What is Content Distribution and How Does it Work?

After a while of creating content, many brands figure out the types of content that perform best with their audiences. Sometimes, this content can become stagnant and stops drawing in new audience members, thereby reducing the ROI. 

As a result of an overly saturated social media space, it can be hard for brands to reach new viewers and readers. Finding organic traffic is harder for brands active on social media as social platforms are expecting brands to “pay to play”. 

Content distribution in the USA is in the process of promoting content to online audiences in different media formats through multiple channels. These channels are owned, earned and paid. 

The content distribution channels 

Owned content includes distributing content to owned web locations such as your own blog, emails, newsletters and social media accounts. Distributing owned content allows you to keep complete control over the tone of voice, messaging and aesthetics. It is cost-effective as it can be repurposed across multiple channels. 

When creating your own content, make sure it can stand the test of time for different rules and regulations social platforms have. This means your content will not be taken down by platforms. 

Earned content is distributed through third parties. These external parties share your content or content about you through the press, guest article contributions, RTs and shares or product reviews. Earned media is the most authentic and transparent method of content distribution as it doesn’t come from a business directly. Earned content is as influential as word-of-mouth marketing. Earned media gives your brand credibility and social proof. When a potential customer or client sees feedback from an existing customer or client, it will increase the likelihood of a sale. 

One of the most important aspects of earned media is that it improves your ranking on search engines and can take your content viral. Ranking higher on search engines will result in more relevant traffic to your pages, which will create more engagement and elevate your brand to an authority figure. 

Paid content is when you pay for your content to be distributed. These include display ads, paid searches and sponsorships. The payment form can vary but typically works on a cost per click model. Paid content distribution can give you an immediate result while maintaining a level of control over the content

To maximize the results of your paid media, ensure your ads always lead back to your owned media. For example, teaser ads will encourage viewers to your owned media to find out more. Paid media should not be your main focus for distributing content but a support system for your owned and earned content. 

Content Types to Distribute 

There are countless types of content available to distribute through the 3 main content distribution channels. From infographics to case studies, podcasts to blogs and videos to white papers, the type of content you create for your distribution strategy depends on who your brand is, what your audience wants to see and where they want to see it. 

Each type of content will be suited to different platforms, but you can create multiple pieces of content from a source. For example, you can write a blog post and promote it by using graphic images or an infographic. This means you have more content to use from the same amount of research and resources. 

Content Distribution Takeaways

While each brand will have its own preference on content distribution channels, it is important to consider using all available channels. All three channels have different benefits, and some will be more important to brands than others. However, for a successful content distribution strategy, you need to incorporate all of them. 

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