As I wait in line with a pumpkin spiced latte (#PSL), to buy the newest iPhone, wearing an infinity scarf, its official – it’s time to start planning ahead for your 2016 marketing plan. Q4 is upon us, and as marketers we’re gearing up to present our budgets and plans, hoping that they don’t get ripped apart (fingers crossed!) Though many of us claim to have a “content strategy” in place for 2016, it is only valuable if the content we are creating is able to get enough traction in search engines, and more importantly, enough traction with our customers.
For a long time, marketing thought leaders have been saying that content is king, but that’s only mostly true. And though quality content is still very important, it’s definitely getting bumped down the royal ladder. Content may be king (for now), but distribution and delivery is queen – and it’s obvious who wears the pants in that relationship.
Now it’s one thing to create quality content, and it’s another to effectively share that content, but what happens after you create and share your content? We’ve all been there. You spend hours researching and pulling together content, and you spend time tweeting, hash tagging and promoting the content on social networks, and maybe you’ve even used some marketing spend towards Facebook and LinkedIn Ads to promote that content – yet why doesn’t it stick?
Unless your content is super viral (aka unless you’re Justin Bieber, Donald Trump or a sneezing panda), you’d better have a plan – make that two plans. A content distribution plan and a content delivery plan. Without these, content marketing is just content; flowing in no particular direction.
When it comes to marketing (and makeup) less is often more. By focusing on mapping out your content distribution, you can decrease content production while achieving better results and engagement with your customers. There are many distribution methods to choose from and although it may seem tempting to pursue as many of them as possible, you should be selective in adding distribution channels to your marketing plan.
There are three types of distribution channels: owned, paid and earned.
1/ Owned distribution – Consists of your company’s owned media channels such as your blog, your website, and your email newsletter. These channels also include your “branded” social media platforms, such as your Twitter account, Facebook Page, LinkedIn company page and other social profiles.
2/ Paid distribution – Consists of your pay-per-click (PPC) and cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns. These paid channels can include Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Twitter ads as well as other methods of advertising.
3/ Earned distribution – Consists of others sharing and engaging with your content. This is the hardest distribution channel to achieve and the hardest to optimize since it relies on others’ opinions in the form of social media shares, guest posts, media coverage and product reviews.
A targeted distribution plan that is designed to address each of your customer types with a mix of owned, paid and earned distribution, will yield the greatest results in online interaction and engagement.
Here are some more tips about how to add new content distribution channels properly.
People everywhere are consuming content in ways and at speeds (too fast, too furious) like never before. As humans, it’s only natural that we want to be entertained and engaged, and subsequently, the expectations of our consumers have changed. In 2016, marketers will have to supercharge their marketing plans and deliver content in a more ‘glanceable’, ‘snackable’ and ‘sharable’ way.
Yes, you may have guessed it – I am a part of that (not at all entitled) millennial cohort – Generation Y. Our generation eats, sleep and breathes with our devices. No really, take a look around, we are literally eating meals with our smartphones, sleeping with our tablets and laptops and sometimes we hyperventilate when we misplace our wearables (okay, maybe that’s just me).
We are also not looking for content – content should find us (again, not at all entitled). Did I wake up this morning in the hopes of searching for a funny cat video? Definitely not! But was it the first thing I watched (twice), laughed (out loud) at and shared with all my Facebook friends? You bet!
In this scenario, the content of the cat video itself was not “king” – it was in fact the distribution, on my Facebook feed, and the delivery via mobile video, that hit the homerun. Not to mention that it was highly ‘glanceable’, ‘snackable’ and ‘shareable’.
Content marketing should leave you feeling content and that’s why marketers need to change their priorities to accommodate consumers’ increasing thirst for useful, custom content.
Do you agree?
Is content king or is content complex? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this page.
Digital Marketing Specialist at BDO Solutions