The competition for audience attention is tough. There is an unquantifiable amount of information on the Internet, and your business needs to against all of it.
Every piece of content needs a solid distribution strategy behind it.
Step 1: Identify who you want to read your content
Step 2: Outline this target audience’s values and online sharing behavior
Step 3: Build distribution into your creative
Expect some trial and error, but don’t throw darts in the dark. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Engage Your Community
This blog post on Clarity.fm has generated thousands of shares and website visits over the course of a few short weeks:
The secret to the content’s success is no secret at all. It’s a formula based on a set of key human-interest drivers:
- Tweetable, snackable quotes
- Thought leadership from industry experts
- Heavy inspiration
This combination of elements has made the post go viral. Why? It’s designed with a healthy combination of delight and sharing-made-easy.
2. Incorporate Lots of Visuals
People are inherently visual. Some readers love digesting paragraphs upon paragraphs of text, but the majority of humans find pictures more digestible.
According to one report from 3M Corporation and Zabisco, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed at 60,000-times faster in the brain than text.
Not a designer?
No problem. Check out resources like Canva and Piktochart — platforms that can help you transform your ideas into visuals. These resources do the ‘design thinking’ for you so that you can focus on what you do best — producing great content as quickly as possible.
3. Inspire Healthy Debate
Blogs are portals for two-way dialogue. Don’t let the conversation fall short — inspire debates, and be active in conversations.
Don’t be afraid to be heated and passionate — emotion drives commerce and buying activity online.
Here is inspiration from a recent FreshBooks blog post about Obamacare:
4. Be Altruistic
Give your content away for free- no strings attached. Pour your heart into it.
While some brands require subscription sign-ups to access long-form content, Grasshopper gives it away with zero strings attached.
Imagine the time required to produce such an extensive ebook — it takes months. Hosting this type of content ungated will yield SEO value and stand out apart from other content online. Consumers crave knowledge and the more comprehensive — and caring — you are, the better.
5. Harness the Power of Curation
Here’s a little-known tactic that can yield significant traffic for your business: content syndication.
In a nutshell, syndication is the process of cross-promoting a piece of content on your own site. The rules are: (1) always ask permission for re-publishing rights, (2) include internal links to send traffic back to your website, and (3) explicitly feature the original article.
You can syndicate your content on partner sites, such as this article on Business Insider, which was originally featured on the AdKnowledge Blog. Note how much more visibility the Business Insider piece generated:
A lot of blog owners wonder – ‘what’s in it for the media partner to syndicate content?’
- Incremental web traffic
- Free content to feature and help grow the original site
The formula was simple:
- Clarity chose a piece that was exceptional and already widely shared
- Clarity made it relevant and accessible to its audience
Even more viral sharing activity with credit back to the original author — everyone in the equation derived value.
6. Offer More
Is your content generating significant traffic and readership? Why not surprise readers with more of what they love — a longer form piece that builds upon the topics that they are already enjoying?
When readers are about to leave the Clarity.fm blog, for instance, they’ll see a pop-up with an offer to download a free ebook with startup advice from established entrepreneurs.
The material is education-focused, designed for delight, and highly inspiring.
7. Share Real Examples
Especially among B2B audiences, readers are hungry for knowledge. Be authentic. Share data. The more open you are about your learning experiences and brand, the more your readers — and potential audiences — will trust you and value what you have to say.
Social media scheduling platform Buffer is a true pioneer in this area. The company has built a significant content marketing presence by sharing its marketing data. From learning how to write blog posts to researching new analytics frameworks, you’ll become smarter from reading the Buffer Blog.
Of course — you can limit what data you share. Don’t share revenue data that would put your business in jeopardy, for instance. Don’t give your competitors a distinct advantage over your brand. But don’t be afraid to be open.
Final Thoughts: Build a Feedback Loop
The most high-impact way to delight your readers is to give them what they want. Ask them what topics they’re interested in seeing. Be relentless about analyzing your data to find topics that are taking off and generating interest. Listen, learn, and adapt in real-time. Don’t be afraid to experiment, be extremely empathetic, and tell a compelling story.