In our recent post 14 Resources to Reference When Writing a Blog Post, we discussed various tools to use when blogging. Today, we'll introduce the other half of a successful blog strategy: distribution.
Each and every blogger wants their content to be seen. This is especially true in the B2B space, when buyers rely heavily on content before speaking to a sales representative. Yet often times, we belabor the creation of each post, spending hours, days, even weeks producing a single page of content only to naively throw the finished product on Facebook or Twitter and hope for the best.
This might work for a few posts, but the majority of time our distribution strategy needs to be more thorough and wide-spread. Here is a brief checklist to reference when you're ready to distribute your perfectly crafted blog post to the masses (or at least to your audience).
Blog distribution starts with, well, your blog. To help with organic distribution, make your post extremely easy to share. With easy-to-use code and user-friendly instructions, AddThis tools allow for easy engagement and drive more traffic to your site. You can pick and choose specific sharing buttons, along with the style that best fits your site.They also offer "Smart Layers", one easy-to-install single piece of code that includes all Sharing Buttons, Follow Buttons, and Recommended Content. Not just a pretty accessory, they also have the data to substantiate their product. According to AddThis, product users see 3x the social engagement and double the site activity. Tweet This Tool
If you have a standard blogging platform, you most likely already have an RSS feed built in. If your audience is subscribed to your RSS feed, they'll be able to read new posts in their feed reader without having to visit your site directly. Using a tool like FeedBlitz, you can create your feed, manage your subscriptions, and develop a great experience for your readers. The platform allows you to send customized automated emails for niche audiences to really nurture your relationship with readers. And for all you social media managers out there, with an RSS feed, you can make sure that your content is automatically posted across your social networks. Tweet This Tool
To manage your social distribution channels, I'd recommend using Hootsuite. Delivering your most recent posts via your social channels should rank high in your distribution strategy, but with 13+ social sites out there, it can be a messy undertaking trying to alert your social followers of your new post. Thanks to Hootsuite, you're able to schedule and distribute your new blog posts across all platforms in one centralized location. If you really want to streamline things, you can create, post, and share your articles with their available WordPress.org app. Tweet This Tool
4. Paid Social
Enticing tweets and imagery-rich Facebook posts aren't as powerful as they used to be. With recent algorithm updates (as I'm sure you're well aware), organic reach has plummeted. This means that despite the effort you put into sharing your new blog posts organically, the only way to get more social users to see your post is to pay. For Twitter, you can utilize their Promoted Tweets, which gives you the capability of targeting new users and paying on a cost-per-engagement basis.
Boosting a Facebook post is fairly straight-forward. Simply click the "Boost Post" dropdown and select the appropriate criteria, price, and target demographic. Tweet This Tool
5. MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact
Use a solid email marketing platform to create email newsletters and distribute content straight to your reader's inbox. This is also a great way to segment specific buyers and target them with relevant content, depending on what stage of the decision-making process they're in. You can showcase specific pieces of content, or curate a week's worth of blog posts. Here at Business.com, we gather our top performing posts for the week, customizing the messages to help small business executive and marketers run and grow their business. Tweet These Tools
This "content discovery platform" basically allows your posts to be seen across major sites like CNN and Fox News under their "Sponsored" or "Related" posts section. How? Simply provide your RSS feed (or individual links) and their algorithm serves your new posts to interested readers. At a recommended starting point of 35 cents per click, you can distribute your content across syndicated partners. Tweet This Tool
StumbleUpon is another "discovery engine". Affectionately-named "Stumblers", browse through pages and pages of randomly delivered content, rating their relevancy along the way. This doesn't sound incredibly effective, but with their Paid Discovery feature, you can target specific demographics and interests, paying for each unique visitor that arrives at your site or blog. Tweet This Tool
8. Guest Blogs
With Matt Cutt's recent discouragements, "guest blogging" has become a tainted phrase. But with the right guidelines, this method can still be an effective way to distribute content. Be picky about where you guest post, and really develop a relationship with the partnering site, rather than sending impersonal submissions. For more rules on guest blogging, check out Hubspot's best practices. Tweet This Tool
9. Click to Tweet
Similar to the AddThis tools, Click to Tweet is a great resource for generating organic social shares from within the content of your blog post. If you include any surprising statistics or tweet-worthy statements, insert a "Tweet This!" link next to the copy of choice and allow readers to share specific details with their social network. When the reader clicks on the link, the Twitter status box will appear with your predetermined message. Remember to include the message, link, and your Twitter handle when creating the Click to Tweet link. Tweet This Tool
GaggleAmp is a great social content delivery tool that leverages the power of employee networking. You basically sign up for the site, invite people into your "Gaggle" network (this could be employees, partners, or customers), and load the messages you want them to share. Employees then have the choice to share already crafted messages with their social networks- ultimately growing your reach exponentially. The platform gives you a reward management functionality, allowing you to motivate employees to share your posts in a fun and exciting environment. Tweet This Tool