Let’s face it — when it comes to content, we’re all “distributing.” It’s like the latest buzzword in the marketing office lately. You’re writing, you’re publishing, and you’re sharing. Publishing and sharing over and over again. Everybody’s doing it.
But are they really?
In a recent conversation about the common trends we’re seeing when talking with companies focusing on their content efforts, our executive team unanimously agreed that companies are not leveraging their content effectively.
Though we’re all intuitively saying we distribute content, I’m beginning to wonder whether this is just a phantom of the content marketer’s imagination. Or it’s that “thing” you discussed in the marketing meeting last January but totally forgot to execute (or continue to push off).
Let’s reinvigorate the word “distribution” and talk about the techniques and content marketing resources we’ve forgotten to employ with our published content:
You know that article that was published four months ago that you dropped into your social media management tool across all channels for that month and never touched again? Well, its value isn’t over.
You would be shocked to see how well old content can perform even months after it was published. It’s time to revisit and reshare that content, and make sure your team members are reading and sharing it, too. Their networks are just as valuable, if not more, as the C-suite’s, so take advantage of that opportunity.
When your sales team members are talking with prospects, how are they further educating them to turn them into qualified leads? Instead of constantly reaching out and scheduling calls, sales reps can send helpful and relevant content that lets prospects learn more about your company and ways to overcome common pain points. It’s a noninvasive way to nurture leads, and it doesn’t cost a dime — the content’s already there.
For instance, after hearing multiple excuses from company leaders about starting their content marketing efforts, our CEO, John Hall, wrote the article “Why Now Is the Time to Start Your Thought Leadership Strategy.” In it, he addressed some of these pain points — everything from an unfinished website to poor writing skills to inadequate budget. After sending that article to a number of stale leads, John re-engaged people who would have otherwise disregarded our services and hesitated on initiatives that could’ve greatly increased their ROI.
Additionally, using Twitter for lead generation and press mentions is a unique way to get noticed. Heroic Search published an article about this very topic (including how to implement), which you can view here.
I won’t assume everyone has an internal newsletter, but if you don’t have some sort of email campaign set up for your audience to join after they’ve visited your site, I highly recommend jumping on that bandwagon. Once you’ve created that, just add your content! It’s unlikely your leads will know you’re publishing content in niche publications unless you give them ample opportunity to discover it.
(Speaking of email newsletters, if you’re not a subscriber to our Influence & Co. Weekly newsletter, I encourage you to join! OK, I’m biased because I write it, but I promise it’ll be valuable. You’ll get an email from me at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time every Wednesday and maybe even an emoji or two if I’m feeling ferocious. Sign up here!)
Your HR team is always on the lookout for ways to optimize recruitment and training processes — just ask them. It’s not because the existing processes aren’t great but because things are always changing within and outside the company.
How do you think your HR team would feel if you proposed a simple, budget-friendly plan to use content to attract and educate prospective and current employees? They’d probably respond something like this:
Here are a few ideas for your HR team to effectively use that content:
LinkedIn’s publishing platform has opened a lot of doors for industry leaders and those wanting to break into the pack. After your content has had a chance to simmer in its original publication, repurpose it to your LinkedIn page. And be sure to include a relevant call to action within it that entices readers to further engage with your company’s content. You'd be surprised at the lead generation opportunities that could come from one piece of LinkedIn content.
Note: One thing to keep in mind is to always use a URL shortener with a tracking code, such as Bit.ly, when adding links back to your site on LinkedIn. Because of that site’s limited back-end analytics integration, you won’t be able to see who’s coming to your website unless you use tracking URLs.
OK, we all know that visuals and graphics in your content boost engagement and effectiveness, which is probably why 70 percent of marketers stated they would increase the use of original visual assets in 2015.
What easier way to do that than by creating a quick SlideShare with content you’ve already produced? That way, you can double your content while making it easier to consume. This is also a fantastic way to repurpose webinars your team has conducted.
There’s only so much you can do once you publish your content, but tapping into other people’s networks can help supercharge its visibility. If your team publishes an article that’s in the wheelhouse of one of your connections, send that person a friendly email letting her know it just went live and you thought she’d find it valuable.
Or, better yet, consider a handful of your connections and reach out to them for a quote while writing it — it will warrant more shares and exposure while strengthening your relationships. A great example of this is while Kelsey Meyer, our CEO, was writing an article on why CMOs need to start building their C-suites’ executive brands, I reached out to our CEO to see whether he knew anyone who could offer a valuable quote to the piece. John was at a conference then and replied that he’d just spoken with two CMOs in his network who would be perfect contributors. In less than 30 minutes, he introduced me, and those two CMOs replied with valuable insight, which Kelsey used to enhance her final article. It’s opportunities like these that allow you to tap into new networks, build relationships, and improve your content.
Now that we’ve gone over the techniques you probably (definitely) discussed but neglected, let’s stop just saying we’re distributing content and actually start checking things off the list. Because whose boss wouldn’t love that opener in this week’s roundup?
What are some content distribution techniques your team has discussed but has continued to put off or failed to execute? What did I miss? Share your insights with me or forever hold your peace.