Content Distribution – via virality, shareability or media buy?

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Content-Marketing - Myndset digital marketing strategy

Image from Lift Division

After getting on the social media bandwagon, brands are rushing to content marketing like gold diggers to the open pit. But, just like for gold diggers, the real issue may be the distribution, not the gold in the pit. More and more, the real question is how do you get the (good) content to be seen and shared? For many brand managers or marketers, the effort to create good content comes to nought because of a lack of return on investment. For some, one could probably argue that the expected returns were outsized. However, the real challenge of creating good content goes well beyond finding the time and the pen to write great posts. The issue is whether it will be read, liked, shared and, otherwise, create engagement.

Driving toward more content marketing

Brand marketers are besieged with options. They are being pitched by their agency of record or constantly approached by niche agencies wanting new pieces of the business (SEO, social, mobile, UX…). They are bombarded by articles and blog posts (like this one!) vaunting the merits of new digital marketing tools and platforms. Not least, they are assailed by their internal management (inspired by consultancies and marketing gurus) to spend more on digital marketing. And, most of these roads lead in one way or another to having a stronger content marketing strategy.

The role of agencies in play

Advertising agencies are motivated to push creative content, because they are typically hardwired to promote their creative talent (and vie for advertising awards). Many large agencies make fatter margins on big scale video productions or photo shoots. They can be motivated by their own profit centers as opposed to the brand’s real needs. But, whether or not a long-form slick video or 6-second Vine is the right choice, where the gig has become rather murky — if not overlooked — is the “media buying” or the distribution part of the puzzle. The typical problem:

My content is the best kept secret…

Content Distribution – Getting it out there

As great as the script or storytelling may be, one of the most challenging components of modern-day marketing is getting one’s content to cut through the clutter with a reasonable effectiveness. It’s not because I have a million fans on Facebook or followers on Twitter that my post will become viewed, shared and, ultimately, converted into sales. Even if the content is kickass good, the first problem can be getting the critical mass to be viewed (and then shared). Some brands have large inbuilt audiences. However, size does not equal engagement. These online audiences and communities can quickly have allergic reactions if the brand is being too pushy. {Tweet this} Buying mainstream media (MSM) space — to push out the link — can get a volume of eyeballs. In today’s world, MSM basically now includes buying Google keywords and/or Facebook ads. {Tweet this} However, the qualification and engagement of those eyeballs can vary greatly.

Content distribution - myndset digital strategyThe urgent question for your marketing team or agency is:

What are the proper distribution channels for your content?

Getting a video to go viral is, at best, a crapshoot. Making content that is gripping (emotional) and sharable (sticky) demands great creativity and contextual intelligence. It is my belief that getting your content viewed is where the rubber hits the road for marketers looking for serious returns on investment. Content distribution may ultimately become a question of media buy. But, for maximum effectiveness, it will require a mix of methods (as in the diagram above). In a world of human curation and sharing, no single method will guarantee certain success. {Tweet this}

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