Content Distribution Plan: Ultimate Guide

Successful content marketers use 5 different content distribution platforms when promoting their content.

If you’re investing in content creation, you should be investing in promoting it. After all, if your ideal customers never see your content, it’s not going to be generating ROI.

You need to have a content distribution plan to ensure your content acts as a tool to drive leads into your sales funnel.

In this article, we’re going to show you what is content distribution, why you need a content distribution strategy, as well as the main types of content distribution strategies, and methods you can put into action.

Let’s get into the article.

What is Content Distribution?

Content Distribution is the strategy and tactics you use to increase the reach of your content and get it in front of your target audience’s eyes.

There is a range of methods and distribution platforms you can use to share your content with your audience (we’re going to show you some of those further down in this article).

Having a clear content distribution and syndication strategy is a key to seeing short and long term success with your content. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best reasons to devise a content distribution plan.

Why You Need a Content Distribution Strategy

If you’re investing (or are ready to) in content marketing, then you’ll need a distribution plan. 

Here are some of the benefits of coming up with a clear distribution strategy:

1. More Traffic to Content

As you may know, just because you create content, it doesn’t mean anyone will turn up and read it. 

Seeing results from SEO alone takes time, with 4-6 months being a fair estimate. If you want to speed that process up and ensure your blog posts start paying off faster, promoting your content will be a great way to do that.

Once you start actively promoting your content it will be seen by more people in a shorter amount of time.

Content distribution means you won’t need to wait 4-6 months to see results from your blog posts and instead could start seeing results within days or weeks depending on how soon you distribute it.

2. Build Your Audience

The 80/20 rule for content marketing is growing in popularity. It means that you should spend 20% of your time creating content, and the other 80% promoting it. Now, this ratio is a little extreme.

Creating long-form content such as whitepapers or industry reports are time-consuming, and applying the 80/20 rule would lead to weeks of promotion and no time for anything else. Therefore, you don’t need to stick to that ratio, but keep it in mind as it highlights the importance of content promotion.

If, like 89% of marketers, you see brand awareness as a key priority, then spending time on content distribution is an effective way to build brand awareness among your target audience.

3. Increase the ROI of Your Content

The number one goal that most content has is a return on investment. If you can attribute leads and revenue to your content, you know you’re doing something right.

Content marketing ROI metrics can be tracked using Google Analytics or a similar tool, and it's always worth keeping an eye on what works for your brand and audience.

Once you start distributing and syndicating your content you’ll see increases in the metrics that matter, assuming your content is compelling and your call to actions are attractive to your ideal buyers.

What Are the Main Types of Content Distribution?

When talking about content distribution it’s important to remember that there is a multitude of ways to do it.

Here are the three main kinds of content distribution:

  1. Paid
  2. Owned
  3. Earned

Let’s take a look at what each of those mean

1. Paid Content Distribution 

Paid content distribution is when you spend money to promote your content. When talking about paid distribution, think of channels like social media: Facebook or Twitter Ads, Quora Ads, or even using done-for-you content syndication services like Internal Results. 

The key is that you pay for the content distribution and have complete control over audience targeting, budgets.

2. Owned Content Distribution

This is when you publish and promote content on the channels your brand owns. Examples of owned content distribution would be posting new articles on your company blog, hosting a landing page for your new whitepaper, or sending an email to your subscribers. 

3. Earned Content Distribution

Earned content distribution channels are those that involve third parties sharing your content on behalf of your brand. Common earned channels include PR, cross-posting on other blogs, or mentions on social media. 

What Types of Content Can You Distribute?

The first step to content promotion is having high-quality content. It sounds obvious, but you won’t see results if your content is thin, and doesn’t interest your target reader. 

Investing time in quality content will pay dividends once you start promoting it.

Here are some of the most effective types of content you can create and distribute:

1. Long-Form Blog Posts

There’s a reason that 55% of marketers say blog creation is their number one inbound marketing priority. Blog posts are an ideal way to showcase your knowledge and expertise on topics that your ideal customers care about.

In-depth blog posts are a great asset to use in your content distribution. They should provide clear value, as they’re based on a specific topic that your audience cares about and you will have spent time creating them.

You’ll be able to distribute them in many ways, too. 

Blog posts are a perfect content type to send to your existing subscriber list, and you can also run ads directing traffic to them. If it’s a truly amazing blog post, you’ll also have a great chance of it being shared around social media.

Blog Shares - Type of Content Distribution
Blog shares are a key example of owned and earned content distribution

2. Industry Reports

Creating in-depth industry reports are a great way to grow your top of funnel leads. 

Data-heavy articles are always interesting. People want to know what’s going on in their industry, from the latest trends to changes in the technological landscape.

If you have a source of unique and interesting data, then creating an industry report is a great idea. They’re highly shareable, and they will be eligible for all three kinds of content distribution (paid, owned, and earned). 

3. eBooks

eBooks are a powerful marketing asset that can work extremely well for content distribution.

Content Distribution using eBooks
eBook design by Hunter McLean on Dribble

They’re in-depth and extensive resources, and help build brand credibility with your target accounts. They’re also relatively inexpensive compared to other marketing assets such as media kits, as they’re completely digital and can be distributed digitally.

You’ll often find eBooks available as gated content because you can fill them with useful information and with a compelling call-to-action it's likely they'll be downloaded.

4. Webinars

Webinars are the ideal method to take advantage of earned content distribution. The average viewer spends 57 minutes in a webinar. 

There aren’t many other types of content that can engage your audience and keep them around for that long at any one time. 

If you want to take advantage of Earned Content Distribution, an effective way to ensure your webinar gets shared is by inviting a guest or co-host from a complementary company. Ideally, their company should complement yours, and not be a direct competitor.

They’ll bring their audience so you’ll see an increase in viewership, and it’s they’ll share the webinar invitation on their website, social media, and with their email subscribers.

Popular Content Distribution Channels and Platforms

1. Email Marketing

Arguably the original method, email marketing is still a very viable way of promoting and distributing your content. 

You can email your existing subscribers, or work with us at Internal Results to have your content promoted via email to your target audience.

You’ll be able to track what works, and what doesn’t in terms of subject lines, send times, and more.

It’s always worth building a dedicated email subscriber list, as email marketing has been shown to have a 38:1 ROI. Carefully crafted email campaigns are a powerful way to share your content at scale with key decision-makers and can be used as part of an ABM campaign.

2. Paid Ads

Paid ads (also often referred to as PPC, or Pay-Per-Click) is a powerful way to share your content. 

Depending on the platform you use, you’ll have different levels of targeting granularity, but in most cases, you’ll be able to narrow the audience down and ensure you’re only targeting the right people.

Targeting Ads to Promote Your Content
Target audiences by company name, industry, size, and more.

You can use Facebook to target lookalike audiences to your existing customers, or target audiences with a proven interest in the topics you’re talking about. 

LinkedIn is another popular channel to get your content in front of relevant companies and is ideal if you’re running Account-Based Marketing campaigns and want to show content to specific accounts.

3. PR Newswire

PR can be a great way to have your content picked up by large publications with relatively little investment. PR Newswire is a service that can help you with that.

It can be tricky to get your story picked up by larger publications and we’d recommend ensuring you have a truly PR-worthy story to avoid wasting money, but it can have big payoffs.

4. Outbrain

Outbrain is a popular paid content distribution channel that lets you showcase your content on other sites for a fee.

Outbrain for content promotion
Have your content show up on major publications (source: G2 Crowd).

It can be a great way to increase the reach of your content, and you can configure your targeting settings to ensure your promoted content only shows up on relevant articles and websites.

It’s best for companies that regularly produce content such as blog posts or whitepapers, as you can create ongoing campaigns and regularly add new content to it.

5. Telemarketing

Telemarketing is another viable content distribution method that will ensure qualified leads will see, and engage with your content (it’s also something that Internal Results can help you with). 

Using verified B2B contact data we’ll identify key decision-makers within target organizations and reach out to start a conversation around your newest content piece.

Our campaigns are designed to put your content in front of the right people, at the right time.

How Internal Results Can Help With Your Content Distribution Plan

At Internal Results, we help companies create and syndicate their content to boost content ROI and get in front of qualified leads.

Our multi-channel content syndication lets your brand target decision-makers across all major social media platforms, as well as executing targeted email campaigns, telemarketing, and PPC campaigns.

The content you share can be gated behind registration forms, and from there leads can read the content in their browser or save it for later.

All of the data we use for getting in touch with leads is GDPR compliant, and our database contains over 44 million B2B decision-makers complete with direct dials and email addresses. It’s the ideal way to get in touch with your ideal customers and share your latest, most valuable content and grow your lead pipeline. 

Wrapping Up

Having a content distribution plan is key to seeing success with your content. 

Whether you’re promoting it yourself, or working with a dedicated content syndication team like Internal Results, it’s the best way to increase the ROI of your content marketing efforts, and use your content to drive leads into your funnel.

Ready to learn more about how Internal Results can help? Discover more about our content syndication here.

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