of importance include:
- Search Engines
- Customer Review Sites
- Product | Brand Sites
- Blogs on Products | Brands
- Price Comparison Sites
- Message Boards | Forums
- Emails | E-Newsletters
- Q&A Sites
- Social Media Networks
- Micro-blog Site [Twitter]
- Social Media Feeds | Updates
- Instant Messenger
- Discount Voucher | Coupon Sites
- Mobile App | Services
- Specialist Topic Sites
- Group Buying Sites
- Video | Content Sites
- Online Pinboards [Pinterest]
- Mapping Services
- Social Bookmarking Sites
While GWI’s research provides insights and direction for developing your content distribution game plan, your target audience’s preferences may differ significantly. So, you need to dig into the behaviors of your target audience and where and how they seek content and information.
And once you get your arms around that significant task, it’s a good idea to continually test your content delivery methods and make modifications based on your audience’s changing needs over time.
Copy and Paste just won’t cut it.
In order to fuel your content distribution activity over a period of time (what equates to an old school media flight), you’re going to have to do more than copy and paste the title of your post over and over again in an email blast or on a social network.
Why? It’s one of the best ways possible to turn off (or piss off) that select, custom media channel that you painfully built person by person over time to distribute your content to. And if that discerning audience senses that you’re mimicking a bot or using auto broadcasting tools that push out the same old stuff over and over again, you’re increasing the opportunity for them to remove you or unsubscribe you from their community.
Avoid the trash can.
Every content creator knows that it all begins with writing. So when you develop a content asset (think blog post, email, social post, etc.), chances are you’ve written more than a few titles for your content as it evolved through the creation process. This development and editing process creates important fuel for distributing your content.
During this writing and editing process, avoid the trash can or the delete key so that you save every digital thought and sound bite that you create. Why? Because after you publish, you can go back to your development draft and glean a slightly different expression of the title of your content or a key concept of the asset that you can use for:
- an email subject line
- an enewsletter subhead
- a guest author post title
- a social media campaign on facebook or Twitter
- an image description on Instagram or facebook
- a webinar invitation
The core idea here should be to avoid reusing the same headline or title again and again in your content distribution strategy. So leverage the key thoughts and alternative headlines that you’ve already created by using them in other media. The benefits include:
- sustaining the life of the content asset you create
- extending the reach your content
- improving the opportunity for others to see, share or comment on it
Don’t lose your voice. Or keywords.
As you refer back to your source creation file, don’t forget to focus on integrating keywords in your alternative headlines that target the focus of the content and enhance the opportunity for it to get found in search.
By avoiding overused cliches and integrating a personality that reflects a voice unique to you, you’ll keep your content interesting and make it more attractive to others.
Keep it up.
Trying to run a content factory or working on the assembly line producing content is hard work. And it’s never done. Today, those engaged in these activities understand that it’s the long game. Not the one time event.
More than ever, you need to develop simple recurring workflows and techniques that breakdown the formidable barriers that prevent people from producing content consistently. In an environment like this, what you create and develop before you publish should have real value too to help your content to get distributed, read and shared.
What did we miss?
What’s working for you on the content production assembly line? And what’s been a dud? Looking forward to hearing from you.