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Developing a content distribution strategy

It’s easy for the content your business creates to get lost in the crowd, no matter how good it is. Social media posts, news articles, how-to guides and emails constantly bombard your potential customers. To break through the noise, you need a content distribution strategy that reaches your target audience on the right channels at the right time. If you think this sounds like a lot of preparation, planning, and trial and error, you’d be right. But once you find the right mix, you’ll see the payoff.

What is Content Distribution?

Content distribution is the process of sharing and promoting your content to target audiences across a strategic mix of platforms. If you are only posting content on your website or posting to platforms without any real plan, you could be missing out on lost traffic and conversions. That’s why a digital distribution workflow is a must-have for your content strategy.

Content Distribution Channels

Content distribution channels are the platforms where you share and promote the content you create. There are three kinds of channels you can distribute content through: owned, earned and paid.

Owned Channels

Owned channels are the platforms your company owns or controls. These include your website, blog, social media profiles, newsletters and other emails.

Earned Channels

Sometimes called shared channels, earned channels are third-party platforms that distribute your content or content about you. Some examples would be customer product reviews, follower shares on social media or features by journalists. An easy way to think about this is any mention of your business online that you didn’t pay for and didn’t create yourself.

Paid Channels

Paid channels are distribution methods that you explicitly pay for. This would be pay per click (PPC) ads, social media advertising, sponsored content and content created by influencers who are paid by your business for their work.

Developing a Distribution Strategy

Making distribution part of your overall content strategy will guide how you promote blog posts, case studies, podcasts, newsletters, videos and other valuable content. Instead of pushing your content out anywhere and everywhere, a content distribution strategy provides organization and intention. Planning ahead will also allow you to set achievable benchmarks and goals that can be more easily tracked.

Get to Know Your Target Audience

Before you start sharing or even creating content, you should be able to answer these questions:

  • Who is my target audience?
  • Where are they located?
  • How old are they?
  • How much money do they spend?
  • What are they interested in?
  • What kind of content do they prefer?
  • Where are they searching for/getting content?

If you’re unable to answer these, the content you distribute may never make it to the people you really want it to reach. Focus on the targeted audience most likely to purchase your product or service.

Once you can identify your target audience, outline the types of content you want to create for them. You can also take a piece of content and design different versions for platforms that use other mediums. For instance, you can repurpose a blog post into images and short videos for social media or podcast episodes for streaming apps.

Choose Content Distribution Channels

Just like the content you create, the distribution channels you choose should align with your target audience. Let’s say you have a trendy clothing brand popular with teens in high school. Creating TikTok videos from your brand account or with influencers and sponsoring YouTube or Twitch streamers to promote your business are good options to explore since these platforms are popular with your target audience.

Create Distribution Calendars

After you create content and choose distribution channels, it’s time to devise a posting schedule. At Parkway, we use content calendars to organize our clients’ content distribution, as well as our own. Our calendars detail the content we want to share, the dates we plan to publish or send on and the various channels we’ll publish the content to. We plan out our content calendars at least a month in advance to give ourselves plenty of time to create assets or adjust for changes. If you’re struggling to stay on top of your own content posting and distribution, we highly recommend using content calendars to keep you accountable!

Set Goals and Evaluate Results

It’s a good idea to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for your content distribution strategy. Reviewing website visitors, social media engagement,click-through rates, backlinks and conversions are effective ways to measure strategy success. Incorporate your goals into your content calendar so you can track your KPIs along with everything else. If some of your results aren’t quite up to par, don’t be afraid to make adjustments as you go. Trial and error is a pretty normal part of this process!

With insight into your target audience, distribution channels, content type and goals, you can craft and distribute your content purposefully!

Summer Phillipson / Copywriter
Summer balances a knack for telling a story (thanks to a stint in journalism) with copy that tells readers exactly what they need to know. Her experience, which includes everything from industrial ad copy to small business websites, is evident in every project she takes on for Parkway’s clients.