A Content Marketing Distribution Checklist
By Michael Zalle – Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Squire Tech Solutions
Content marketing is all the rage. It’s a term tossed around in nearly every marketing vertical, but there’s still plenty of confusion about what exactly constitutes content marketing. At Squire Tech Solutions, we took years trying to get our arms around content marketing and what that means for a B2B company. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
There is plenty of discussion around exactly what constitutes valuable and relevant content. Most content marketers seem to agree that the purest form of content marketing is focused on the audience. In other words, a press release about an upcoming event is not content marketing, but a series of articles on “the world’s best satellite communications solutions,” or “how to get your satellite system ready for a natural disaster” would be.
Many organizations that have embraced content marketing are focused on the creation of the content; it’s hard, time-consuming work that requires a skill that not everyone possesses. But what about the second part of the equation, when it comes to distribution? Remember, it’s critically important to market the content; otherwise it’s not content marketing.
In order to maximize the impact of the content an organization creates, it’s critically important to aggressively distribute it to the audience. With that in mind, here’s a content distribution checklist to get started – the exact program that works might vary for each business, but this can serve as a baseline.
Facebook: Facebook is a great place for content. The audience is huge and most people are focused on leisure-time activities when they’re on the world’s biggest social network. Importantly, Facebook has changed its algorithm recently to restrict what people see in their newsfeed, which means marketers will likely have to buy ads to truly break through. At a bare minimum, a communications organization must have a Facebook page and, they must be sure to post content to this page. This is a sign of legitimacy in this day and age.
Pinterest: Pinterest is just about perfect for most consumer focused industries like tourism and hospitality businesses. This is a very visual platform, so share posts that are image heavy. Also, importantly, this is a very female-dominated network, so bear that in mind when sharing content and communicating your message.
Twitter: Twitter is terrific for sharing content and critical use group information, as users are actively searching for interesting and meaningful stories to read and share. Organization engaged on Twitter cannot simply broadcast one way, though — success and a following come from engaging in a conversation. That is to say, it’s not wise to only blast out links to content. Instead, shoot for a 4:1 ratio of sharing others’ content compared to the company’s own. At the same time, business accounts should share posts on Twitter more than once. The nature of Twitter is that the news feed zooms by quickly, and things can get lost if they’re only promoted one time.
LinkedIn: Surprising, but the business network is a great place to share the type of content described above. The LinkedIn platform has transformed into a very content-centric social network, and at least some content can find an audience there.
Google+: Google+ hasn’t really taken off yet, but it matters, even if only for SEO purposes. It makes sense to post content on this channel as part of the regular content-marketing routine. Brands that find traction on Google+ can dive in deeper by seeking out appropriate groups to follow or participate in.
Email Newsletters: Email may seem old fashioned, but it’s a great way to push content to an audience. When customers, partners, and community provide with their email address, they’re indicating that they trust the marketer and want more information. Brands should encourage their audience to sign up to receive a periodic e-newsletter.
In the communications industry, it may be difficult to produce enough content to generate a regular newsletter. In that case, it might make sense to buy ad space in a newsletter produced by an association or trade group, spreading content to the best audience. Companies like MultiView can help match marketers with the proper associations to spread their content. At Squire Tech we engaged with Multiview and have been very impressed with the results.
Press Releases: Yes, earlier in this piece it was made clear that press releases aren’t the best tactic for attracting an audience, but some content may in fact be press release-worthy. No smart marketer would put out a release every time they write and publish a blog post. But if time and effort is going into developing eye-catching, informative guides to destinations, then that content may be appealing to targeted media. Therefore, issuing a press release can make sense. In the Public Safety and Oil and Gas industry, satellite communications is a critical element. Squire Tech is very focused on releasing press that our of users can learn from.
When it comes to content marketing, the most important thing is to remember that the job isn’t finished once the content is published. In many ways, that’s just the beginning of the effort.