So You Think You Can Digital Market?

Yes, you know how to create engaging content for your audience through a process of researching and planning (if not, read our last blog post for industry tips and tricks). But, have you thought about how you’ll actually get that content in front of your desired audience? If not, you’re in the right place.
Let’s talk about content distribution.
Content distribution is when you take all of that content you worked so hard to create and share it on a variety of channels to reach your target audience. Because these platforms are constantly evolving, it’s not always easy to know where to start. First things first – familiarize yourself with these three terms: owned, earned and paid content distribution. Once you master these, identifying the best channels to amplify your content will become much easier.

Owned Content Distribution
When you think of owned content distribution, think control. This is the content you have full control over – from how it is created on your end all the way to how it will be seen by your customers. Examples of owned content distribution include your business’ website, email marketing and blog. Social media can also be seen as a form of owned content distribution as each post is created by you. This blog, however, reminds its readers that while social channels do belong to you as a user, each app still has certain regulations that users must abide by – so keep that in mind.
Main downside: Less reach and/or engagement with consumers.
Main upside: Depending on how your content is viewed or shared, owned can soon turn into earned or paid content distribution, lending itself to more exposure and audience reach.

Example: If an individual reposts content from your business’ Facebook page organically, that traffic would be considered earned. On the other hand, if you put paid promotional advertisement dollars behind that post, the traffic that resulted would be paid content distribution.

Earned Content Distribution
Earned content distribution is pretty much exactly how it sounds – like you earned it. If individuals find your content interesting enough or worthy of sharing, they can share your content with their own social media circle or followers. This sharing can be done in a variety of ways, like reposting your content on their personal social platforms, writing blog content and the like.

Hint: This is a big reason as to why you’ve probably been hearing the phrase “influencer marketing” so much. By collaborating with individuals who have large online followings (aka “influencers”), businesses are able to strengthen their chances of reaching not only their target audience but also a larger audience in general. Main downside: Less control – there is no surefire way to control what consumers are saying about your business.
Main upside: Endorsement by a trusted or respected third-party individual can often increase your credibility with consumers.

Tip: Incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) into your content strategy plan is a must. The higher you rank on Google and other search engines, the more organic traffic you will get to your site because you appear higher up in the results section than other businesses. If you are ranked higher in the results, you then have a higher chance of gaining more exposure to your target audience and bringing in more traffic. 

Paid Content Distribution
The final type of content distribution is, again, how it sounds – paid. Third-party channels come into play the most here as a type of “promotional platform.”

Example: Have you ever seen those little ads appear on the right side of your Facebook page? Or perhaps a LinkedIn post advertising a business or service you don’t follow? These are great examples of paid content distribution as they are advertisements businesses pay to get in front of you as a consumer. Main downside: Cost – be wary of where you are spending your money and how. Check how your campaigns are doing consistently to know when it’s time to reevaluate and adjust.
Main upside: More traffic. This is a great way to drive traffic to your business’s owned digital properties and reach more of your target audience as you put relevant content directly in front of them.
Channels to Amplify Your Content
Now that you know the various ways of distributing your content, it’s time to take a look at two major channels to use them on. Don’t worry about coming up with new content for every channel. The beauty of digital marketing is that you can repurpose your content to fit each channel.  


1. Social Media
We all know how big of a platform social media is. In fact, 81% of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile. Choosing just one or two social channels to amplify your content will do wonders. As long as you remain consistent, even just posting on your channels a few times a week, will help increase brand awareness for your business.

Pro Tip: Facebook has the most engaged users out of all social channels with 70% of users logging on daily – 43% of these users even log on several times a day (Pew Research Center). Think about starting here.  

2. E-mail Marketing
Although social media is continuing to grow stronger as a platform, email marketing continues to be just as important. In fact, email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences. FulcromTech provides some great insight regarding email marketing, backing itself up by using resources like MarketingSherpa and the Direct Marketing Association. Some of these advantages include better ROI, more personalized messages to consumers, efficient testing, improvement and optimization of your results. 

The words ‘content distribution’ can seem overwhelming at first, as there are a lot of parts that must work together to strengthen your business. But don’t let it scare you. Once you master it you will notice your business growing in ways it hasn’t before. Before you know it, you’ll be amplifying your content on a wider variety of platforms like webinars, print publications and so much more. Now go distribute that content!
Download “Simple Ways to Use Digital Marketing to Grow Your Business” to discover how to choose the right content distribution mix.
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