What Is Content Distribution?

Lauren Oliver


December 12, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

Social networking service concept. Influencer marketing. Concept for what is content distribution.

Content distribution is a crucial factor in the success of any brand’s content creation. You should build a content marketing distribution strategy that integrates seamlessly with your creative efforts to best reach your target audience. As a result, an in-depth understanding of content distribution and how it works is a must-have resource for every business owner. This article walks you through content distribution, its benefits, and some fantastic tips to help increase your brand visibility:

What Is Content Distribution?

Illustration with two people promoting content marketing, concept for what is content distribution.

Image via Freepik by Storyset

Content distribution is the process of sharing content with your audience in various formats across many channels and media platforms. With so much content out there targeting your audience, a content marketing distribution strategy is essential in helping you distribute your content, gain a competitive advantage, and get your brand message to those who need to see it. This can be anything from an ebook to help build your email list to a new blog post.

Think about it. Every day, there is new information and trends that brands hop on. So, how do stand out in the crowd and you reach your audience with the value they need despite all the noise? The trick is to distribute your content strategically. In other words, producing content is only one step. Distributing the created materials comes next.

How will your audience become aware of your product, what it does, or how it can assist them in achieving their goals if they need to see the content you’re putting out? That said, let’s explore what types of content you can distribute.

Read more: Your Guide to B2B Content Distribution

Types of Content You Can Distribute

There are different kinds of content formats you can describe across a variety of channels, and this usually boils down to your goals and KPIs. These can include:

  • Blog posts
  • Guides and whitepapers
  • Long-form articles and pillar posts
  • Case studies and success stories
  • Infographics
  • Research projects
  • Checklists
  • Landing pages
  • Templates and e-books
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Newsletters
  • Social media posts.

3 Types of Content Distribution Channels

Business owners have several options regarding the media and platforms through which they can distribute content. However, your choice will depend on your available resources and audience preferences.

For instance, free media like Linkedin can be a great distribution channel if you cater to many career professionals or companies. On the other hand, if your audience is much younger, like Gen Z, owned channels like TikTok or Instagram may be more effective. Here are the three categories of content distribution channels:\

1. Paid Media

With this type of contribution distribution channel, you pay to access and use paid media to increase the audience for your content. This includes different sites that display paid advertisements, social media advertising, publications that publish sponsored content, and influencers that have been paid to promote your content. For instance, with sponsored content, you distribute your content by leveraging a person, brand, influencer, or publisher. This should be a publisher or platform that already caters to your demographic and buyer profiles. This way, they fit naturally with your brand.

2. Owned Media

Owned channels are those that your business owns and operates. Examples include websites, social media profiles, blogs, email newsletters, and YouTube videos. Owned media is entirely under your control and is not governed by or influenced by the activities of others. For example, you can post content about your core offerings to your target customers using your website. This means you can structure your content however you want and decide how and when it goes out.

However, it’s vital to remember you may not own the platform on which some of your owned channels are housed. For instance, while you may control your website’s platform and its content, for an owned channel like Instagram, you can’t control the algorithm or regulations of the platform. Instead, you can only manage your own page.

3. Earned Media

When another person shares your content, this is referred to as earned media. This kind of content amplification may come about as a result of marketing initiatives like public relations and direct media outreach, or it may happen naturally. For instance, if you post an article on LinkedIn that becomes popular and is read by thousands of people. You received greater exposure at no further cost to you. Instead, you earned it by publishing high-quality content. Examples include word-of-mouth, shares, reviews, and reposts by you or other people.

Read more: Marketing Distribution Channels for Content Strategy

Some Benefits of Having a Content Distribution Strategy

Why should you invest in an effective content distribution strategy? Simple. There are quite a few benefits to distributing your content, including:

Increased Shares

Your content can generate substantially more social shares if you increase its exposure by obtaining coverage or paying for placements on reputable media outlets. Earned media attention will develop a life of its own and generate social media shares with a link to your article. In the same way, native advertising and other paid media will drive more people to your content, increasing shares.

More Traffic

By distributing and promoting your content on various distribution channels, you improve the visibility of your content. And this can work wonders for generating more traffic to your business platforms, including your brand’s website, social media channels, and even your brand’s gated content, such as eBooks and newsletters.

Greater Awareness

Your target audience and potential customers can only view and interact with the content they know about. In other words, you need to ensure they know that your content is available. Thankfully, an effective content distribution strategy can help you achieve this. You can increase awareness and visibility by distributing your content to a well-liked media source or community your target audience frequents.

Increased Conversions

At the end of the day, the primary goal of content creation and distribution is to get your audience to take action and boost conversions. Thankfully, increased social shares, traffic, and exposure from earned and sponsored media can help you gain more conversions if you optimize your content for this.

Read more: 12 Types of Content Distribution Strategies for Your Company

How Does Content Distribution Work?

A content distribution strategy is essential to guarantee that each piece of relevant content reaches the target audience. But where and how do you begin? Here’s a five-step approach to planning a successful content distribution strategy:

1. Research Your Audience

This is the first step in developing a successful content marketing distribution strategy. Researching your target audience can help you identify the people you want to share content with. To learn as much as possible about your ideal consumers and target audience, creating an audience profile or customer persona is a great place to start. Research your audience’s age, geography, interests, and more using tools like Google Analytics or social media analytics.

In addition, you can gather input from your present consumers to better understand their current problems and opinions of the content you are producing to develop your buyer persona. You want to ask questions like:

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they active?
  • Why are they curious?
  • When do they log on?
  • What are they asking of you?

2. Prioritize Specific Content

Not every piece of content you own needs to be distributed. By carefully evaluating your existing content assets, you can determine whether the content pieces you already have are worth promoting and can produce results on a particular channel.

You can do a content audit to help discover solid, high-value content that could get better engagement and awareness for your brand. Also, determine the right mix of content to distribute. Here, you want to consider the characteristics of your audience, the rules of engagement, and their communication style. Where does your audience primarily hang out? How do they prefer to interact? Would the audience’s preferred channels go well with the tone of your brand?

Additionally, is your team organized to deliver content across the variety of channels you decide to target? Depending on your brand, you could focus heavily on owned media, including your landing pages, blogs, newsletters, and shared media like social, content partnerships with independent third-party websites, and sponsored content.

3. Explore Your Content Distribution Options

There are many content distribution channels to explore. However, the most successful ones are those that your target audience uses. For instance, Facebook will be a much more effective content distribution channel for you if you’re targeting a localized audience made up of Baby Boomers. Therefore, the first thing you want to do is assess your buyer profiles to identify the channels that will drive the most results.

In addition, you also want to explore the relative value of each publishing platform and channel before sharing your content there and selecting the ones that best meet your objectives. For example, promoting an ebook on LinkedIn may be much more effective than on Instagram. Another effective method of information distribution is email marketing. Email allows you to share content with people who already know you and your brand.

As you make a list of outlets to expand your distribution network, you should also consider your available resources. After all, you may not have the resources to focus only on using social media ads as your main distribution channel. Also, when considering the language and tone, you’ll use on different content distribution channels, keep your target audience in mind at all times.

Related: Content Distribution Checklist: 12 Items for Engagement

4. Decide Which KPIs to Track

Depending on which content distribution channels you employ and how you approach your promotional plan, you’ll typically have to track different KPIs to determine how effective and productive your strategy is. For instance, if traffic or reach is your critical performance indicator, you can consider using unique page views as a metric. Also, you’ll need to clearly define your content distribution goals to have a standard point of comparison for your KPIs. Using the SMART criteria is an excellent option in this regard. Here are some examples:

  • Specific: I want to boost organic traffic to my website.
  • Measurable: I want the site to have 30 fresh backlinks.
  • Achievable: If you’re already getting 15 to 20 backlinks, you can set 40 as an achievable goal.
  • Relevant: This campaign fits perfectly with our company’s overarching objective of broadening our clientele and name recognition.
  • Time-bound: I want 30 fresh backlinks over the next 80 days.

Always ensure these objectives and KPIs are tailored to your content and distribution strategy.

5. Measure and Evaluate

The last step in developing a successful content marketing distribution strategy is to measure and assess your plan in light of how effectively your content is doing with those KPIs and objectives. What content is generating the most traffic? What kind of content is driving the most traffic to your website?

Keep an eye on the numbers as you distribute your content. This is because the data you collect can give insight into which content formats and channels are most popular with your audience, which may help you decide which content to prioritize. Then, based on these performance metrics, you can assess and revise your distribution plan as needed.

Read more: How To Plan a Content Marketing Distribution Strategy

Should Different Content Types Have Different Distribution Strategies?

Absolutely! A common mistake many brand owners make is using a one-size-fits-all content distribution plan. But you shouldn’t. Here’s the truth: different content types drive different results depending on the distribution strategies used. For instance, video or audio content will generate better results on platforms like Youtube, Instagram, etc. You could also create excerpts of a long video to distribute on your social media platform or create audio snippets.

On the other hand, distributing an ebook will require a much different approach to yield maximum results. Therefore, you need to strategically approach content distribution and leverage the best platform/strategies for different content types. And having high-quality, authentic content isn’t always enough to immediately gain the kind of attention you want. This makes content distribution crucial for increasing your audience and brand recognition in general.

Align Content Distribution to Your Content Strategy

Each content marketing distribution channel in this article can be helpful when you use each independently. But when you combine them, you’ll have a powerful marketing force that can broaden the audience for your content. So, don’t let the awesome content you create go to waste. Instead, leverage a content distribution strategy that helps you reach your audience and improve your brand visibility.

And with CopyPress, your business or agency is in expert hands. We help clients identify opportunities to improve content strategies, leverage promotional and distribution approaches, and create plans that support their business goals. Schedule a strategy call or reach out to the team to learn how CopyPress can help your business or agency level up its content marketing.

Author Image - Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver

Content Manager at CopyPress

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