Ultimate Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

60+ Ways To Maximize Your Content Distribution

Face reality: Without at least minimal content marketing distribution, no one will know about your lovingly created masterpiece.

Except possibly your boss and your mother, a pair that isn’t necessarily the best combination to deliver maximum content marketing reach.

Even worse your content has no chance of going viral because no one knows about it. As a result they can’t talk about it or share it.

As Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina says,

It’s not the best content but the best promoted content that succeeds. @Crestodina #contentmarketingClick To Tweet

Beyond optimizing your content for readers, social media, search, influencers and your business, you must proactively distribute your content!

According to NewsCred, you not only have to distribute your content marketing but also consider the order of your distribution.

Content marketing distribution

The order of content distribution matters as measured by pageviews – NewsCred Chart

Contently, Priceonomics and Larry Kim follow an “Amplify and Distribute” method involving influencers and paid promotion.

But you need to think long term for your 10X content.

Content distribution isn’t a once and done process. @HeidiCohen #contentmarketingClick To Tweet

You must continually repromote your content to ensure it remains visible.  Even better update your related presentations to keep them relevant and feeling fresh.

Want to maximize your content distribution?

Use this content marketing distribution checklist to ensure you don’t miss an opportunity.


Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Content marketing distribution breaks into 3 major categories: owned media, social media and third party media.

1. Owned Media Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Distribute your content across all owned media including all departments and communications. 

Marketing-Controlled Online Owned Media Distribution Checklist

These owned media content distribution options are generally part of Marketing. In larger corporations, they may be the responsibility of other departments such as product and/or website.

  1. Website. Have a section where you promote your latest content.
  2. Website messaging functionality. Tap into the potential of this persistent functionality. Where possible allow agents to tailor your content distribution message. Includes tools like Drift.
  3. Blog. Broaden your content marketing reach with an article or series of articles related to your content effort. Link to products mentioned. Feature other related content formats like video and images. Link to new content from older relevant blog posts.
  4. Email newsletters. Curate content you’ve published elsewhere in your on-going newsletters. Re-imagine the content as a short newsletter article.
  5. Product pages. Add a link to related content on specific product pages. This requires a process to ensure the links change or redirect when the product changes. This may be a manual process.
  6. Microsites, Can be used to spotlight content. They’re also content off-ramps.
  7. Mobile apps. Include a link or spotlight your content. Offer readers an off-ramp to related content.
  8. Landing pages. Utilize landing pages and thank-you pages to offer related content.
  9. Personal outreach. Write one-off emails to the people you mention in the content, relevant influencers and/or journalists. BuzzSumo found this helped boost their headline research promotion. Here’s what this type of outreach email looks like.

    Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

    Example of content marketing outreach to support content distribution

  10. Webinar. Create a webinar around big rock content. Alternatively work with another firm sponsoring each other’s webinar. (Note: This is popular to expand your audience for similar attributes.)
  11. Other on-site options. Insert a promotion for your latest content on your website. The key: Promote your brand without being an ad. Also test products like HelloBar.
  12. Exit intent software. Remind people about your content as they leave your website. Options include OptinMonster and Sumo.

Non-Marketing Controlled Owned Media Distribution Checklist

Work together with other departments that touch your visitors or prospects.

  1. Sales emails. Use the emailings your sales department sends. Where possible target your content to specific prospect needs. This may involve marketing automation. Keep your sales teams up-to-date on your latest content.
  2. Sales collateral. Include your high quality content in this hand delivered or emailed information.
  3. Employee email signature filesLeverage your employees’ correspondence. Require employees to use a specified email signature that’s controlled centrally where a marketing message can be added to promote content.
  4. Team collaboration tools. Take advantage of tools like Slack to get more love for your content distribution.
  5. Customer service emails.  Link to your latest content in customer service emails. They may be text only. Create an easy-to-control P.S. to tailor the callout. Also, they may require special programming.
  6. Purchase email. Get extra mileage from these expected communications that go to people’s primary email address. Again use centrally controlled text you can change easily. This message may require additional programming.
  7. Internal communications. Let employees know about your latest work even if it exists on your intranet (they may not see it).
  8. Internal brand ambassadors. Train employees to be your brand ambassadors on their personal social media accounts and elsewhere. Help them extend your reach by building community and their skillset.
  9. Agencies, consultants and freelancers. Tap into the power of the people who are working for your firm.
  10. Micro-Influencers. Get your fans involved in your content distribution. Includes members of your loyalty programs or social media community.Micro-influencers

Offline Owned Media Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Overlook offline content distribution at your peril! Include communications from marketing and other departments 

  1. Print content marketing. Create your own print media entity. Joe Pulizzi started Chief Content Officer. (BTW, they reprint their articles online.) Notably, Kraft launched their print magazine Food & Family with a circulation of 1+ million using their website’s house file.
    Offline Owned Media Content Marketing Distribution

    Content Marketing Institute’s Owned Print Media: Chief Content Officer

    Owned Media Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

    Kraft Food’s Print Magazine: Food & Family – It’s now a revenue generator

  2. Business cardsAdd a line to an easy-to-remember and type URL directing visitors to your content. Due to the life of business cards, use a permanent URL where you change the content it points to.
  3. Catalogs. Include product related content to make your catalog more advertorial. The challenge with these materials is their long production lead time.
  4. Print newsletter. Offer your content in shortened form with an easy-to-type URL to your full content.
  5. In-store handoutsCreate handouts spotlighting relevant content. Alternatively tap into existing handouts and bag stuffers with a short blurb and URL.
  6. ReceiptsReference your primary content URL with a call to action if you have the programming capabilities.
  7. In-store signage. Put up signs promoting your content. Create an easy-to-remember URL.
  8. Annual report. Spotlight major content initiatives in these corporate documents. This is good if you’ve published a book.


2. Social Media Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Social media is part of every marketer’s toolbox for expanded content distribution. To maximize your results, tailor your social media postings by platform. Be part of the community—don’t drop in just to distribute content.

Social Media Network Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Most social media networks appeal to short attention spans. Use social scheduling tools to keep your content top of mind over time. Also create different social media shares and presentations.

Whether you like it or not, social media is where people spend their time. Check out this 2017 Internet Minute Chart.

What happens in an internet minute-Activities broken down by minute-Chart


  1. Facebook. It’s the 900 pound gorilla of social media. Use a variety of formats and consistent participation to stay top of mind. Spotlight big rock content on your profile. Host a live video session.
  2. YouTube. Post videos with related text to YouTube. It’s the second biggest search engine.
  3. Twitter. Create a variety of tweets from every piece of content. Include images and videos where appropriate. Include at least one tweet for each headline. Be a Twitter chat  guest to discuss a large piece of content. Also integrate clickable tweets into your content.
  4. LinkedIn. It’s critical for B2B brands. Add big rock content to your profile.
  5. Instagram. Use based on your business focus. Works for visually oriented businesses like fashion brands. Includes video.
  6. Google+. Share your content on Google+ to help your search rankings. Pinterest. Include at least one pinnable image in each post or article you publish. Include your content URL in the picture in case it’s shared elsewhere. Don’t underestimate the value of this long tail content.
  7. Slideshare.  Establish your content presence with presentations, video, audio and ebooks. This platform is particularly useful for B2B content, even fun stuff.
  8. Tumblr. Is useful for visual, blog style content, especially if targeting a 13-29 year old segment.


Long Form Social Media Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

While most social media content is short and fleeting, longer options are entering the field.

  1. LinkedIn Publishing. Is a way to build your business-related thought leadership. It’s open to all LinkedIn members and is business focused. Make LinkedIn Publishing part of your editorial calendar.
  2. Medium. Offers a place to publish long form content. It’s another place to build thought leadership.

Social Media Communities And Forums Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Social media in the broader sense extends beyond the major social media entities. It includes more targeted communities like Reddit and Inbound.org as well as older options like forums. Do the legwork to determine which are best for your business and content.

  1. Niche social media options. May be useful for your content distribution. They include sites like Spiceworks (business software) or Ravelry (knitting).
  2. Reddit. Requires care and feeding in the form of on-going participation rather than a content distribution flyby. If your content takes off in a sub-community it can exponentially help your distribution.
  3. Quora. Is a question and answer site that is useful if your content answers questions.
  4. Forums and older options. Can be helpful for content distribution depending on your business and interests. Don’t be a snob—they may never have moved to newer technology options.
  5. Communities. Participate in applicable content communities such as Inbound.org or GrowthHacker.com. Pay attention to the rules.

    Content Marketing Distribution Checklist example

    Content Marketing Distribution via Sharing Communities Like GrowthHacker – BUT don’t share your content!

  6. Curation options. Add your content to curation sites like Flipboard and Scoop.it to extend your reach. To maximize results, it helps to curate relevant content in your category (and not just your own content!) For example, Scott Monty uses Flipboard as the basis for his weekly curation, The Full Monty.


Social Media Promotion Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Not all social media is free. Either you tap into your audience’s desire to share it or pay to promote. Don’t forget to test your content. Many experts use Facebook ads to test their headlines.

  1. Social sharing buttons. Include relevant social sharing buttons to maximize earned impressions. BTW—I just switched to Social Warfare and I love it.
  2. Social media advertising. Use paid options from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Leverage the power of the platform’s advertising analytics to get the data you need. BTW, UBS recently moved 10% of their content marketing budget to social media promotion. (Contently)


3. Third-Party Platform Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

To maximize content marketing distribution, include third-party platforms even though they require investment, either in the form of content repurposing or payments. Also don’t underestimate the power of working with peers to extend content reach.

Free Third-Party Media Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

While these third-party media options are free or low cost, most require some form of work on your part. This work or time is often an undocumented cost.

  1. Search optimization. Is a part of many marketers’ plans. Include mobile and voice search.
  2. Amazon. Is a ratings and reviews repository for a wide range of products. Additionally it’s the prime distribution platform for ebooks and books.
  3. iTunes. Promote your audio content and/or podcast through iTunes to build a broader audience.
  4. Play Store or Play Books. Tap into the power of Google’s Android store to promote your podcasts and ebooks.
  5. Guest blog posts/podcasts. Borrow other bloggers and podcasters’ audiences in return for providing unique 10X content. This includes interviews. Re-imagine your articles or offer part of a larger piece of content such as a book chapter.
  6. Regular third-party media column. Write an ongoing column for an existing media entity. For example, I wrote the Actionable Analytics column for ClickZ.
  7. One-off article on third-party media entity. Create a related article for a special entity. At a minimum, ask sites where you currently advertise or participate in live events or conferences.


Live Third Party Platform Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Distribute your content person-to-person for a bigger impact. It adds the benefit of building real life relationships and expanding your reach via social media.

  1. Conference presentations. Spotlight your content in your presentation or at the end of your conference presentations. Where appropriate make a special offer to attendees.
  2. Tradeshows. Incorporate your content offering into trade booth handouts and presentations.
  3. Live events. Hand out your content as a presenter, sponsor or attendee.
  4. Associations. Use associations as a conduit for sharing your content marketing. Offer articles and/ore presentations both online and offline.
  5. Local business organizations. Think Rotary and Lions Clubs. Provide relevant information for their newsletters or as meeting presentations.
  6. Intermediaries. Give your content to middlemen who engage with your prospects.


Paid Third party Content Marketing Distribution Checklist

Some third party media distribution requires payments.

  1. Influencer outreach. Builds on other people’s followings. It has become a form of marketing to reach a wider audience. While some influencer outreach can be low cost, don’t expect your program to be free.Influencer Types
  2. Paid search. Requires budget to support your organic and optimization efforts.
  3. Sponsored content. Pay to place your content on another site or emailing.
  4. Advertising. Promote your content on someone else’s media including their website, blog and newsletter.
  5. Press release. Issue a press release highlighting your major content. Have a related reason for the release to gain traction such as research or data analysis. It may have an offline impact.
  6. Email exchange. Work with another business with a related audience to promote your content. In exchange you promote theirs.


The Content Marketing Distribution Checklist Conclusion

To maximize your content marketing distribution, plan beyond your initial content release to keep your best content visible to your audience.

Beyond distributing your content across these platforms, it’s key to include the next steps you want your reader  to take and have content off-ramps to keep visitors on your content.

Since your audience continues to grow and evolve, many of them may not be familiar with your older quality content. It’s your responsibility to repromote your best and most useful content.

While each distribution option may not work for every piece of content, you can use this content marketing distribution checklist to ensure you’ve used every relevant channel.

Further continually test your presentation including headlines, visuals and calls-to-action to maximize results.

To keep your best content visible over time, schedule content repromotion in your editorial and social media calendars.

What other platforms would you add to this list and why would you include them?


Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Editor’s note: The PDF version of the Ultimate Content Marketing Distribution Checklist is no longer available for download. This post was originally published on October 16, 2013 under the title: 
37 Step Content Marketing Distribution Checklist. It has been substantially edited and updated with new content.


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


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