In 2016, getting results from your content has never been tougher. Creating content is tough enough. There should be a support group for writer’s block. But today, once the content is created, there is still more work to be done.

There is a lot of competition out there, and anyone with a small budget and a bit of time can set up a website, publish blog posts, create social media accounts, and get their content syndicated and distributed to various free platforms. And many do.

To rise above the clutter, not only do you need to create valuable and worthwhile content, you have to keep doing it to meet and even exceed reader expectations. Additionally, the need for highly personalized content is increasing, and is even expected.To stay competitive, it has become necessary for inbound marketers to consider paid content distribution. The build it and they will come ideal is misleading at best (thanks for nothing, Kevin Costner). It’s just not a strategy to be embraced in today’s online space. Anyone who succeeds with this approach is the exception and not the rule.

Let’s consider, in more detail, why inbound marketers need to consider paid content distribution.

How Has Inbound Marketing Changed?

The term inbound marketing was first coined by HubSpot co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan. The core defining principles of inbound marketing, however, have existed for well over a century.

In Google Trends, we can see that interest in the search term “inbound marketing” has been steadily increasing since 2009, and is still on the rise.

But what was once a buzz term only six or seven years ago has fast become the go-to strategy in online and digital marketing.

In 2014, eight out of 10 people identified themselves as blog readers, and 23 percent of their time was spent on social media sites.

But Google algorithm updates continue to shake things up. “Mobilegeddon” and Quality Update in 2015 are still fresh on a lot of people’s minds, and 2016 is far from over, with an unnamed update and the AdWords Shake-up already released.

There are more blogs than ever in the same spaces competing for the same keywords, and relying on any one source of traffic is increasingly risky, as search engines and social media sites continue to update their algorithms as trends come and go.

The principles of inbound marketing are still relevant and incredibly effective. But becoming the go-to source of information and holding the attention of your target reader/listener/viewer over the long-term is a difficult task even for the most experienced businesses.

Paid content distribution is about amplification. Inbound marketing is effective, but you can take things to the next level by leveraging paid promotion. Creating quality content can be time-consuming and expensive, and if you want to get the most out of it, you need to get it seen by as many members of your target audience as possible. There has never been a greater opportunity in paid content distribution than nowOpportunities In Paid Content Distribution

Opportunities In Paid Content Distribution

There is no shortage of paid content distribution channels to explore. Whether you’re looking to promote a blog post, guide, or eBook, paid media can help you to get more views, more engagement and more conversions.

From a broader perspective, here are several categories for paid content distribution:

  • Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many others would fall under this category. The effectiveness of social media ads tends to exceed that of standard banner ads. Best of all, they tend to be cheaper, too.
  • Content discovery platforms: StumbleUpon is a prime example of a content discovery platform that allows users to pick categories they’re interested in and “stumble” through content related to their chosen topics. Although StumbleUpon doesn’t offer much by way of targeting, you can use it to get a high number of page views inexpensively.
  • Pay-per-click: Some of the most popular pay-per-click (or PPC) platforms include Google AdWords, Yahoo! Bing Network, and PPC ads typically show up in search results and on partner sites displaying ads, and can be effective when targeted correctly
  • Content syndication networks: Content syndication networks are similar to PPC networks but focus on promoting blog posts, articles and other relevant content. These are usually seen on popular sites like Forbes or CNN, and show up under headings like “related posts” or “similar articles.” Outbrain, Zemanta and Taboola are all examples of content syndication networks.
  • Social marketing automation tools: These are tools that allow you to upload your company data and deliver targeted ads to many channels at once, including popular social media and PPC platforms. GoChime offers just such a service.

Best Practices

Here are several things to keep in mind when you are using paid distribution to promote your content:

  • Know your audience and leverage your data. Paid opportunities often allow you to target a specific audience. By collating your data and determining the demographics and psychographics of your audience, you will be better poised to create ads that reach the right people at the right time.
  • Determine which channels to use. This goes hand-in-hand with surveying your audience and gaining an understanding of where they like to hang out online. Your ads will be more effective if you know where your audience is and how to get their attention.
  • Determine which channels to use. This goes hand-in-hand with surveying your audience and gaining an understanding of where they like to hang out online. Your ads will be more effective if you know where your audience is and how to get their attention.
  • Create a strategy and a budget. Based on your target audience and which platforms you will be promoting on, make sure to establish a strategy that guides your promotional activity. Create a budget for paid promotion and let your plan guide your activity.
  • Develop high-quality content. Create high value content with your target customer in mind. Promoting low value content could tarnish your reputation and result in poor performance. Also think in terms of top-funnel. What is something you could share with new audience members that would solve a problem and give them a reason to connect with you on an ongoing basis?

There is a growing opportunity in paid media, and there has never been a better time to start exploring the possibilities. If you want to amplify your content, get more views and engagement, and earn more sales with your content, it’s time to start paying to play.

For a deeper look at what paid opportunities are available across the web, get your copy of the 2016 Inbound Marketer’s Guide To Paid Media today.