If you’ve been hanging out here this month, you know we’re doing a series on Tips and Tricks.
We did general communications and marketing tricks, which included keyword research, content development, lead generation, and more.
Then we did 50 (!!!) writing prompts, which included fill-in-the-blank ideas, questions, who to feature, and more.
Today we’re going to focus on content distribution — both free and paid.
If you need help getting your content out to new and interesting audiences, you’ve come to the right place!
Repurpose for Better Content Distribution
The very first thing you can do is repurpose your content, which I would guess most of us do not do—or do well.
Let me give you an example.
Last year, we launched the very first 30-Day Communications Challenge.
It was all email-based and it was free.
It was a very nice start, but this year we wanted to take it up a notch.
So we took all of that content, upgraded it, better organized it, added videos, images, and tutorials and published The Communicator’s Playbook.
Now we have a free daily email version and a $22 book version that is at a completely different level.
As well, this very Tips and Tricks series could become an eBook or white paper.
Heck, some people even have published books that started with blog posts.
There is no reason you have to start new with every piece of content
Always Do These Three Things…and Then Some
There are three things I want you to do with every piece of content you publish:
- Use CoSchedule to distribute it on the social networks. We have a template that we apply to every blog post that allows us to distribute it for up to a year. It took a little time on the front end to create those templates, but now it takes mere seconds to schedule and distribute.
- Repurpose on LinkedIn Pulse. We wait a few weeks and then look to see what our most popular content was in that timeframe (the past month, for instance). We repurpose that content on LinkedIn Pulse, with a line at the end that says it first appeared here. Then we add a call-to-action so people actually come here and subscribe.
- Repurpose on Medium. Ditto on Medium. We use the exact, same process. Different audience, same content.
Here are some additional ideas for repurposing content with distribution in mind:
- Create an infographic.
- Use Adobe Spark to create video.
- Take your most popular content and build a newsletter around it.
- Create a SlideShare presentation.
- Take a risk with Reddit.
- Jump into Quora and answer quetions your content can support.
- Start podcasting.
- Take the questions people ask about your content and build webinars.
- Compile blog posts into an eBook.
- Write a white paper.
Free Content Distribution Options
If you’ve read The Conversion Code or if you watched the Fireside Chat with its author, Chris Smith, you’ll know what the CAB method is.
It stands for create, advertise, blast.
You’ve already done the creation because you’re now trying to figure out content distribution.
We’ll cover the advertise portion in the paid section below.
This is the blast portion of his method.
Your content doesn’t do anything good hanging out your website all by itself. You have to let people know it’s there.
There are three really good, free ways to get your content in front of new audiences:
- Content syndication. You can syndicate content on sites such as Social Media Today, BusinessInsider, and AllBusiness. For those of you who are worried about duplicate content penalties from Google, don’t be! Syndicating content is totally OK, as long as you clearly note where it first appeared and link to the original source.
- Influencer relations. This is a tip that you’ll hear Andy Crestodina use. Research the influencers in your industry and email a handful of them to ask a question. Highlight them in content and then send them the link when it’s live. Nearly every influencer on earth will share content where they’re featured.
- Guest blogging. On the flip side, you can offer content to the influencers who have blogs. We all need really good content and most are willing to publish it if you can string a sentence together. This allows you to get in front of their audiences and build your own network.
Only by putting as many resources behind content distribution as you do creating it, can you expect it to find its audience and help you achieve your business results.
Paid Content Distribution Options
And now it’s time to advertise and use some dollars to help you with content distribution.
It’s the second step in Chris’s CAB method, but I would almost do it last.
Try all of the free and organic methods first. Then you can jump to paid content distribution.
To start, paid social is a great way to reach audiences you know regularly use social media.
Facebook ads, hands-down, are the very best way to not only reach those audiences, but convert them, as well.
But what about the elusive C-suite and other key decision-makers who may not use social media as a primary research channel?
That’s where paid content amplification can help.
If you’re looking to amplify content, your options include:
- StumbleUpon is a content discovery engine. It helps users find new content through community recommendations and voting. In addition to the free option, there is StumbleUpon native advertising that works on a pay-per-click model.
- Outbrain is a paid content distribution network that recommends your content to major sites such as ESPN, CNN, and Yahoo! I will warn you that, while it’s very effective, the traffic it brings to your site might very well be junk. Unless you’re a consumer business that needs to reach millions of people, I’d probably skip it.
- Similar to Outbrain, Taboola distributes your content to well-known websites such as NBC, Fox, USA Today and more.
- Sponsorship of an influential industry blog, email newsletter, or podcast.
- Placement with a content distribution provider, such as Netline or Madison Logic
Blog post distribution can be done on a budget as low as $50 per article.
Sponsored content, sponsorships, and paid distribution vary widely, and can cost up to $10,000 for a lead generation campaign that nets 1,000 leads.
Don’t Skip Content Distribution!
Too often, communications departments allocate budget for content creation, but not for content distribution beyond sending news releases across the wire.
This is a huge mistake!
If you build it, they won’t necessarily come.
Spend as much time, if not more, in content distribution as you do creation and you’ll soon reach the business goals you’ve set out to exceed.