One of the most critical components of any good content marketing plan is having a strong distribution strategy. After all, what’s the use in producing content if you don’t have an audience to consume it?
Yet, content distribution can often be tricky, especially if your business has a very niche or difficult-to-target audience.
For example, let’s say you run a maternity clothing company and your target audience is pregnant women. This is by no means a small audience, but there’s no option in Facebook ads to target women who are pregnant. You might try using other indicators, like Interests in “Pregnancy” or “Motherhood,” but this still doesn’t give you a well-defined audience.
Or, let’s say you’re running a business targeting beauty professionals in Boston. You’re easily able to define your audience using the available criteria, but because you’re targeting a small niche in a small geographical radius, your distribution potential is quite limited.
So if you are a business with a small or hard-to-reach audience, what are your options when it comes to distributing content and increasing awareness of your brand?
- Retargeting Campaigns
The whole idea of retargeting campaigns is that you’re targeting folks who have already interacted with or expressed interest in your business. In other words, you have some way of identifying them – whether they’ve visited your website or signed up for your email list – which eliminates the need to try to define your audience with loose targeting criteria that might not be fitting for them.
Because your retargeting audiences have already self-identified themselves as a good fit for your product or service, retargeting campaigns offer a much better targeting option. They also typically yield significantly higher conversion rates compared to other ad campaigns for this same reason.
Not sure where to get started with retargeting? Here are a few ideas to help you dive in.
Retargeting audiences to test:
- Visitors to your website
- Visitors to your demo request, trial request, or pricing page
- People who have downloaded a specific piece (or category) of content
- Your email subscribers
- Your blog subscribers
- Your churned customers
- Your existing customers (to upsell them)
Types of retargeting to test:
- Facebook ad retargeting
- Display retargeting
- Remarketing lists for search ads
Don’t wait to start testing, especially if your current audience targeting isn’t yielding the results you want. You have these retargeting audiences at your fingertips – why not start leveraging them?
- Partnership Marketing
If your marketing efforts are limited by your own small audience, one strategy to expand your reach is to seek out some partnership marketing opportunities.
Start by making a list of other companies that target a similar audience, but are not direct competitors with your business.
Next, brainstorm some ways that you could do co-marketing with them. Co-marketing is when you partner with another brand to execute a marketing campaign that benefits both of you. For example, you might author an eBook or host a webinar or event together, and then you both get the leads you generate from it.
Get creative with it! Chances are, if the company you’re pitching a partnership to is already doing content creation themselves, they’ll be more excited about a new angle or opportunity that partnering with your brand might provide.
Reach out to the top several companies on your list and suggest some ideas. Be sure to emphasize how they stand to benefit from the arrangement, not just what you’re hoping to get out of it.
- Influencer Marketing
This one is a little trickier than partnership marketing, but if you can pull it off, you’ll likely get some really good results from it.
The idea behind influencer marketing is to identify people in your industry who are considered to be thought leaders and have a large following. Social media influencers, for example, likely have hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers or tons of Facebook fans. Other influencers might include reputable conference speakers, high-profile bloggers, media outlets, executives at top companies, etc.
Begin with a list of influencers in your industry, or who represent your audience in some way. For example, that might be the CEO of Revlon for the beauty professionals company. Or, for the maternity clothing company, it might be a well-known business woman who published a blog post arguing for better maternity leave policies in the US, which received millions of views.
There are also different tiers of influence, and you don’t have to shoot for the highest-profile people. Lay out your different options and think of how you might approach reaching out to them.
Because influencers tend to be very busy people who receive a lot of requests like yours, you might choose to take a more subtle approach. For instance, you could write a blog post that aggregates quotes or ideas from the top 20 influencers in your industry. Once you publish it, you can tweet the post to each of the influencers (or email them) to let them know you included them, and ask if they’d be willing to share the post with their followers.
Again, there’s plenty of room to get creative here, so be sure to try out a few different ideas!
- Referral Incentives
If you’re having trouble reaching the audience you want, who better to turn to than your existing customers?
First of all, they’ve already experienced your product or service, and if they have a high NPS score, they’re probably willing to recommend you to others.
Secondly, they likely know at least a handful of other people like them, who would also be a great fit for your business.
Why not leverage these two qualities to your benefit? Set up a referral program to incentivize your current users or customers to share your content or recommend your business to others.
Or, just start with a simple ask. Send an email to your best customers to let them know that they’re among your top 100 customers, and ask if they’d be willing to share your latest piece of content with their network. These emails usually work best when written with a very personalized tone. You might still find that referral incentives yield better results, but this is always an option you can test too.
Remember, just because your audience is tricky to define or target, doesn’t mean you can’t still do smart marketing. These suggestions are just a start; get creative and keep the ideas coming!