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Building a Distribution-first Content Strategy

In the realm of inbound marketing, marketers have been stuck in a reactive mindset for far too long. The constant flood of content has rendered our focus on creating more content outdated. Our competitors are churning out similar content, contributing to a state of content overload for customers. To address this challenge of content marketing fatigue, proactive content distribution becomes crucial.

Consider this concept: instead of investing significant time and resources in creating content only to publish it on a blog and hope for visibility, a proactive approach involves ensuring the delivery of that content to the intended audience.

In an alternate universe of content distribution, the focus shifts to a proactive strategy. The primary objective is delivering the right content to the right people, at the right time, through suitable channels and provide value.

Why do we need to adopt a content distribution strategy?

As marketers, we often get stuck in a cycle of publishing content and moving on to the next thing. However, whilst the content is considered old for us, they are not even seen by a fraction of our target audiences. Merely publishing content once is not enough, and we need to shift our mentality to focus on consistently distributing and repurposing our content to the right people at the right time. Instead of hoping our content attracts an audience, we need to focus on developing a strategy for content distribution. This approach requires consistency and a willingness to repurpose content to reach a broader audience. It’s like running plays in sports, where the goal is not always to create new content but to focus on getting the content in front of the right people through the right channels.

A content creator typing on a laptop.

How to get started with content distribution

Audit your current marketing strategy

To establish a comprehensive content distribution strategy, it’s crucial to begin with a thorough audit of your current situation. This entails identifying where your target audience is, evaluating existing strategy, and recognizing opportunities to double down on successful channels or explore new ones. For us, events have been an instrumental part of our strategy. We recently hosted one called Content Distribution Live, has helped achieve an increase in the attendance of relevant individuals who yield positive outcomes. To understand these achievements better, we conducted a comprehensive analysis. Success primarily stems from effectively leveraging “traditional channels” such as LinkedIn and Twitter, alongside a newsletter and podcast to create a cohesive experience while promoting events. Additionally, having our own audience and product allows us to ensure maximum visibility for event-related content, reaching individuals through multiple channels.

Collaboration and co-marketing

collaborations can be another powerful strategy to consider. As we host events, have webinars or video podcast, we are inviting guests that we think brings value to our audiences. And guess what? The guests often also have an existing audience we can start tapping into. As you plan out any events, keep “collaboration” as a top priority. This can be as simple as – reaching out to the guest and ask them to help support promoting this event. And we are suddenly able to gain exposure to an entirely new audience. Therefore, when contemplating distribution strategies, always consider collaboration, as it enables swift access to the target audience of the collaborators, expanding reach.

Nail your content

It is essential to ensure that your chosen topic resonates with your audience. Avoid making it solely about your brand and its offerings. Instead, conduct thorough research to identify ongoing conversations and frame your event, content, or offer around topics that genuinely captivate your audience.

Handy tips to start content distribution

If you’re looking to enhance your content or marketing strategy, a great starting point is to experiment with content distribution. It’s important to begin small and try out different distribution methods that deviate from your usual content or marketing practices. Implementing distribution effectively requires time and effort to tailor messages for specific channels and repackage content accordingly.

I suggest starting with one or two channels and regularly sharing your results with your team to gain their support. Transitioning abruptly from publishing to content distribution can be challenging. It’s advisable to begin with small-scale tests and communicate the outcomes through platforms like Slack or team meetings. This gradual approach will help you gradually build buy-in.

Before fully operationalizing your distribution efforts, it’s crucial to experiment and measure the results. You don’t necessarily have to stop publishing altogether. But you can allocate a balanced portion of your resources to creating new content and distributing it. By testing and analyzing the outcomes, you’ll gain insights into what works and what doesn’t for your distribution strategy.

As marketers, we need to shift our mentality from being reactive to proactive when it comes to content marketing. The focus should not only be on creating content but also on consistently distributing and repurposing it to the right people at the right time through suitable channels. A content distribution-first strategy requires a thorough audit of your current situation, collaborations and co-marketing, and nailing your content. To get started, begin small and try out different distribution methods, experiment, and measure results to gain insights into what works and what doesn’t for your distribution strategy. By adopting a distribution-first approach, you can ensure that your content reaches the intended audience and achieves your marketing goals.

In summary:

  • Inbound marketing needs to shift from a reactive to a proactive mindset.

  • A distribution-first strategy ensures that content reaches the right people at the right time through suitable channels.

  • The approach requires a thorough audit of the current situation, collaborations and co-marketing, and nailing the content.

  • Experimentation with different distribution methods is essential to gain insights into what works and what doesn’t.

  • Starting small and communicating outcomes with the team is a gradual approach to build buy-in.

This article is written in collaboration with Brett McGrath. You can listen to our full conversation here.

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