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Content Marketing Strategy: How to Make a Content Distribution Plan (and Why You Need One)
Two business owners walk into a bar. They both have a stack of brochures about their company.
One hurls all his brochures up into the air and then walks out.
The other one passes his brochures out one-by-one, introducing himself as he goes.
Which one’s going to get more calls?
We’ve advocated before that you need to invest in content marketing. But If you have a habit of publishing content JUST on your website and then hoping it will gain traction, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s the same as running into a bar, tossing your brochures in the air, and waiting for someone to call you.
That’s not how it works, in the real word or the metaphorical one. There’s a reason content that goes viral is called unicorn content—it’s rare.
To put it in perspective for you, every minute:
- Google receives over 4,000,000 search queries
- Blog writers post 1400 new blog posts
- Facebook users share 2,460,000 pieces of content
- Twitter users tweet 277,000 times
- Tinder users swipe 416,667 times
- Whats App users share 347,222 photos
- Instagram users post 216,000 new photos
- Pinterest users pin 3,472 images
- Youtube users upload 72 hours of new video
Your blog (or landing page, or infographic, or video) has to compete with 200 million other pieces of content uploaded every minute. If you’re not creating a distribution plan in your content marketing strategy, you’re basically throwing your assets in the air and hoping for the best. NOT much of a content strategy.
If that’s exactly what you HAVE been doing, don’t worry, you’re not alone; 49 percent of marketers say strategy issues (adjustments or total lack thereof) were a primary factor contributing to stagnant B2C content marketing numbers.
Here’s what you need to do to incorporate a content distribution list into your content strategy plan:
- Pick an audience
- Pick a stage in the modern buyer’s cycle you want to target
- Pick the top channels that resonate with that audience at that stage in the cycle
Pick the Audience Your Content is Targeting
Who are you writing to? Figuring out your audience before you ever sit down to write is key in shaping your message. I guarantee you’ll have a different message for a 50-year old man than you would for a 21-year-old girl. The best way to figure out your target is to think about who would most benefit from the article you’re writing. Is it homeowners? Business owners? Teenagers? That should give you a good start on the audience you want to target.
Pick the Stage in the Buyer’s Journey Your Content Targets
This is a big one. You can’t just write content for a particular audience without purpose. Well, you can, but you’ll be wasting time, and time is money (and we like money).
Blue Corona uses a version (image above) of Avinash Kaushik’s content marketing strategy framework See-Think-Do-Care.
See: Largest addressable qualified audience with no commercial intent. This type of content would be to garner attention for something someone has no immediate need.
Think: Largest addressable qualified audience with some commercial intent. This type of content would be to get someone to start gathering information on an existing need.
Do: Largest addressable qualified audience with loads of commercial intent. This type of content would encourage an action, like filling out a contact form or subscribing to an email newsletter.
Care: Current customers with two commercial transactions. This type of content would be to help existing customers, either with updates about their products or new trends related to their industry.
Here is an example of a content topic for each stage of the buyer’s journey:
- Buyer’s Stage: See
- “The Dangers of an Old Furnace”
- “Common Home Remodeling Problems”
- “More B2B Owners Turning to Ergonomic Office Furniture”
- Buyer’s Stage: Think
- “Signs You Need a Furnace Replacement”
- “Three Ways a Home Remodel Will Up Your Home Value”
- “Why New Office Furniture Will Make Your Office More Efficient”
- Buyer’s Stage: Do
- “Best Furnaces for Your Furnace Replacement”
- “How to Get Started on a Home Remodel”
- “How to Choose the Right Office Furniture Company”
- Buyer’s Stage: Care
- “How to Care for Your New Furnace”
- “How to Keep Your Kitchen Remodel Looking Like New”
- “Office Furniture Accessories Your Employees will Love”
Once you’ve identified what stage in the buyer’s funnel you’re targeting you can get a better idea of the distribution channels that work best for that buyer’s stage.
Pick the Channels That Further Your Content Marketing Strategy
The last piece of a content distribution plan is to pick the right marketing channel to push your content out on.
Here’s a content marketing strategy example of how it pans out:
- Email marketing: Think, Do, Care
- Paid search marketing: Think, Do
- Social Media: See, Care, (some Think, with YouTube)
Once you’ve picked your right distribution channel, you’re an excel spreadsheet away from a solid content distribution list for your digital marketing strategy.
Creating Your Actual Content Distribution Plan
To start, create an asset list in Microsoft Excel (I’ve included a downloadable template for you below). In your asset list, you should include all of your online marketing assets, including your landing pages (an easy way to do this is to run a crawl of your website with a tool like ScreamingFrog), ad creatives, blog posts, case studies, white papers—anything that’s come out of your marketing department.
Put them in the template (download it below), and next to each asset, put the stage in the buyer’s journey each asset best targets. If it can serve more than one stage include both of them. Here’s an example of an asset list and distribution plan for our blog posts:
Once you have each asset labeled by stage in the buyer’s journey, start designating the advertising platforms that would work best. For example, blogs and infographics work well for social media, while coupons and specials should be left to email marketing and PPC ads. After you’ve done THAT, it’s time to tie it all together in a content distribution plan:
After you’ve made your calendar you’re able to start planning your execution.
Need Help With Your Content Marketing Strategy? We Got This.
Writing is hard, and there’s no real content marketing strategy template that makes it easier. If it was easy, I’d be out of a job. But the fact that writing IS hard is your number one reason to use a professional content marketer. Would you hire a handyman to fix a gaping hole in your roof? I hope not.
We have writers who—day in and day out—write, and that’s it. With that level of expertise, we’ve developed accurate voices for each of our clients and created content marketing strategies that have produced leads on leads. Give us a call, and we’ll get to work helping you with your content distribution plan. Or, you know, go the spray-and-pray route and see what happens…
Want to learn how to create a content marketing strategy or want a content marketing strategy checklist? Check out the following blogs:
About The Author: Blue Corona's Editorial Staff is determined to help you increase your leads and sales, optimize your marketing costs, and differentiate your brand by passing on our tribal knowledge. The team vigilantly stays on top of the latest in digital marketing, bringing you the top insights with expert commentary. Want to see something on our blog you haven't seen yet? Shoot us an email and our marketing team will get to work.
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