Inbound Marketing Efforts Flounder without Content Distribution

August 26, 2015 | by Chris Frascella

Inbound Marketing Efforts Flounder without Content Distribution

Regardless of what stage you are at in measuring and improving your content marketing effectiveness, you cannot afford to be ignorant about the mediums and tools at your disposal for content distribution. If you are just getting started with your inbound marketing efforts, content distribution is the way you’re going to get the most mileage out of your excellent content, by repurposing it in various formats.

If you are already established as a content marketing leader but have hit a plateau in your growth, content distribution can help you discover other relevant audiences you may have previously overlooked.

And if you are experiencing explosive growth, you’re probably already focused on content distribution, but in the event you aren’t, read on to learn how it can help you capitalize on the cresting wave of attention you’re presently enjoying.


General Tips for Supporting Your Inbound Marketing Efforts with Deliberate Content Distribution

1) The Shortest Version:

Here’s the shortest version of these tips you’re going to find, courtesy of SEMrush’s weekly twitter chats. As you can see, they are more reminders than “how to” guidelines.

2) The Conversational Version:

Less succinctly, highlights from CoSchedule’s weekly twitter chat about re-invigorating a stagnant blog with inbound marketing efforts can be found here. As with the SEMrush image above, these represent crowdsourced responses.

3) The Actionable Version:

Inbound marketing guru Neil Patel has valuable advice for getting your content exposure (you may need to close a full-window pop-up to view the actual article). Some of it relates to distribution, but much of it is just about taking advantage of the distribution that will happen without any deliberate effort on your part.

Heidi Cohen’s guide to re-promoting content is also useful. Of particular note is the Derek Halpern 80-20 rule, which Heidi smartly covers before even getting into her list. It suggests that you should spend 4x as much effort distributing your content as you spent creating it.

Be aware, there is a fair amount of redundancy between Heidi’s and Neil’s suggestions (namely: targeting relevant social media groups, forums, aggregator sites and other bloggers).


Medium-Specific Content Distribution Tips to Improve Inbound Marketing Efforts

So what media channels are best-suited to support your inbound marketing efforts? SlideShare, LinkedIn, Podcasts, Pinterest and/or Instagram, interactive content marketing, and Twitter Chats are all worth considering.

This article from TopRank Online Marketing Blog does a great job of connecting the dots on content distribution via SlideShare. It includes some illustrative examples of what good slide deck content might look like as well. As an added bonus, users can now use “quick login” with their LinkedIn profile- opening the door for easier lead generation via SlideShare.

CopyBlogger has notably pivoted its focus from pushing out content via blog posts to primarily using podcasts to communicate. As a result, they’ve covered how to do a podcast well, but you might find their recent podcast on getting the most mileage out of sharing your content on LinkedIn more immediately valuable.

Sprout Social has put together some helpful content for using Instagram to make your team more effective at content distribution, for instance by paying attention to trending photos and videos, adding location tags to your photos, and submitting your visual content to curated collections.

Interactive content marketing can support content distribution efforts in two ways. As an inherently more engaging medium, users are more likely to enjoy and as a result share what you’ve repurposed as interactive online content. Additionally, by offering dynamic results based on user input, you can actually use a single piece of interactive content marketing to lead users to a multitude of pre-existing pieces of content. Each piece of interactive content becomes a sort of self-guiding table of contents for your library of content pieces.

Twitter chats have shown some traction this year– you may have noticed some of the above links came from or referenced Twitter chats listed in that TNW article. Personally, I find there’s a sweet spot with these – once they get too big, it’s just too difficult to keep up with the conversation and more irritatingly to sift through the irrelevant tweets. Until they reach that point however they can represent an increasingly fantastic community of peers to share content with.


The Best Answer for Improving Your Inbound Marketing Efforts

Just do it!

Pick a medium or two from the previous section, read up a bit on best practices, and attempt to share your content there. Give it a month or so of limited attention – tweak your headlines and/or tags, try to find other potentially relevant groups/collections/hashtags, and if you’re still putting in more effort than the level of engagement and prospective future engagement seems to merit, move on to the next medium.

You probably already have a solid intuition about where to find and how to engage your audience – don’t worry about perfecting a new medium for your content distribution on your first try, just worry about taking that first exploratory step and keeping an honest commitment to trying to use the new medium well.