The idea of content marketing is by no means revolutionary, John Deere is often acknowledged as the first practitioner all the way back in 1895 when he released a magazine for his target audience of farmers.
And as the way in which people consume content has changed â€“ mainly through technological advances â€“ the platforms and contexts of content distribution have been forced to do the same. With the relative ease at which a company can now get its content seen by millions of people worldwide, through shares and likes on social media, it seems everybody is doing it; so how do you make sure yours gets seen?
Youâ€™ve written some super cool content and you think everyone â€“ more importantly your target audience â€“ needs to read it. You post it on your blog, making sure you strategically place some sweet, little SEO nuggets to make sure it can be found through Google. Then you wait.
Unfortunately you could be waiting a long time; forever to be precise. In order to compete on the content playing field, you need a quality distributor on your side; think Andres Iniesta. Like Barcelonaâ€™s midfield maestro, you need to make sure you slide your content in to the right places for maximum effect. For him thatâ€™s into the space in front of him, but for you it is where your audience are.
So, as a humble content distributor, here are my five tips for content distribution supremacy:
The first question you need to address before you start your content distribution is â€˜who do I want to see this?â€™ This is Content 101. Once youâ€™ve worked this out â€“ and for effective content marketing it should be one of your buyer personas â€“ you need to establish where these guys are currently getting their content from, then decide how you can get your content to them quicker and more effectively.
Use analytics to give you the important information about what social site they use and at what time is best to reach them; hell you can probably find out what they had for breakfast if you wanted.
2. Reddit Rules
Redditâ€™s a great site for sharing content, but it has some pretty ruthless moderators who live for deleting the accounts of shameless self-promoters, so itâ€™s important you read the â€˜Reddiquetteâ€™ and bear it in mind when you post.
Actually these rules are generally good to bear in mind whenever posting in any online forum; people donâ€™t want to be spammed all the time so as a rule I generally keep in mind the 9:1 ratio recommended by Reddit to keep karma happy.
If you engage with a community or forum nine times before posting any of your content, chances are the members will trust the link and not report you.
If you are writing about a certain event then make sure you find out exactly who was involved so you can mention them in any tweets or even send them a link. Generally people like to know if someone has written about them, or something they were involved in, and so will probably share it with their friends.
If youâ€™re writing about a subject that you think would be interesting for an influencer in your chosen subject, then donâ€™t forget to drop them a line. Send them a flattering e-mail saying how shiny their hair is and â€œoh yes, did I mention that great new content Iâ€™ve written, it would look so good on your blog, wouldnâ€™t it?â€
4. Link Bait
When you posted your killer content on your killer blog you were probably restricted from giving it a killer name by the need to pack it with SEO words. However when you share it in different places, you can be way more creative with your title.
In fact, you need to be overly interesting: make it sound irresistible or intriguing but give it an angle. Just as important as the title is the image or media you present with it. We quite often share our new content on Facebook as an image with a link, as it has proven to be more visually attractive.
5. Be a Gold Miner
The Internet is liquid and always changing; new websites are appearing all the time and you need to keep up-to-date with your audience and the sites they are using.
Even once you have a nice list of sites that you can distribute to, never stop looking for new ones. Donâ€™t be afraid to head off the beaten track in search of them either, you may find a great little hang-out with all your buyer personas and none of your competition â€“ then you have struck gold!