Content Distribution: Finding the Right Audience for Your Blog
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Did you know that nearly 4.5 million blog posts get published every single day?
Anyone who has a digital business presence knows how important blogging is. As longtime digital strategists and content marketers, we could rattle off the benefits of blogging all day long – but for the sake of this post, we’ll narrow it down to our top five favorites:
- Blogging lets you showcase your unique brand personality.
- Blogging helps you develop and strengthen relationships with customers – new and existing.
- Blogging allows you to demonstrate your industry expertise to build brand trust.
- High-quality blogging improves your ability to appear on search engine results.
- Blogging creates endless opportunities for sharing and networking.
Now, your ability to reap these benefits ultimately boils down to one common denominator: content distribution. Without a solid game plan for distribution, even the greatest blog in the world can go completely unnoticed. Unless you want your business blog to function as a personal diary, you need to invest in a distribution plan.
We hate to speak in absolutes like this, but that’s the reality.
In the marketing world, there is an 80/20 rule in blogging. This rule states that 20 percent of the time should be spent creating the blog, whereas the other 80 percent should be spent promoting the blog. This may sound extreme, but it’s crucial in finding (and expanding) an audience.
So without further ado, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of content distribution!
What Exactly is Content Distribution?
At a basic level, content distribution is a method of getting your content in front of the right sets of eyeballs. While this might sound simple at first, there are many different factors that come into play.
For one, you need to know who exactly the blog post is aimed at – the target audience.
- Who will find it most interesting?
- What questions do they have that lead them to your blog?
- What are their motivations?
- What is important to them in a piece of content?
Secondly, you need to know which channels are best for sharing your blog.
Where Does Your Target Audience Like to Spend Time?
- Niche websites?
- The list is practically endless.
Third, you need to understand the different methods of getting your content into the channels where your target audience hangs out. This is where you have some options. Let’s talk about the big three types of content distribution.
1. Owned Media Content Distribution
Owned content distribution involves the channels you own. These are the “gimmes” if you will – the channels over which you have complete control. Owned content distribution would involve in-house channels like:
- Your blog section
- Email newsletters
- Social media profiles
2. Earned Media Content Distribution
Earned content distribution channels are ones that were given to you by others. These are insanely important in reaching new readers with your content. These will include (but are not limited to):
- Social media shares from others
- Mentions from influencers or other bloggers
- Rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs)
Of the three main elements of content distribution, earned is by far the toughest.
3. Paid Content Distribution
Paid content distribution does wonders to boost your blog’s visibility if you’ve got the coin.
You can place your content at the top of your chosen channels with the “ad” or “sponsored” tag. Common places to do this include:
- Facebook Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Google Ads
- Influencer marketing (in some cases)
- Press releases
Now, paid content distribution is not for every blog.
It all depends on what the end goal for the post is. For instance, if you have your blog post set up as a lead magnet, the paid route can be a fantastic option. If the post is purely educational and designed to build trust, spending a bunch of money on paid promotion might not give you the ROI to justify the budget.
Your content stays at the top of the channel until you stop paying.
What’s the Best Approach to Content Distribution?
Like most answers to general questions in content marketing, it all depends.
Developing a content distribution plan is not something you can patch together in an afternoon. Before your fingers even hit the keyboard to create the content, there needs to be a plan for how to get it in front of the target audience.
As you begin creating the content, you should have a strong idea of:
- Who the content is created for
- Where the target audience prefers to consume content
- What questions the content works to answer
- What channels will be most impactful on
- The long-term value the content will provide – both to you and customers
Once you have clear answers to these criteria, you’ve got the building blocks of your content distribution strategy.
For the remainder of this guide, we want to shift gears to discuss the steps in a foolproof content distribution plan. Let’s dive in.
How Foxxr Distributes Content
The distribution phase of content marketing starts once the post is published on the client’s website. At this point, we’ve mapped out the structure of the content, established the SEO parameters, and our editorial team has completed the post.
Now, our strategists will get the ball rolling to get the message in front of the right eyes.
1. Sharing the Content on Social Media
Obviously, we’re going to start with the “gimme” distribution opportunities – your owned media channels. As soon as the post is published on your blog, the next (immediate) step is to push it out on your social media accounts.
To do this we use the Publer tool.
For each of our clients, we connect their social media accounts to Publer – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google My Business, and more. The platform then syndicates your content to the social media profiles. When we connect Facebook, we have the option to connect your page, location, and group with Publer. With LinkedIn, we can add both your personal profile and business page.
Now, once your profiles are connected, you can schedule when it will go live on your pages. Posts can be published manually, auto-scheduled, recurring, or set up to recycle the post after a certain timeframe.
Obviously, we want to post your content at the day/time likely to get the most engagement.
With each posting, Publer gives us a fantastic data rundown – including your post’s reach, engagement, mentions, and more. The information we get here will be crucial in finding the best times to post.
This process will take some research/analysis on our end – and maybe a bit of trial & error. Once we understand when to post for optimal engagement, we’ll set an automated schedule for your postings.
Now – why and when would we use the recurring or recycling feature for content marketing and distribution?
This depends on the blog content produced. If it’s a timely post – related to trending news – there probably won’t be a point to recycle or reuse it. On the other hand, if the post is evergreen – meaning it will be relevant no matter what day/time it is – we can post the article on your social media feeds again and again.
For example, if the post is “X Tips for Buying a Used Car” – the information will always be relevant.
So Why Publer?
The social media scheduling + distribution field is dominated by tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. If you want to learn more about the differences among these tools, you can read this case study from 99signals. We don’t want to say one is better than the other, but we prefer Publer for a few key reasons.
- Publer allows for post recycling – Hootsuite and Buffer do not.
In our content strategies, we aim to produce a lot of evergreen content for our clients. We believe clients should get the maximum value out of each blog – and each should serve as a lucrative asset for as long as their site exists.
- Publer allows up to two additional team members to join the dashboard.
Buffer and Hootsuite do not allow any additional team members to join. For this reason, Publer helps us stay on top of ALL of our clients efficiently.
- Publer allows watermarks and signatures.
We want to make sure our clients can brand each of their social media posts as they wish. Unfortunately, Hootsuite and Buffer do not have the capability for this.
- Publer allows Google My Business Integration
This is huge for us (and you). Your Google My Business (GMB) profile is a massive hub for your digital presence. Google loves to see that you’re active online and contributing value to customers. With this in mind, we want to make sure you are consistently pushing out fresh content via GMB. This will do wonders to improve your SEO and build trust with customers.
These are just a small handful of the reasons why we love using Publer to share content on social media.
2. Distribution and Promotion of Content Through Paid Ads
For phase two, we’re going to move beyond our earned media channels into paid content distribution. When the blog post is published on your site, we’ll send it off to our seasoned paid ads team to promote it using Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
Before we run any paid ads, we will establish a crystal-clear end game. Nearly every blog post we promote with paid ads will be designed to educate, then encourage readers to get in contact with your company.
For example, if we create a blog post on the importance of mold inspections, we’ll use the post to convince readers why they need to get their home checked out, then provide a clear call-to-action – which would be a phone number and/or contact form.
Once this is established and the post is ready to rock, we’ll get it set up on paid ads.
The overarching goal of paid ads is to get readers to convert – whether that means scheduling a consultation, booking an appointment, buying a product, etc. To do this, we need to get people to click on the link to the post.
With this in mind, our main objective with Facebook Ads will be Link Clicks to drive targeted traffic to the content.
In terms of Google, we use two different types of ads to promote content.
- Search Ads
Search ads are placed at the very top of Google’s search engine results page with the “Ad” label – you see these all the time.
These ads are triggered by certain keywords using a bidding system through Google. Our search experts will research and bid on the keywords that are most relevant and valuable to your content. We will then bid on them so your content shows up at the top of related searches.
- Discovery Ads
Discovery ads are pieces of native advertising that show up in a multitude of Google feed environments. These ads are known for being visually rich and have exceptionally strong “intent”.
The intent is based on the signals Google collects from users – past site history, downloads, videos watched, map searches, etc. These signals are then used to distribute the most relevant content to the most interested users.
In our case, this involves placing your content ads in the places most likely to get engagement.
The Google Discover feed reaches 800 million users across the globe, and Discovery ads are picking up a lot of steam in the online marketing space. This tactic is one of the most powerful ways to get your content in front of target customers.
3. Distribution of Content through Google My Business Posts
To reiterate, Google My Business profile is a major hub for your online presence. A consistent stream of fresh content is extremely important in showing the all-powerful Google that you’re the real deal.
As soon as the blog post is published, we will plug it into our handy dandy Publer tool to promote it on GMB for your target audience to see.
4. Reaching Out to External Sources Mentioned in the Article
Now, to tackle the last of the three content marketing and distribution tactics: earned content distribution.
This is by far the hardest piece of the puzzle – it involves reaching out to site owners and external resources. Here’s how we do it:
1. Link out to authoritative resources in the content
As our writers create your post, they will make it a point to include links and mentions within the content that point to high-authority websites. Including reputable resources in your content improves the credibility of the piece.
For example, if we’re writing a post for a lawyer-client, we might want to include links within the content pointing to top legal news publications like Law.com, Legal Desire, and Legal Reader. These are well-respected blogs in the legal space – and including resource links from them will benefit us.
2. Create an outreach list
Once the post is live on the website, we will create a list of the external resources we cited and plug them into an outreach list using Buzzstream. This list will be made up of the contact information of the site owner or relevant party.
3. Ask them to share your content
In the outreach email, we will let the site owner know that we have given them a link to their website in our blog post. We’ll tell them what we liked about their resource and why we felt it was valuable to include.
From here, we will ask them to share our content on their own channels so their audience can see what we wrote about them. The goal is to get your post in front of their audience – which is likely going to be quite sizeable. If all goes to plan, they will be happy to give our post a share and expose it to their followers, giving us some valuable earned content distribution.
5. Creation of Unlinked Mention Campaigns
When it comes to earned content marketing and distribution, we need to keep very, very close tabs on what we’re working with – this includes unlinked mentions. Unlinked mentions are when an external website mentions your brand name, content, or anything else that is unique to you.
These unlinked mentions are prime opportunities to earn valuable backlinks.
For this part of the process, we will set up an alert system in Ahrefs by the title of each article so we can track mentions across the web. Now, chances are, a lot of these mentions are going to be linked back to your website/content – as we more than likely created these. But we want to be extra sure we’re not leaving anything on the table.
With this in mind, we’ll filter for the mentions of your content in which there is no link. With this list of unlinked mentions, we will compile the contact information for all the respective site owners. From here, we will use Buzzstream – our favorite outreach tool – to send emails asking to turn the unlinked mentions into linked mentions.
These linked mentions will do a lot to help our SEO efforts and increase the credibility of your content – and subsequently your brand presence.
6. Repurposing the Content
Repurposing blog content is a no-brainer in digital marketing. Users consume content in all shapes and sizes these days – and by only producing blog posts, you’re severely inhibiting your ability to reach new audiences.
Repurposing your blog posts allows us to create several forms of a single message and promote them individually with different content distribution methods.
For example, say we published an article on “5 Easy Steps to Winterproof Your Home”.
We can take the highlights of this article and compile them into a concise, flashy-looking infographic. By converting your popular blog posts into infographics, we can streamline the messages and promote them through a variety of infographic submissions and image-sharing websites.
Fun fact: a HubSpot case study once found that infographics receive over 170% more inbound links than standard articles.
Now, infographics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content repurposing. There are practically endless possibilities. Some of the main ways we repurpose blog content include (but are not limited to):
- Converting the article into a downloadable guide/cheat sheet.
- Pull key information from the post and connect with reporters on the HARO platform (Help a Reporter Out) to answer their queries.
- Create PDFs of the blog post.
- Streamline the information into SlideShare presentations
- Convert the information into a branded video.
- Break the post’s messaging up into social media posts.
In many ways, blog posts are just the foundation of a content strategy. Repurposing it and sharing it on different platforms is the best way to get the biggest bang for your buck.
7. Syndication of Content
Content syndication is when you take the content you’ve created and distribute it on third-party affiliate platforms. This is usually one of the easiest forms of earned content distribution. The purpose is to reach broader audiences – those who would otherwise not know your blog exists.
Our goals with content syndication are to:
- Reach a wide audience
- Boost your site/blog traffic
- Educate potential customers and showcase your brand value
- Boost your brand authority and presence across the web
- Increase lead generation
From here, we’ll conduct thorough research and learn which platforms would be most ideal for your target audience demographic and goals. Content syndication can either be free or paid, depending on the platform. We’ll start with the easy ones where you get immediate access – Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn (if applicable), and Medium.
Paid syndication networks may be a good move to reach certain customers – however, we usually have fantastic results sticking to the free syndication opportunities.
Syndication is a crucial component in any content distribution plan. It’s a quick and easy way to significantly broaden your audience reach – and we’ll make sure it goes off without a hitch.
8. Distribution and Promotion of Content through Email Newsletters
The last component we’re going to talk about in our content distribution plan is email.
This owned distribution channel is arguably your most valuable. The ROI of email marketing has consistently been at the top of the digital pack. Studies have found that every dollar invested in email marketing results in roughly $44 in revenue. This average alone is enough to convince anyone to leverage email in their digital plan.
Now, we know that there is a fine line with email marketing.
You don’t want to flood your customers with new emails every single day. As you can probably relate, no one likes getting their inbox overloaded with updates. That said, we want your customers to welcome your newsletters, not swipe them into the trash immediately (then unsubscribe).
We don’t want to send an update EVERY time you publish a new article. To avoid the dreaded “annoying email” status, we wait until three articles are published to send out a newsletter.
We’ll make sure the posts are included with a timely update of what’s happening with your business – as well as on your blog section.
Content distribution is a key component of any digital marketing strategy. In fact, it’s the foundation of your online presence.
The landscape of content distribution changes by the day. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in all our years in business, it’s that you can never get too comfortable with your content efforts. There are always new channels popping up, opportunities to reach new audiences, and tactics capable of bringing a brand presence to the next level.
At Foxxr Digital Marketing, we’re always on the lookout for the next best thing – while keeping close to the roots of our successes.
If you’re ready to boost your brand authority with a data-fueled, meticulous content distribution plan, let’s get the ball rolling today.