To promote content, distribute it 3 ways:
1. Owned media
Put most of your work into creating great content you can own such as your website, blog, email and printed pieces.
Why? Because no one can take away these assets or arbitrarily raise your rent.
2. Earned media
Expand your influence by borrowing other people’s audiences.
Generate or hijack news. Speak in private or public forums. Work with influencers. Participate in or sponsor events such as webinars, industry trade shows and customer events.
3. Rented (Paid) media
To expand your reach and amplify your message, use paid advertising.
The risk: As 2 or 3 platforms come to dominate digital media, your rent will go up and up.
Point everything to your owned media
Make sure that all your earned and paid media always point back to your owned media.
This key idea comes from Mastering the New Media Landscape, a book by Barbara Cave Henricks and Rusty Shelton.
Why? Because you want to create subscribers. Your blog or newsletter subscribers give you permission to continue marketing to them through content in the future.
Build your subscriber list
Your subscriber list is one of the most valuable assets you will generate, in addition to the content assets you create.
Here’s how to gain blog subscribers with your content.
When content marketing works perfectly, it follows this process:
- Create readers who become subscribers,
- Turn subscribers into customers.
- Turn customers into repeat customers.
Most marketers use paid distribution
Two out of three consumer (B2C) marketers used paid methods to promote content in the past year, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI)/Marketing Profs research found.
It’s similar in business (B2B) marketing: two out of three marketers used paid methods to promote content.
What’s notable here is that 71% of the most successful marketers use paid methods, versus only 55% of the least successful marketers. Using paid media to promote B2B content appears to pay off!
Why marketers use paid distribution
The 2019 Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs research showed the top reasons why marketers use paid methods to promote content.
B2C marketers are using paid media to:
- Attract a new audience.
- Generate traffic.
- Reach a niche audience.
- Launch a new product or service.
B2B marketers use paid media to promote content for similar reasons.
What’s different? B2B marketers place more emphasis on promoting evergreen content.
Types of paid distribution marketers use
The CMI/Marketing Profs research also showed which types of paid distribution marketers are using.
More than half of B2B marketers use these paid techniques to promote content:
- Sponsored content on social media
- Search Engine Marketing and pay-per-click
- Banner ads.
B2C marketers use paid promotion for the same reasons, with a bit more emphasis on sponsored content:
To promote content effectively, combine the 3 approaches:
- Owned media
- Earned media
- Paid media.
“How do you promote content / preferred method?” is one of marketers’ Top 100 Questions about content marketing. Here are the answers.
As a marketing change agent, I consult with clients, lead content marketing workshops for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and write the weekly Simplify Marketing blog.
With experience from Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, RR Donnelley and Tellabs, I've been named:
- Content Marketer of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute.
- Best Marketer by BtoB magazine.
- A B-to-B CMO to watch by Fierce CMO.