Content marketing doesn’t end with creating great content. Don’t forget the ‘marketing’ in content marketing. Your content marketing strategy should also consist of an effective distribution strategy to ensure your content dissemination gathers steam. If lead creation is your ultimate content marketing objective, then you should identify effective ways to engage your target audience into consuming and sharing the content you have created. In this post, I’ll discuss eight different content distribution opportunities you should take advantage of.
Recently, SlideShare announced its analytics and other professional features have been opened up to all users for free. That’s great news! So what makes visual content marketing like SlideShare presentations so effective in certain industries? Creating authoritative content ensures you build your brand’s credibility amongst your audience. A B2B engineering firm can display their credentials by uploading crisp, incisive and insightful presentations that impresses their current and prospective clients alike. To substantiate, according to a recent study, top decision makers actively look for presentations and slides. SlideShare drives over 500 percent more traffic from business owners than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn. Further, there is a sizeable audience on SlideShare that knowledge oriented businesses cannot ignore. In Q3 2013, SlideShare presentations were viewed by over 60 million unique viewers.
Newsletters are a great way of staying connected with your audience. Look at newsletters as a mechanism for extended engagement with your audience while they are away from your website. Not to mention this is a great content distribution vehicle. Since people who receive your newsletters are opt-in subscribers, they are likely to be more receptive to consuming your content. A word of caution here. Don’t overdo the content dissemination. Determine an optimal frequency – better still let your users decide the frequency within which they’d like to receive newsletter updates from you – to ensure your users don’t opt-out of the subscription.
Whitepapers are a great way of exhibiting thought leadership. You can build a database of users aware of your business context who are potentially interested in your products or solutions. Whitepapers are usually elaborate, authoritative pieces of content around a topic written with the objective of addressing a problem statement or a business challenge. Developing a whitepaper involves a lot of hard work. Once you have crossed the hurdle of developing a whitepaper, your next task is to get maximum visibility for your piece of work. Identify potential areas where your whitepaper could get discovered. Your website is an immediate, obvious distribution touch point. Other channels include social media – specifically LinkedIn and Twitter. Post to your network informing about the content with a link to download. If you maintain a blog, place a banner ad next to relevant articles in your blog informing readers about your whitepaper/whitepaper repository. If you work with affiliate partners, place these banner ads in your partner network’s websites as well.
Blog is a great channel for exhibiting thought leadership, drive content uptake and establish and/or further cement your position as a leader in your area of operation, especially if yours is a knowledge oriented business. Once you have a blog in place, how do you drive qualified traffic to your blog and establish a loyal readership? Here are a few promotional tactics:
- Boilerplate templates: Display your blog URL in your PowerPoint templates, email signatures, etc.
- “Tent Card” Marketing: Business cards and other collateral mentioning your blog URL
- Blogger meets: Identify influencers in your industry vertical to get them to publish guest posts in your blog. This will build a ripple effect as the influencers’ network will be exposed to your blog
- Blog Articles: Third party blog posts with links to your blog
- Affiliate Networks/House Brands: Banner ads in partner network’s websites pointing to your blog
Videos help you broadcast high-impact content to your target audience. Depending on the content marketing objective you wish to drive, you can choose the video format, viz. animated, non-animated, short-form, long-form, etc. The video content can then be re-purposed, for instance, as “on-demand” webinars to let viewers educate themselves on a given topic. Integration points can include some of the content marketing touch points already discussed above. Such as:
- Social Media – LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
- Digital Assets – Website, mobile app
- Third party websites
Use RSS Feeds to allow your readers to consume your content without having to visit your web or mobile destination. RSS feeds populate your content into users preferred readers. Users can then consume the content of their choice at leisure. Alternatively, RSS feeds can be used as bookmarks in users’ browsers. This is another useful content dissemination tool.
Polls are a great way of involving your readers in determining your content strategy, shaping opinion, soliciting feedback while knowing your readers’ engagement levels with your content. Poll participation rates are a good measure of how engaged your readers are with your content. Polls are also great to symbolically acknowledge to your readers that their opinion matters. Use polls on various topics associated with your industry vertical to get a sense of what your readers care about. You can leverage open source poll widgets for off-the-shelf integration into your website/blog or go for custom solutions.
Social plugins are fantastic content amplification tools. Strategically integrating social plugins across your content helps drive network effect and scale up reach significantly. Use popular social sharing plugins such as Google+ (for search engine benefits), LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter, among others.
Content marketing is a key focus area for many organizations. This will continue to remain so moving into 2015 as well. If you have content marketing as part of your digital marketing agenda. That’s a great start. Your next focus should be to help drive content discovery and uptake. More content has been generated in the last 2 years than the previous hundred put together.
Hope you’ll use some of the pointers listed above as starting points to drive your content marketing strategy. Do you have a different take on the topic? Have you used other tools and techniques that have helped drive results? Have an opinion that is different from what I have mentioned in this piece? Please leave a line in the comments below.