If content is published, but no one sees it, does it really exist?

  • Categories:

    Content Marketing

  • Date:

    February 25, 2014

If content is published, but no one sees it, does it really exist?

Content Marketing

Content marketing is most effective when it marries quality content with effective distribution. Unfortunately, even as content creation practices get better, far too often distribution strategies are lacking.

Many of the best content developers struggle with effective content distribution strategies. I believe this happens for three reasons:

  1. Having an “If you build it, they will come,” mindset.
  2. Many of the best content developers come from public relations backgrounds – so they are either uncomfortable with, unfamiliar with or don’t have the budgets for paid distribution strategies.
  3. Many marketers believe if they are paying for media placement, it must be a branded ad, or they are wasting their money.

Here are a few things you should consider in order to effectively distribute your content.

Think about the audience, not the destination. Services like Outbrain are making a killing doing just this – they focus their content distribution algorithms primarily on the reader’s interests, not the site’s content. Then they serve content options at the exact moment when the audience is ready to engage in more content – at the bottom of articles. Google Ads Display Network is another way to serve your content based on audience interests.

Or, consider paid search. There are numerous options; the key is finding the audience that is interested in your content and ready to engage.

Be consistent across owned, paid, shared and earned media. Audiences expect a seamless experience with a brand wherever they encounter it. So whether it’s an earned byline article, an owned property, a shared social experience or a paid distribution, the message and tone should consistently reflect the brand persona and work to move the audience along the path to purchase. All of the components across different mediums should truly work together – not just play alongside each other.

Be multifaceted. A multifaceted distribution plan is good both in the testing phase (to figure out what really drives engagement and conversion) and in the longer term. For example, with a new piece of content, using a paid strategy out of the gate can garner attention that feeds into mid-term social media sharing and longer-term, organic SEO. When you hit a home run with a specific piece of content, amplifying the reach through additional paid strategies can be very effective.

Remember, Google continues to make every effort to reward good content and weed out spam and other forms of bad content in its SEO algorithms. Quality trumps quantity. So, don’t be afraid to dial down the content quantity and spend some of those resources on content distribution.

You’ll be rewarded in the long run.

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