How to Distribute Content Effectively Across Multiple Channels
Your content is great. You’ve been applying new strategies and learning how to master the art of storytelling to make your content more engaging.
But now what? This is useless if you’re unable to distribute it to your audience.
I see this problem all the time when I’m consulting businesses. They have excellent writers who know how to write great blog posts, but nobody is reading their work.
The key here is learning how to distribute your content so it can reach the widest audience possible.
If you’re using only one distribution channel, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Some of you may be thinking, “If it’s on my website, someone will eventually see it.”
That’s not true. You can’t rely on your website alone for content distribution. That’s because people consume information in a wide variety of ways.
For example, if you have a B2B company, you should be aware that majority of your content is being viewed on desktop computers.
B2C companies, on the other hand, need to put more emphasis on optimizing their mobile websites for Google searches.
But effective content distribution goes way beyond the types of devices your audience is using. Using multiple methods of distribution gives more people a chance to see your content.
Use this guide as a reference for how to successfully deliver content to your target audience. Here’s what you need to know.
Establish an active presence on all your channels
Your distribution won’t be effective if you’re adding content to each channel only once per month. If you want more views and engagement, the first thing you need to do is make sure all your platforms are active.
This is the best way to make sure that as many people as possible have regular access to your brand.
Start simple. How many social media profiles do you have? Create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube if you haven’t already.
You’ve been adding new subscribers to your email list, but how often do you send them messages?
People subscribed to your emails because they wanted to hear from you. They follow you on social media because they are interested in your products and services. Don’t let them down by going silent.
While you should post often, make sure you don’t get too carried away. Otherwise, this strategy could backfire and you could be perceived as annoying.
We know that 57.5% of social media users unfollowed a brand on social media because they thought the brand posted too many promotions.
Find that middle ground. Post content daily, but do this without blowing up your followers’ timelines.
Understand your audience
As I said earlier, not everyone consumes content the same way. Conduct research to clearly identify your target market.
Once you know whom you’re trying to reach, it will be easier to figure out how to target them based on their consumption habits.
First of all, think about the platform you’re distributing on. This will tell you how your audience wants to consume.
For example, take a look at your Instagram followers. If you’re debating what you should post on your Instagram profile, stick to pictures and videos. It wouldn’t be effective to write short blogs in the caption of a photo.
Instead, focus your website on more text-heavy content, such as blogs. Send newsletters to your email subscribers. Keep your Twitter audience updated with short newsworthy headlines.
Does this make sense? Make sure the content is tailored to each channel based on your audience consumes.
But you also need to realize not everyone has the same social media preferences. Take a look at some of the differences between how Millennials and Baby Boomers consume content:
If you’re targeting Baby Boomers, you’ll be better off using Facebook as a primary distribution method. Don’t use hashtags. Give them written content.
But if your brand is targeting Millennials, you’ll need to focus more on Instagram, hashtags, and photos to have an effective marketing strategy.
Timing is everything
So, you just wrote a new blog post. Now what?
Do you instantly share it on all your distribution channels at once? Not necessarily.
You can add it to Facebook on one day and Twitter the next. Add a promotion to your Instagram story a few days later to drive traffic to your blog post.
Here’s the thing. There is going to be some overlap between your followers on different distribution channels. You don’t want to bombard them all at once with the same marketing pitch.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. They open Facebook and see a link to your new blog post. Then they log into Twitter and see the same headline.
Later that day, they’re reading through their emails and see you emailed them a link to that blog post as well. This is overkill. Plus, it can annoy your audience. They want to hear from you, but not that often.
You also need to consider the actual day and time when you’re posting new content. The optimal time will vary based on the distribution channel:
Use this as a guide to make sure that as many people as possible can see your posts. But this will depend on what you’re talking about.
For example, let’s say your brand is releasing some type of breaking news that’s time-sensitive. Obviously, you shouldn’t wait until the next optimal time to tell your audience.
You’ll want to get this information out on all of your channels right away. But if it’s just a general discussion topic that’s not time-sensitive, it can wait.
Make sure your content is relevant
The best content is always on topic and relevant to your brand.
Yes, I know that earlier I talked about breaking news as an example of time-sensitive content that should be shared right away.
However, that doesn’t mean you should be sharing every news story you hear.
For example, let’s say your company manufactures home furniture. There’s no reason for you to be alerting your customers with weather updates unless, of course, this weather is somehow impacting your business, such as a delay in shipping.
Also, earlier I said you should distribute content on different channels based on a specific time or day of the week.
But that doesn’t work if you’re promoting an advertisement or offer that expires soon, such as a flash sale.
Take advantage of automation tools
As I said earlier, you’ll need to stay active on all your distribution channels. But I realize this can be a challenge.
You’re busy. I get it. I’m sure you’ve got dozens of tasks you think are more important than posting new content.
If this sounds like your situation, you’ll definitely want to try some of my favorite time-saving social media marketing tools.
Automated tools can make your life much easier. For example, take a look at Hootsuite:
The platform allows you to schedule your social media posts automatically. This can save you a ton of time.
Now, you can write a new blog post and then schedule the post on the day and time that will get the most engagement depending on the platform.
It’s easier to do this all at once instead of manually posting each time.
You can dedicate just one or two days a week to schedule your posts and let the automation tools take care of the rest of the work for you. Plus, seeing everything in a calendar view on the platform will help you make sure the distribution is even.
Repurpose old content
This piggybacks on our last point. You’ve got to work smarter, not harder.
If you have some marketing materials or documents written a couple of years ago that are still relevant, you can reuse them.
You may have written a very informative blog post with lots of data and facts to back up your claims. But at the time, you didn’t have the marketing skills to get it distributed to a wide audience.
The views and engagement on that page were really low. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring that post back to life. You’ve got a couple of options here.
First, you can write a new article on the same topic, changing the title. Use your old post as a reference to make the writing process go faster.
Or you could republish an old post with updated statistics. Here’s an example of how HubSpot uses this strategy with its blog posts:
Statistics change over time. This is especially true when it comes to marketing data. That’s why I always try to use the most recent sources to back up my data.
HubSpot recognized that the research they conducted in 2012 was outdated. So, they updated the statistics and republished an old post.
Your content must be shareable
Did you notice anything else in the HubSpot’s example above?
The post is plastered with sharing icons. Readers can distribute this content to others with just a click of a button through channels such as:
Including these icons makes it much more likely that readers will share your content. Otherwise, you’d have to rely on them manually copying your link, opening a new tab or window, and then sharing it with their friends.
It’s too many steps to be an effective strategy that you can rely on.
There are other ways to approach this strategy as well. When you share posts on social media, you can try to encourage user-generated content as a distribution strategy.
Run a contest or promotion that requires a re-tweet, post, or share as an entry submission.
This will get your content in the hands of as many people as possible.
Leverage your relationships with influencers
As you can see, you don’t have to distribute content alone. In addition to your followers, you should form relationships with social influencers.
These people already have an active audience engaged with their posts.
When a social influencer shares something, their followers will be likely to follow up to find more information.
Don’t think you need to pay big bucks to work with a celebrity. In fact, you may have better luck working with micro influencers:
This strategy is valid on all your distribution channels. Nearly 40% of Twitter users have made a purchase based on an influencer’s tweet.
Further, 70% of teenagers say they are influenced more by YouTube personalities than traditional celebrities, and 40% of Millennials say they can relate to their favorite YouTube stars even more than they can relate to their friends.
Make sure you find an influencer who speaks to your target market. It’s a highly effective way to distribute your content.
Track your results
When running any marketing campaign, you’ve got to use analytics tools to see how effective your distribution strategy is.
Most of your platforms will have these tools built-in. You can track engagement with your email marketing software as well as your social media networks.
If you’re using third-party tools to distribute content, they will provide accurate analytics. This is a great opportunity for you to evaluate your methods and make adjustments.
Stick with strategies that are working well. Fix the areas that need improvement.
Your content is useless if nobody sees it. That’s why you need to figure out how to get it in the hands of the widest audience possible.
The most effective way to do this is by leveraging multiple distribution channels.
First, you need to make sure all your channels are active. Understand your audience and give them content they want based on their preferences and platforms.
Focus on timing and relevance. To save time, take advantage of automation tools and bring old content back to life.
Make sure all your content is shareable. Use social influencers to help with your distribution strategy.
Always track your results so you can determine if your methods are successful. If you follow these tips, you’ll have higher engagement and conversion rates from all your distribution channels.
Which marketing channels are you using to distribute your content successfully?
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April 23, 2018 at 10:08AM