Content Distribution: Where do you start?

Content Distribution: Where do you start?

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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Today, more than ever, your customers are immune to traditional advertising methods. They record TV shows so they can fast forward ads, and they skip over newspaper and magazine advertisements without a second glance. People hardly lift their eyes from their phone long enough to see your ad on a train station billboard.

So how do we get their attention? Modern marketers know the smart money is on content marketing.

In case you need a refresher, content marketing is providing real value to your customers by way of producing useful readable, watchable or hearable media.

High-quality podcasts, blogs, e-books and videos are all examples of content.

But the act of creating high-value content alone isn’t enough. There’s no point slaving over a blog post or sweating through a podcast if there’s no one to see or hear it.

If you don’t know where to start, or your strategy is a little messy, it’s time to tool a distribution plan. And the simplest way to get started is by using social media.

With a little preparation and the right execution, getting your content in front of the right eyes need not be the pain it used to be.

Get yourself a content plan

Many sites provide planning tools you can use to get your content syndication in order. Some are great tools, and we encourage you to use them. Others can over-complicate things. The key is to keep it simple.

The easiest option is to start with an Excel spreadsheet that’s customised to fit your campaign.

First, establish the goals you’re trying to achieve through content marketing. Your goals could be building a community, increasing click throughs or sign-ups, or just constructing brand awareness.

Next, choose which platform(s) you’ll use to deliver content. Remember that not all mediums are equal. There’s no point serving up a how-to tutorial over three tweets, or for an accounting firm to provide a tax time update via Instagram.

Now, decide on the tone and core message. And remember, it must fit both the goal and the platform.

Lastly, decide on the frequency of updates. Again, how you determine this will depend on the platform you use.

As we mentioned, simple is best. Here’s an example of how your plan might look:

Content: A Blog post on the benefits of XYZ posted on the company blog.

Goal: To have people sign up to an email list.

Platform: Facebook 10 – 15-word post with an image.

Core Message: Inform customers of the values of XYZ and gain more insights by signing up.

Tone: Friendly with humour.

Frequency: Twice daily.

Here’s an example of a spreadsheet that some of our clients use for their social syndication strategies.

content planning spreadsheet

Measure your results

Once you’re settled on the ins and outs, test, test and test again. Try sharing the piece on Twitter, or talk about it in a podcast. You can use the same message delivered over different mediums to find the one that’s best suited.

You can test things like the times posted, frequency, length of the post, hashtags used and people or companies mentioned to help define the message.

The point of this process is to define what works best for you. It’s not necessary to live on all social media networks or to have a blog, podcast and a YouTube channel.

Your best bet is doing one thing well and sticking with it. Mastering a single content distribution avenue that delivers results is far better than many flimsy attempts all over the web.

Measure, test and learn from the feedback.

Important! Be aware of vanity metrics. Likes, retweets and favourites are all great, but they distract from the underlying aim.

Keep track of the original goal and re-iterate your message if it isn’t working.

Be brave – if what you’re doing isn’t getting you the results you want, don’t be afraid to kill your darlings. In other words, even if you love something, if it’s not working try something else. Fail fast and move on.

Time for action

Now it’s up to you to go ahead and create something. If you’re stuck for ideas, have a read of a past Inboundly blog post: 5 Ways to Generate Ideas for Your Inbound Marketing.

Discovering that perfect process sooner will result in a lean, mean social syndication system.

Once your system is sound, it won’t be long before people start taking notice. And who knows – you might even learn a thing or two along the way.

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