Creating quality content takes a lot of effort, so it’s frustrating when it doesn’t have the desired effect. You might think the problem lies in the content itself (and, to be fair, it might), but more likely your content distribution plan was unsuccessful.
To get people’s attention, you can’t just hit publish and hope for the best. Even if you have a content distribution plan, small mistakes can ruin your chances without you realizing it. (It’s not your fault, we see this happen to brands all the time.)
There are a lot of things you can do to improve your content’s impact, even if it has already been published. You just need to know what mistakes to avoid when distributing your content.
How to Fix the Top 17 Content Distribution Mistakes
We’ve seen all the mistakes people can make with their content, so we’ve put together some tips to help your content be successful. If your content isn’t working well, make sure you aren’t doing any of these things.
1) Creating a plan after content is finished
The content team often sends new pieces to the promo team with the expectation that they will be seen, placed, covered, and shared immediately. However, when this doesn’t happen, everyone becomes frustrated.
If you want your content to be successful, always involve your PR team from the start. That way, they can offer feedback about the content idea, connect with their contacts, arrange exclusives, and prepare a launch plan.
If you want to make sure your content is featured, you could try partnering with a publication. That way, you can create content that is specifically tailored to that publication.
While your content strategy may involve a variety of different content marketing channels, landing pages, and social media platforms, it is essential that the content you publish is high-quality and relevant to what your target audience is searching for. Otherwise, your content marketing efforts will be for naught.
This could be backed up with an objective. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that a well-funded business should target:
Within 12 months:
- 90% or more of landing pages that have the value of over 1,000 visits a month, and should be revisited.
- 50% or more of landing pages are considered to be equal to or better than other pages designed to answer the same query.
I think you could achieve more, but the above would be a great place to start.
The key to a successful content strategy, according to Stephen Morris, SEO and Content Specialist at TSB, is the ability to produce content that is both visible to your audience and resonates with them.
He is stating that there is a lot of bad content on the internet and that without specific goals, you will just add to the problem.
3) Targeting the wrong channels
The goal of content distribution is to get your content in front of the people you want to see it. Different content is better suited for different channels. For example, Instagram is more visual than Twitter.
If you’re not careful about which channels you’re using to communicate, or if you don’t make sure your content is appropriate for the channel, it will be difficult to reach people.
The solution to this issue is to consider your audience and which channels will reach them most effectively. Talk to your team before creating content to make sure it will be appropriate for each channel.
This is also true for social media. Instead of trying to be active on every platform, it is better to focus on those that will help you achieve your goals.
4) Tracking the wrong metrics
Metrics are a key element of any successful distribution plan as they provide a way to measure success. However, many brands make the mistake of not tracking any metrics, tracking too many metrics, or tracking the wrong metrics. This makes it difficult to understand what strategies are effective and which ones are not.
To fix the issue, you need to find a balance and only concentrate on metrics that give you the most useful information.
James Skinner, the head of digital IT at Dyson Ltd, a British technology company, says that if companies don’t do a proper audit today, the amount of issues and workload that an audit tomorrow will find will continue to grow until the whole thing turns into a giant, expensive project.
Brand agencies are often the authors of web pages, and they craft copy to briefs that are agonized over. When published, they are exactly what the agency and brand wanted to say. However, this does not reflect what searchers wanted to find, and the pages are not optimized for search or designed to compete on Google. This disconnect can cost traffic and brand equity.
No. Trade-offs are required and that could be a tougher decision.” Skinner said that deciding whether content will serve the brand or the consumer is very important to strategy. He asked if every brand is focused on the consumer and said that sometimes trade-offs are necessary.
7) Red tape
How much discussion and debate is going to take place? The larger the company, the more bureaucracy is involved. More people are needed to sign off on the project, and more opinions must be heard before moving forward. This results in more discussion and debate.
The larger the group working on a project, the slower the project will progress and the outcome is often just average.
Mark House, the Programme Manager at Bibby Financial Services, has also experienced difficulties in this area and has studied disruption extensively. He suggests that it’s important to keep an eye on their competition and to learn from their success. He offers the following advice to larger firms who are concerned about the newer entrants in their marketplace: follow those things that these entrants do well. One of them is the ability to look at data and to get things out there. Big organizations can learn a lot from that.
8) Not optimizing for SEO
It’s so common for brands to not properly optimize their owned properties or content for SEO even though SEO traffic is a huge part of getting eyes on your content.
To improve your website’s performance, make sure your website, blog, and content are optimized for keywords and social sharing.
9) Trying to reach everyone
Your content should be specifically tailored to the group of people who need your product or service. If your content is too vague or your distribution strategy too broad, it will not have the desired effect.
The solution is to create marketing personas that give a detailed description of who you are trying to reach, what they care about, how they consume information, etc. This will help you better vet content ideas and identify the right distribution channels. We recommend starting with three personas.
10) Making it harder for people to access your content
Publishing content that could be easily published on social media sites can create a bad brand experience, which can hurt you in the long run. You may want to increase your keyword rankings and deliver more site traffic, but forcing people to visit your site to view this content is not the best way to achieve these goals.
Making it easy to share content will help people follow you. Examples include uploading videos directly to Facebook and adding social buttons to newsletters.
If you want people to engage with your content, give them something of value along with any teasing. For example, share an interesting data visualization from your latest white paper, and include a link to the white paper if people want to learn more.
11) Promoting your content once
You should promote your new content more than once to get the most out of it.
One way to keep your content fresh is to Repurpose it for different mediums. You could take an old e-book and turn it into an infographic, or use a divisible content strategy to generate micro content from one piece.
It is also a good idea to create content on topics that are always relevant to people. This is a great way to ensure that you get the most value from your content in the long term.
Conversion rate optimization can be very profitable for companies. Creating a situation where people are likely to click on a button without being distracted by other factors can be costly, but it is worth it if done correctly. Having great main content and supplementary content is important, and there needs to be a balance between the two so that neither is harmed. Everyone involved in this process needs to be successful.
Mark House believes that marketing is a science and that experts are better equipped to achieve the goals that both customers and businesses want.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know what content is needed in your market, but you must use data-driven content planning.
Two sins Skinner has seen many times:
- No data on which to base decisions and worse,
- Ignoring data when making decisions
He believes that A/B testing is important, and it is usually more focused on changing aspects such as button colors and visuals rather than testing different content.
It is one thing to come up with content ideas and another thing entirely to prove that those ideas are actually valuable.
House argues that spending money is often just to be able to say ‘I do this’ whenever there are questions about a business’ approach to delivering marketing. House thinks that firms should take a more critical assessment of what their customers want and what activities would deliver these at the lowest cost and highest return.
There is a team of people with the necessary skills to make this all work, and they need to buy into what you want to do.
- Data munchers who find the gaps and opportunities.
- Brief writers that make sure what the writers get is going to result in amazing content coming back.
- Those that work on and around the CMS: Developers, design, SEO, CRO, or sometimes one or a few multi-skilled individuals.
- Leadership talent, who can champion the idea of what is needed, and of course get it done, removing barriers if they get in the way.
Morris has a different take on the situation, suggesting that the ability to do this sort of thing is widespread in many companies, but what’s key is having leaders who can open doors to expertise that may be outside the immediate team.
Even if you are very talented, you will still need to acquire new skills and experience to make progress.
Timing is essential for success and House agrees. According to House, if you are debating timing, you are aware of the customer need. If you are not debating timing, you are not yet aware of the customer need.
House believes that money is important to “doing modern business.” He says that you should treat business money as if it were your own and make decisions based on what you would do with your own money. He also says that it is important to understand what adds value and to only do things that add value.