Few revolutions have transformed marketing like social media. At the press of a button, marketers can broadcast their content to thousands, even millions, of people in an instant. It makes sense that social sharing has become a key strategy for engaging fans and deepening brand relationships.
Unfortunately, social distribution can make some marketers a little shortsighted. There's nothing more disappointing than creating a great piece of content, posting it on Facebook once or twice, and then letting it shrivel up at the bottom of someone's social feed. Don't get me wrong: The social share is still a critical piece of the distribution puzzle. But it's not the only component, and you maximize your reach when you deploy multiple content distribution tactics.
Wring Your Distribution Dry
A single piece of content can be shared about a dozen different ways pretty easily, and the more ways you leverage, the greater the return. Your team works hard to create content that engages your audience. Don't you want to get those pieces of content into the hands of as many prospects and influencers as possible?
The next time you have a piece of content to distribute, share it on social by all means -- but don't stop there. Try a few other proven tactics for extending the life and reach of your brand's content:
1. Guest posts
If you've put in the time to create a long-form blog post, whitepaper, or industry research report, don't just publish it on your blog and call it distributed. Highlight key findings and trends, and create a guest post that shares those insights. Submit it to an online publication your audience members read to engage them where they're at and expand the reach of your content.
Then, as you continue to earn media or press opportunities, maximize your press by creating a press page on your site; this gives your content an added boost, and it showcases the outlets that have given your brand that third-party validation.
2. Influencer relationships
There's no better way to get people to share your content than by creating opportunities for them to do so. Reach out to experts in your industry for quotes, and encourage them to share that content with their networks once it's published. Be sure to tag them in your own social shares, too; they'll be more likely to like and retweet your posts if you've given them a shout-out.
3. Sales enablement
Here's where you can see the full power of a marketing-sales partnership in action. If your salespeople and marketers are communicating about your sales cycle and customer pain points, then marketing should be able to craft content that educates and reassures hesitant leads.
When sales reps encounter questions or objections from leads, they can send high-value content. This is probably one of the easiest ways you can send highly targeted content directly to a qualified audience. Not only can those prospects share your content with their organizations and their peers, but they're also more likely to convert -- both of which are good news for your content efforts.
4. Personalized outreach
People's inboxes are chock-full as it is, so the last thing they want is to receive generic emails from you or your company. Instead of blasting a one-size-fits-all message to your entire list, break your contacts down into segments. Who needs to read this particular piece of content right now? Who do you need to strengthen relationships with?
Once you've got a list of people, craft personalized emails letting them know why they're hearing from you and the value they stand to gain from engaging with your message. (And if that doesn't work, try using email hacks to help you get a response.)
5. Email signatures
Many pieces of content are created every day, so it can be difficult to sustain interest in what your brand is publishing. Rather than share a link once and move on to the next article, ask your team to include links to content in their email signatures. This keeps your work top of mind well past publication, and it provides immediate value to everyone corresponding with your team.
6. Long-term email campaigns
Converting a client is not a one-time event. Signing a client takes many touchpoints, and that's not even taking into consideration the consistent engagement a client will need over time to stay loyal to your brand.
Email campaigns keep you top of mind up to the point when your leads are making decisions, and they can help you maintain engagement once they're clients -- and content is the perfect fuel. Periodically send out your highest-performing or most in-depth pieces of content, and encourage recipients to send their feedback or share those materials with colleagues who would find them useful.
7. Hiring and training processes
If you're doing it right, the content you create should tell your brand's story: what it stands for, where it started, where it's headed, and who it serves. That's why content is so useful in recruiting and training processes. Asking a candidate to read some key pieces before coming in for an interview provides a great introduction to the company and creates a nice starting-off point for a conversation about your shared values. Once someone has been hired, you can use content to expand on training lessons and familiarize him or her with the brand's mission and tone.
Your teammates work tirelessly to create high-quality content, and you owe it to them to make sure their efforts are paying off. By taking your distribution strategy beyond social shares, you ensure that you content makes an impact and that you're delivering real, ongoing value for your audience.