I’m sure you’re as tired as I am of hearing that, “Content is king.” I’ve talked about it in a previous blog, and the phrase has been around for several years with companies continuing to invest more time and money into content marketing. Many times what I see from companies upon implementing a content marketing program is putting too many resources towards the content development but not enough towards the marketing of that finished product. Jonathan Perelman, VP of agency strategy at BuzzFeed, has said numerous times including in a feature with Forbes, “Content is king; distribution is queen, and she wears the pants.” I love this statement because it is so true. Companies are building out large teams focused on executing content – articles, white papers, video, graphics, etc. – but fail to put the similar investment into circulation of that content.
When considering content distribution, my tip for you is to identify “homes” for your content that will contribute value towards reaching your marketing and business goals. You can categorize these homes in a few different ways: owned, earned and paid.
Owned properties are any that belong to you, including company websites, blogs, social media and so forth. When developing content, I’m an advocate for leveraging a single piece content across all owned properties. I’m not really talking about writing, say a white paper, and simply posting it everywhere. Rather, I recommend you be thoughtful about how that content fits with each owned property. For example, while the white paper may be posted in the Resources section of your corporate website, consider extracting its key points and simplifying the tech talk to turn it into a more conversational post for the company blog. You could also consider using those key points to develop social posts, transform some data into an inviting graphic or combining those elements into a SlideShare presentation to also be used on social channels.
Earned properties are essentially those that host your content after being secured through public relations. This could take the form of media coverage or guest blogs. M/C/C has had frequent success securing bylines and contributed articles for our clients. Ghostwritten by M/C/C and attributed to company executives, these articles extend thought leadership and give third-party credibility. Bonus points for being able to control the message, too! Other earned opportunities could be offering up contributions to outlets’ original stories, including sources, research findings, industry data, graphics, video, etc.
Finally, paid properties are, well, paid placements of content. Whether it’s a white paper posting, video posting, display advertising, pay per click (PPC) advertising, sponsored blogs, social advertising, etc., paid properties are anything you financially invest in to amplify your content. As content marketing has boomed, companies like Outbrain, Taboola and Nativo have also come on the scene to assist brands with their paid content distribution. Brands leverage these companies’ vast networks of publishers to increase the reach of their content. Unfortunately, their current targeting capabilities don’t really stand out, limiting the control a brand has over who their content reaches and where. To be fair, though, these companies are making efforts to continuously increase the quality and decrease the invasiveness of their content placements.
Content marketing is only growing. The Content Marketing Institute reported in a recent research study that 70 percent of B2B marketers will create more content than they did last year, and it’s probably safe to say that many of these 70 percent will get too wrapped up in the content and not enough in the marketing. Content marketing can only be effective when it’s accessible and consumable, so make distribution a priority.
A lot to take in? Talk with M/C/C about successful content marketing programs. We’ve been doing content marketing long before it became a buzz word, and we’ll help you develop an effective plan to meet your marketing and business goals for the year.