You did it. You finally finished that blog post. And it’s amazing! It covers the subject in detail, it’s written in a very engaging style, it’s smart and witty… Honestly, you couldn’t have done a better job. In fact, if there were Oscars given out for outstanding copy, you would definitely win one.
But here’s the truth: as relieving as it feels to put a full stop in the last sentence, the hard labour of content marketing isn’t over yet. Many people think that their efforts end as soon as the content is written — all it takes is to hit that publish button, et voilà. In actuality, however, publishing content is merely the beginning. Now, your job is to start marketing it 24/7 — otherwise, it will never see the light of day.
Neil Patel once said: If you don’t do distribution, you won’t be successful. And yes, it’s that simple. Neil even goes into detail, specifying that you should be spending half of your time on content creation and half of your time on promotion and distribution. Others, like Paul Roetzer and Derek Halpern, choose to stay faithful to the Pareto principle, splitting content distribution and production in 80/20.
Looking to save time and still master content distribution?
Download this easy-to-follow checklist for content distribution and you’ll ensure you don’t miss anything. Download the checklist below.
The content marketing gurus out there know that it’s not content who’s king. It’s distribution.
So without any further ado, here are the 10 tips to master the art of content distribution:
1. Build relationships
More often than not, when you write content you naturally link to other sources and other people to backup your data points, build a stronger line of argumentation, make up your case and so on. Just in this article already, I’ve linked back to three influencers. So what would be the best distribution scenario in this case?
That’s right: email the people I’ve mentioned and let them know I’ve referenced them. Starting with a simple “Hey Derek, my name is Olga”, I could inform him that I’ve linked my latest post to his page. You might be surprised, but lots of people will, in fact, read your stuff and share it on their social media platforms. And even link to it in their own content if it leaves a good impression.
Before you start reaching out, however, I do recommend to first follow the influencer on social media, engage with the content he or she posts, and actually read and comment on their articles.
2. Learn how to use social media
Are you on social media? Ah, what a silly question — of course you are! But the truth is, you’re probably not using it right when it comes to content distribution.
The thing is, it’s easy to start spreading yourself too thin, trying to stay put on each and every every social media channel out there: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Reddit… But at least at the start, it’s better to focus your efforts on a few channels only.
As Steve Jobs once wisely put it, “do not try to do everything. Do one thing well”.
Take Facebook, for instance.
With over 1 billion people using Facebook daily, it’s easy to find your target audience here. The competition, however, is brutal: 4.75 billion pieces of content shared daily, 16 million local business pages in existence, and 42% of online marketers using Facebook for job reasons.
Therefore, you have to spend some time understanding Facebook’s algorithms and learning the behaviour of your audience if you want to succeed. So say hello to Facebook Insights and start doing your homework now! The same thing applies to every other social media network out there.
3. Publish and republish
Another way to get your content noticed is to have it syndicated on other websites, which essentially means taking newly published blog posts and republishing it on several other blogs or sites. This might work very well if done right.
However, there are several downsides to be aware of, such as duplicate content issues, or the fact that the content duplicate can outperform the original in SEO and might outrank it.
4. Put your email list to work
They say that email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined. If you have a dedicated audience and loyal subscribers, they can be the first ones to engage with your content and make it go viral on social media. You just need to do one simple thing: inform them via a newsletter.
You can either just give a super quick update, like Neil Patel:
Or something long and insightful, like Brian Dean from Backlinko (one novel of a newsletter!):
Or, like Entrepreneur Magazine, you can send round-up newsletters, putting together several blog posts at a time:
Experiment with templates, structures and content and see what brings you the best results. One of the latest trends, for instance, is to send the whole article in a newsletter (with photos, outbound links, etc.) as some people prefer to consume content inside of their emails. So do whatever your audience demands!
5. To make money, invest money
If you want to play, be ready to pay! After all, there are about 2 million blog posts published every day, according to MarketingProfs, so you may want to consider giving your content a little push in the back.
The trick is to be wise here and choose content that really deserves the extra budget: a cool infographic, a super insightful article, a groundbreaking case study, etc. Also, if you see that a piece of content has started to get traction organically, it might make sense to boost it via paid reach.
6. Repurpose, repurpose (and repurpose again)
Reshaping your article into a different form might help you win over a MUCH larger audience.
Let’s take infographics, for instance. You can easily transform your blog post into an infographic. Infographics are also very easy to make nowadays: you just need to collect key points from your article and use free infographic tool like Piktochart or Venngage (my latest discovery).
Make sure that the infographic fits your brand identity and has a brand logo on it — and then either pitch it to different websites with the aim to republish or submit it to infographic directories:
- infographiclove.com (this is a paid submission)
(Typing “Submit Infographic” into Google should also do the trick here.)
The same way, you can also republish your article into a SlideShare presentation or a short YouTube video, thus widening the reach and earning some well-deserved attention from different types of audiences.
And finally, you can also try creating a podcast out of your blog, recording each and every article once it’s published. Podcasting is experiencing a rebirth lately, so it’s worth giving it a try.
But the main takeaway from this point, however, is to try to remember to recycle, repurpose and reuse your content across as many different mediums as possible.
7. Submit your post on niche content submission communities
Have you written an article about a very specific, narrow topic? Well then, I bet it’s aimed at a very specific, narrow audience, isn’t it? The type of audience that certainly appreciates the specificity of the subject.
Quora, Reddit and Facebook might come in extremely handy here, when you need to locate where this audience hangs out in the vast space of the Internet.
Used by millions and billions of people on a monthly basis, these social networks often have very niche discussion threads, subreddits and groups, which you can join, participate in, and promote your content (without being and sounding too promotional, though).
Remember: finding a super-niche, super-small community of like-minded people is better than trying to reach out to the whole world. While it may sound counter-intuitive, going niche will lead you to more traffic in the long run.
8. Make it shareable
When you come across an interesting story you relate to, the first thing you want to do is share it with your network. After all, we live in a very social world now, so it makes sense.
However, reading blogs of all different kinds every single day, I constantly notice that many of them don’t have social sharing enabled whatsoever (no joke!). Or, they do but it’s hard to find. Or, they are easy to find but don’t work.
So, while this piece of advice might come across as a bit basic, you should make sure your content is easily shareable. There are several social share plugins you can use, from free ones like Shareaholic, to freemium like Add This, to more expensive ones like Monarch.
And of course, there are several ways to place them — either at the very beginning of the article, the very bottom of it or on the side (using a floating bar, for instance). You can also combine different variations together and see what works best.
9. Guest post
How can guest posting help distribute already existing content?
Easy. Say, you’ve published an e-book about, well, content distribution (for example). To promote the book, you can break it into a number of different blog posts based on each chapter or each sub-topic discussed, and then publish them on different websites or blogs.
This way, you’ll essentially kill two birds with one stone by not only exposing part of your ebook to a new audience, but also sharing your expertise with the world and establishing a relationship with relevant bloggers and influencers.
10. Optimize for SEO
Now, last but not least, it’s important to mention that content becomes much, much easier to distribute if you put effort into SEO beforehand. After all, if your articles get noticed by Google, they get noticed by people.
And in this case, people can share your content on social media, submit it to niche communities, link to it in their own blogs and include it in their own newsletters without you having to ask (giving that your content is good, of course).
To make that happen, you’ve got to improve on the overall SEO front (On-Page, Off-Page and Technical), delegating some content promotion work to the search engines.
But after everything that’s been said, there’s, however, only one single content distribution tip that really matters: a willingness to experiment and a tight focus on things that get you the best results.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and test everything as much as you can! After all, it’s the trial-and-error experience that makes you successful at the end of the day.