Let’s rewind 10 years—we’re going back to 2010
The songs blasting on everyone’s iPod Touch were mostly Arcade Fire and The Black Keys. Oh, and Drake. Drake had a big moment in 2010 with Thank Me Later.
Tiger Woods openly apologized to his wife for cheating, and Kanye West said that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
Facebook just hit 500 million users and then got even more popular when The Social Network came out.
Instagram was created. Check-in features were introduced. Social media became less social. Big corporations were scaling on social media.
People started using social media more on their smartphones instead of their laptops/desktops.
Now let’s jump back to 2020
Nooooo, let me stay in 2010 so I can wear my shutter shades and Hollister sweaters. 😭
Well, there’s not a huge jump between 2010 and 2020…social media-wise. Social media in 2020 is behaving similarly to social media in 2010: it’s still changing at the same fast-paced speed.
Social media has been around forever—and by forever, we mean 10+ years—but it still seems like it’s just getting started.
Every day there’s a new feature, a new platform, a new algorithm. Businesses have been reaping the benefits of social media advertising, and there are influencers everywhere.
And there are 3.5 billion users on social media every single day—that’s almost half of the world’s population.
Here are some mind-blowing stats:
- Twitter users send 456,000 tweets per minute.
- Instagram users publish 46,740 posts per minute.
- 500 million Instagram stories posted every day.
- LinkedIn has more than 310 million users logging in each month.
Which means there are a lot of content creators out there.
Pictures, posts, videos, vlogs, blogs, status updates and things for sale—all this content is deluging our feeds and drowning out the content that actually matters, AKA the content you’re creating for your target audience.
What can you do to get your content in front of potential customers?
This blog post is going to show you exactly what you need to do to properly distribute your content on social media.
Content Creation < Content Distribution
You’re a good creator, I can feel it. The blog posts, graphics and videos you’re generating are exactly what your target audience wants to see.
But if you’re only focusing on creating content and not distributing content, you’ve already lost.
Sorry, was that harsh? Good, it should’ve been.
Content distribution is astronomically more important than content creation.
Here’s an example:
You just created an online course for copywriters—a collection of videos, templates and downloadable content.
And it’s a really good course. It’s got all the tactics you’ve been using to become the Beyoncé of messaging.
So now you want to share the course with your target audience: new copywriters.
But instead of distributing the course when and where your target audience spends time, you’re just tweeting it to your general audience, posting at times your audience isn’t online, promoting it in places where your target audience will never see it.
No views = no profit.
You need a content distribution strategy.
What Is A Content Distribution Strategy?
A content distribution strategy is a plan for properly promoting content online, whether it’s linking to the latest blog post or sharing a new ebook. A content distribution strategy ensures that your content is seen by the world.
Without distribution, your content won’t reach your target audience.
They won’t know about your product, what it does and how it can help them reach their goals. They’ll have no clue why they should park their well-earned dollars with your brand rather than your competitor. You won’t have enough leads to sell your product to.
But content distribution has always been more of an after-thought. There are creators who hit send on a tweet, status or story and call it a day. Content distribution is backburner-ed.
And unfortunately, the creators who are trying to distribute their content may not be doing it right.
To help, here are 5 tactics that can transform your social media distribution strategy and make sure your content reaches the right people.
Tactic 1: Create Content (Really Good Content)
In order to have something to distribute, you still have to be creating good content. So what are you creating?
Maybe you’re tweeting motivational content, or posting pictures of food on your Instagram. You’re a hustler and I respect that.
So before we dive into distribution tactics, we’re going to talk content.
With your target audience in mind, the content that you create will always benefit from two things: storytelling and the 3 E’s. (OK, so technically four things.)
Back in my university days, I worked part-time for a national sports team. (Go Thunderbirds!)
The team changed its name from the Knighthawks after moving to town. Before the new team name was announced, there was a lot of brainstorming around what to do for the “big reveal.”
Most of the ideas were generic, conference-style presentations: The owner of the team would come and speak, introduce the players, talk about what the season would look like… To me, it sounded like a whooooole lot of boring.
The name “Thunderbirds” has a beautiful history. It comes from First Nations lore, and it’s about finding strength within yourself. So we decided to act on that and tell a story.
This is where our plans went from boring to stimulating. Our big reveal was not just a countdown and a logo unveiling—it was a story. Our marketing team created a video about the thunderbird legend and how it came into play when choosing the team name.
And the crowd watching the reveal? I think I’m still half-deaf from the cheers. 😂
Storytelling works in any industry. As soon as you make a personal connection with your target audience and let them into an experience. When storytelling through content, it’s not always about your own personal experiences. It’s also telling other people’s (like customers’) stories, or the story of your brand, or even creating a story about how your product could be used in the audience’s life.
By doing this, you forge a way stronger relationship and keep their attention for longer.
The 3 E’s
The 3 E’s are simple: You want to create content that’s entertaining, educating and engaging.
Entertaining content catches your audience’s attention. And no, you don’t have to be a stand-up comedian to be entertaining.
When I talk about entertaining content, I’m talking about content that puts a smile on your face, that is surprising or even inspiring. Anything that makes your audience feel good is entertaining content.
Educational content teaches your audience something—in the broadest sense.
“Do I have to put on a suit and a tie and stand in front of a whiteboard?”
No, not at all. You could educate your audience about a new product you’re launching. You could present new ideas, new tactics to try (like this post you’re reading). You could blow their minds with some eye-opening, in-depth research, but your content doesn’t have to be technical to be educational.
Engaging content invites your audience to join the conversation. It turns social media into a dialogue instead of a monologue.
To engage your audience, create content they can reply to, ask questions about, give their opinion on, and share with others. And then you can directly interact with your target audience and learn more about them.
This kind of content is underused, but it is seriously a win-win.
So, who are you creating this content for?
Tactic 2: Find Your Target Audience & Where They Live (Digitally)
I’m going to say it (and don’t hate me for this, please): I HATE CAMPING.
On my personal social media pages, you won’t find a speck of content related to camping. And if I see any content on my feed about camping, I hide it from my feed or just scroll right on by. Get your tents and your small, weird cooking stoves away from me.
Why would you put your tailored content in front of someone who gets no value from it?
This is why content distribution strategies are important.
No brand has the entire world as their target audience. Not political parties, not nonprofits, not McDonald’s or PETA—there is no brand that targets the whole world (even though Coca-Cola did try really hard).
So let’s track down your target audience and find out where they spend their time. And it can be done in 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Understand what you bring to the table for your target audience
What’s your core offering to customers? What’s your unique value proposition?
Let’s go back to the copywriting example—you are selling to new copywriters and people who want to become copywriters. What makes your course different from other copywriting courses?
Step 2: Create detailed marketing personas
If you don’t go deep to understand who you’re trying to reach and what will make them tick, you’ll quickly find yourself shouting to everybody (which we know means you’re talking to absolutely nobody).
The best way to get started is to break it down into 4 questions that need answering:
- What does your ideal customer look like?
- What would lead them to buy what you’re selling?
- What does their buying process look like?
- How can you get your brand in front of them?
Remember: Personalization is everything.
Step 3: Research, research and research some more
Now that you’ve defined your core offering and who you’re offering it to, it’s time to start digging up as much relevant information as you can about the businesses and decision-makers you want to reach.
In other words, the research phase.
This is where you can find out where your audience spends most of their digital time.
Which social media platforms they use, when they’re on during the day, and how long they spend on each channel—this is all crucial information for creating your content distribution plan for social media.
By understanding where your target audience is online and what they’re doing will give you enough direction to understand where you need to be sending your content. Put your content in front of people who value it and start seeing the results you want.
Tactic 3: Focus On Your Best Performing Channels
Let’s say your target audience spends most of their time on Twitter.
And it just so happens that you have a substantial amount of followers on Twitter, most of which are in your target audience. Win!
(Even if your target audience doesn’t spend most of their time on Twitter, but does use Twitter, that’s still a win.)
Your best performing channel (the one with the most followers, most engagement, etc.) is likely where you spend most of your time—it’s the platform you know inside and out. So keep using this platform to connect with your target audience, but find new ways to do so.
For example, if your biggest channel is Twitter, then start hunting down your target audience, and find out who they follow and what communities they revolve in. Then you can start interacting with other users in these communities. It’s a fast and effective way to build your audience and learn more about them.
Tactic 4: Join Facebook Groups, Subreddits & Other Niche Channels
Facebook groups, subreddits, forums and other niche channels are like direct pipelines to your target audience.
The whole point of these niche channels is to bring like-minded people together.
You can join groups and channels specifically tailored to your niche. If you’re selling a copywriting course, join /r/copywriting. If you’re making custom frog cages, join the FrogSpotting group on Facebook.
There is a channel/group/subreddit/forum/etc. for every single topic known to man. All you have to do is track down the ones that are relevant and join them.
But you have to be careful in your approach. Just because I’m in a Facebook group about cats doesn’t necessarily mean I own one, so if you are selling me natural cat food, I won’t be buying it.
Interacting within these channels will give you the opportunity to put your content directly in front of your target audience.
You also can’t just jump right in and make a post about what you’re selling. That’s a good way to get no love—or worse, get kicked out of the group.
After joining these groups, start slow by liking, commenting and posting. You can use the 3 E’s here (entertain, engage, and educate) by commenting on the posts or asking questions. Don’t start plugging your product… yet. Build authority for yourself in the group first by offering advice and answering questions.
Let’s go back to the copywriting course yet again. If someone in a group is asking how to get started with copywriting, answer them by offering valuable information.
After you have been posting, liking, and commenting in the group, you can start plugging your products by suggesting them with a link (not a whole sales pitch.) Others will read your comment and (hopefully) click on the link.
Staying humble and offering free advice/tips/information is the best way to remain an authority. People will recognize that you are someone with experience and will come to you when they need help or want to learn more about what you’re preaching.
Tactic 5: Build Relationships With Influencers
Let’s face it: There are plenty of influencers out there who have more social clout than you do.
If your brand is small, if it’s new, or if you want to break into a new target audience segment, influencer marketing is a great way to get a lot of attention on your brand. And quickly.
But don’t just approach strangers on the internet. Start by identifying potential partners—you need to make sure their followers are in line with your target audience.
Once you have a list of influencers, reach out and make the connection.
Influencers can share any content you provide them, or they will create content for you that has to do with your personal brand or company. Their audience, which should include your target audience, will see the content they share and you will easily get more viewers/followers/subscribers and see the results you want.
By securing relationships with influencers, you are opening the door to future partnerships and tapping into the tremendous sway that influencers have with their followers.
You <> Social Media Distribution
How we feelin’ now?
You have the ability to create great content, and now you’re equipped with the best social media distribution tactics to get in front of your target audience and show them what you’re all about.
Social media content distribution is serious. A smart creator doesn’t just hit send and wait for the audience to grow or sales to roll in. And you are a smart creator.
These are the top 5 social media distribution tactics to start using today:
- Tactic 1: Create Content (Really Good Content)
- Tactic 2: Find Your Target Audience & Where They Live (Digitally)
- Tactic 3: Focus On Your Best Performing Channels
- Tactic 4: Join Facebook Groups, Subreddits & Other Niche Channels
- Tactic 5: Build Relationships With Influencers
You (now) know that there are different ways to get in front of your target audience and stay top of mind. Now go out there and start spreading your content! The right way!
Want to learn even more about content distribution?