You could say that content distribution, at its core, is a numbers game.
If this blog post makes 10,000 impressions (or gets 20,000 potential eyeballs to acknowledge its existence), a significantly smaller percentage will make it to this very sentence. Far fewer will finish this post. And only a handful will convert into subscribers or free trial signups.
That's why it's important to use all the distribution tactics at our disposal to make sure our content gets seen by the largest audience we can manage to gather.
Share on social media
You're probably sharing your content across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. These tend to be the go-to channels for distribution.
But it doesn't hurt to explore other channels like SlideShare to discover relevant audiences outside of the loyal following you've already built up. For example, that viral infographic might have done well on your blog, but what about publishing it using SlideShare's Infographics Player?
Depending on the topic and format of a piece of content, it might resonate differently on Facebook compared to LinkedIn. Knowing this (and understanding your audience), you can make informed decisions about the channels you want to invest your efforts in for a particular piece of content.
Notify your audience by email
If your content is good, your subscriber list has something to look forward to every day, week or however frequently you've decided to publish. Distributing your content using email is a way to directly notify your loyal following whenever you publish something new.
Despite the cluttered nature of the average email inbox and notoriously unimpressive open rates, creating your own unique format to deliver emails about recent content gives your audience something to expect. Some may even look forward to what you send their way.
You have a lot more control and insight (thanks to marketing automation tools like HubSpot) to seize this channel as an opportunity to distribute your content on a regular basis.
Plus, your content will have that hot off the press appeal when it arrives in an inbox that consumers of content generally adore.
Participate in online communities
Though they require a regular investment of your time, getting involved in forum discussions, LinkedIn groups or Google+ communities lets you get your content right in front of a niche audience that's already been qualified based on their interests.
Did you write a helpful piece about content marketing? Share it in a group for Content Marketers and Creators.
This is a great way to distribute to an audience that you know will have an invested interest in your topic. Of course, you'll need to make an effort to be an active member, but if you can develop a prominent presence in these communities, you might get access to a group of passionate people who might also be willing to help you distribute your content too.
Borrow an influencer's audience
Sometimes it's not about what you say or how you say, but who is saying it.
If you can build a relationship with an industry expert or a well-known influencer, they might be open to sharing your content with their own audience. Not only do these individuals have larger and more engaged audiences, but their credibility is contagious to the content they share, which makes the links they share all the more click-worthy.
One of the pillars of persuasion is ethos — the reputation and credibility of the speaker. That's why reaching out to influencers or creating content they'd be inclined to share is one way to effectively "borrow" their ethos to aid in your own content distribution.
Call upon your advocates
Contrary to using influencers, you can call upon your own customers and subscribers to leverage their audiences too. However small their following or infrequent their online activity, it all adds up to a larger audience for your content.
Put dollars behind your content
Paid distribution tactics using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and PPC display ads are a great way to target audiences based on specific characteristics. Since you're investing more than time, you should have a clear strategy in place.
Try investing in your premium content (eBooks, webinars, white papers, etc.) so that you can strategically gate it for a higher lead generation rate with each visit. Just make sure the content on the other side of the gate is worthwhile.
There are endless opportunities to distribute your content, and while it is about the numbers, an audience that's a million strong is no good if it's comprised of irrelevant individuals. Find ways to distribute your content among people who are likely to be interested in what your company is all about.
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