We all know the rush of excitement that comes with publishing a piece of content. The feeling that your hard work is (finally) out in the world, and you can breathe a momentary sigh of relief, sit back, and admire the final product.
But your work isn’t really done yet. Publishing is just the end of one process and the beginning of another, essentially launching a chain of distribution tasks. These tasks get your content into the right hands at the right time, ultimately maximizing your return on the investment used to create it. Once you hit the “Publish” button, you need to get your content where it needs to go, share it with your audience, and ultimately measure your results.
Think about how you will promote, share, and distribute the content you create with your target audience and key stakeholders before it’s in production. Including project management software in your MarTech stack can help you avoid a situation where you must scramble to figure out what comes next.
Build a Strong Content Distribution Strategy
If you are creating content surrounding the launch of a new research study, someone on your team may need to publish a landing page to link to the study. Someone else may publish a related blog post linking to the landing page, and another stakeholder may need to promote it on your social media channels.
Developing a concrete plan for what happens after you publish means identifying the right internal stakeholders to start the distribution process. Figure out what cross-functional team members need to be involved in promoting and distributing the content before it’s created.
Proactively building a content distribution strategy also allows you to check for consistent messaging before content and promotional assets are published—a concept that lies at the heart of integrated marketing.
The right workflows for content help measure performance accurately and inform key stakeholders of its progress.
Steps to Take After You Hit the “Publish” Button
The following steps can help you plan and execute your content promotion and distribution strategy. Keep in mind that larger organizations may have many more employees involved in the post-publication process compared with a startup or small business.
1. Notify critical stakeholders within your organization.
Think about those within your organization who might need to leverage the content asset to execute your promotion plan or who can share the content on their own channels to heighten its reach. That doesn’t mean you should blow up every internal communications channel with every single content asset you create. And this process might look very different for multiple pieces of content surrounding a significant product launch versus a one-off blog post.
Example: If you publish a new article to your site, notify the content marketing team and everyone involved in the project (designers, SEO specialists, campaign planners, and social media managers) with a URL or attachment and a short message. (Email, Slack, Teams, and project management software are great for this.) Remind them to amplify its impact by liking and sharing it from their networks. Create unique sharing UTM links so you can see exactly how each person accessed your blog through internal sharing.
Key stakeholders to notify may include (but aren’t limited to):
- Social media specialists who can share the content asset on channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
- The sales team to use in upcoming sales efforts such as pitch meetings
- Campaign and project managers to mark a project as “complete” in your team’s project management software and route the asset across your organization
- Designers, writers, editors, or anyone else involved who needs to know their role is complete
- The product marketing team, if it’s related to a new launch, release, or bottom-of-funnel asset
- Customer marketing if the asset is a case study
- Marketing or revenue operations for lead scoring, qualification, and attribution
2. Notify external writers and stakeholders.
Let external freelancers (writers, designers, videographers, etc.) know the content is published so they can share it with their professional networks. If an influencer or thought leader played a role in development, be sure they know the asset is live; they can also help drive higher engagement or traffic.
Notifying freelance contributors can help them grow in their careers, as they can showcase the asset on their portfolio or website, thus strengthening your relationship with them. If third-party agencies, media partners, agency creators, or public relations firms were involved, you can also send it their way.
3. Execute a larger internal communications plan.
If the asset is part of a major product launch or marketing campaign, consider sharing it with employees across the entire organization using a larger internal communications plan.
For example, send a mass email to your staff notifying them that you recently published an eBook on the company’s website, which may be repurposed into a webinar or part of a larger campaign strategy. Perhaps, the president or CEO of your company just wrote a new blog post highlighting the organization’s perspective on a pressing issue or an update on a company-wide public relations initiative, like scholarship awards or patents earned.
Encourage employees to share the content asset across their social and professional networks for broader distribution (assuming higher engagement is the goal). You can create a channel or group in your company’s messaging system where all new web-based or downloadable content is shared. If your company uses an intranet for communication, posting an update there is also an option.
4. Launch your promotion and distribution plans.
The steps mentioned above, especially in larger organizations, may need to happen before you reach this one—and it’s the one that typically excites us the most. After all, this is crucial to driving your ROI because it’s when your target audience starts consuming your content. What might this look like?
- Promoting a new blog post or infographic on the company’s social media, starting with the channels that best align with your target audience
- Directing readers to the new content asset in a regular email newsletter
- Linking to new content in existing blog posts or website landing pages
- Promoting your content using a paid social media ad
Depending on various factors (like your budget and goals), you might want to consider paid media opportunities in addition to leveraging organic content channels for promotion. In certain situations, a combination of both is ideal. Well-crafted organic content on social media can have just as much of a positive impact as paid social media. But with paid media, you can have greater confidence that you are reaching your desired audience, as you can target specific users based on demographics and other data.
Paid social media can also be more beneficial in promoting long-form content or anything with a high potential to drive ROI, such as an asset that’s already driving a lot of conversions. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads on websites and as part of ongoing media partnerships, as well as OTT ads on video streaming services, are other options for certain content assets.
You might also use influencer marketing to share or promote your content through industry leaders who already have a relationship with your audience. Even if they weren’t involved in content creation, existing or paid partnerships could do wonders for your distribution strategy. If you have existing relationships with other organizations, notifying them can also help your content make its way onto their channels.
5. Launch your measurement plan.
You can only determine the success of your content by proactively coming up with a plan to measure it. Such a strategy can help you accurately determine whether your content helped drive ROI.
Your KPIs will look different for building brand awareness, generating leads, driving sales, and retaining customers post-sale. Unless you use an end-to-end solution that measures full-funnel content performance, you may need multiple data analytics platforms in your MarTech stack beyond Google Analytics.
6. Repurpose or atomize your content.
If a content asset is performing well and meeting its KPIs, squeeze as much juice out of it as possible. Content repurposing or atomization is one solution— repackage a content asset into multiple formats. This strategy benefits the content marketer by:
- Saving time on creating multiple content assets
- Expanding the lifespan of your content marketing efforts
- Optimizing content that performs well
- Catering to the needs of different audience segments
- Filling up your content calendar with timely, relevant content
For instance, you can break a newly published long-form content asset into smaller pieces for use across multiple channels (audio snippets of a podcast shared on social media, for instance, or an eBook turned into multiple blog posts). You can also repackage various smaller pieces of content into a long-form asset.
7. Regularly revisit and update your content as needed.
On a quarterly or regular basis, you might consider updating content marketing assets that perform well to keep them “fresh” for the current year. This often entails ensuring all data and information are up to date.
Revisiting a content asset also allows you to add new hyperlinks to related content you’ve more recently published. If your search ranking recently dropped with no signs of recovery, you can take the proper steps to optimize your content for better performance. This is particularly important for evergreen content about topics that remain relevant to your audience regardless of how much time passes.
With Contently, you can automate and streamline content distribution processes by integrating the platform with Salesforce and your brand’s social media accounts. Using the Content Value Tracker and other analytics tools, you can also facilitate internal content distribution using Contently’s content portals and measure content ROI down to the dollar.
Request a demo of Contently to explore this powerful enterprise content marketing technology that helps tell great stories and drive results.