Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (2023)

The question ‘Which platform is the best content distribution platform?’ is a tricky one, because the answer depends on your particular content marketing goals.

Every company has different goals, different target groups, and different decision makers and this ultimately shapes the choice of platform they make. For instance, depending on budget, they might decide to use low-cost or free distribution channels. As a new company grows, it might decide to shift to higher-cost channels.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (1)

But is such a shift necessary? As your company tests out different content distribution platforms, you have to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can free distribution channels give you everything you need for your content distribution strategy to succeed?
  • Are there advantages to using certain channels over others?
  • How do different paid channels compare and which one should you choose?
  • What do you want content distribution platforms to accomplish for you?
  • Are you trying to generate more revenue or are you just trying to get more people to see your content?
  • And most importantly, is it even relevant to your company in the first place and what is content distribution anyway?

These and other questions are explored in greater detail below.

Why content owners pay to distribute their content. Do paid platforms give good ROI?

Paid search engine marketing (search engine advertising or SEA) is the most used paid content distribution method in North America (B2B) with 66%.

The amount of content published online on a daily basis is staggering. Add this to the dwindling attention span of internet visitors and you can see what a difficult task it is for one piece of content to stand out.

Marketers who do not use paid content distribution platforms have to invest a lot of time and effort to get their content noticed and hopefully get shared.

Paid content distribution platforms enable content owners to overcome this hurdle as they guarantee that content will get to the right audience, attract high traffic, result in quality leads and conversions, and increase subscriber base. This is the main justification for paying for content distribution.

The ROI justifies this spend, as discussed in the comparison of different paid distribution platforms below.

Popular paid content distribution channels

Time to look at some popular paid content distribution channels: who uses them, what do they cost and what are their upsides and downsides?

Content recommendation engines

A first category of popular paid content distribution channels are so-called content recommendation engines or content discovery tools, often overlapping with native advertising.

The 2016 edition of the B2B content marketing benchmarks North America found that 14 percent of B2B marketers use such content discovery tools to (pay to) distribute/promote their content. Native advertising is used by 39 percent. Below are a few players.

(Video) Content Marketing For Beginners: Complete Guide

Taboola

Tests conducted by Seer Interactive, revealed that Taboola tends to have higher bounce rates than Outbrain, but given the right niche, Taboola can prove to be very effective at delivering content to your target audience.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (2)The fact that Taboola has a long-time commitment to video content distribution gives it an advantage over other platforms. Taboola’s dashboard allows you to target different countries and geographies and also define whether your ad is targeted for tablet or phone. Seer also concluded that Taboola is less expensive, more scalable, and able to attract more traffic for the same budget as Outbrain.

Outbrain

The downside of Outbrain is that you will get fewer visitors to your media, for the same price you pay to a service like Taboola.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (3)However, unlike Taboola, Outbrain has a higher engagement and conversion rates. The admin dashboard doesn’t support large sets of data, which can result in a lot of time spent on analytics.

Adblade

Adblade is a popular platform with publishers like Answers.com, Forbes, and Bloomberg.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (4)When paying for the service by credit card, there are no minimum monthly spend requirements.

Unlike other content distribution networks that use algorithms to target audiences, Adblade targets audiences based on interest, and also allows retargeting.

Zemanta

Zemanta uses platforms like Outbrain, Gravity, Adblade and Disqus to promote your content, which they will first aggregate.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (5)This model may work for some content owners but if you prefer to have more control over your campaigns, you might not favor this approach.

Nativo

A key differentiator of native advertising platform Nativo is that rather than paying for CPC, you pay for Viewable CPM (vCPM).

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (6)Thus, you are assured you are paying for viewers. Cost of Viewable CPM varies between $10 to $18. According to Nativo, they are capable of improving performance of native ads by over 300%.

Paid content distribution via social channels and networks

A very often used way to distribute content in a paid way is using social platforms and networks. Social ads are used by 51 percent of B2B marketers as a paid advertising method for content distribution and promoting and this excludes (paying) promoted posts such as promoted tweets.

Facebook Ads

The biggest advantage of using Facebook for advertising is that individuals and businesses rely on it for interacting and discovering content, thus making it a prime channel for B2B and B2C advertisers.

(Video) How Spotify Can Amplify Video Distribution

Facebook’s advertising platform has different types of ads, such as the page post Link ads, to suit different advertisers’ needs. These ads, once clicked on, link back to a website.

Advertisers can also A/B test their ads to find out what works best for conversions. Facebook ads have amazing targeting capabilities, allowing advertisers to target audiences based on interests, behavior, demographics, or whether they are or aren’t connected to your pages.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (7)

The cost of Facebook advertising will depend on how much you are willing to spend. The time of year, the quality of the advertisement, and your target audience will all impact the final cost. This makes it affordable for people with both small and big budgets. You can bid for cost per click, per action, impression, like, conversion or other parameters, depending on your goals.

YouTube

When designing a video content distribution plan, there are two tactics you can use:

  1. You can host the videos on your owned media, using players like Vimeo (which has just launched a business edition of its platform).
  2. Or you can promote your content on platforms like YouTube.
Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (8)

As far as video content delivery goes, YouTube is a must-use for any brand that is serious about gaining a large following for their content.

Other social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter can boost your video distribution efforts.

YouTube also has a paid advertising platform.

LinkedIn

There are three ways in which you can promote your content on LinkedIn:

  • By displaying sponsored content on an advertising network. When clicked on, the update will lead to your website.
  • You can feature your text and Image ads prominently on the LinkedIn website.
  • You can target audiences with content through Inmail.
Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (9)

LinkedIn is ranked as the most effective social media advertising platform with 66% effectiveness according to content marketing institute – ahead of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

LinkedIn also generates more leads for B2B than any other platform. Its targeting abilities outweigh those of any other platform, as it goes beyond demographics to include parameters such as job title, company, and other job-specific details. Costs can either be cost per click (CPC) or cost per 1000 impressions (CPM).

Twitter

If you have never considered paying to promote your content on Twitter, you might want to start.

The 2016 edition of the B2B content marketing benchmarks North America found that promoted posts, including promoted tweets, rank fourth on the list of most used paid advertising methods to promote and distribute content in B2B.

When you want to reach wider audiences or if you want to drive higher engagement with your content, promoted tweets are an effective way to achieve this objective. At a glance, promoted tweets look just like ordinary tweets, but a closer look reveals the word ‘promoted’ on the bottom left-hand corner of a tweet.

(Video) How to repurpose content to amplify performance & increase results?

You can retweet, like, reply to, or perform other such actions on promoted tweets. Payment for promoted tweets depends on the action you want your audiences to take, such as clicking, following, subscribing, etcetera.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (10)

Paid search engine marketing

Google, as the leading search engine, is almost a category of its own, althoug others also offer paid search ads. According to the 2016 B2B content marketing benchmark report of the Content Marketing Institute, a majority of B2B advertisers use paid search engine marketing for promoting/distributing their content.

Ads on the most used platform, Google AdWords, are easy to create and automatically display to anyone searching for keywords that you have specified. For this reason, a majority of marketers find Google advertising an effective tool for reaching audiences.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (11)

Google AdWords targets audiences based on the keywords they normally use when performing searches. With the data you collect through Google Analytics, you can improve your keyword targeting and content in the future. Make use of analytics for your strategies.

The cost of advertising depends on the keywords you choose to use but that’s another story and brings us to search engine marketing and, more specifically search engine advertising (the non-paying form of search engine marketing being search engine optimization).

So what next for your brand? Crafting a content distribution plan

The content distribution platforms discussed above are just the tip of the iceberg.

To learn about other free and paid platforms, you can check out this article: 40 best content distribution tools that will give your content the widest reach, where I dive deep into 40 content distribution tools.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (12)

As you craft your content distribution plan, take note of these points:

Paid distribution is not your main focus; owned media is.

Free media distribution can work, but only to a certain extent. To maximize your efforts, you need to pay to distribute. It’s always a mix of paid, owned and earned.

There is however, danger in making large investments in platforms like Facebook that allow you to rent audiences instead of owning them. In order to own audiences and have total control, you have to invest wisely. Think of paid platforms for content delivery as tools for building your owned media because once your brand is strong, you might not need to pay-to-distribute at all. For instance, brands like Kraft and Red Bull have mastered the science of aggregating subscribers to a point where they no longer need to use paid media.

In a nutshell, as you invest in paid media to distribute your content, your main objective should be to convert audiences you pay for to audiences you can own in the future. Call-to-actions that get audiences to subscribe are a sure way of getting audiences onto platforms where you have full control.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (13)

Even after you convert audiences into subscribers, you have to constantly engage them by publishing content that they need and want. Building such a formidable brand takes time, but as long as you focus on using your paid media to consistently push people to your owned media, you are on the right track.

Tap into the power of social media

There’s a lot of information out there calling for brands to drive traffic through social media.

(Video) How to Use Twitter as a Content Distribution Channel | Content That Grows Ssn3, Ep3

In fact, in 2012, Simple reach predicted that by 2015, social would be responsible for driving 53% of traffic, up from the 25% experienced that year. If you look at the numbers reported in current research, these predictions were not unfounded.

Most people discover their content through social media, making it a key platform that content publishers need to target for growing audiences.

Optimize your content

Distribution platforms are in high demand by brands, all of which are keen to get their content discovered.

This means that there are millions of content pieces being published on a daily basis, a factor that could make it very difficult for your content to be found. What’s more, the average viewer spares only a few seconds per content piece.

This means that merely paying for content distribution is not enough but you must instead be armed with a content distribution strategy that constantly optimizes content to make it easily discoverable. Content distribution is about winning audiences and only by optimizing your paid platforms can you win audiences.

Be smart; protect your brand image

There’s a great rush to leverage content distribution platforms as brands try to outdo each other and it’s natural to get caught in this rush.

But doing so could ruin your brand image if your content ads are displayed on pages that carry non-related content.

Relevant content is still the best way to avoid this, as is distributing your content within a relevant context. Irrelevant “native ads” on a page appear spammy and as a recent study conducted by ChartBeat shows, fewer and fewer people are clicking on native ads and are instead focusing on the main page content.

Content distribution: which is the best platform/channel to amplify your content? (14)

Therefore, as you invest in paid content distribution, do so with the following in mind:

  • Your content should be relevant to the network it’s being displayed on.
  • Avoid spammy headlines.
  • If you use images, they should be relevant to your content.
  • Your content should drive back to the actual page promised by the ad.
  • It should be clear that content is sponsored. Viewers dislike feeling cheated; they’d rather know beforehand that they are clicking on sponsored content.

Finally, work with a budget that allows you to test different digital content distribution platforms.

Only by testing will you know what you can accomplish with different platforms. Though market share is a good indicator (and hence will lead to choices like Taboola, Facebook, LinkedIn and Outbrain), focus on the actual conversions you are getting from the platform. Are you satisfied with their quality and can you build up from there?

Top image: Shutterstock – Copyright: agsandrew – Silo image: Shutterstock – Copyright: Gonzalo Aragon

All other images are the property of their respective mentioned owners.

FAQs

What is a content distribution platform? ›

Content distribution refers to any means used by brands to disseminate content to large and targeted audiences. Content distribution platforms are many and are increasing by the day, but they can be best categorized into three broad categories - Paid media, owned media and earned media.

What are the 3 types of content distribution strategies? ›

Content distribution falls into three categories: owned, earned, and paid distribution. Before you publish any content, create a well-defined distribution strategy to ensure higher ROI.

What is the most important element of your content distribution strategy? ›

Audience research

This element is one of the core components of your content strategy. Discovering your audience's demographics, interests, device types and more can help you make your content more attractive. Every piece of content you have should cater to different audience clusters.

Which one of the following is a content distribution? ›

A content distribution strategy is a plan that helps an organization disseminate its content, whether it's promoting the latest blog post or sharing a new ebook. Publishing content can only take you so far; a content distribution strategy makes sure that content is seen by the world.

Which is an example of content distribution platform? ›

Platforms like Outbrain, Nativo and Taboola display your content to relevant audiences across some the internet's top websites. Using these platforms let you reach prospects at every stage of their buyer journey to build brand awareness and grow your audience.

Why is content distribution important? ›

Content distribution is a critical piece of the content marketing puzzle. It's is also the key to boosting your brand awareness, collecting loyal followers, and encouraging your readers to click, act, and become customers. Put these content distribution tips and tools to get your content in front of your audience.

Which of these is a channel for content distribution? ›

There are three main types of content distribution channels: owned, earned, and paid media. Each channel has its own benefits and you definitely need to be able to differentiate between them to develop a content distribution strategy.

How do you create a content distribution strategy? ›

Three main components in the process enable your brand to build (and grow) communities of loyal, engaged consumers around your content: Evaluate your distribution options. Develop and document your channel plan. Promote your content and amplify its impact.

Which of the following channels is distribution of content? ›

The Best Distribution Channel Options For Content Marketing

Although there is a wide variety of social media and video distribution channels, not all of them might be suitable for content distribution. Some of the efficient options for content marketing are as follows: Blogs. Email newsletters.

Which distribution channel allows the most control? ›

Direct Channels

With direct channels, the company is fully responsible for delivering products to consumers. Goods do not go through intermediaries before reaching their final destination. This model gives manufacturers total control over the distribution channel.

What is meant by distribution in media? ›

DISTRIBUTION The methods by which media products are delivered to audiences, including the marketing campaign.

What is channel of distribution in marketing? ›

Distribution channels are the paths that products and services take on their way from the manufacturer or service provider to the end consumer.

What do you think is the most important goal of a content strategy? ›

A successful content strategy will attract your target audience at every stage of the funnel and keep them engaged even after a purchase. Say your business goals include increasing brand awareness.

What are three of the most important elements of a content strategy? ›

Developing a winning content strategy

And, while there's no one size fits all solution, identifying and including the three key elements — brand focus, user experience, and content distribution — will help develop a plan for business' success.

Which are the most important aspects in creating good content? ›

9 Important Factors For Creating Content
  • Length of Content. ...
  • Value to the Reader. ...
  • Visuals are Important. ...
  • Infographics Are Powerful. ...
  • Mobile-Friendly Is a Must. ...
  • Keywords Still Rule. ...
  • Check and Recheck Spelling and Grammar. ...
  • Easy-to-Read Format.
14 Jun 2018

Which platform is best for content delivery? ›

16 Best Free Content Distribution Platforms for Your Brand
  • Niche Communities.
  • Owned Media.
  • Earned Media.
  • Triberr Promote.
  • BuzzStream.
  • Missinglettr.
  • SocialBee.
  • Quuu Promote.
20 Mar 2022

Is social media a distribution channel? ›

The most basic approach is just to use social media as a channel for content distribution and a source of traffic. But there is a segment of publishers that are taking their approach to social media to a new level by developing storytelling and adopting native formats in social media platforms.

What makes a good content marketing strategy? ›

An effective Content Marketing strategy should have these five core elements to be successful: audience personas, brand positioning, owned media value proposition, business case, and an action plan. Let's see why these elements are essential and how you can start implementing each of them.

What is the best distribution channel? ›

E-commerce is the most efficient distribution channel available for a business. It decreases dramatically the need to use multiple storage locations, multiple distributers and brokers to connect you to retailers to sell your product line.

How do you distribute content from various channels? ›

Useful tip: If you want to distribute several content pieces on a specific topic at a time, you need to make sure these cater to the needs of your target audience and align them with each other. For example, a blog post can be both published on your (or an earned) blog and promoted via email and social media.

How do you distribute content on social media? ›

You <> Social Media Distribution
  1. Tactic 1: Create Content (Really Good Content)
  2. Tactic 2: Find Your Target Audience & Where They Live (Digitally)
  3. Tactic 3: Focus On Your Best Performing Channels.
  4. Tactic 4: Join Facebook Groups, Subreddits & Other Niche Channels.
  5. Tactic 5: Build Relationships With Influencers.

What is the main objective of content marketing? ›

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

What does a content strategy include? ›

Content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content. Content not only includes the words on the page but also the images and multimedia that are used.

What are the 4 types of distribution? ›

There are four types of distribution channels that exist: direct selling, selling through intermediaries, dual distribution, and reverse logistics channels.

What are the types of channels of distribution? ›

The three types of distribution channels are wholesalers, retailers, and direct-to-consumer sales.

Why is channel of distribution important? ›

Distribution channels are important to businesses as they allow for the smooth delivery of goods or services to a customer. If a business does not source the best collection of businesses for this purpose, it can lead to unhappy customers and an inadequate provision of services.

What is content distribution on Facebook? ›

Content Distribution allows videos to be downloaded. This feature is automatically turned on so if you want your content to remain on Facebook and to not be downloaded for other uses, turn this off. Download Page will give you a copy of all posts, videos, and page info.

Which of these is a channel for content distribution? ›

There are three main types of content distribution channels: owned, earned, and paid media. Each channel has its own benefits and you definitely need to be able to differentiate between them to develop a content distribution strategy.

Is social media a distribution channel? ›

The most basic approach is just to use social media as a channel for content distribution and a source of traffic. But there is a segment of publishers that are taking their approach to social media to a new level by developing storytelling and adopting native formats in social media platforms.

How do you distribute blog content? ›

20 Ways to Promote & Distribute Your Blog Post
  1. Repurpose Existing Content. ...
  2. Use Content Curation Tools. ...
  3. SlideShare – the Secret Way! ...
  4. Promote your Blog Post on Quora. ...
  5. Promote your Blog Post on Reddit. ...
  6. Promote your Blog Post on LinkedIn. ...
  7. Internal Links. ...
  8. Guest Posting.
8 Apr 2021

How do I get better distribution on Facebook? ›

That's why we increase distribution for videos that inspire friend-to-friend or person-to-person engagement.
...
Share the link to your Page and let viewers know what they can expect if they choose to follow you.
  1. Don't post clickbait. ...
  2. Don't ask viewers to respond in specific ways. ...
  3. Don't participate in sharing schemes.

Where do I find the content distribution on Facebook? ›

To get a good idea of what your audience will be interested in, I use Facebook's Audience Insights tool within their Ads Manager. To access this click 'Audience Insights' on the left hand side of the Ads Manager and then select 'Everyone on Facebook'. You will see the dashboard below.

How can I improve my Facebook? ›

Plan, schedule, and analyze your posts to Facebook Pages and Groups with Buffer's Facebook scheduling and analytics tools.
...
Let's dive in!
  1. Post less. ...
  2. Post when your fans are online. ...
  3. Try videos. ...
  4. Go live. ...
  5. Share curated content. ...
  6. Ask for opinions. ...
  7. Boost your top posts. ...
  8. Recycle your top posts.

What is the best distribution channel? ›

E-commerce is the most efficient distribution channel available for a business. It decreases dramatically the need to use multiple storage locations, multiple distributers and brokers to connect you to retailers to sell your product line.

What does distribution mean in media? ›

Content Distribution is the act of promoting content to online audiences in multiple media formats through various channels. These channels can be categorized into three groups: Owned, Earned, and Paid.

What is channel of distribution in marketing? ›

Distribution channels are the paths that products and services take on their way from the manufacturer or service provider to the end consumer.

Which distribution channel allows the most control? ›

Direct Channels

With direct channels, the company is fully responsible for delivering products to consumers. Goods do not go through intermediaries before reaching their final destination. This model gives manufacturers total control over the distribution channel.

Is content marketing a channel? ›

Simply put, a content marketing channel is the place where you post your content. You've done the hard work of creating a diverse mix of quality content, but now you have to figure out how to distribute that content.

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