When it comes to digital marketing, we’ve all heard the mantra, “Content is king.”
It may have snuck up on you a few years ago, when quality content – and the amount of it on our site – became the leading factor in how well web sites would rank in search engines.
As marketers, we had no choice but to brush up on our writing skills and to start expanding our brands’ catalog of content.
And it wasn’t easy.
But you did it.
As marketers, we’re investing more time than ever into producing content, with companies spending an average of 15 hours a month writing it. In fact, the length of a typical blog post has also gone up to an average of 900 words, an increase of 10% in one year alone.
But now it’s time to be honest with yourself.
Has your content really gotten you anywhere?
What most content marketing plans are missing
If content marketing still has you a little perplexed, you’re not alone.
In fact, 64% of content marketers feel like they don’t use their content effectively as a tool.
While a lot has been made about keywords, length, and content quality, there’s one key element that millions of marketers are forgetting when they develop their content: Distribution.
How will YOU distribute your content? That’s right. That content that you spent hours writing, that you brainstormed about for weeks, that you factored into your marketing plan during your most critical time of year. How will YOU get others to read it?
It’s really not surprising that we’ve all forgotten about distribution. We’ve been told that content is king, and that if we follow the rules and write according to what search engines want, the traffic will come. In fact, it will flood in, right?
Our blog posts will get pinned. Our white papers will go viral on LinkedIn. Our YouTube video will make it onto TV. In fact, the journalists will be calling US, clamoring for OUR expertise! (Quick! We’ll need to hire an agent!)
Now, if you’ve had success just because you wrote some content and posted it to your web site, please, please tell us. We’d love to know your secret.
But we suspect that most of you aren’t experiencing rockstar success every time you publish a piece of content. We suspect that you’re in the 64% of marketers who are scratching their heads, waiting for that content to finally pay off.
Don’t forget this key component of a content marketing strategy
The good news about distribution? You don’t need to produce more content or even content that’s higher quality. By incorporating distribution into your content strategy, you’ll improve your quality in search engines and gain more eyes on your content than ever.
How to make content distribution work for you
So where do you start? Content marketing seems to change every day, and there certainly are more options than ever for getting your content out there. Fortunately, we’ve broken it down for you.
1. Your Website
We tend to tuck away our content on our blog page, hoping that site visitors will be intrigued enough to wander over there and discover all the great content we’ve been hoarding making.
Get in the practice of using your own website to promote your content. Your homepage likely gets the most traffic, so create a CTA or slider image that promotes your latest piece of content.
Running an ecommerce business? There’s no reason a customer’s site visit should end after they’ve purchased. Deepen your relationship with customers by linking to your latest content on your order confirmation page.
2. Your Blog
Having really robust, resourceful content is a great attribute of a brand, but even the best brands have to work for the attention. If you’ve created a white paper or ebook, use your blog to blog about it – even more than once. Just be sure to change up your blog image and space out those posts.
Then, make sure that blog post gets views and starts working for you. Include social sharing options on your blog post. Make it easy for readers to share all the great insight you’re offering. You can even create a “lazy tweet” that sends a prewritten tweet about the content to their followers.
3. Social Media
This is probably one area where you’re already sharing your content, but could you be doing it better? HubSpot recommends kicking it up a notch and swapping out your Facebook cover photo to an image about the content. Then, you can make a similar looking post about the content on your Page. Pin that post to the top of your Page to call even more attention to it. Similar strategies can be done on Twitter and LinkedIn with your backgrounds and cover photos.
In terms of paid social, Facebook offers the ability to target “lookalike” audiences, those who are similar to the people who already follow your Page. Boost your content in front of this audience for a nominal fee to increase your distribution.
Email marketing is still a great tool, especially when you’re sharing something of value. When your content is ready to share, send it to a segmented group of customers who you truly believe will be interested in it. Remember, relevancy is key in this medium, so make sure this segmented audience may really enjoy it. Otherwise, you’ll see your unsubscribe numbers go up.
5. Your Employees
Often overlooked but vitally valuable to sharing your content, your employees are distribution powerhouses right under your nose. They’re knowledgeable about your brand, trusted by their peers, and connected to more people all together than your company most likely is.
In fact, brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees versus through official brand social media.
So how can you make it easier for your employees to be engaged?
Employee advocacy platforms like Social Horsepower are becoming increasingly popular for good reason. Content on these platforms gets shared by employees 38 times more frequently than if it were just sent in the ol’ company newsletter, and these platforms give your employees a simple way to share your content with their social networks. The result? Employees boost their thought leader status, and customers get insight from a voice they already trust.
Success in content distribution
As you begin to plan your content calendar for 2016, don’t forget to include your distribution channels. Be sure to track the incoming referral traffic from each medium and evaluate which works best for you.
We’d also love to hear your feedback in the comments below!
What channels have you found more effective for distributing your content?
What’s been the best way to boost social sharing for you? How engaged are your employees in sharing your content?