What is Content Distribution [Strategy & Analytics]

Learn what content distribution is and a strategy to distribute content effectively for maximum reach, sales, and profitability.  Discover the content distribution channels to use.  Content creation shouldn’t be your first step. 

What Is Content Distribution?

Content distribution is the process of promoting produced content into a variety of content distribution channels. Content distribution is a crucial step in content marketing to expand the reach, clicks, and conversions of the produced content.

The creation of high-quality content is useless if its target audience can’t see it. Building a solid foundation for a content distribution strategy for every different type of content can effectively increase the results of your content marketing efforts.

Just uploading created content into channels isn’t enough. The distribution has to be a process taken into consideration into the content creation itself.

By producing content that matches your audience, and the audience’s user behaviors on the chosen platforms and distribution channels, you are increasing your chances of gaining the most out of your content marketing strategy.

The content distribution has to have clear objectives for the content.

Every industry and business has distinct needs, and that should be taken into consideration when building out a plan for promoting its content.

The strategy of content distribution varies depending on your business goals for the content itself. For example, advertisements have different needs than say a company blog.

Any company willing to take the time to plan out their distribution, will gain more brand awareness, retain customers, and build more robust sales funnels.

Online content distribution can be either paid or organic.

What is Content Distribution Channels

Content Distribution Channels and networks

A content distribution channel is any channel where content can be uploaded and shared. The organization can either own the channels, pay for channel access, or share freely on the channels.

Content Distribution: Paid Channels

Paid distribution channels require you to pay for access for the content to be seen, promoted, or accessed. Commonly paid distribution channels utilize pay per click or pay by impressions (CPM).

Common paid distribution channels:

Using paid content distribution channels is more stable and more controlled, as you can be sure that you’re content is being shared.

Paid channels are a vital part of any distribution strategy. Having control of the reaching of target audiences enables the effectiveness of content marketing.

Without paid channels, your content will be limited to your network and the audience you have built before.

Your content might not reach its potential quickly enough with relying solely on organic channels. Gaining results faster allows you to optimize your content early on for better results.

When using paid channels, the more content types are available to your content marketing strategy.

Paid channels are a great way to test different content types to different target audiences quickly, to see which content types would work the best for your company and it’s content goals.

Taking the data from paid campaigns can be later used for organic distribution channels to make a more cost-effective content marketing strategy overall.

Content Distribution: Organic And Shared Channels

Organic distribution channels can be either owned or channels that allow content to be shared freely within their platform.

Using organic distribution channels for your content might take a longer time for content to reach your target audience, or the reach might not be as high. The benefit of organic channels is that it is a cost-effective marketing strategy as the content can be shared freely.

Some forms of organic channels such as search engine visibility can take longer to reach its potential but will have a more prolonged impact on content visibility. The more extended content visibility allows the creation of evergreen content that can be used in other marketing channels as well later on.

Organic social media reach is becoming harder to attain, but virality is still possible to achieve within certain types of content.

Organic channels lack the initial control of your target audience and require you to understand your target audience beforehand more when compared to paid channels.

Content distribution channels such as Medium that allows the creation of specific and long-form content are excellent when used in tandem with your website’s blogs to increase the reach of your content.

Organic channels such as forums offer more targeting opportunities when it comes to who sees the content but still might lack sufficient reach.

Owned and organic channels include, but not limited to:

Organic and Shared channels:

The difference between owned and shared channels is that while free to post in both, shared channels and platforms are not owned by you; therefore, a lack of control with reach, audience targeting, content visibility exists.

For example, you own your content and website but lack the control of the flow of traffic from search engines. While the traffic results can be improved with search engine optimization, you’re still not in total control of the traffic nor the content visibility itself.

Compared to paid distribution channels, organic channels lack the variety of content types that can be effective. While you can share any content on your website, gaining traffic and visibility to that content can be hard with only organic means. Using ineffective content types on social media isn’t going to bring in wanted results either.

You must research your target audiences’ needs and respond correctly with content that matches their needs in information and the right consumption format to have a successful distribution strategy.

Content Distribution Channels and networks

Content distribution analytics revolves around measuring the critical metrics for any given goal. The goal of using analytics to improve content marketing is to create better content that matches your target audiences the best.

Every channel might have different ways of delivering data and key metrics, and understanding them can be difficult sometimes; thus, it’s essential to have clear goals for content to understand what will work and what will not.

It can have a positive impact on your distribution strategy as they provide the necessary data for analysis to improve your results.

Methods of measuring content KPIs

To have an effective content distribution strategy, you must have the right goals set in place and the way of tracking set goals the right away with the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Are your goals advertisement-based and, therefore, result orientated? Or are you trying to maximize reach for your website, or trying to optimize page views for certain aspects of your website? Only by setting the right goals and KPIs, you can track your results accurately.

Every piece of content in your content distribution strategy will require goals to track their effectiveness and success.

Every goal requires different metrics to be researched thoroughly, and figuring out what metrics are essential in your business is critical.

Metrics and goals in various content distribution channels can vary, and the method of tracking specific metrics might require the use of third-party tools.

For example, you can utilize web analytics tools such as Google Analytics on your website to track key metrics, but following the same metrics on the same level of depth of social media posts can be more difficult.

To have an effective content distribution strategy, you must have the right goals set in place and the way of tracking set goals the right away with the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Are your goals advertisement-based and, therefore, result orientated? Or are you trying to maximize reach for your website, or trying to optimize page views for certain aspects of your website? Only by setting the right goals and KPIs, you can track your results accurately.

Every piece of content in your content distribution strategy will require goals to track their effectiveness and success.

Every goal requires different metrics to be researched thoroughly, and figuring out what metrics are essential in your business is critical.

Metrics and goals in various content distribution channels can vary, and the method of tracking specific metrics might require the use of third-party tools.

For example, you can utilize web analytics tools such as Google Analytics on your website to track key metrics, but following the same metrics on the same level of depth of social media posts can be more difficult.

Content KPIs

Here is a starting point when mapping out your business goals and KPIs and their related metrics to be used:

Engagement – Average time spent on-page, and bounce rates

Social Engagement – Comments, shares, other reactions

Best performing content – Top page views and underperforming content can be measured by a low amount of page views when averaged out and which pages are the exit pages.

Results – Clicks, Clickthrough rates, conversions, backlinks

Traffic by Source – Pageviews by distribution channel

Return on InvestmentROI of produced content, use page values.

Replicability – How well successful content can be replicated again.

Content Reusability – Can the content be reused on other distribution channels? And importantly, how easily and scalably.

Content Distribution Strategy

Every campaign requires a content distribution strategy. It’s hard to replicate past results without understanding what has worked the best in the past.

Investing more time into content promotion than into content creation will lead to better results.

Remember always to document the steps of your content distribution strategy: how everything was created, how it was distributed, and having the plan to replicate its success.

Content Distribution Strategy

Strategy Goals

Start building your content distribution strategy by assessing your business goals and what does the content need to achieve. The goals are the benchmarks you’re trying to achieve and make it easier to measure the success of a content campaign.

Learn more about creating goals in Google Analytics.

Target audience

After you have chosen the goals, it’s crucial to understand to whom you’re creating content. Utilizing past data to understand your target audience will help you build audiences that react positively to your future content. If recent data isn’t available, you have to make a judgment call on what content is the best for the targeted audience and test on-the-go.

Utilizing every data source available to you will lead to an audience that brings the goals you’ve strived.

Reaching the Audience

After a target audience has set for the created content, the next step would be how to reach that target audience in the best way possible.

It’s time to find the correct content distribution channels to target the wanted audience. Your target audience will define your content distribution strategy, as focusing in the wrong place will not bring not eyeballs to your content nor results.

Content Types

At this point, as you’ve defined your target audience, research their problems, needs, and behaviors as best as possible. For maximizing campaign effectiveness, it’s crucial to optimize channels you’ve control of like website content and email lists for your target audience. For maximum reach, choose content types that your target audiences want.

The content distribution channel, where your audience lies, is the content type you have to use. Every channel requires different content types that work on their platforms, and you should be on top of that.

Data And Result Analysis

After the content has been created and published on the distribution channels, comes the hard part, analyzing results and making decisions whether it was successful or not.

Always measure your results comparing them to your beforehand set goals. If the goals achieved results, it was a successful distribution campaign; if not, then it wasn’t. By looking at the details with the tracking metrics, you will discover what and where it all went wrong.

When you’re tracking critical metrics with relevant data, it will teach you how to create better content and how to reach your target audience better.

Testing new variables within your content can make a difference for the better, whether it’s by increasing results, or creating better engaging content for your audience.

To summarize the content distribution strategy:

  • Find your target audience
  • Decide upon goals and main KPIs
  • Choose distribution channels
  • Choose content types
  • Distribute
  • Analyze and Test
  • Improve with past data

Conclusion

Realizing early-on that content creation shouldn’t be the first step in content marketing will help you build a better content marketing strategy going forward. Content distribution and its plan will make your content stand out and reach your target audiences.

An effective content distribution strategy in digital marketing will help you grow faster and build out content that will be seen and enjoyed by your target audience.

Invest time in realizing and testing what distribution channels work the best for you, but always check for new content types and new distribution channels for added benefits.