Best Content Distribution Platforms: How To Get Results

Best Content Distribution PlatformsDo you use the best content distribution platforms to reach your audience?

Or do you have a nagging feeling that you may have missed a key opportunity? 

Don’t worry since content distribution isn’t a once and done tactic!

To reach the maximum potential audience, your content marketing requires consistent and on-going distribution.
So you can spotlight your less visible content again.

For measurable results:

  • Determine the best content distribution platforms.
  • Select the channels and platforms best suited to your audience’s preferences and behavior.
  • And continue to test new distribution options and presentations over time.


Best Content Distribution Platforms

Pareto’s 80-20 Principle applies to content distribution:  Spend 20% of your resources to create content and use 80% of your resources to distribute it.

Bear in mind:

  • Content distribution requires budget for paid placement, changes in content formats, content updates, distribution presentation and ad refreshes and other tools such as social media.
  • Also content distribution needs employees, freelancers and/or agencies for influencer outreach and other activities.

Your Content Distribution Goal:
To keep your best road-tested content visible for the long run!

Content Distribution Platforms for customer information and inspiration-2018 PwC Chart


Owned Media Content Distribution Platforms

While  you control your owned media content distribution platforms, many smart marketers underutilize these almost free options.

The key to owned media content distribution platform success:

  • Partner with other departments across your organization.
  • Improve existing and new content to meet specific departmental needs cost effectively.

LinkedIn’s Jason Miller listened to the sales team. They wanted the content to give their customers the information straight without extra creative bells and whistles.

Miller’s marketing team created LinkedIn’s “ReadMe” guides for sales.

The ReadMe guides are on track to become the most successful piece of content marketing.

Annual Content Planning- Internal Content Example

Include Internal Content in your annual content planning like LinkedIn’s “Read Me If You Want” series.

Tap into the power of your employees as trusted sources of information. To accomplish this educate your employees by sharing your content marketing with them.

Active Employee Voices

Edelman Trust Barometer – Trusted People

Best Owned Media Content Distribution options include your:

  • Websites. During the research phase, customers seek deep product information.
  • Blogs. Provide useful customer content that prospects actively seek. Additionally, blogs are owned social media and support organic search.
  • Email. Includes lists of your prospects and customers as well as your employees.

Actionable Content Distribution Platform Tips:

  • Encourage employees to expand their personal networks with email. This supports influencer outreach and helps initial content distribution.
  • Create a non-promotional email. Build Share of Audience Attention by getting readers to open your emails. Contently’s Jordan Teicher writes “Casual Friday”, a short text communication.

Owned Media - Weekly Email


Social Media Content Distribution Platforms

Since social media remains key to content distribution, understand the platforms where your target audience spends time and how they use each network.

Sprout Social Platforms

Consumer Social Media Use by Platform. Shows Increases and decreases. Sprout Social Chart

But declining organic reach remains a problem. This dates back to 1H2017 when average Facebook engagement per post have declined according to BuzzSumo research.

Despite lower organic reach, use a mix of “free” and paid opportunities on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
Paid Social Media Use

Social Media Advertising Used By Marketers By Platform-Sprout Social Chart

These social media platforms provide entryways for mobile users with their installed app bases. This is important since global mobile users exceed global internet users.

Further take advantage of groups and communities associated with the major social media players as well as smaller communities such as:

  • Reddit, especially focus on targeted subreddits.
  • GrowthHackers.
  • Quora for questions and answers
  • Message boards and forums targeted to your audience. Ask a member of your team to participate and become known as a reliable resource.
  • Medium for long format content. It helps content syndication.
  • Flipboard  for news and social aggregation.

Actionable Content Distribution Platform Tips:

  • Optimize content to encourage owned media visitors to share your content. Use tools like Click-To-Tweet, AddThis and/or SocialWarfare.
  • Batch schedule your social media shares. Create a variety of social media presentations and batch schedule shares using a tool like CoSchedule, AgoraPulse, Hootsuite, and/or MeetEdgar.


Search and Search-Related Media Content Distribution Platforms

For content distribution, search covers more than just organic and paid Google listings.

61% of B2B content marketers worry about changes in search algorithms (2019 CMI/MarketingProfs )

US Search Market Share

2018 Search Market Share Chart via Sparktoro

Beyond Google, Bing and other search engines assess:

  • Voice search including smartphones and smart assistants like Siri and Alexa.
  • Amazon and Other Customer Reviews Sites. Depending on your target audience, include sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Bear in mind that over 40% of buyers start their purchase search on Amazon.
    Amazon is consumers' first stop
  • Discount, Coupon and Price Comparison sites. Target cost-conscious customers. Potential buyers still research and check prices before purchasing.
  • Maps and Related Services. Ignore these services at your peril since they reach the on-the-go prospect. This matters when they’re near your location.
  • iTunes and other audio content search options. Use them to distribute podcasts and audio books.

Actionable Content Distribution Platform Tips:

  • Optimize content marketing for search to keep it visible for the long term.
  • Make your content findable on search-like options such as Google photos, YouTube, Pinterest, mapping apps, iTunes and others.
  • Continually update your road tested content to remain visible on search engines. (For example, as we did with this post from March 2014!)


Third Party Media Content Distribution Platforms

Third party media includes all remaining content distribution options.

Astute marketers seek free or low cost third party content opportunities before they have specific content distribution needs.

Among these options are:

  • Featured columns in third party publications. Think beyond the marketing department. Get internal experts columns on specialty sites. For example, I wrote the Actionable Analysis column for ClickZ.
  • Assess secondary opportunities on major sites. If you can’t get placed on the main blog, try a related one. For example, Content Marketing Institute has a separate blog for Content Marketing World.
  • Guest blogging opportunities. Provide content for other blogs to reach a broader audience. 
  • Cross-promote another organization’s content. Since exchanging and/or renting email lists no longer works, spotlight another entity’s content either on your site or in your emailings.


Most third party media distribution requires some form of payment such as:

  • Content Recommendation platforms include Taboola, Outbrain, and Zemanta
  • Native Advertising offers access to third party publishing audiences. Since their staff creates your content, it looks like editorital.
  • Other third party advertising vehicles include sponsored content and banner advertising options.
  • PR and search optimized press releases to expand the reach of key content marketing initiatives. For example, the New York Public Library (aka: NYPL) used a press release to announce their innovative Insta-Novels available on Instagram.

Actionable Content Distribution Platform Tips:

  • Save budget to test third party advertising and content placement options.
  • Build relationships and thought leadership to expand your content visibility.


Best Content Distribution Platforms Conclusion


The secret to content distribution platform success:
Keep your best content marketing visible over time!

To take advantage of the best content distribution platforms:

  • Understand where your target audience seeks and consumes content.
  • Use a mix of different media options.
  • Improve and update content as needed and transform into new content formats.
  • Change your distribution presentations

Where necessary, supplement organic or “free” options with paid options to increase visibility.

Your objective isn’t to create the MOST content!

Your goal is to create the most effective and relevant content over time. And to keep it findable with on-going promotion.


Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 24, 2014. It has been extensively revised and updated.

Photo Credit: cc zero

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