Content May Be King, But Distribution Is The Key

How is anyone going to know that the content exists somewhere if you don’t point people in the direction of that content?

In marketing these days, they say content is king.

There’s no doubt that is true.

But content really is nothing if it is not supported by a strategic plan to distribute it to a wider audience.

Unique, good-quality, current and relevant content is essential for a good ranking in search engines like Google, for example.

If you are a company looking to tell your story and share your message to a wider audience, storytelling becomes a critical component of that goal. And if you’re not telling your own story, you run the risk of others doing it for you – something that could be extremely risky for a business as you are then at the mercy of what others say about you rather than being in control of what you want to say about yourself.

So the foundation of good content marketing is to start with the story. It has to be well-written. It has to be informative. It has to be relevant to people. And it cannot be shamefully, and blatantly, promotional as that will turn off a major portion of that potential audience in a hurry.

Once the foundation is laid then it becomes a decision of where to house that story. There are many options for this. Your website. Social media channels. Publications.

Whether it’s through your own vested interests or through another party, such as a publication, the key becomes social media. How is anyone going to know that the content exists somewhere if you don’t point people in the direction of that content? Content, backed by effective and strategic social media support, truly is content on steroids.

If the content is not backed by social media, it really isn’t king at all.

Last week, my blog looked at the common mistakes made today in press releases. It can be found here. For the most part, these ‘news’ releases, whether by a company itself, or a communications/public relations firm working on behalf of that company, are intended to get media coverage. But that is becoming increasingly more difficult today with the reality that newsrooms are shrinking and the media no longer has the resources to do what it was able to do years ago. There is also less physical space, in newspapers for example, for stories.

Also, many media outlets today are increasingly, with more scrutiny, looking at what is truly a news story and what is simply promotional material for a company. It really is understandable. After all, the thinking from a media outlet is why would it publish content for free about a certain business when that business benefits from that coverage and the media company receives no monetary gain. Really makes sense when you think about it.

Peter Pilarski, of CIPR Communications in Calgary, had an interesting comment on my LinkedIN post of that blog: “Earned media is MUCH more difficult to get these days – I would add that companies should be including a paid media budget with their media releases to guarantee distribution.”

Earned media can simply be defined as companies not paying for content that is published on other channels than their own. It is often referred to in that context when companies want to get a story into major media outlets basically for free.

It has been a model in the communications and public relations industry for many, many years. But a new reality is slowly dawning. Some of the traditional ways of distributing content to a wider audience are changing. Content may be king but companies, in this new era, need to explore the new and different ways of distributing that content to that wider audience.

As Bob Dylan sang many years ago: For the times, they are a-changin’

(If you would like to know more about telling your story and sharing your message by amplifying it to a larger audience, connect with me.)

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