6 Steps for Creating Content With a Distribution Strategy
We’ve all been there before. We put our blood, sweat, and tears into a content piece that didn’t get the love we thought it truly deserved. Although it’s a bit of a sting, there's a valuable lesson you can learn from this experience. In fact, it’s what inspired this blog post: Even great content falls flat without good distribution.
To prevent that from happening to your next content piece, here are 6 steps for crafting an asset with your content distribution in mind.
Identify which audience you most want to reach. This is one of the most crucial steps in developing a distribution strategy for your content because it sets the foundation for what your content piece will contain - it guides your writing. Are you looking to attract customers, partners, or prospects? What are their pain points, motivations, and goals? Your content should be tailored to reflect that.
Decide what action you want that audience to take. Once you confirm who your target audience is and which messages are likely to resonate, you’ll need to pick an action you want them to take after reading your piece. Do you want them to sign up for a free trial, visit your website, or request a demo? Making this decision is as important as deciding who you want to target. You will write the piece with your desired action in mind, including messaging and information that inspires them in that direction plus a strong call to action (CTA) at the end.
Pick the asset type(s) you think will resonate best. So you’ve picked your target audience, you know what they care about, and you have an action you’d like them to take. Next, consider: what assets would they respond to best? An ebook, infographic, one pager, webinar? There are plenty of options but how do you know what’s right for your audience? Always take their preferences into account. Looking at past campaign performance, does this group tend to prefer visual content pieces? If so, maybe a 10-page, text-heavy ebook isn’t the best fit. On the other hand, if your target audience is looking for an in-depth, detailed content piece with layers of sophisticated, nuanced information, then perhaps an ebook is exactly what they need.
Write the content piece. It’s time to start writing! Here are some pointers to consider before you begin. Outline the story arc with supporting details ahead of time. Do your research on the topic you’re covering to gather reliable sources and data to support your claims. Write clear and compelling headlines that grab the reader's attention. Use a clear and consistent content structure throughout your piece; make use of headings and subheadings to create an order that makes your piece easy to follow (plus it boosts SEO, too). And finally, make sure to proofread your writing. If the final format of your piece is visual, let a designer bring it to life with images that tell the story, small amounts of text to support it, and colors and fonts that match your brand guidelines.
Promote your content in a channel that draws your target audience in. Congrats! You already completed the hardest part – creating the piece. Now it’s time to integrate that distribution strategy that you’ve set the stage for from the beginning. Take a close look at the different amplification channels at your organization and see where there’s a good fit. Here are some examples: - Marketing emails sent to your database - Social channels where you could share content - Paid channels like ads or sponsored social media - Press release opportunities Think back to that audience you defined in the beginning and the types of content you know they like to consume. Now ask yourself - where in your available channels can you find them? And where would this particular asset you’ve made work best? It's important to pick a combination of channels and ensure they're working together to drive the most possible value for your business. Put your JUICIEST content behind a form, so people have to opt into emails from you to get it. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to create a series of touches where possible. The same can be done on social media by posting “teasers” of the content to encourage action. Where you can, make sure the assets themselves link to one another (derivative assets like infographics and one pagers can link to ebooks and white papers, on-demand webinars can link to them all). Don’t forget that although YOU see every email and social post you make, most of your subscribers, followers, and audience will only see one or two pieces of your plan so don’t be afraid to repeat promotions to get the most out of your content.
Pay attention to what’s working and do more. If you find something that works, stick with it. If you’re not too pleased with the results – keep experimenting. Make a habit of checking in on the strengths and weaknesses of your content pieces and promotional plans and jot them down. This can help guide you on what your next asset should be and how to promote it.
And there you have it! Those are your 6 steps to create a cohesive content + distribution strategy. With a solid plan in place for each asset, you’re a step closer to boosting your brand awareness and gaining more customers.
Want help creating an efficient content marketing plan that’s sure to get eyeballs where you need them? Drop us a line.