October 27, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Effective business-to-business (B2B) content distribution can mean the difference between a content marketing campaign with high returns and one that fizzles out. Even with the best content in the world, if you’re not putting it in front of people, then you’re not going to be creating much traction. Luckily, content distribution doesn’t even have to cost our business.
By making use of earned and owned content distribution channels, we can expand the reach of our content completely for free. If we want to accelerate our progress, then dipping into paid strategies is the way to go. With all these options available, it’s no wonder B2B content distribution can get a little confusing. In this guide, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about B2B content distribution:
Image via Oxford College of Marketing
B2B content distribution is when a business takes content that they’ve created and publishes it across many different platforms. While a company blog often comes to mind as the first place that a piece of content is published, it’s not the only platform you can see success with. There’s a range of ways that marketing teams can go about B2B content distribution. For one, you can split it into several key categories. Each category represents a different distribution strategy you could turn to. There are several types of B2B content distribution channels you can use:
Earned content distribution is any circumstance where your content is published by third parties without you asking them to do so. A great example of this is when a journalist shares one of your articles on Twitter. Alternatively, another blogger could reference your writing in a post they create.
As the title suggests, this content distribution is earned, not given. Unlike other forms of B2B content distribution, this one is a little harder to control. As you’re not asking anyone to republish or share your content, all distribution that falls under this category is up to someone else. Most of the time, this content distribution comes through social sites like:
Shares, mentions, industry roundups, product reviews, and everything that you’re not paying for and is on a third-party site falls under this category.
This is the most traditional form of B2B content distribution. Most of the time, B2B companies have a decent marketing budget and want to get their products out there as fast as possible. This is where paid content distribution comes in.
If you’re paying money to feature your content somewhere or to use an advertising service, you’re falling firmly into this second category of content distribution. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads come to mind, being one of the most common paid strategies. Beyond this, there is a range of distribution methods that are common in this category:
Across these areas, paid content distribution is one of the most popular forms of sharing content. Especially for brands with huge marketing budgets, this is often the place where funds come in.
Owned content distribution is often the most underrepresented distribution strategy. Using this approach, you publish your content on any other platforms that your company owns. What starts off with posting on your blog could turn into a multi-channel marketing strategy. Anything your company owns, like a mailing list, newsletter, or social media accounts, becomes the forefront of this strategy.
Many people overlook owned content distribution. Of course, the range of viewers that see your content isn’t going to be quite as vast here as when you’re using PPC. That said, this can be an invaluable tool when done correctly.
Leveraging your own audience with content distribution can bring more traffic to your blog posts. Especially when releasing a new product, using a staggered owned content distribution strategy ensures that more people see the launch over time. What’s more, as the people seeing this content are already familiar with your brand, this strategy can actually have much higher interaction and conversion rates. So it’s important not to overlook owned content distribution.
B2B content distribution helps expand the reach of content. Instead of your content only being seen by those that happen to be on your site for its publication or through natural traffic, you increase the odds by extending your reach. Whether you engage in earned, paid, or owned media, your distribution strategy will help you reach the objectives of your content marketing campaign.
Every marketing team under the sun engages with content marketing. Creating content and publishing it is what we do. But that’s really only half of the story. Effective content distribution is the other half, and might even have more of an impact. When you engage in content distribution, there is a range of benefits that your business can expect:
Content distribution allows you to place content across multiple platforms in front of as many people in your field as possible. According to Envisage Digital, WordPress receives over 70 million new articles every single month. That’s a lot of content. If you’re going to stand out from the masses, you can’t hope that people stumble onto your website. You need to take your content to them.
Posting across multiple different distribution channels ensures that your content is everywhere consumers are. They could be scrolling through social media, and they find a summary of a recent article you’ve posted. Maybe they decided to head over to LinkedIn, and then they see your post. You want to fill the platforms that your audience uses with your content.
As people start to see your content everywhere, they’ll recognize your brand. Brand recognition and visibility are vital for success, with this being a high-impact method of boosting these metrics. Over time, people will start to think of you as a go-to source of information. At that point, B2B leads will be rolling in.
If you post an article on your blog, you’re giving that content a singular chance. There’s one place on the internet where users can go to read it, with no hints leading them there. Yes, people could still find the blog through organic search results. And yes, some people will just stumble upon the post on your blog. But you’re really not making it easy for yourself.
Using a B2B distribution strategy, you’re able to spread your content as widely as possible. You’ll direct people to that page on every site that they’re on. With more points of entry, the possibility of your content catching someone’s attention increases. Over time, this leads to more interaction and engagement with your content. Sometimes, a “more is more” approach is the way to go, here.
When you create a piece of content and post it on your blog, you’re putting all your eggs in that basket. However much it costs you to produce that content is now a fixed figure. All your returns are based on people coming to that blog and interacting with your content. Most of the time, this will lead to a very low ROI.
If we take that same content and distribute it across our social platforms, the chance of conversion suddenly becomes much higher. Taking increased visibility and engagement into account, we’ll also have a higher chance to convert. With more people clicking on your site, there’s a higher chance that someone will convert.
By expanding the reach of a post, we can potentially improve the ROI. Instead of posting content on your blog and hoping it brings in users, you can take an active role in the process. B2B content distribution is about bringing more people to your site by going out and finding them.
What’s more, when repurposing content for different sites, you’re saving yourself time. What’s going to take you longer – creating a weekly newsletter about your industry or just summarizing an article you’ve already written? Content distribution doesn’t have to involve lots of effort.
B2B Content distribution and promotion are two terms that are continually mixed up in the world of marketing. While there are certainly similarities, the biggest difference is about who you’re targeting. With content distribution, you’re placing your content in front of the right people. You know your audience and where they are, and you place content purposely so they see it. Simply put, you can think of it like this:
So promotion is like a numbers game. You want as many people to see your content as possible, so you share it wherever you can. The main purpose of the promotion is to get eyes on the content and boost your brand visibility. Content syndication would fall into promotion. While they engage in similar strategies, they’re not the same thing.
Now we understand the benefits of this strategy, it’s time to turn to execution. Nowadays, we’ve got a lot of different possibilities when it comes to distributing content. From social media sites to podcasts and even email lists, there are almost too many channels to consider. So to help you begin, we’ve outlined some of the most popular channels to use in your B2B content distribution strategy:
Especially when it comes to earned distribution, social media sites are the holy grail. Most of the time, you’ll be able to post links to your articles and instantly bring in replies and comments. Thanks to sites like Twitter, a retweet from one notable figure could result in an immense boost in traffic to your site. Whether it’s on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or even TikTok, social media sites are fantastic places to distribute your content.
Considering how much traffic these sites get, you have a very high chance of bringing in a new wave of eyes when expanding onto these websites. Plus, sites like Facebook have a suite of marketing tools that you can put to use. With the precision of their advertising software, you can put your content in front of absolutely anyone—if you’re willing to pay. Starting paid campaigns on social media can be an easy way of getting traffic fast.
Considering how much content is posted on these sites, it can be hard to break through naturally. A little of your marketing budget can go a long way here. With retargeting tools, you can create marketing loops with fairly high engagement and conversion rates. This makes social media platforms best for those ready to dip into paid distribution. Here are two to consider for your strategy:
The B2B world lives and breathes LinkedIn. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny the social reach it has within business circles. After we dodge past the over-the-top inspirational posts, LinkedIn can be a fantastic place for sharing B2B marketing content.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, LinkedIn is the social media platform that B2B content marketers use most. That’s almost 100% of content marketers using the platform in the last 12 months. This just goes to show how effective this platform can be for getting your content in front of the right kind of people. If you’re looking to distribute your content effectively, LinkedIn should always be a starting point.
Whoa, curveball, right? For most people, Quora is a Q+A site that we might accidentally find ourselves on now and again. Most of the time, you’re looking for a simple answer, and Quora shows a whole essay. The fact is, those essays are repurposed content made by B2B marketing teams. Surprisingly, Quora has a huge audience, with over 300 million monthly visitors.
Of those 300 million, 5.3 million actively work as upper management, VPS, or directors. Quite simply, the audience that you’re looking for is active on Quora. All day, people post fairly general questions. These are questions that Google—and your content—has answers to and can often help you form good keywords to target.
For example, you just might see a question like “What is the importance of B2B Content Distribution?” And in response to this, someone may have repurposed their own article on the topic and posted it in reply. The user gets an in-depth answer, and the author gets potentially thousands of views on their profile, content, and backlinks to their site.
While a lot of marketers may overlook it, Quora can be a fantastic place to distribute your B2B content. Considering the number of questions users post each day, you’ll be able to find one that matches the content you’re creating. Overall, distributing your B2B content across Quora in addition to your other channels is an unexpected and effective strategy.
In our modern age, almost every single site we post on is actually owned by a third party. Even your social media pages on Twitter and Instagram aren’t actually yours. While you have control of them, your accounts could be closed at any moment. While this probably won’t happen if you’re following the rules, it does call into question what you would do if these accounts were suddenly inaccessible.
An email marketing strategy is so important because it’s something that you have total control over. Building up a mailing list for your business comes back to your own efforts. That list of emails is something completely personal to your company. The fact that people have actually signed up for your content is also a promising sign.
Moving to email when distributing content is a fantastic way of increasing traffic. Even as we push further into the 2020s, email marketing still comes out as one of the top ROI strategies for marketing teams. For every dollar invested, companies can expect even more in return when using email marketing. As a platform that’s completely in your control, B2B content distribution through email can be a high-impact strategy.
As we briefly touched on earlier, influencer marketing is a rapidly growing field. And for a good reason, this strategy holds the potential of getting a high ROI. Customers love recommendations, with word of mouth being a leading marketing strategy. When working with an influencer, you can directly give your content to them to comment on, repost, or reply to. Not only do you work with a notable figure in the industry, but you also then get access to their audience.
One thing to take note of here is that influencer marketing in the B2B world can be costly. We only recommend this strategy if your industry aligns with the market. Equally, if influencers aren’t really a thing in your area, then maybe skip this one. A good way of assessing if this is right for you is to check what your competitors are doing.
And you can do this easily with the CopyPress content marketing analysis tool. Generate a report on the content areas that your competitors are focusing on. If you notice that they gain a lot of backlinks from influencers, then this could be a winning strategy in their arsenal. As with all good content marketing, knowing what your competitors are up to is a huge piece of the puzzle. Plus, you’ll find the gaps in your content that you’re currently not targeting. Using this insight, you can plan content around the topics you haven’t covered that your audience engages with the most.
It’s fair to say, we’ve got a lot of choices to make when it comes to B2B content distribution. From what channels we pick to whether we go for earned, paid, or owned content, you’ve got some thinking to do. Often, we suggest taking a blended approach.
By focusing on a little bit of each technique, you’re increasing your range across the board. Not only does this save money, not having to pour our budgets solely into PPC, but it can also lead to more effective results. Ready to plan your content strategy? Schedule a call with CopyPress’s team of experts. We’ll help you plan content creation and distribution strategies that achieve goals and get the results you want.
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