Content distribution helps brands share and spread content to their audiences and beyond. Distribution methods include company newsletters, organic and paid social media, employee email signatures, employee advocacy, paid media distribution, syndication, curated content hubs, and SEO.
In 2018, eMarketer released its report B2B Content Marketing 2018: As Usage Nears Saturation, Still Lots of Room for Improvement. Saturation point? So all your hard work is potentially getting ignored? Maybe. We’re living through a content explosion. While you may not be surprised by the idea of a “content explosion,” you may be surprised how big it is.
- There are close to 2 billion live websites online.
- People and brands send over 500 million tweets per day.
- People are watching over a billion hours of video on YouTube every day.
That’s an insane amount of content competing for your audience’s attention. Sure, not all of that content is a direct threat, but taken together it becomes a huge distraction.
Creating superb content alone isn’t enough to capture people’s attention anymore. Without an effective content distribution and promotion strategy, all your content efforts will fall flat. Check out these must-have tools and methods for content distribution and promotion.
Content promotion and distribution tools
1. Social sharing
Social distribution and promotion are probably already part of your strategy, but the process is such a time-consuming hassle if you post to each social media platform individually. Instead, think about using a social media management tool or your marketing automation software to speed things up by adding your blog’s RSS feed.
Most social media marketing solutions have an option that allows you to add your blog’s RSS feed to automate the steps of adding new blog content to your social sharing schedule. If you’ve written a good title and set up some social-friendly images, your posting platform of choice will pull that information into the system. You can breathe a little easier on publish day — no manually posting.
Remember to think beyond the launch day of each piece of content, too. The lifespan of social media posts is fleeting. Schedule your content via your social media dashboard for promotion multiple times the day of publication, the day after publication, and in the weeks to come.
Tools to consider to ramp up your social promotion include:
2. Company newsletters
Before you skip this point because you think email is dead, think again. The Radicati Group reported in its Email Statistics Report, 2018 – 2022, that the number of email users will reach 3.8 billion in 2018 and surpass 4.2 billion by the end of 2022. So don’t rule out newsletters.
When you’re putting together your newsletters, make sure to highlight your freshest content. Yes, you have it available on your website already, but not all of your subscribers want to look for it. Some people want you to tell them what’s new and why they should read or watch it. Market your marketing and remind your subscribers about the insightful and engaging resources you provide.
There are tons of email marketing solutions for you to consider. Three options that PCMag gave a 2018 Editor’s Choice designation to are:
3. Email signatures
Whether it’s enterprise-wide or just your own, an often overlooked way to share your latest and greatest content is the simple email signature. Organizations using Google Business, Exchange Server and similar solutions can create consistency among employee email signatures. Work with your company’s administrator to create an additional line on email signatures to promote the latest content.
Want a little more pizzazz on those signatures? Here are three tools to ratchet up the wow-factor.
4. RSS feeds for blog content distribution
RSS feeds aren’t as popular as they were several years ago, but they are useful and worth exploring. An RSS feed can serve multiple purposes when it comes to content distribution. Here are three of them to consider beyond the social media example discussed earlier in this post.
- Automate your newsletter using RSS.
- Make it easy for people to subscribe via readers like Feedly.
- Add an RSS feed to a public channel in your company or community Slack.
5. Curated content solutions
Smart content marketers understand that you have to include other thought leaders’ content in the mix. Through curation, you can show your audience that you are someone with your finger on the pulse of your industry.
Beyond sharing other people’s content, curation options also allow you to add a little “brand flavor” through insightful commentary. Plus, if you’re building a curated content hub, there’s no reason you can’t curate your own posts into the mix as long as they complement the other content — or even contrast it to show an opposing viewpoint.
Three options using content curation in your content efforts include:
- Content hubs using a tool like Scoop.it
- A curated newsletter using Curated.co or Nuzzel
- A curated magazine with Flipboard
6. Content distribution networks
Content distribution networks and content discovery platforms provide content creators with both paid and free opportunities to spread the word about your latest posts and more. Some of them, like Quuu Promote, offer brands a way to pay for social media distribution through its Quuu.co content suggestion network.
Other paid content distribution networks focus on getting your content listed on properties like ESPN, CNN and other high-profile sites. These services provide you with options for native advertising.
Beyond Quuu Promote, here are three other distribution and discovery options to consider include:
Content promotion and distribution methods
7. Guest blogging
While you may not use guest blogging to distribute your content, you can use it to highlight and promote your existing content. Just be sure to pick relevant sites, and don’t over-optimize the links in your post for SEO. Otherwise, you could get penalized by Google.
What’s the biggest issue when it comes to link over-optimization? Exact-match keyword links that take people to your website — these can tank your rank. Check out Gotch SEO’s Anchor Text: The Definitive Guide to learn more.
And of course, write for the audience of the website that’s hosting your post. If you don’t, the effort is wasted (and you weren’t a very good guest). A well-written, well-placed guest post can bring nice referral traffic to your site and engagement with your content.
Try these three tips to improve your guest posting game:
- Select sites that are in your niche or industry vertical. The most wonderful post on a well-trafficked site will fail if the website is not relevant to your audience.
- Find a way to work in a natural reference to your content, but don’t be overbearing or sound unnatural (like your just in it for the links).
- Promote your guest post and tag the site or site owner in your promotion. People who know that site or brand may be more inclined to read your article after seeing that association.
8. Influencer marketing
Take the time to build relationships with influencers in your industry. If you don’t, you’re missing out on some excellent content promotion opportunities. A link to your content shared by the right influencer on Twitter or cited in the right story on a high-authority blog could send traffic to your site through the roof.
Not sure where to look to find the right influencers? Check out these options.
- Triberr’s Tribes to create your own “tribe” or join a group with interests similar to your own
- IZEA influencer marketing software and community
- Ambassador word-of-mouth marketing and referral software
9. Employee advocacy
Speaking of influencers, employees may be one of your most overlooked content distribution options. It’s not the mid-2000s anymore. It’s time to ease up on social media restrictions in the workplace. However, you shouldn’t roll out an employee advocacy without a little honest evaluation of your company culture. If the culture stinks and people aren’t happy, participation in advocacy programs will be lackluster or worse.
If you do have an engaged workforce, an advocacy program instantly arms you with more social media points of distribution. You’ll have actual people — not just your logo — sharing content with your audience. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, 42 percent of people have lost faith in brands. That makes the power of your socially savvy advocates even more important.
Put together an employee advocacy program that:
- Trains employees how to use social media effectively for their careers.
- Creates libraries of vetted media and posts.
- Provides some easy-to-understand guidelines.
- Makes it fun and easy for employees.
It won’t be easy to set up an employee advocacy program if you work in a regulated industry, but it’s worth the effort to at least learn more and talk with your HR department and executive team about the potential ROI an employee advocacy program could yield.
Three employee advocacy tools to check out are:
10. Public relations
Whether it’s you or your PR team, someone should pitch content to industry trade publications and journalists. Just like with influencer marketing, a mention on a key industry website or news outlet can mean increased credibility and traffic and more downloads or views of your content.
Three resources for your PR-related content efforts include:
- Cision for earned media management
- Buzzstream to build and nurture relationships with site owners
- HARO to learn about opportunities to speak with a journalist about your brand
Is a blog post just a blog post? Are the ideas in your eBook trapped inside that PDF? No way — not if you know how to repurpose your content.
Take your in-depth posts, white papers and ebooks and start planning ways to slice and dice that content into different pieces. Those repurposed content snacks can link back to or promote the high-value content asset (gated content).
Here are three easy options for repurposing your content. Don’t forget to mention a link back to the original content!
- Lumen5 for a quick video recap
- An infographic summarizing key data points
- A live video stream recap of the post (Facebook Live, Instagram, SnapChat, Periscope)
While SEO is more about pulling in content readers rather than pushing content out to your target audience, it’s still worth remembering as part of your content promotion strategy. For each new piece of content, ensure you follow best-practice SEO recommendations. Check out Brian Dean’s Definitive Guide to SEO in 2019. His guide gives you ideas of where you may need to evolve your SEO strategy.
He hits eight important SEO topics, but three hot topics specific to content creators include:
- Ranking content in the featured snippet
- How to win with comprehensive, in-depth content
- Going all-in with video
Market your content for content marketing success
When it comes down to it, content marketing becomes another product you need to market. Take time to distribute and promote quality content before rattling off the next post or video. Spend more time on creating fewer but higher-quality pieces, then take the time to distribute and promote that content to maximize its impact.
Which distribution and promotion tools and tactics have you had success with? Which ones are you going to try next? Share on social media using #ClearVoice.