One of the most common yet overlooked pitfalls to successful content marketing is simple discoverability.
With as many as 27 million pieces of information being published every day, it’s not surprising that a content marketer’s biggest challenge is “getting content seen”.
We’ll assume for the purposes of this post that you’ve already laid the foundation for success and have:
- Strategically identified your targeted audience(s).
- Defined and documented your strategy.
- Created targeted, branded, purposeful content that’s useful, informative, entertaining, and drives the desired consumer behavior.
If you answered yes to all the above, and are still underwhelmed by your results, consider this: How long has your strategy been in place?
Does your content marketing strategy fit “today”?
As technology progresses, and consumer behaviors and expectations change with it, marketplace demands change almost daily. So it’s very easy for your strategy to slip out of alignment without you realizing.
Maybe yesterday’s strategy needs tweaking. Maybe your audience demographic has changed – even a slight gap can make the difference between success and failure. And likewise, maybe the information you’re publishing is no longer as relevant or creative or entertaining as it could be.
If you spend time tweaking your strategy, make sure you also spend sufficient time evaluating results. Depending on your business model, you may need to build “tweaking” into your monthly or quarterly schedule to ensure consistent success.
Amplify, amplify, amplify.
Effective distribution amplifies your content by increasing its visibility and sustainability so you benefit from a longer, broader reach.
You’ve heard people say, “throw enough mud on the wall and some of it will stick”. It’s evident that some marketers take that approach with their content but nothing’s a bigger waste of time, effort, and money – except creating great content without also creating an integrated distribution strategy.
3 Key distribution channels.
Where will people find your content?
There are three key streams to consider when planning your distribution strategy – your business model will drive where, how, and when you publish your content.
Some marketers combine these two categories but they are guided by different principles and policies, and you have different levels of control over each category.
i) Channels that you fully own and control, such as your website or domain-owned blog. You create, own, and publish the content as often as you wish, and no one but your organization has any control over the channel or the content you post.
ii) Channels where you “open and own an account”. Again, you create, own, and publish the content when and how you wish, but a third party owns the publishing platform and issues publishing polices and guidelines. They may also retain content usage rights, and in some cases, may control which of your account followers can view your content in their stream. Examples of these channels include social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., as well as the more generic (usually free) blogging platforms where you don’t own your own domain. While these are all considered Owned Channels, if you breach third-party policies, you risk having your account closed and may even lose your content.
(See also Content Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing.)
Earned Distribution Channels
As the name implies, this refers to channels that others own, but where you’ve earned free exposure – you’ve created such great content that others are inspired to share it on their blogs, social media platforms, newsletters, and websites, etc. You might also be invited to guest-write a blog post or feature story, or be interviewed in a podcast.
Paid Channel Distribution
You create, own, and publish your content but pay other channels for exposure. Think AdWords or paid-per-click ads (PPC). Social media ads on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Banner and display ads on other websites and blogs. Paid advertising fees vary considerably … and so do results. If you make this part of your strategy, do your homework up front. Paid advertising can get costly, and with some forms, it’s difficult to measure your return on investment.
Bottom line to “getting your content seen”.
Distribute the right content
to the right audience
on the right platform
at the right time.
If you’re not getting the results you want, it’s likely that one or more of the above components is out of sync. In that case, go back to the drawing board and evaluate each aspect until your strategy’s on point.
The proof of concept is always in results, and today’s consumer has far too many choices for you to make even the slightest assumption about customer preferences. If you’re not delivering the experience they expect – when, how, and where they want it – one click and they’re doing business with someone who is.
- Content Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing
- How to Increase Your B2B Content Marketing Effectiveness