Your job’s not done after you post a piece of content. Photo credit: Sergey Zolkin

Over the past week I’ve heard a few people negate the same phrase: “Build it and they will come.” When it comes to content, brands and publishers alike need to stop crossing their fingers and hoping readers flock to their content. It’s time for a content distribution strategy.

Publishers adopt paid distribution for native ads

Digiday’s Lucia Moses wrote about how publishers are adding in-house ad buying capabilities to help build audiences. Publishers like Vox Media, BuzzFeed, Complex and The Atlantic no longer think of the “build it and they will come” ethos, she says. Instead, they’re implementing paid distribution strategies to bring their native advertisers more traffic and bigger audiences.

The Atlantic, for example, works with us to measure and amplify its native ad programs. As Hayley Romer, vice president and publisher of The Atlantic, says, more advertising clients are asking for paid distribution as part of native ad programs, driving publishers to get on board with paying to promote content.

How brands excel at content promotion

At the INBOUND 2014 conference, Kieran Flanagan, HubSpot’s EMEA marketing director, started his presentation stating how frustrating it is to hear “build it and they will come” (along with “content is king,” for the record). Everybody’s building. Everybody’s doing content. And I’m not exaggerating here – per the Content Marketing Institute, 93 percent of B2B marketers and 90 percent of B2C marketers are using content marketing.

If you’re a content marketer, one of your biggest concerns should be getting your brand’s content in front of the right people. Flanagan offers this for a guideline: for the amount of time you spend creating content, spend at least half that time promoting it – at HubSpot, the time allotted for creation and distribution is equal. If marketers gather insights into which channels have the highest engaged audiences, they can better optimize their organic and paid distribution plans. He also advises marketers to track which content resonates the most and use that to help create future content, and to not forget about how you can repurpose and re-promote historical and evergreen content.

Don’t forget about goals and metrics

Like anything, before you start promoting, identify your goals so you know which metrics you need to track. How you execute and measure success will vary greatly if your goal is brand lift versus engagement versus lead generation.

About the author:

Adam Orshan is a mild-mannered Product Marketing Manager at SimpleReach that tends to make somewhat obscure references.

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