You’ve got your content nailed, perhaps you’ve even got a content campaign prepared - high five! But, how do you promote it to ensure it reaches the people you need to read it?
With a content distribution plan, of course!
The content distribution plan enables you to promote a piece/campaign, whilst answering the key factors of ensuring your piece is read by those that need to read it most:
- Who should read it?
- Where will they be reading?
- How do you get inside their ‘bubble’?
It’s imperative to produce a content distribution plan as without one you’re talking, talking, talking and, actually, making great waves. But those waves are in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and absolutely no one is feeling even a ripple from your efforts - they aren’t looking for you, they can’t find you, they don’t know you’re someone who has the answers to their problems.
Yes, your content is drowning in a vast ocean filled with many other bloggers, PR execs and other content creators all vying for the space you need your content to be heard in.
Indeed, it is even suggested you should spend significantly less time writing your content than you do to promote it - Social Triggers recommends, ‘Create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you created.’
So what does a content distribution plan need to include…
Research your desired audience - who do you wish was reading and engaging with your content? This might be different from who is currently engaging, think about your buyer personas and the typical ‘ideal customer’:
- What is their job title?
- What industry are they in?
- What budget for your services do they have?
A great way of finding out who is currently engaging with your content is the use of Google Analytics and social media platform in-built analytics, such as Facebook Insights. Both of these platforms identify the gender and age group of people engaging with your content. Google Analytics also gives information regarding the interests of your visitors, i.e. luxury shoppers, foodies etc.
For you to see success, you need to decide what success looks like for you. This is best worked out before you get started promoting so you don’t create unrealistic goals. Use previous data for web traffic and conversions, so speak to your sales team or visit Google Analytics to identify new and recurring visitor numbers, plus conversion rates.
Think about your growth goal with a percentage - by the end of the first quarter of content promotion, how much would you have liked to have seen reach increase by? What about by the end of the year?
Remember to include key events that may skew these figures (for good or bad) in your overall marketing strategy, i.e. that big seminar you’re hosting in August, or a key content marketer leaving your team in April, can all have a huge impact on your anticipated goals.
Which platforms are you going to focus your distribution efforts on? Do you need to incorporate some traditional or print promotion, or is it all digital? What platforms do your buyer personas most commonly engage with you on?
If you’re an accountancy firm, you’re probably best to spend your time building your company profile on LinkedIn, PLUS the personal profiles of key employees/senior figures on LinkedIn. Whereas a beauty salon is going to see the highest engagements from Instagram and Facebook.
Don’t just focus on social media because it’s “there” either, taking time to review your personas should help you to rule out personas that aren’t right for your audience. Consider email marketing or producing long-form content like ebooks and blogs if that is what your audience prefers. If they want webinars, produce them!
We absolutely recommend reviewing your progress every quarter, at a minimum, to analyse whether your current activities are working effectively for you or not. Don’t be afraid to change up your efforts if the numbers prove success is looking unlikely - content marketing is all about constant change and improvements.