As a marketer, your goals likely include generating qualified leads, establishing thought leadership in your field and building brand awareness. To accomplish each of these goals, you need to master content production. Even with the growth and evolution of marketing automation, one thing still holds true — content reigns supreme! For your content to actually lead to improved thought leadership and demand generation, you must properly incorporate digital content distribution.

Simply put, digital content distribution allows you to promote content to online audiences on multiple content distribution platforms in multiple formats. There are three methods of distributing content: owned, earned and paid.

What is Owned Content Distribution?

Owned channels belong to your company. They may include your website, blog, social media profiles or email newsletters.

One of the benefits of owned distribution is you get to decide when, how frequently and how to deliver your content.

What is Earned Content Distribution?

Earned — or shared — content distribution is when a third party shares or promotes your content via social media, mentions, guest articles or product reviews for free.

Earned content distribution helps you reach a broader audience, gain more notoriety and potentially increase your authority, all without spending a dime.

What is Paid Content Distribution?

Paid content distribution is when you pay to have your content shared on certain sites or channels. This primarily comes in the form of PPC, social advertising or paid influencer content.

7 Digital Content Distribution Trends

Choosing which digital content distribution strategy to use depends on your audiences and the overall goal of your strategy. With that said, there are some distribution trends to consider incorporating into your marketing strategy in 2020.

1. Guest Posting

Guest posting — or blogging — is where you write a post for a third-party site. The content includes a link back to your website.

The benefits of guest posting include:

  • Increase quality traffic to your site.
  • Build domain and search engine authority.
  • Develop brand awareness.
  • Increase the number of subscribers to your website.

2. User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is content created by customers, clients or contributors for free. According to Adweek, 85% of people trust content made and distributed by other users.

Examples of Beneficial UGC Include:

  • Asking current clients or customers to write a testimonial, then posting it to your blog or website.
  • Asking for feedback on social media and sharing whatever you receive.
  • Reposting the content your followers tag you in on social media.
  • Running a contest.

Think of the Coca-Cola “Share a Coke” campaign, where the marketing team personalized bottles by putting names on the labels. Customers published pictures of themselves holding their personalized bottle of coke to their social platforms.

Engaging with a product in a personal way is the kind of interaction customers want.

For reference, UGC falls under owned or earned content distribution, depending on where the content lives.

3. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a tactic where a brand distributes content through individuals who have the power to shape consumer opinions. Influencers come in many varieties, and may include celebrities, thought leaders, industry experts and social media personalities.

Influencer marketing has a strong return on investment (ROI). Check out these stats:

  • 82% of customers said they were likely to follow the recommendation of a micro-influencer (with 1,000 or fewer followers).
  • 63% of consumers say that they trust influencer messages about a brand more than a company’s advertising about their own brand.
  • 84% of shoppers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation.

4. Diversified Content

When it comes to the content you share on your website or social profiles, make sure to diversify what you create.

The most successful types of content include:

  • Infographics: Infographics take complex content and present it in a way that is friendly to the eye and easily understandable.
  • Galleries: Galleries or photo stories are a visually appealing way to create a narrative.
  • Videos: Clips should be between five to 15-seconds. You should always include subtitles so that people can watch your content without sound. Try to incorporate live videos whenever possible.
  • Podcasts: This plays on different senses than the written word; you can use your voice to accentuate certain aspects of what you say.
  • Interactive Content: Use more visuals in static content such as graphs to make it look like the content is moving. This also includes games, quizzes, polls, interactive eBooks, calculators, and any other content where the reader takes action or makes choices that impact the content experience.

In 2020, spend more time on how you present your content and less time on creating. Additionally, look at what you’ve already created and see if you can repurpose it in a new, innovative way. This suggestion brings us to our next digital content distribution trend.

5. Repurposing

Why not reuse the content your audience has already expressed interest in? Look at your analytics, find out what content is most popular and then find ways to repurpose and reshare it with your audience creatively.

Here are a few tricks to repurpose your existing content:

  • Link new blog posts to older blog posts to increase their traffic.
  • Look at the keywords targeted in those older blogs and pillar pages and then reassess and reoptimize.
  • Change the titles and meta tags of your posts.
  • Add new visual elements within your older posts to diversify the content.
  • Write a resource list article featuring your best content using analytics.
  • Incorporate old content in your newsletter.
  • Update and change the publication dates in your older posts.
  • Reintroduce old posts by creating videos around their subjects.

6. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the strongest forms of digital content distribution, as it’s a personalized stream of communication that builds a trusting relationship between you, your brand and your contact.

Follow these tips to improve your email marketing:

  • Segment your leads into dynamic lists: Organizing your leads will result in more personalized interactions and higher conversions.
  • Create visual workflows: This will allow you to automatically remove leads from an action group or lead-nurturing sequence when a specific event occurs.
  • Personalize emails: According to Experian, personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.
  • Have one goal for each email: Make the step you’re encouraging the lead to take obvious.

7. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing, both organic and paid, is an essential component to the overall success of your business and the growth of your brand awareness.

The internet has 4.54 billion users, or 59% of the population. Close to half of those users are on social media networks. Social media gives you the ability to actually connect with your customers, nurture more leads through the funnel and reach a much larger audience than any other content distribution platform.

Long-form social media marketing drastically helps grow a website’s organic traffic, find out the social media content distribution platforms we recommend in the section below.

Top Content Distribution Platforms to Use in Your Strategy

The golden rule used by marketers is to spend 20% of your resources creating content and 80% of your resources distributing it.

Since 80% of your resources are focused on reaching the intended audience and creating the brand awareness you crave, you need to use the best possible content distribution platforms.

Long-Form Social Media Content Distribution Platforms

By publishing your content on sites that favor long-form, you are more likely to rank well when people make long-tail queries on search engines.

Explore platforms such as Quora, Reddit or Medium and post answers to the questions asked that direct people to your website. You can also write unprompted answers to commonly searched terms (use your SEO experts for this) and cross-link to items on your website.

Using long-form social media content distribution platforms is a powerful method to increase organic traffic.

Automated Marketing Platforms

Using a platform that automates your marketing, such as SharpSpring, will help your organization generate more leads, convert those leads into sales and optimize ROI. Repetitive tasks such as sending emails, sending out social posts and tracking web analytics are automated, letting your team focus more on marketing.

According to a report by VB Insight, 80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase.

Before incorporating the top digital content distribution strategies into your marketing, you need to create the strongest possible content and master creating a content marketing strategy. For more information on SharpSpring’s marketing automation, contact us or get a demo today.

Rebecca Wentworth