Content Distribution: What it is and how you can improve your strategy in 3 easy steps [Including proven tips from the pros]

Content Distribution: What it is and how you can improve your strategy in 3 easy steps [Including proven tips from the pros]

9 minute read

Content Distribution: What it is and how you can improve your strategy in 3 easy steps [Including proven tips from the pros]

9 minute read

Content Distribution: What it is and how you can improve your strategy in 3 easy steps [Including proven tips from the pros]

Masooma Memon

GatherContent Contributor, Writer
As unfortunate as it is, marketers and bloggers, push content distribution toward the bottom of their content production list. In reality, though, content marketing distribution should be your utmost priority for optimal content performance. In fact, promoting your content the right way is the means to get it in front of your target audience to add them to your sales funnel.

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So let’s talk about content distribution in this piece. We’ll start with the basics of what it is and how you can benefit from it, then jump into a 3-step plan for creating your content distribution strategy. We’ve also collected 7 effective tips from the pros.

Dig in.

What is content distribution?

Content distribution is the process of getting the content you create in front of the audience you created it for.

It enhances content discovery, engagement, and performance. In fact, without a solid plan for content distribution, your content creation efforts won’t deliver the maximum return of investment (ROI).

Content Types for Distribution

There are numerous types of content you can create as part of your content marketing strategy:

  • Video content. This could be anything from explainer videos to video testimonials.
  • Case studies featuring your customers/clients who love your product/service.
  • Blog posts and how-to guides that aim to win your target audience’s trust by educating them on solutions to their problems.
  • Ebooks and white papers. Much like the written content above, eBooks win by educating. The difference? They provide more in-depth answers and/or are gated.
  • Visual content such as infographics. This content is quick to catch attention if done well.
  • Podcasts and audio interviews. This could either involve guests or be a solo or team conversation.
  • Webinars. Again, this content involves you discussing an important topic or it could feature an internal or external expert on the subject matter.

How Experts Think of Content Distribution

Content experts consider distribution is as important as content creation – if not more.

The reason? “Because the old saying, if you build it they will come, is not necessarily true anymore,” points out Way.com’s Head of Content, Jeannie Assimos.

"People are viewing content through multiple platforms these days, so it’s important to share your content on every marketing channel you have."
Jeannie Assimos
Head of Content, Way.com's


Put another way:

"content distribution helps you meet your customers and audience where they are, instead of expecting them to find your content on their own."
Berrak Sarikaya
Content Marketing Manager, Twilio

Snizhana Kolomiets, the Marketing Manager at Better Proposals agrees: “Without distribution, you’re missing a key step in the lifecycle of your content.”

“When something is fresh, you really need to get it out to relevant people and journalists to mention, link to, and include in their own pieces,” Kolomiets advises. “The longer you wait to reach out to people and distribute your content, the more chances that someone else will copy your content or your approach to the topic.”

Briefly, content distribution helps you:

  • Drive traffic and brand awareness.
  • Maximise your content performance and ROI.
  • Build relationships with the right audience and customers.

Distribution Channel Options

So now that you know what content marketing distribution is and its importance, let’s look at the content distribution platforms you can tap into:

  • Owned media such as email newsletter and website. These are digital marketing channels you own.
  • Paid media such as PPC and social media ads – channels you need to pay to for content promotion.
  • Shared media such as LinkedIn and other social networks, guest posts, Q&A forums, influencer marketing, paid product placement, and so on. This is media you own in the sense that you create content for it but use third-party platforms (think Quora) or partners (read: niche industry influencers) to promote it.

The 3-Step Framework For Developing A Content Distribution Strategy

A content distribution plan is crucial to ensure each piece of content is getting the most eyeballs.

Having a pre-defined process also helps you commit to it, therefore, making sure you don’t push content promotion to the backburner. To add, a distribution strategy that targets specific metrics gives you a good idea of your content promotion performance.

So how and where do you get started? Use this 3-step framework to create a distribution strategy for all the great content you create.

Keep in mind, this framework assumes you already have a pool of high-quality content to share with your audience.

1. Identify content distribution channels most relevant to your audience

There’s a variety of promotion channels to try. The most effective ones, however, are channels that your audience uses.

Meaning: if you’re targeting a localised audience comprising of Baby Boomers, Facebook will be an effective distribution channel for you as compared to TikTok, where the younger generation hangs out.

So a good first step here is to revisit your buyer personas to determine the most relevant channels.

You’ll also want to look at your available resources as you list out channels to add to your distribution network. Perhaps you’ve limited resources so you can’t go all into social ads as your primary distribution channel.

2. Create and document a distribution plan

Now, for each distribution channel you choose (be sure to shortlist them to prevent yourself from spreading too thin), create a promotion plan.

Your plan needs to cover the exact steps you’ll take to promote content on each channel. This ensures nothing falls through the cracks. Plus, documenting the process makes it easy for you to educate other team members on content promotion.

Simply create channel-specific content distribution templates. With GatherContent, for instance, you can create a template for the tweets to write to market content:

An example of using templates in GatherContent to create tweets
Using customisable templates make it easy for people to provide any type of content in the correct format, and style.

You also have the option to add in-line instructions on how to optimise content for each channel. For example, this blog post template contains notes on how to optimise content for search that a writer can easily follow – without missing anything.

An example of using  guidelines in a GatherContent template
Using guidelines in GatherContent templates makes sure that everyone provides content in the correct format and style.

The best part? You can also add a promotion checklist to each new content piece. This checklist can include anything from notes on adding metadata, social media captions (for small teams), and so on.

Using such a checklist streamlines content production and distribution by ensuring all promotional content is ready on time, reducing back and forth as well.

That said, make sure you clearly address the following in your content distribution documents:

  • Promotion steps – how will you personalize, repurpose, and optimise the content.
  • The benefits of each channel including the audience it’ll help you reach.
  • Promotion etiquettes or channel-specific engagement and tone rules.
  • The content formats you’ll distribute.
  • Promotion frequency for each channel.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) to track.
Need to know: Customisable templates in GatherContent make it easy for everyone to provide any type of content in the correct format, and style.

3. Block time for distribution in your editorial calendar

Successful content distribution takes time. After all, optimising content to align with the distribution platform’s audience expectations and engagement rules takes time.

Therefore, it’s essential you set time apart for content marketing distribution.

Start with creating a distribution step in your workflow. For example, your content workflow could include steps like: new post ideas > draft > in review > editing > ready to publish > promoting.

An example of using a content workflow in GatherContent
Using content workflows in GatherContent helps to make responsibility and actions clear and to keep content creation moving, making sure no step is missed.

Having content distribution in your workflow helps you reserve time for it. You’ll also be aware of the fact that work on each piece of content doesn’t stop with publishing it. Instead, it goes on with effective promotion.

Add a date to the process as well and the promotion work will also show up in your content calendar in GatherContent. Plus, you can assign the job to particular team members so content is pushed out to each channel that you select in step 1.

An example of the GatherContent content calendar
The GatherContent content calendar allows you to visualise your team's editorial schedule and keep content creation on track

Content Distribution Tools and Tips

In this section, we’ve got a brief roundup of tools to use and 7 proven tips for you from the pros.

Use the right content distribution tools

The right tools speed up content distribution, making it easy for you. Try the following:

  • GatherContent

GatherContent helps you prepare content for distribution. Document your entire distribution strategy here, create channel-specific promotion templates, and add in-line content optimisation notes and promotion checklists within each content piece your team creates.

Thanks to GatherContent’s multiple integrations, you can also prep content for publishing easily. For example, the WordPress integration lets you publishing content in your content management system without losing its formatting.

  • Social media scheduler

You’ll need it to schedule promotional (and other) content on your social media accounts and analyze its performance. Pick a scheduler like Hootsuite or Sprout Social that provides an array of functions such as social listening, reporting, audience insights in addition to scheduling content.

  • Outbrain

Outbrain are content discovery tools that push your content on popular publications, helping your target audience find you. Looking for an Outbrain alternate? Try Taboola.

  • Buzzsumo

This tool is essential for digging out trending data on your and your competitor’s content performance. Using the data that Buzzsumo provides, you can tell which content format performs best, what content length is ideal, and so on. The tool can also pull out social shares that trending content gets.

Encourage healthy dialogue using your content

To this end, Gareth A. Davies, the Growth Marketer at Parabol recommends finding, joining, and actively participating in the communities where your audience is.

Using this approach:

"means [you] don’t only push content, but contribute to larger debates, help others, and only share [your] work when it’s a net positive contribution to the community."
Gareth A. Davies
Growth Marketer, Parabol

As a bonus, ask the same community for feedback on your content. “Ask for feedback on how to make your content better,” Davies says. “[This shows you’re coming] from a place of humbleness and reliability, rather than coming off as a faceless brand. Nobody wants to have content pushed in their face, it's about finding audience-content fit.”

Get your team to promote content

But this is easier said than done. One way to do so effectively though is to “make it easier for others on your team to share content,” Sarıkaya suggests. “I craft suggested copy for our sales team to share with their networks.

You can do the same. In particular, using GatherContent will help as you can ask writers and contributors to share 3 tweets per post. You can also use the same document to add a LinkedIn caption for your CEO to share the post from their personal account.

Cross-collaborate to increase your reach

“Start co-creating content with other relevant people and companies in your niche,” advises Kas Szatylowicz, the Content Manager at V7.

“Running [such] co-branding campaigns to boost your brand awareness and attract traffic.” It also gets your content in front of the right audience provided you partner with brands that target the same audience such as your business does.

Build backlinks for your content

If ranking for search and distributing content using search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of your business goals, you’ll find this tip pretty helpful.

Kolomiets explains: “Once your piece is finished (and it’s ideally better than the competition), reach out to those sources who link to the competition and tell them that you have something better for their consideration. This works in so many cases and it’s an [effective] tip because most journalists love updating their content with fresh, new research.”

Set audience expectations

Another content distribution tip is to “post regularly at the same time,” according to Assimos. “This way you are developing expectations from your audience, which is a great thing, but only if you can remain consistent.”

“Example: a recent podcast I listen to puts new episodes out every Saturday morning. This past Saturday, they were yet again delayed for hours and hours, infuriating the audience to the point where they were threatening to just unsubscribe,” Assimos explains further.

Repurpose content before distributing it

Lastly, it’s essential you match the type of content with the distribution channel. Keep in mind “if you make content for search, it probably won’t do as well on social. Your email campaign probably won’t either,” highlights Josh Spilker, Friday’s the Head of Marketing.

The solution? Repurposing content to align it for each channel.

“If you want to re-use [content] in different channels, you’ll have to repurpose and re-think your content which means it’s now a different type of content,” Spilker says. “Set the right expectations for the job of each piece of content.”

Here’s how repurposing content works: create a bite-sized explainer video from a how-to content piece. Repurpose the takeaways from the same content into a Facebook post, a couple of tweets, a Twitter thread, a Quora answer, and more. You can also record a podcast episode based on it or vice versa.

Promote and Amplify Content

With that, you have a strategic blueprint and distribution tips by your side.

As you promote your content though, be sure to review results. Often, the data can help inform you which content formats and topics resonate best with your audience, therefore, telling you which content to prioritise.

And while you’re at it, increase your content’s life by constantly updating it. Refresh and curate your content as needed to amplify it – adding the jobs as separate tasks in your content calendar.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with GatherContent for free, and make your content distribution that much easier.

So let’s talk about content distribution in this piece. We’ll start with the basics of what it is and how you can benefit from it, then jump into a 3-step plan for creating your content distribution strategy. We’ve also collected 7 effective tips from the pros.

Dig in.

What is content distribution?

Content distribution is the process of getting the content you create in front of the audience you created it for.

It enhances content discovery, engagement, and performance. In fact, without a solid plan for content distribution, your content creation efforts won’t deliver the maximum return of investment (ROI).

Content Types for Distribution

There are numerous types of content you can create as part of your content marketing strategy:

  • Video content. This could be anything from explainer videos to video testimonials.
  • Case studies featuring your customers/clients who love your product/service.
  • Blog posts and how-to guides that aim to win your target audience’s trust by educating them on solutions to their problems.
  • Ebooks and white papers. Much like the written content above, eBooks win by educating. The difference? They provide more in-depth answers and/or are gated.
  • Visual content such as infographics. This content is quick to catch attention if done well.
  • Podcasts and audio interviews. This could either involve guests or be a solo or team conversation.
  • Webinars. Again, this content involves you discussing an important topic or it could feature an internal or external expert on the subject matter.

How Experts Think of Content Distribution

Content experts consider distribution is as important as content creation – if not more.

The reason? “Because the old saying, if you build it they will come, is not necessarily true anymore,” points out Way.com’s Head of Content, Jeannie Assimos.

"People are viewing content through multiple platforms these days, so it’s important to share your content on every marketing channel you have."
Jeannie Assimos
Head of Content, Way.com's


Put another way:

"content distribution helps you meet your customers and audience where they are, instead of expecting them to find your content on their own."
Berrak Sarikaya
Content Marketing Manager, Twilio

Snizhana Kolomiets, the Marketing Manager at Better Proposals agrees: “Without distribution, you’re missing a key step in the lifecycle of your content.”

“When something is fresh, you really need to get it out to relevant people and journalists to mention, link to, and include in their own pieces,” Kolomiets advises. “The longer you wait to reach out to people and distribute your content, the more chances that someone else will copy your content or your approach to the topic.”

Briefly, content distribution helps you:

  • Drive traffic and brand awareness.
  • Maximise your content performance and ROI.
  • Build relationships with the right audience and customers.

Distribution Channel Options

So now that you know what content marketing distribution is and its importance, let’s look at the content distribution platforms you can tap into:

  • Owned media such as email newsletter and website. These are digital marketing channels you own.
  • Paid media such as PPC and social media ads – channels you need to pay to for content promotion.
  • Shared media such as LinkedIn and other social networks, guest posts, Q&A forums, influencer marketing, paid product placement, and so on. This is media you own in the sense that you create content for it but use third-party platforms (think Quora) or partners (read: niche industry influencers) to promote it.

The 3-Step Framework For Developing A Content Distribution Strategy

A content distribution plan is crucial to ensure each piece of content is getting the most eyeballs.

Having a pre-defined process also helps you commit to it, therefore, making sure you don’t push content promotion to the backburner. To add, a distribution strategy that targets specific metrics gives you a good idea of your content promotion performance.

So how and where do you get started? Use this 3-step framework to create a distribution strategy for all the great content you create.

Keep in mind, this framework assumes you already have a pool of high-quality content to share with your audience.

1. Identify content distribution channels most relevant to your audience

There’s a variety of promotion channels to try. The most effective ones, however, are channels that your audience uses.

Meaning: if you’re targeting a localised audience comprising of Baby Boomers, Facebook will be an effective distribution channel for you as compared to TikTok, where the younger generation hangs out.

So a good first step here is to revisit your buyer personas to determine the most relevant channels.

You’ll also want to look at your available resources as you list out channels to add to your distribution network. Perhaps you’ve limited resources so you can’t go all into social ads as your primary distribution channel.

2. Create and document a distribution plan

Now, for each distribution channel you choose (be sure to shortlist them to prevent yourself from spreading too thin), create a promotion plan.

Your plan needs to cover the exact steps you’ll take to promote content on each channel. This ensures nothing falls through the cracks. Plus, documenting the process makes it easy for you to educate other team members on content promotion.

Simply create channel-specific content distribution templates. With GatherContent, for instance, you can create a template for the tweets to write to market content:

An example of using templates in GatherContent to create tweets
Using customisable templates make it easy for people to provide any type of content in the correct format, and style.

You also have the option to add in-line instructions on how to optimise content for each channel. For example, this blog post template contains notes on how to optimise content for search that a writer can easily follow – without missing anything.

An example of using  guidelines in a GatherContent template
Using guidelines in GatherContent templates makes sure that everyone provides content in the correct format and style.

The best part? You can also add a promotion checklist to each new content piece. This checklist can include anything from notes on adding metadata, social media captions (for small teams), and so on.

Using such a checklist streamlines content production and distribution by ensuring all promotional content is ready on time, reducing back and forth as well.

That said, make sure you clearly address the following in your content distribution documents:

  • Promotion steps – how will you personalize, repurpose, and optimise the content.
  • The benefits of each channel including the audience it’ll help you reach.
  • Promotion etiquettes or channel-specific engagement and tone rules.
  • The content formats you’ll distribute.
  • Promotion frequency for each channel.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) to track.
Need to know: Customisable templates in GatherContent make it easy for everyone to provide any type of content in the correct format, and style.

3. Block time for distribution in your editorial calendar

Successful content distribution takes time. After all, optimising content to align with the distribution platform’s audience expectations and engagement rules takes time.

Therefore, it’s essential you set time apart for content marketing distribution.

Start with creating a distribution step in your workflow. For example, your content workflow could include steps like: new post ideas > draft > in review > editing > ready to publish > promoting.

An example of using a content workflow in GatherContent
Using content workflows in GatherContent helps to make responsibility and actions clear and to keep content creation moving, making sure no step is missed.

Having content distribution in your workflow helps you reserve time for it. You’ll also be aware of the fact that work on each piece of content doesn’t stop with publishing it. Instead, it goes on with effective promotion.

Add a date to the process as well and the promotion work will also show up in your content calendar in GatherContent. Plus, you can assign the job to particular team members so content is pushed out to each channel that you select in step 1.

An example of the GatherContent content calendar
The GatherContent content calendar allows you to visualise your team's editorial schedule and keep content creation on track

Content Distribution Tools and Tips

In this section, we’ve got a brief roundup of tools to use and 7 proven tips for you from the pros.

Use the right content distribution tools

The right tools speed up content distribution, making it easy for you. Try the following:

  • GatherContent

GatherContent helps you prepare content for distribution. Document your entire distribution strategy here, create channel-specific promotion templates, and add in-line content optimisation notes and promotion checklists within each content piece your team creates.

Thanks to GatherContent’s multiple integrations, you can also prep content for publishing easily. For example, the WordPress integration lets you publishing content in your content management system without losing its formatting.

  • Social media scheduler

You’ll need it to schedule promotional (and other) content on your social media accounts and analyze its performance. Pick a scheduler like Hootsuite or Sprout Social that provides an array of functions such as social listening, reporting, audience insights in addition to scheduling content.

  • Outbrain

Outbrain are content discovery tools that push your content on popular publications, helping your target audience find you. Looking for an Outbrain alternate? Try Taboola.

  • Buzzsumo

This tool is essential for digging out trending data on your and your competitor’s content performance. Using the data that Buzzsumo provides, you can tell which content format performs best, what content length is ideal, and so on. The tool can also pull out social shares that trending content gets.

Encourage healthy dialogue using your content

To this end, Gareth A. Davies, the Growth Marketer at Parabol recommends finding, joining, and actively participating in the communities where your audience is.

Using this approach:

"means [you] don’t only push content, but contribute to larger debates, help others, and only share [your] work when it’s a net positive contribution to the community."
Gareth A. Davies
Growth Marketer, Parabol

As a bonus, ask the same community for feedback on your content. “Ask for feedback on how to make your content better,” Davies says. “[This shows you’re coming] from a place of humbleness and reliability, rather than coming off as a faceless brand. Nobody wants to have content pushed in their face, it's about finding audience-content fit.”

Get your team to promote content

But this is easier said than done. One way to do so effectively though is to “make it easier for others on your team to share content,” Sarıkaya suggests. “I craft suggested copy for our sales team to share with their networks.

You can do the same. In particular, using GatherContent will help as you can ask writers and contributors to share 3 tweets per post. You can also use the same document to add a LinkedIn caption for your CEO to share the post from their personal account.

Cross-collaborate to increase your reach

“Start co-creating content with other relevant people and companies in your niche,” advises Kas Szatylowicz, the Content Manager at V7.

“Running [such] co-branding campaigns to boost your brand awareness and attract traffic.” It also gets your content in front of the right audience provided you partner with brands that target the same audience such as your business does.

Build backlinks for your content

If ranking for search and distributing content using search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of your business goals, you’ll find this tip pretty helpful.

Kolomiets explains: “Once your piece is finished (and it’s ideally better than the competition), reach out to those sources who link to the competition and tell them that you have something better for their consideration. This works in so many cases and it’s an [effective] tip because most journalists love updating their content with fresh, new research.”

Set audience expectations

Another content distribution tip is to “post regularly at the same time,” according to Assimos. “This way you are developing expectations from your audience, which is a great thing, but only if you can remain consistent.”

“Example: a recent podcast I listen to puts new episodes out every Saturday morning. This past Saturday, they were yet again delayed for hours and hours, infuriating the audience to the point where they were threatening to just unsubscribe,” Assimos explains further.

Repurpose content before distributing it

Lastly, it’s essential you match the type of content with the distribution channel. Keep in mind “if you make content for search, it probably won’t do as well on social. Your email campaign probably won’t either,” highlights Josh Spilker, Friday’s the Head of Marketing.

The solution? Repurposing content to align it for each channel.

“If you want to re-use [content] in different channels, you’ll have to repurpose and re-think your content which means it’s now a different type of content,” Spilker says. “Set the right expectations for the job of each piece of content.”

Here’s how repurposing content works: create a bite-sized explainer video from a how-to content piece. Repurpose the takeaways from the same content into a Facebook post, a couple of tweets, a Twitter thread, a Quora answer, and more. You can also record a podcast episode based on it or vice versa.

Promote and Amplify Content

With that, you have a strategic blueprint and distribution tips by your side.

As you promote your content though, be sure to review results. Often, the data can help inform you which content formats and topics resonate best with your audience, therefore, telling you which content to prioritise.

And while you’re at it, increase your content’s life by constantly updating it. Refresh and curate your content as needed to amplify it – adding the jobs as separate tasks in your content calendar.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with GatherContent for free, and make your content distribution that much easier.

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