Inbound marketing can take time, so don’t get down on yourself if things aren’t panning out the way you hoped they would just yet. The results can stack up over time, so you have to be patient and consistent with your marketing efforts.

With that in mind, it might be a good time to start thinking about paid media. Distribution platforms can boost your reach and amplify your content significantly.

Pay-to-play strategies are gaining momentum in today’s post-content shock world, as it’s tougher than ever to connect organically with your target audience.

Paid content distribution helps you to stand out from the crowd and deliver your message to the right people. Used in conjunction with inbound philosophy, it’s a powerful medium. Value creation should still be your primary objective, as useful content will go a long way toward helping you achieve success with your ad campaigns.

Ready to give it a try? Use the following distribution platforms to get more reach for your content.

But first, what are distribution platforms?

Neil Patel from Quick Sprout calls them “Content Syndication Networks,” but regardless of terminology, these are ad networks that allow you to serve your content to “related posts,” “similar articles,” or “around the web”-type features seen in sidebars or at the bottom of articles on popular and established sites.

The advantages of being seen on known sites should be obvious, but with the right targeting, you can gain more than just “views,” and actually get your content in front of qualified leads and valuable customers.


Have you ever seen links to enticing articles in the sidebar or underneath posts on sites like Time, CNN, ESPN or Mashable?

What you saw was likely content served through Outbrain—the largest and most trusted content discovery platform.

With Outbrain, you can promote blog posts, articles, videos, slideshows, product reviews, media coverage, sponsored content and native advertising. You can target based on reader information, country, state, designated market area (DMA) and by device.

Best-performing headlines are shown more frequently, so make sure to work your copy and try different combinations. Use strong adjectives, numbers and questions, and keep headlines around 50 characters.


Mashable shows “Promoted Stories” below their posts—these eye-catching headlines are served through Outbrain.

Outbrain allows you to set daily, weekly or monthly budgets, and the more you budget per click, the more traffic you’ll see.

There are a couple of downsides to Outbrain:

  • It may take several days for your content to be reviewed and approved. If you’re targeting a particular date, make sure to plan in advance.
  • Limited analysis tools make tracking and measuring difficult. Use Google Analytics to monitor traffic coming from Outbrain.


Taboola works a lot like Outbrain, but instead serves content to sites like USA Today, Huffington Post and the Weather Channel. A comparatively inexpensive solution, Taboola allows you to promote all content types including articles, videos, slideshows, infographics and so on.


Sponsored Taboola links on the Huffington Post Website.

Taboola gives you real-time insights and has built-in advanced A/B testing tools. But make sure to keep the title length of your ads to 35 to 45 characters. They allow for a maximum of 60 characters, but longer titles could be cut off. Fortunately, they use 600-by-500-pixel images, so you have more flexibility.

You can target by country, device and even create clone campaigns to target different audiences with the same ad and compare results.

Taboola lets you set start and end dates for your campaigns, and define a daily spend limit. It would be wise to start with a bid that’s over your desired CPC. This will increase the speed Taboola’s algorithm tests your content. Once the campaign is working, you can change or remove your daily spend cap.

As with Outbrain, Taboola has limited analytics tools, which makes it difficult to track who is engaging with your content. Make sure to use Google Analytics to track clicks.


A programmatic advertising platform, Nativo automates the syndication of brand content to roughly 230 publisher websites, such as Entrepreneur, Maxim and Reader’s Digest. They make ads look natural within the flow of a website, and advertised content is viewed in-feed, which means users can view it without leaving the publisher’s website.


“Around the Web” links on Entrepreneur.

Nativo allows you to initiate three different types of campaigns:

  1. In-feed native display ads. These ads appear on social media sites.
  2. Sponsored content. Content that’s hosted on a publisher’s website.
  3. Content recommendation. Ads typically found at the bottom of an article on a relevant publisher site.

Ads can be set up in PubAnalyzer, where you can choose placements and add Nativo’s JavaScript code. Nativo works on a viewable CPM (cost per million) system, and the average vCMP is $12 to $20.

Targeting is a breeze with Nativo, as in addition to the filters you set, its programmatic technology serves ads on an impression-by-impression basis, and uses real-time data to serve the most relevant ads. You can target by demographics, location and device. You can also target specific keywords with contextual targeting.

You can embed Nativo’s JavaScript code to track site visits, page views and placement performance. You can retarget viewers with a retargeting pixel, and you can also use their real-time advanced A/B testing to track headline and image performance.

Final Thoughts

These platforms are just a few of those available. Based on your strategy and budget, it may be worth exploring others.

Paid media allows you to rise above the tide in a sea of content warfare. If you want to get more out of your content, you’ll want to start utilizing paid media as part of your overall strategy.

Learn how to maximize the visibility of your content—get your copy of The 2016 Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Paid Media today.