In the early days of content marketing, content distribution was the red-headed stepchild to content ideation, content creation, content strategy, and, the darling of influencers, content amplification. Luckily, it didn’t take long for small businesses and enterprise brands to recognize the error, as they came to see clearly that even the best designed content doesn’t have a chance of being successful without being shared widely.
Today, content distribution is in vogue.
Table of Contents
What is content distribution
Content distribution refers to the dissemination of your brand’s various content types across platforms to a desirable audience you do business with or wish to do business with, or both. The distribution of your content involves paid, owned and earned channels including email, social media, word of mouth, sharing on your blog, ads, podcasts, videos and press releases, among other means. Distribution of your brand’s content is invaluable because what you create is of no use if it’s not shared and consumed by those who you hope to attract to your brand and offer a product or service.
Why is content distribution important
One of the best and most effective tactics for drawing leads into your organization’s inbound marketing funnel is to create content surrounding specific keywords that answer specific search queries. Doing so makes it more likely that your content answers a search query and is rewarded with visibility by Google via visibility in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
That’s easier said than done, though, as even a cursory glance at the SERPs will make clear.
In years past, website owners could create web pages with thin content and legitimately hope to show up in organic search results. And even if their rankings were inconsistent, they needed only to create another page or pages, fill it with keywords and repeat the effort, again and again.
Those days are gone, however, thanks in large part to manual penalties such as Google’s Panda Update, which penalizes sites with lots of thin content, and the heavy competition from brands who have made quality content, and content marketing, a priority.
Nowadays, it’s rare to find brands who aren’t making a solid commitment to effective content marketing. In fact, nearly 90% of B2B brands report content marketing as a priority, according to research by the Content Marketing Institute.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to get your brand in front of the prospects you ultimately hope to serve. What’s more, effective content, matched to the keyword queries in organic search, is one of the surest paths to ensuring your brand and its products and services get in front of the right people at the right time.
Content marketers looking to attain lasting success have no choice but to make organic search a priority. But it’s not enough to simply know content marketing must be a priority for organic search; we must know how to make it work for our brand.
That process begins with having our proverbial ducks in a row, so we can put our best foot forward.
Your content and SEO strategies begin with your brand
We too often hear the the catchphrase “Content is King,” as if simply producing content is enough. It’s not. Other phrases thrown around highlight audience or amplification as the first priority of content marketing as it regards organic search. This approach is flawed because: a) You don’t know what content to create or who to create it for unless and until you’re clear on who/ what your brand is, b) what role it plays in the market it serves, or is to serve, and c) what needs the brand is uniquely qualified to fulfill in the marketplace.
What is our reason for being? A simple three-step process helps you find the answer.
What does your brand stand for?
In order to discern what your brand stands for, you’ll need to answer this question: *What is our reason for being?* This goes beyond catch-phrases or slogans. It’s the very wellspring that will feed your organic search effort, making it clear in the minds of prospects that you stand for x, and when they need x, you’re the brand that’ll come to mind – a very important priority when you consider the priority given to brands when it comes to organic search click-through rates.
What role does your brand play in the marketplace?
A major prong of your brand’s content strategy must be to best your competitors, in the SERPs and wherever prospective customers are present, online or offline. For example, if the competition is beating your brand by producing better-performing content, it behooves you to pull your team together, discern what changes need to be made to your content creation and amplification process, then hit back as hard and as fast as possible.
What spot is your brand uniquely qualified fill?
When it comes to creating organic reach, one of the biggest mistakes brands make is over-reaching, attempting to be all things to all people. We see this often as brands attempt to rank for myriad keywords, the majority of which won’t do them any good in terms of generating brand awareness or driving traffic that ultimately converts. The first step toward owning the online real estate your brand covets requires thinking in terms of what your brand can do better than the competition, even if the latter decided to give chase. (This positioning guide can be a big help.) Content marketing success comes swiftest to those who occupy the right territory, then defend it ruthlessly.
Content marketing success comes swiftest to those who occupy the right territory, then defend it ruthlessly.
A winning SEO gameplan
When it comes to B2B content marketing, leads and conversions are the name of the game. If you want your content to work, you need to create content that can be distributed to the right person at the right time (e.g., when they perform an online search). That’s why it’s important to focus your energy on optimizing content for the right portions of the marketing funnel (awareness, consideration, compar ison, conversion, retention).
Focus on the right areas
With each piece of content, try to focus on no more than two parts of the funnel, which allows for a more targeted message that will hit home with the intended parties. Emphasize those areas of the funnel that most need attention during a given time. In other words, have a clear goal for who the content is for, the desired action you want them to take, and what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure success.
Target the right personas
In B2B, the person consuming the content often isn’t the person making the purchasing decision. Therefore, it’s imperative that you create and share TOFU information like blogs or infographics (for example) for the awareness phase, but also consider the decision-making phase, where white papers or eBooks might have more of an impact with C-level decision makers.
It’s also important to think beyond just the content in today’s online marketplace.
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly content experience, you’re not only missing out on conversions; you’re likely to be penalized by Google as well, thanks to the search giant making mobile friendliness a ranking factor. The best content in the world won’t help your brand if it cannot be found and crawled by the robots and delivered to your desired audience. Additionally, since we now know that links and quality content signals are key drivers for search ranking, we must optimize for them, where possible.
Three other key areas we should make a priority
Links are seen by the search engines as a signal of relevance and authority. When creating content, give some thought to delivering a level of quality that surpasses what’s readily available on the topic, which goes a long way towards earning links from readers and sharers of your content.
The vast majority of content that gets shared on the web does not earn links. In many ways, this is the result of brands not having clear goals for their content and not catering to a core of their audience who could become loyal visitors and sharers of their information. Strive to understand the needs of your audience, then create content that exceeds their needs. People who become loyal to your content are far more likely to continue visiting your website and become customers of your brand.
Thinking beyond text and images is crucial if your brand is to stand out in the B2B content marketing sector. You must strive to own the entirety of the content experience, which includes but is not limited to search engine optimization (SEO), web design, user interface (UI), user experience (UX), and social media marketing (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). With every customer touchpoint, think, “How can I create an experience that my audience will love?”
When you do this, you not only create brand affinity with prospects and customers, you also make it easier for the search engines to find and reward you (onsite engagement factors into search rankings). Most importantly, it helps create a layer of protection that competitors will have a hard time besting.
If your B2B brand desires to win in content marketing, developing the mindset that “We’ll be the best at everything we endeavor to do” will serve you well – and vastly improve organic search as a distribution channel for your content.