How To Develop An Effective Content Distribution Strategy: 8 Crucial Steps

You’ve just checked your follower count, and it’s looking good. But when you scroll through your latest post, it’s a different story. Despite your growing audience, engagement is low, and your content isn’t getting the reach you expected. This scenario highlights the importance of an effective content distribution strategy.

The thing is, your content is probably spot on – interesting and well-made. But it’s not just about what you post; it’s about getting it in front of the right people. That’s where the magic of content distribution comes in.

Don’t worry, figuring this out isn’t rocket science. We’ve put together all the tips and tricks you need in a simple guide.

What Is Content Distribution?

Content distribution refers to the sharing, publishing, and promoting of various forms of content across different platforms and channels. This includes leveraging digital channels, such as

  • eBooks: Detailed, informative content ideal for in-depth exploration of topics.
  • Podcasts: Audio content for on-the-go consumption, offering personal and engaging experiences.
  • Videos: Visually engaging content that can convey complex information simply.
  • Infographics: Visual representations of data or information, easy to digest and share.
  • Case Studies: Real-world examples demonstrating the value of products or services.
  • Webinars: Interactive, educational content that can be used for lead generation.
  • Blogs: Versatile content for storytelling, educating, and engaging with audiences.
  • Social Media Posts: Bite-sized, easily shareable content for a broad reach.
  • Thought Leadership Pieces: Content that establishes brand authority and expertise in a specific field.

The core of content distribution lies in effectively placing content where it will reach and resonate with the intended audience.

Why Is An Effective Content Distribution Strategy Important For Your Business?

A content distribution strategy is a critical element of content marketing, fundamentally focusing on the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of presenting content. 

It goes beyond just creating quality content; it involves ensuring that this content reaches the right people at the right time and through the proper content distribution channels. This strategy is essential for several reasons:

Increased User Engagement

Place your content where your audience already spends time, like on specific social media sites or in targeted emails. This way, you’ll get more interaction and involvement from them.

This approach attracts attention and encourages users to engage more deeply with the content through comments, shares, or following calls to action. 

Maximised Brand Visibility

Distributing content across a wide range of channels and platforms ensures that your brand captures the attention of a broader audience. This visibility is not just about quantity but also about quality; it places your brand in front of the right eye at the right time. 

By consistently presenting valuable and relevant content across multiple channels, your brand stays top of mind for your audience.

Generation of Hot Leads

A well-executed content distribution strategy is a powerful tool for generating high-quality leads. Leads are individuals at the beginning of your sales process. They know about your business and product but haven’t yet been evaluated to determine their sales potential.

By delivering content that resonates with your target audience’s needs and interests, you attract prospects more likely to be interested in your products or services. Prospects are leads who have undergone a qualification process and are considered likely to purchase.

Furthermore, engaging content can guide these prospects through the buyer’s journey, turning them from casual viewers into interested leads and eventually into customers. The buyer’s journey is a process customers go through, from becoming aware of a need to considering various solutions and finally making a purchase decision. 

Successful Product Launches

Launching a new product demands more than announcing its existence. An effective content distribution strategy ensures that news and information about the product launch are disseminated through the right channels and audience, creating anticipation and interest. 

Using targeted messaging and leveraging various content forms, from videos to blogs, you can create a buzz that informs and excites your audience about the new product.

Increasing Return On Investment (ROI)

By placing content in front of the right audience, you maximise the chances of conversion, whether in sales, sign-ups, or other desired actions. 

Moreover, a well-planned content distribution strategy ensures efficient use of resources, as it focuses on channels and tactics that yield the best results, optimising your marketing spend and enhancing overall ROI.

How Do You Develop An Effective Content Distribution Strategy? 8 Crucial Steps 

It’s about aligning your content with the preferences and behaviours of your audience and utilising the right channels to maximise impact and engagement. Here are the essential steps to develop a strategy that will help take your business to new heights:

1. Understand Your Target Audience

The first and most crucial step in developing an effective content distribution strategy is understanding your audience deeply. This involves identifying your ideal customer – the buyer persona. It’s essential to know who they are, what challenges they face, and what solutions they are seeking. 

This understanding is not just about demographics but delving into their behaviours, preferences, and online habitats. 

Conducting audience research, analysing behavioural patterns, and segmenting your audience based on shared characteristics are vital practices too. 

For instance, if you’re a business owner selling artisan coffee, your target audience might be young professionals aged 25-35 who value high-quality, ethically sourced products. 

By engaging in social media listening, you might discover that this group frequently discusses the importance of fair-trade practices and enjoys educational content about coffee brewing techniques. 

These insights form the foundation of your strategy, guiding you in tailoring your content to address the specific needs and interests of those most likely to engage with your brand. The content can be blog posts and tutorials on ethical sourcing and advanced brewing methods, directly addressing the interests and values of your target audience.

2. Create Valuable Content

Once you clearly understand your audience, the next crucial phase is content creation. This step starts with a thorough audit of your existing content. Look into what has resonated well with your audience and why. 

Is it the tone, the topics, the format, or the channels used? Identifying these key factors in your most successful content pieces provides a blueprint for future content. 

Imagine you own a boutique fitness studio. After auditing your existing content, you find that your instructional workout videos have high engagement, especially those under 10 minutes. The success could be due to the concise format and easy-to-follow instructions, aligning with your busy clientele’s needs. 

Equally important is understanding why some content didn’t perform as expected. Was it misaligned with your audience’s interests, poorly distributed, or not effectively optimised for the chosen platform? 

For example, longer blog posts about fitness theory may have lower engagement, possibly due to a mismatch with your audience’s preference for quick, practical content.

These insights are invaluable in honing your content creation strategy. With this knowledge, focus on developing high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that speaks directly to the interests and needs of your target audience.

These tools can be utilised to assess and analyse your content effectively:

  • Google Analytics: It shows you which pieces are most popular, how long people stay on your pages, and what paths they take through your site, helping you understand user engagement and content performance.
  • SEMrush: SEMrush offers a comprehensive suite of tools that can be useful for content audits, especially from an SEO perspective. It helps you analyse your content for search rankings and keyword performance and identify gaps in your content strategy.
  • Ahrefs: Similar to SEMrush, Ahrefs is a powerful tool for SEO analysis. It helps audit your content for backlinks, keyword rankings, and SEO health. It’s handy for understanding how your content performs in search engines and how it stacks up against competitors.
  • BuzzSumo: This tool is excellent for understanding the social engagement of your content. It shows how often your content is shared on social media, what content types are most popular in your niche, and who the key influencers are.
  • Trello or Airtable: While not specifically content audit tools, Trello or Airtable can be beneficial for organising your content audit. You can create boards or databases to track your content, note changes or updates needed, and manage the audit process.

3. Choose The Right Channels

Having great content is only half the battle; the other half ensures the right people see it. This is where choosing the right distribution channels becomes crucial. The channels you select should align with where your audience is most active and receptive. 

  • For Professionals: If your audience consists of professionals, LinkedIn and industry-specific forums might be the most effective channels.

For example, as a legal consultancy firm, sharing detailed articles and case studies on LinkedIn, or contributing to legal forums, helps engage with professionals seeking industry insights.

  • For B2B: B2B audiences often engage more on professional networks, industry blogs, and email newsletters.

Consider a software solutions company, where detailed email newsletters and industry blogs can effectively communicate your products’ technical strengths and benefits to other businesses.

  • For B2C: If you’re targeting a B2C audience, platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, depending on the demographic, can be more suitable.

A boutique fashion store, for instance, can use Instagram to showcase the latest trends and collections. They can also leverage Facebook for customer engagement and YouTube for fashion tips and brand storytelling.

It’s equally important to strike a balance between organic and paid channels. Organic reach builds authenticity and trust, while paid channels can amplify visibility and extend reach. The right mix will depend on your specific audience and the type of content you’re distributing.

4. Set Clear Goals

Setting clear and measurable goals is a cornerstone of a successful content distribution strategy. Define what you want to achieve with your content, whether it’s increasing brand awareness, generating leads, boosting engagement, or driving sales.

These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

For example, consider this goal: “Increase the monthly traffic to our blog from organic search by 30% within the next six months.”

  • Specific: The goal targets a particular aspect of content distribution – increasing organic traffic to the blog.
  • Measurable: The goal is quantifiable, aiming for a 30% increase.
  • Achievable: Assuming the website has a history of growing traffic and a plan to produce SEO-optimised content, a 30% increase is challenging yet attainable.
  • Relevant: For most content strategies, driving more organic traffic is a crucial indicator of success and relevance to overall business objectives.
  • Time-Bound: The goal has a six–month deadline, allowing for tracking progress and assessing effectiveness in a defined timeframe.

Setting such a SMART goal creates a clear target for your content distribution efforts and a benchmark against which to measure your progress and success. This approach ensures that your strategy is focused and aligned with your broader marketing and business objectives.

5. Plan Your Distribution

Planning your distribution is crucial because it ensures that your content is shared at the most impactful times and through the most effective channels. This strategic approach maximises your content’s visibility and engagement, aligning with your audience’s online habits and preferences.

Creating a content calendar is a pivotal step in your content distribution plan. Tools like Google Calendar, Trello, Asana, or CoSchedule can be extremely useful for organising and managing this calendar. In your calendar, you should detail the following:

  • Type Of Content: Indicate whether it’s a blog post, social media update, video, etc.
  • Content Topic: Include a brief description of the content’s subject.
  • Publication Date And Time: Schedule this based on when your audience is most active.
  • Distribution Channels: Note where the content will be posted or shared.
  • Status: Mark whether the content is in progress, ready for review, or published.

When it comes to the best times to post content on various platforms, here are some insights based on studies and analyses:

  • For YouTube: The best times to post are between 2 PM and 4 PM on weekdays and between 9am and 11am on weekends, as suggested by research from WordStream​​.
  • For Facebook: According to HubSpot, optimal posting times are in the evening and mid-to-late afternoon, specifically between 6 PM and 9 PM and 12 PM – 3 PM​​.
  • For Instagram: SocialPilot recommends posting on weekdays between 6 AM – 9 AM, 12 PM – 2 PM, and 5 PM – 6 PM, and on weekends between 9 AM – 2 PM for the best engagement​​.

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and the optimal posting times can vary based on your specific audience and their habits. Testing different times and tracking engagement is always advised to find what works best for your audience.

6. Leverage SEO and Keywords

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is improving your content to rank higher in search engine results pages. This means when someone searches for a topic related to your content, your page has a better chance of appearing among the top results.

  • Start With Keyword Research: Identify the terms and phrases your target audience uses when searching for content like yours. 

For instance, if you own a bakery specialising in gluten-free products, use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find terms such as ‘gluten-free bakery’, ‘celiac-friendly desserts’, or ‘gluten-free bread’.

Tools like Google Keyword Planner, AnsswerThePublic or SEMrush can help you find relevant keywords.

Image Credit: AnswerThePublic
  • Incorporate Keywords Naturally: Once you’ve identified your keywords, integrate them into your content, titles, and meta descriptions in a way that feels natural and helpful to the reader. 

For our bakery example, you might write blog posts with titles like ‘The Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Baking’ or ’10 Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes for Celiac Awareness Month’, incorporating these keywords in a natural and informative way.

When writing content, remember to avoid ‘keyword stuffing’—overusing keywords in a way that detracts from the quality of your content.

  • Optimise For Search Intent: Beyond just using keywords, tailor your content to match your audience’s ‘search intent’. 

This means understanding why they are searching for a particular term—is it to find information, to buy a product, or to understand how to do something?

If they are looking for gluten-free recipes, create content that provides value, like detailed recipe guides or tips for gluten-free cooking. If they want to purchase, ensure your product pages are optimised with these keywords.

  • Use Meta Tags And Descriptions: These are snippets of text that appear in search results and give readers a preview of your content. Ensure they are clear and concise, and include your primary keyword.

For your bakery, a meta description for a blog post might be ‘Discover our easy and delicious gluten-free bread recipe, perfect for a celiac-friendly diet.’ This gives a clear preview and includes your primary keyword, gluten-free bread.

For those with an e-commerce business, leveraging SEO is particularly crucial due to the high competition in online markets. To delve deeper into this topic, read our E-commerce SEO Checklist for more in-depth information to help you optimise your e-commerce site.

7. Collaborate And Partner

Partnering with influencers, industry leaders, and other brands can amplify your content’s reach significantly. Influencer collaborations, for instance, can introduce your content to a broader, yet still targeted, audience. 

Guest posting on reputable sites in your industry can position your brand as an authority while tapping into the host site’s audience. 

Consider leveraging partner marketing, where you and another brand with a complementary audience co-create or cross-promote content. This approach broadens your reach and can lend additional credibility to your brand.

A great real-life example of collaboration and partnership in content distribution is between Nike and Tiffany & Co. These two iconic brands, leaders in their respective fields of sportswear and luxury jewellery, teamed up to create a unique product that blends their distinct brand identities.

In this collaboration, Nike brought its expertise in athletic footwear design, while Tiffany & Co. infused the elegance and prestige of luxury jewellery into the product. 

The result was a special edition of the Nike Air Force 1 sneaker featuring the classic Tiffany Blue colour and a sterling silver heel tab – a nod to Tiffany & Co.’s renowned jewellery designs.

8. Utilise Analytics To Track Performance

Use tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, SEMrush, Ahrefs and BuzzSumo to monitor critical metrics. For example, you might find that your video content on social media drives more engagement than text-based posts, guiding you to allocate more resources to video production.

Here are some key metrics to track that will help you understand what types of content resonate with your audience and what distribution channels are most effective. 

  • Traffic Sources: Understand where your visitors are coming from (e.g., organic search, social media, direct visits).
  • User Engagement: Track metrics like page views, time spent on the page, and bounce rate to gauge how engaging your content is.
  • Conversion Rates: Measure how effectively your content converts visitors into leads or customers.
  • Social Shares And Interactions: Monitor how your content is shared and interacted with on social media platforms.
  • Content Performance: Evaluate which pieces of content perform best regarding views, engagement, and conversions.
  • Seo Performance: Track keyword rankings, click-through rates (CTR) from search results, and overall organic search traffic.
  • Audience Demographics: Understand the characteristics of your audience, including age, gender, location, and interests.
  • Device Usage: Determine whether your audience is accessing your content via mobile, desktop, or other devices.
  • Referral Traffic: Identify which external sites drive traffic to your content.
  • Email Campaign Metrics: For email distributed content, track open rates, click rates, and conversion rates.

Types Of Content For Distribution

There are three main categories of content, each with unique features and benefits: Owned, Earned, and Paid. Understanding each type’s characteristics, advantages, and challenges is crucial in formulating an effective content distribution strategy that aligns with your business goals and audience preferences.

1. Owned Content

Owned content refers to any material that a business creates and controls. This includes the company’s website, blog posts, social media pages, e-newsletters, and other digital assets. It’s the content over which the company has full governance and discretion.

  • Website Content: Informative and engaging pages that reflect the brand’s values and offerings.
  • Blog Posts: Articles that provide value, insights, and thought leadership.
  • Social Media Pages: Regular updates, posts, and interactions that build community and brand presence.
  • E-Newsletters: Periodic emails keep subscribers informed and engaged with the brand.

2. Earned Content

Earned content is publicity gained through methods other than paid advertising. This includes mentions, shares, reviews, or content created by customers, influencers, bloggers, and journalists. It’s essentially the digital word-of-mouth for your brand.

  • Press Releases: For journalists and media houses.
  • Engaging Social Media Content: To encourage shares and mentions.
  • User-Generated Content Campaigns: Encourage customers to share their experiences.

3. Paid Content

Paid content includes any content distribution method that requires payment, such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, sponsored content on websites or social media, paid influencer promotions, and paid social media ads.

  • Targeted Ad Campaigns: On platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Sponsored Content: On relevant blogs or news sites.
  • Influencer Collaborations: Paid partnerships with influencers to promote content.
  • Social Media Ads: Customised ads on social platforms tailored to target demographics.
Image Credit: Windflower Florist

Each type of content distribution has its unique advantages and challenges. A balanced content strategy often involves a mix of all three types – owned, earned, and paid – to achieve the best results in reaching and engaging with the target audience.

Refining Your Content Distribution Strategy

Continuous refinement is vital to keeping your content distribution strategy practical and relevant. This involves reassessing and adjusting your approach based on audience feedback, testing different methods, staying informed about industry trends, expanding into new channels, increasing engagement, and optimising your budget. Let’s dive into these aspects:

1. Gather Audience Feedback

Conduct surveys and gather feedback through social media to get insights directly from your audience. Another effective method is to use heatmaps and user behaviour analysis tools like Hotjar or Crazy Egg. 

These tools help analyse how users interact with your content, offering valuable insights for optimising content layout and user experience.

2. Test Different Approaches

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different content and distribution tactics. Use A/B testing to see what resonates most with your audience. This could mean testing different headlines, images, content formats, or posting times to determine what yields the best engagement and conversion rates.

3. Stay Updated On Trends

Stay abreast of the latest trends in content marketing and social media platform algorithms. Adapting your strategy to incorporate current trends and technologies can keep your content fresh and engaging.

One of the latest trends that content marketers should look into is the integration of AI and machine learning in content creation and analysis. This trend transforms how content is generated, personalised, and optimised for different platforms and audiences.

4. Expand Distribution Channels

Don’t limit yourself to just one type of platform or channel. For instance, if you use social media predominantly, consider branching into email newsletters or podcasts.

If you’re using paid channels like Facebook Ads, also consider incorporating Google Ads into your strategy. 

If the algorithm changes, policy updates or technical issues on one platform negatively impact your ad performance. Having another active platform ensures that your lead generation and audience engagement efforts continue uninterrupted.

5. Increase Engagement

Encourage audience interaction by using compelling calls to action and actively engaging in conversations with your audience. 

Post-distribution engagement tactics like community management and response strategies are important for building a loyal audience base. A great practice is to address users by name and provide specific answers to their questions or comments whenever possible.

6. Budget Optimisation

Determine what brings the best return on investment (ROI) and balance your spending between paid and organic strategies.

For instance, if paid ads bring more leads, allocate more budget and maintain a strong presence with organic, cost-effective methods like SEO and social media engagement.

Conclusion On How To Effectively Develop An Effective Content Distribution Strategy 

The secret to maximising your content’s impact isn’t just in its creation and distribution, you also need to know how to identify your audience, choose the right channels, use advanced analytics to measure success and so much more! 

Remember, it’s about getting your message to the right people at the right time. With the right strategy, your content won’t just exist; it’ll thrive and drive actual results.

Ready to take your content strategy to the next level? Claim your free 30-minute strategy session with us, the best marketing agency, and let’s unlock your brand’s full potential together.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Effectively Develop An Effective Content Distribution Strategy

Is Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency For Content Distribution Strategy Cost-Effective?

Hiring a digital marketing agency can be cost-effective, especially if you lack in-house expertise. Agencies bring specialised knowledge and resources, potentially saving time and increasing ROI.

How Does A Digital Marketing Agency Enhance Content Distribution?

Agencies offer expertise in multi-channel distribution, audience targeting, and analytics. They provide a strategic approach, ensuring content reaches the right audience effectively.

Can Agencies Help With Content Creation As Well As Distribution?

Yes, many digital marketing agencies offer content creation and distribution services, providing a comprehensive approach to your content strategy.

How Frequently Should Content Be Distributed?

Content frequency depends on your audience, goals, and resources. Generally, consistency is key. Regular, predictable posting can build a loyal audience, but over-posting might overwhelm them.

Can Content Distribution Help In Seo?

Yes, effective content distribution can significantly boost SEO. Sharing content on various platforms creates backlinks and increases online visibility, improving search engine rankings.

How Do I Measure The ROI of Content Distribution?

Measure ROI by tracking metrics like website traffic, lead generation, engagement rates, and conversions against content creation and distribution costs.

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