Strong Content & Smart Distribution: The Recipe for Marketing Success

October 23, 2014 | Ann Lambert
Strong Content & Smart Distribution: The Recipe for Marketing Success

Searching for a read that piques your interest? There are thousands of articles to choose from every day—you shouldn’t have to look hard. But you may have to sift through quite a few to find a high quality piece of content. Unless, of course, the brand or author has done an excellent job of distributing it.

I recently came across an AdAge article on the importance of supporting great content with smart distribution (it popped up in my Google Alerts for video content marketing, so clearly AdAge is doing something right with their SEO and distribution strategy). Not only was it relevant to my work, its use of literary devices to make its points and entertain readers practically begged me to use it for a piece of my own.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes and why they should matter to marketers.     

 “Important as distribution has become in marketers' eyes, experts caution that all the lighter fluid in the world can't ignite a soggy sponsored post.”

Creating a high-quality piece of content is key. While many content marketers maintain that you need a continuous stream of thought leadership to generate demand and remain relevant, there’s no glory in fueling a content mill that churns out second rate assets. As this quote illustrates so well, paying to get your content noticed can only go so far. Sure, people will click. But the minute they’re disengaged they’ll bounce—and your bounce rate will soar.

It begs the question: If you always have to throw a ton of money at your content to support it, was it really that good to begin with? (I know where I stand…)

“But if content has a spark, a bit of spending, especially in the right place, can fan the flames.”

Frivolous spending on mediocre content will get you nowhere. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be strategic about spending to promote your top tier assets. The AdAge article gives the example of Dick’s Sporting Goods deciding to distribute a docuseries on the WatchESPN app rather than buying digital advertising space. Their choice gave them brand legitimacy and a relevant audience.

Once you’ve identified that you have a piece of content that can really take off, put a bit of thought into where you want to promote it before you default to the paid social ads.

“Don't go out and create audiences from scratch if existing audiences are out there that are valuable to you.”

Sticking with the previous example, Dick’s Sporting Goods was able to leverage ESPN’s audience (which conveniently aligned with its own) in order to make a splash. I am by no means championing piggybacking off of another brand’s audience as the foundation for your own. I think it’s important to establish a loyal following independent of anyone else. But I do believe that you can think creatively about where to promote your content—outside of your own network—to expand your reach to users who are more likely to engage with it. After all, who wants to reinvent the wheel?

“Content is king, but distribution is queen -- and she wears the pants.”

I gotta give credit where credit is due: BuzzFeed’s Jonathan Perelman coined those words. And it’s true: Brands may be frontloading content budgets on production and relying on creative thrift when it comes to paid media and promotion. But unfortunately, not all great content explodes organically. In those cases, distribution dictates how far and wide your artfully crafted content can reach.

Strong content speaks for itself. Smart distribution gives it a megaphone.

How have you creatively amplified your brand’s content? Make some noise in the comments section.

Marketing in the Social-Mobile-Video Age

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