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Oct 10, 2014

Breaking Through the Noisy Web: Distributing Your Content

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Breaking Through the Noisy Web: Distributing Your Content - #contentmarketing

The Noisy Web
Last year, a single minute on the web meant 216,000 photos shared on Instagram, 1.8 million likes on Facebook and 3 days-worth of video was uploaded to YouTube (source: This year, the numbers have significantly increased. From 3-days-worth of video on YouTube every minute, we’re looking at over 4-days-worth of video uploaded every minute in 2014. The increasing pattern of new content that gets published on the web will only grow for many years to come.

Besides the obvious which we all probably already know: that content marketing’s importance is paramount for brands today, changes in other aspects of the digital landscape further fuels this exponential growth. For instance, with the launch of Google’s latest hummingbird algorithm late in 2013, the importance of generating high-quality content literally exploded. The fact that social media is gaining importance also fuels the need for creative, novel, sometimes even completely wacky content to encourage better engagement and sharing.  

The Distribution Process
With everyone simultaneously churning out content by the minute, the web is a very noisy world. The challenge obviously is then: how to be heard above the noise. You’ll first need to come up with creative, unique and catchy materials. There you’ll find that there are no lack of how-tos, tips and other top 10s of everything to create engaging content.

What’s not as readily available is how that content gets distributed. High quality content calls for high quality effort in its distribution. That way your valuable time spent on preparing the material wouldn’t go to waste. What this means is, besides exhausting all the possible channels to share your content, it’s completely worth it to spend the time improving how your material is being distributed on those channels.

 The Call-to-Action
Are you posting only the links to your content on your social media status updates? It’s distribution, yes. But what you’re missing is the call-to-action. A link itself does not pique curiosity to click. It’s the descriptive text that goes with the link. For instance, between these 3 alternative social statuses I’ve prepared for this particular post, which do you think will result in the higher number of clicks and shares?

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And yes, it is a bit like playing around with headlines, but isn’t almost everything about headlines in marketing? Besides the call-to-action, the distribution process calls for coming back to those posts and engaging with anyone who has commented. This further increases the chance of getting seen by audiences who might have missed the initial posting in their newsfeed. Besides, communicating with your audience is a given when it comes to best practice.  

It’s a Volume Game
The next question is: have you really exhausted all the relevant channels? Of course if it’s an article that you’re distributing, YouTube or Pinterest is out of the question, but should it really stop at social media? What about sending out emails to content publishers and curation-based websites just to let them know you have this great piece of content you’re wanting to share with the community? If they pick it up, great! If not, at least you’ve tried.

The more channels you’re able to share your content, the better and the higher chance of it getting naturally re-picked-up over and over again. This in turn increases your content’s visibility and that is what breaking through the noise is all about. It’s about getting your message across and being heard. Sounds almost like applying for a job or university doesn’t it? If you’ve submitted 3 applications, the chance of getting accepted is quite low. If you’ve submitted 20 applications, you’re bound to be heard by some and probably get a few offers.

Talk to the Audience. Not at Them.
When distributing content, share it like you would to a friend. No one likes being talked at. It gives the feeling of a lecture and lacks personalization. For instance, if you’re writing to content websites about your new piece of infographic you wanted to share, try comparing these two openings and see which you think might be more effective:
  • “To whom it may concern. I am writing with regards to a content marketing material in the form of an infographic which…….”
  • “Hi there! This is Monlamai from ABC. I’ve just created a content marketing infographic which I’m feeling very proud of and was wondering if….”
It’s an Art
Finally, content creation itself is an art. It’s really about the person creating each piece of content. If you were to give the same assignment to 2 people, the results will be different. The distribution process itself should also be an art. There is no right or wrong. For some industries, something wacky and out of this world might work wonders but backfire for others. The key is still to follow a set of guidelines (yes, follow it) but, follow those guidelines loosely. Call-to-action? Check. Exhausted all channels? Check. But your call-to-action can be different, it can inspire, entertain, educate or be designed to persuade.

Top image via business2community

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