How to improve your online content distribution

Distributing your content can be a minefield, especially when it comes to manoeuvring the ever-changing world of social media. One analyst at independent research agency Forrester even called content distribution ‘a hot mess’.

So how can you ensure your content is marketed at the right people? OTB has the answers.

Understand your environment

Half the battle of spreading your content to the right audiences is understanding the context in which you are working.

Danish startup Falcon Social, who’s phenomenal success was recently featured in Forbes, have provided some valuable insights into understanding online content distribution that can be practically applied to your marketing strategy.

Their whitepaper argued that ‘distributing your content so that it has the greatest impact—both by increasing the volume of people it reaches and increasing the relevance of those people for your company—requires optimizing [sic] a mix of dozens or hundreds of possible channels, each with its own rules.’

While Falcon conceded that the solution varies from brand to brand and requires constant monitoring and modification, they suggest a number of key techniques that all marketers can apply;

  • Be “snackable" -  Falcon argues shareable content is satisfying, easy to consume and a little addictive, with a compelling hook to grip audiences and a format that works equally well across a range of platforms.
  • Create personas - ‘Knowing your audience is critical for optimizing distribution’, Falcon claims, and developing detailed personas to market towards can create priorities for who to target and when.
  • Quality over quantity - More isn’t always better, says Falcon, especially against the white noise of  fellow competitors. Consistency, loyalty and focus are the three words of the day, allowing you to create memorable campaigns rather than counting your daily social media output numbers.

Choose Owned, Earned or Paid channels wisely

Back in 2014 the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) argued that ‘a content distribution plan is essential to achieving desired results from […] content marketing efforts.’

CMI believes there are three main media perspectives that offer great opportunities to optimise your content distribution strategy;

  1. Owned distribution channels
  2. Earned distribution channels
  3. Paid distribution channels

CMI argued that the natural place to start your distribution plan is your owned channels. Whether this is your blog, website, an email newsletter, or even your own social media outlets such as Facebook and LinkedIn pages, nuance in where you post your content is crucial. Simply posting across every platform and hoping for the best isn’t going to cut it.

Although arguably the hardest to optimise and sculpt, earned distribution (such as coverage in mainstream media) can be very powerful. It offers a way to boost your reach without increasing output, and according to CMI is worth the effort it takes to research which publications offer most value.

Do your research

While starting from scratch may seem daunting, there is a huge amount of research into the best content distribution strategies readily available online that can help guide your strategy.

Particularly useful information can be found on a recent Hootsuite blog post, which has created a list of some of the best online content distribution channels and helpfully divided them into owned, earned and paid categories.

Among Hootsuite’s top recommendations are Wisestamp, a useful tool that can add your most recent social media activity to your email signature and thereby merge some of your most-used owned distribution channels.

Another useful suggestion from Hootsuite is PR Newswire, a global offering which allows organisations to submit content to their site and promises to distribute that submission to over 200,000 media sources around the world.

With so many tools out there to maximise content distribution, there are many ways to ensure your content reaches its intended audience and your organisation reaps the rewards.

How to improve your online content distribution