You've just created a solid piece of content that you're excited to share with the virtual world. You're sure that whoever sees it will be eager to share it. But you aren't sure of how to get the word out, where it should go or whom it should go to.
What you need is a content distribution plan.
Content distribution is just as essential as content creation, because there is no point in content existing if people are not seeing and sharing it. One strategy is the 80/20 rule: Spend 20 percent of your time creating content and 80 percent of your time promoting it.
According to research conducted by Buzzsumo, 50 percent of articles posted garner eight social shares or less, 42 percent of which come from professional marketing blogs. Why? Because many companies put little to no effort into their distribution and promotion strategies.
So how can you ensure that your marketing materials are seen and acted on?
Research your audience
The best way to gauge what content to produce is to create a buyer persona, which is a profile detailing your ideal customer based on market research.
You want to know as much as you can about your ideal audience. Think about who you want investing in and sharing your content. How old are they? What do they do? What are their interests and hobbies? You have to create and distribute with your buyer persona in mind, always.
A good way to learn more about your audience is through Google Analytics. Pay attention to what content is performing better than the rest. Look at how each piece of content is doing based on how many visitors there were, how long it was until they abandoned the page and if they were converted into subscribers.
If you invest time in creating a buyer persona, you're able to tailor content to your audience's specific needs so they are more inclined to interact with it. And with that, you'll increase your promotion and distribution.
Create specific goals and KPIs
Once you create one or two solid buyer personas, you'll want to set goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are specific measurements of performance that show you how well your goals are being met.
Think about how many shares you'd like across each platform you distribute through. How much engagement do you expect from your audience? What number of views do you want to reach monthly and yearly? Think about the percentage of growth you'd like to see in the upcoming year and write a number down.
Now create a schedule for your content using a content calendar. Schedules are important, because they prevent your promotion process from getting stale by planning distribution in advance. Content calendars let you see weeks, months and maybe even years ahead so that you can plan your content strategy accordingly.
The key is to optimizing your distribution strategy from the beginning to ensure actionable results and meet your goals.
Promote content through various channels
You can't publish a blog post and then sit back waiting for the views and shares to trickle in. You have to take action every step of the way. So what can you do?
First, post to various platforms that suit your audience. If you're a flower shop trying to get the word out about your new seasonal bouquets, platforms like Facebook and Instagram might be great options for promotion while Pinterest and LinkedIn might not. Always keep your targeted buyer in mind when promoting.
Next, let's review some different channels you can use to promote your content.
The most common social mediums to choose from are Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Facebook garners 2 billion active users every month, and at any given minute, 350,000 tweets are being sent on Twitter. Social platforms have a lot of potential customers.
But sharing your content once and then forgetting about it won't get you the traffic you want. Remember the 80/20 rule? You have to spend most of your time promoting your content if you want tangible results.
Social media automation tools give you more time by allowing you to schedule what's going to get posted, when and how often. This lets you post at the most engaging times during the week since research shows that, generally, weekday afternoons are best.
When consumers were asked how they wanted businesses to reach out to them, 72 percent said email was their preferred format. This beat social media, television ads and print media.
Email marketing is essential in distributing content. For every $1 spent on email marketing, there's a $38 return on investment (ROI). Your subscribers are already invested in your business because they chose to opt in to your emails.
If you already have an email list, email your subscribers each time new content is published. You can also add it to your newsletter if you have one.
Editor's note: Looking for an email marketing service for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to be connected with vendors that can help.
Another way of getting your content noticed is by promoting it through question and answer platforms. Quora and Reddit are great for content-sharing and allow you to form genuine connections with potential customers while organically growing your subscribers.
Quora is a simple question-and-answer site, while Reddit uses threads, or subreddits, to ask for input. Users on these sites follow threads and subreddits specific to their interests. You can look at categories that match your content and read through the questions. Then respond with your expertise and use backlinks to your site or product.
If you're evaluating how to organize a content marketing distribution plan, there are a few key things you have to do. Know who it is you're targeting as customers, create goals you can measure specifically, and utilize different mediums to promote your content or product. The more you plan how to distribute content in advance, the better your results will be.