You can produce the best content on the internet, but if your content distribution network isn’t what it needs to be, your company won’t reap all the revenue benefits it could.
You’ll be leaving money on the table.
Your unique content must appear in front of the perfect prospect at the ideal time in their buyer’s journey. That’s why it’s critical to understand when to use which content distribution channel.
Magic happens when the right content jumps up precisely when your prospect is ready for it in a channel they enjoy using. Intent signals tell you when a prospect is prepared to progress through each stage of your sales funnel so you can be there.
At Leadfeeder, we’ve spun a highly effective marketing web of content creation and distribution. In this thought-provoking comment, Anna Burton, Leadefeeder’s internal content specialist, shares her experience.
While B2B and B2C content distribution channels partially overlap, they are not the same. As a B2B company, we will focus on explaining B2B Content distribution.
To understand this further, let’s dive into how to build a content distribution strategy. We’ll also look at the best B2B tactics to produce outstanding results in today’s complex world of content marketing. You’ll become knowledgeable enough to create a content distribution network that generates the prospects sales teams need.
In our content strategy playbook, you’ll need two primary content types:
Original, informative content that is usually long-form and covers a topic or keyword exhaustively. You’ll use these pieces on your website, in social media articles, to create videos, and in your blog to dominate search.
Smaller bits of easily digestible content to use in social media posts, emails, and on Quora, and to create PPC ads to drive traffic to your longer pieces and deeper into your sales process.
Your long-form content could be blogs and videos to create top-of-funnel awareness. Then, case studies, white papers, podcasts, or webinars move prospects through your mid-funnel. The goal is to get them to a landing page like the pricing page or call booking form at the funnel’s bottom — whatever has the highest conversion rate.
The smaller, bite-sized bits broken out of long-form content create authority and generate the curiosity that drives targeted prospects through the buyer's journey. To keep leads moving through the sales process, they'll receive the right content delivered at the right part of the funnel. To generate more interest, publish these content bits on multiple content distribution channels.
Content distribution channels are the platforms on which you post and promote your company’s content. There are seven primary channels and many smaller ones that are often niche focused.
Consider how your website, email list, and social media accounts could all work together to create a high-performing media web that you use to reach and convert prospects. With this, your message appears in multiple content distribution channels in different forms (depending on what type of content works best per platform).
Through data analysis, you know which content distribution channels your target audience consistently goes to for information about your industry. In the B2B marketing world, we can group these channels into three categories:
Here's a visual.
Any internet property unique to your brand that you control is owned media. Examples are your website, blog, and social media channels. This is where you publish the content your team creates.
Earned media is the reaction other people and platforms generate about your content and brand. You can’t create it or pay for it. Earned media is often perceived as more valuable than owned media because it is an organic opinion that’s not coming from you. Thus, the public is more likely to trust and believe earned media.
Publishing content on owned media is widely used to gain earned media. Your blogs, videos, and posts generate likes, comments, shares, and other content that links back to your original work. Earned media builds brand recognition and sends you targeted traffic that has already formed an opinion about your brand.
Any promotional effort you’re paying for is paid media. This includes Google and social media ads, paid influencers, branded content, and display ads.
Although paid media is an essential component of most marketing plans, we’ll only touch briefly on it in this article so we can focus on owned and earned channels.
However, you should consider the changes blowing through paid online advertising. Once dominant, Google and Facebook are experiencing declining ad market share while Amazon, TikTok, and Apple grow. Also, the disruptive effect of AI technologies like ChatGPT could be game-changing.
Marketers use many digital marketing channels as content mediums. These channels are in a continuous state of change as social preferences shift and technological advances occur.
Currently, videos are the most popular format, while influencers and podcasts are the rising stars. Plus, website pages, blog posts, emails, and social media posts are proven lead-generating strategies.
Analyzing your target audience by building customer profiles will tell you which content distribution channels will be most rewarding to focus on. With this, you’ll discover where your customers live on the internet and their preferred content type.
After creating content in the medium of your ideal customer's choice, you’ll need to publish it on the appropriate platforms, which we’ll discuss in the next section. Here’s an overview of each of the seven primary content distribution channels.
1. Your website
As the only piece of the digital landscape you own and control completely, your website is the channel at the center of your marketing web. All other media drive prospects to the blog and landing and product pages on your site.
2. Blog and organic search
While all your blog posts don’t need to be optimized to rank high in search, you’re missing out on a significant source of targeted traffic if some of them aren’t. Pillar pieces that discuss a broad overview of a keyword phrase or topic are a go-to way for brands to get more eyeballs on their sites organically.
You can then use shorter posts built around subtopics in your pillar piece to create a content cluster woven together by similar keywords. Content clusters enable you to dominate niches by claiming multiple page one spots in search engine results pages (SERPs). With this strategy, you also establish authority and demonstrate expertise. Plus, guest posting on influential blogs in your niche can send highly targeted, interested traffic to your website.
Excerpts pulled from your content clusters give you smaller pieces to use in social media posts, emails, and PPC ads. You then have a web of content spanning multiple distribution channels and platforms, all driving prospects toward landing and product pages.
3. Email marketing
The channel generating the highest ROI is still email marketing at $42 for every dollar spent. No wonder nearly two out of three marketers use email. Besides the high ROI, email also works well for content distribution. An email to your list is going to a self-selected group of highly interested people who will click through to informative content.
Sending a curiosity-generating email about new content on your site is a proven way to grow sales and jumpstart search engine ranking. Email newsletters are another established way to educate and keep in touch with your customer base.
In a recent survey, 74 percent of respondents said video is more likely to generate leads than a blog post. But the same poll also found that audience preference is the most decisive factor.
Respondents also pointed out that videos take up to ten times longer than blogs to create. A good strategy may be to write blog posts and turn the highest-performing, evergreen content into videos.
Google ranks videos hosted on YouTube while ignoring those on other platforms like Vimeo and Facebook. You’ll need to provide SEO text descriptions to get your YouTube videos ranked since search engines can’t parse videos yet.
5. Social media
Publishing and promoting content on social media gets your message in front of your target audience on their preferred platform. You can create content specifically tailored for a venue or repurpose existing content.
Because of the wide variety of platforms available — and the many ways to post content per channel — you can use nearly any content format. Which ones you choose should be governed by your audience preference.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by social media choices, but it may help to remember that your purpose is to present the material that advances your prospect to the next funnel stage. Tracking your lead generation metrics will tell you what’s working and what isn't. Plus, social media offers a great place to engage with your community that expands your brand's image.
Over 90 percent of people who start consuming a podcast stay through most of it. However, only 12 percent of viewers watch most of the video. Podcast popularity continues to grow because they can feature engaging influencers and be listened to while doing other activities like working out or driving.
And yes, podcasts work well for B2B to build brand awareness, expand the customer base, and establish thought leadership. It’s also easy to transcribe podcasts into blog posts and use excerpts to create a multichannel presence. Another idea is to take quotes from your webinars if you need to spice up a blog post or podcast episode.
7. Influencer marketing
Influencers are people who have achieved status and hold authority in their field. Thus, a target audience perceives their expertise as valuable enough to pay attention to.
81 percent of B2B marketers producing webinars engage influencers since they draw attendees prone to trust authority figures. Consider inviting influencers to appear as podcast guests as well, as this is another proven tactic. Plus, referral traffic has exceptionally high conversion rates.
Organic channels are free content distribution platforms. Below features the top six media outlets, but many more niche-focused sites — free and paid — can distribute your content to even wider audiences.
The rise of video has extended to B2B, with two of the top organic distribution platforms exclusively being for video. These include YouTube — the largest — and TikTok — the fastest growing. Google remains the preferred search engine, while LinkedIn is continually indispensable for B2B. Plus, Twitter still gets eyeballs on any new content you create fast.
Hitting the top of organic search isn’t the only way to get your content seen on Google. You can also optimize for Featured Snippets and use Google My Business.
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Having a YouTube channel brings authority, reach, and the opportunity to get your videos ranked on Google Search. All you need to do is optimize the title, tags, and description.
Perfect for businesses. 96 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic content distribution. The feed, LinkedIn Live, the newsletter feature, LinkedIn groups, and the Features and Endorsements sections make LinkedIn an extremely effective business platform for your brand.
Twitter remains a favorite with business, political, and media personalities despite its recent controversies and the takeover by Elon Musk. The platform allows you to immediately get content excerpts and blurbs in front of your audience to generate click-throughs.
TikTok is another helpful platform surrounded by controversy. In 2022, video accounted for a whopping 82 percent of online traffic. Short explainer videos, short stories, and behind-the-scenes peeks give you emotional connections to interested audiences.
6. Quora Blog
The blog on Quora is still alive and used by millions daily. With good SEO positioning, it’s a fantastic platform to use.
Once you’ve created content for the proper channels, it’s time to distribute it to your chosen distribution platforms. The easiest way to maintain those marketing efforts is with a content distribution tool. Here are the top choices.
Have it all tools
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools make it easier to manage content distribution and follow up with prospects. Choosing one with a good calendar helps with planning content production and coordinating publications across multiple platforms.
Hubspot allows users to schedule blog posts, emails, and social media posts. It’s also helpful for large and small business marketing, sales, and customer service.
Zoho was featured by Forbes as 2022’s best social media management tool. It’s also a complete CRM that helps you increase leads, fast-track sales, and view your metrics.
Hootsuite enables you to schedule and post across multiple platforms. Its 250 + apps and integrations make it powerfully versatile. You can monitor posts and messages and even manage ads.
Social media tools
A simple social media tool may be enough if you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a complete CRM. Here are three that stand out:
Publer has a limited free plan. Inexpensive paid offerings allow you to connect to all major platforms. You get unlimited scheduling, drafts, and workspaces but can only connect to a limited number of accounts, and there are limits on the number of daily posts you can publish.
ZoomSphere is pricier than Publer, but you get unlimited accounts and posts. Analytics are available for an additional monthly fee.
Buffer started as a simple, lightweight social media management tool that lets you publish content on multiple sites. It has morphed into three tools — Publish, Reply, and Analyze; each requires separate subscriptions.
Email marketing tools
Email marketing tools can be challenging to master. And scheduling campaigns to multiple market segments can get complex quickly. The following tools make these vital tasks easier:
Mailchimp has long been the best platform for novice marketers, but it has continued to evolve and add features. Today, it’s an all-in-one solution that offers nearly every tool solopreneurs and enterprises need to succeed.
Active Campaign works well for small businesses (SMBs). It automates the customer experience using transactional email, email marketing, marketing and sales automation. Plus, it has CRM capabilities.
GetResponse does nearly everything that more expensive alternatives do, and it only charges you for active subscribers.
You can interact with your target audience using webinar tools or record presentations to offer webinars conveniently on demand. As an added perk, webinars can work well at both top-of-funnel and mid-funnel to provide in-depth information. SaaSworthy rates Zoom the highest, with Restream next and StreamTard last. However, each platform has unique features that make it appealing for different uses.
Zoom works well for VoiP communication with individuals or groups. Despite its popularity, there are some issues with lag time and the webinar registration process.
Restream allows you to stream your webinar to multiple platforms so that viewers can participate simultaneously from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or more than 30 other platforms.
StreamYard works well for interviews. You can have up to ten guests and can stream to multiple platforms.
The broad selection of content distribution tools available means that there’s a tool to suit any need or budget.
Keeping an eye on critical metrics informs you how content pieces and your overall content strategy are performing so you can make adjustments. Google Analytics is helpful for your website metrics, and it’s free.
Reach, likes, comments, and shares are what to analyze on social media. To easily track these metrics, you can use a social media tool. For webinars, registrations, attendees, click-throughs to your sales page, and sales are the critical measurements to track and analyze.
On your blog, page views, time on the page, and clicks on your CTA are most critical, but there are a dozen other helpful metrics too. For emails and newsletters, each email platform generates metrics, with opens and link clicks being the most important to measure.
To win at B2B growth, Leadfeeder focused on building awareness and demand. We created high-quality content that solves a problem, getting in front of our buyers on the platforms they’re engaging on — not hiding it behind lead capture forms.
In your content distribution strategy, remember the human touch. Promote your brand not only via company profiles but also through thought leaders and B2B influencers. People have way better reach than companies, and referral traffic generates the highest conversion rates.
From there, focus on understanding intent signals, having a presence on high-intent channels, and engaging your sales team when prospects are ready to buy. Leadfeeder identifies companies visiting your website and helps turn them into high-converting leads. Get started today to optimize your lead generation strategy.
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