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The Umbrella Guide to Developing Your Clients’ Content Distribution Strategies

By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Oct 5, 2023

You can spend time and money developing the best content in your clients’ industries, but if you don’t effectively get it in front of people, you’ve wasted your time. This guide will help you build an effective content distribution strategy that reaches your clients’ customers and motivates them to engage.

The Three Kinds of Content Distribution

There are three basic types of content distribution: owned, earned or shared, and paid.

Owned Channels

Owned channels are those which your client completely controls. These would include your client’s

  • Website, blog and landing pages
  • Social media accounts
  • Newsletters
  • Mobile apps
  • Email campaign content
  • Educational content such as white papers, webinars and podcasts

Earned or Shared Channels

Earned or shared channels are owned by third parties who share content about your company or products. They might mention your client’s brand in a blog post or social media post for example.

Earned or shared channels include

  • Content shares
  • Mentions of your client’s brand
  • Backlinks to your client’s content
  • User-generated content where customers talk about your client’s brand or show themselves using their products
  • Free reviews of your client’s products
  • Guest posts
  • Media coverage

Paid Channels

Paid channels require your client to pay to distribute their content. Paid channels include

  • Advertising
  • Social media ads
  • Boosted social media posts
  • Sponsored content
  • Paid posts by influencers or paid reviewers
  • Paid PR distribution channels such as PRWire

Steps to Developing Your Content Distribution Strategy

1.    Understand Your Client’s Audience

Before you develop or distribute content, you need to understand the audience for which it is intended. Gather data about your client’s ideal audience for the content using tools like Google Analytics to analyze demographics, interests and behavior. Either develop or update their customer personas. You can’t begin deciding on the best channels for distribution until you are clear about the ideal audience for your content.

2.    Set Clear Goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

When you create and distribute content, it should be for a particular business purpose. What are you hoping to accomplish? Once you set your goals, you can set KPIs to help you meet them.

For example, if you want to increase conversions, you will want to track conversion rate and bounce rate among other KPIs. If you want to increase your audience on social media, you will track shares, follows and likes.

3.    Examine Existing Content for Repurposing

It can be time-consuming and expensive to create good content, but you need a constant flow for content distribution. So, it makes sense to repurpose your client’s content in order to get as much as you can from it. Look through their best-performing content and determine what it makes sense to repurpose. Also look at the channels where different kinds of content performed well. Then, keeping your various audiences in mind, set up a plan for where, when and how to repurpose.

For example, that blog post that knocked them dead? Turn it into a newsletter, expand it into a white paper or use it as the basis for a video.

4.    Create Content People Want to Share

When you create new content, create it with distribution channels in mind. Create content that has enough of a hook or is of enough interest that people want to share it. Grab attention with statistics that make a strong point, write practical guides that help your client’s customers succeed, and grab attention with humor and compelling visuals. Include social sharing buttons to make it easy for your client’s audience to spread the good word.

5.    Partner with Noncompetitive Companies and Influencers

Turn up the volume of your marketing megaphone with a minimum of time and money by partnering.  Make a list of companies that have your client’s same audience but do not compete with them. Your client will benefit when their new partner creates content recommending your client to the trusted partner’s own client base. And vice versa.

Unlike partnering with other companies, collaborating with influencers has a price. Choose micro-influencers known in your client’s location or industry to keep prices down. Influencers can give your client credibility with their followers, people that your client might never reach otherwise.

6.    Choose Your Distribution Channels

You will want to use all three types of distribution channels: owned, earned and paid. But when and for what purpose?

  1. Strike a balance between paid and organic channels.
    • Paid distribution channels such as Google ads and social media ads are a good way to get your message out there quickly. You can start engaging with people overnight.
    • Organic distribution channels such as blog posts, social media posts and email campaigns on the other hand, need time for results to grow. You need to build an audience for your social media accounts and blog for example.
    • Once you have a lot of followers, shares and mentions will increase. It may take some time to build organically, but it’s not dependent on monetary spend.
  2. Check your data to see what kind of content is performing best in what kind of channels. Balance effectiveness against cost. Focus most of your efforts on what has proved to be successful, but don’t be afraid to try new things also.
  3. You don’t have to stick to one type of channel at a time. You may end up using the same content for owned, earned and paid channels. It’s not a bad thing for your client’s customers to feel like they are seeing your message in several places. It’s a marketing maxim that on average people need to see or hear a company’s message at least seven times before they notice it and take action.
  4. Analyze what your competition is doing with content by using available tools such as those from SEM Rush, Similarweb and others to view your competitors’ web traffic and where it comes from.

7.    Tailor Your Message to the Channel

Always tweak your message according to both the channel itself and the audience you want to reach on that channel. You may and usually should use more than one platform for a campaign. Your message should be consistent but tailored. For example, you can feature laptops you sell on both TikTok and LinkedIn, but the posts and ads are going to have a very different tone and may focus on different features.

8.    Create a Content Calendar

Your content distribution should be strategic and calculated. You should create a calendar for what will appear, when it will appear and where it will appear. You can’t make an impact unless you are organized.

9.    Track and measure

Continuously gather and analyze data to see what works and what doesn’t. One of the best things about digital marketing is that you can turn on a dime. Analysis will tell you want you need to know about what kind of content works on which channels, and enable you to course-correct. Of course, Google Analytics and Google Search Console will help you in this endeavor as will tools provided by social media platforms. There are also a bevy of third-party tools.

Need Help with Your Client’s Content Distribution Strategy?

If you would like to strategize about your client’s content distribution, contact Umbrella for a free consultation. Complete the form here or call us at (866) 760-2638.

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