You make content for one reason… for your audience to see it. But in the age of internet saturation, just “putting it out there” doesn’t cut it. If you want to get noticed, you must create a distribution strategy for your videos.
Your distribution strategy is your action plan for promoting your content to your target audience through your marketing channels. Optimizing your strategy will expand your content’s audience reach and ensure that you reach the right people. Marketers who develop a substantial distribution strategy benefit from organic amplification and algorithm boosts because their content is tailored to each channel. This also provides a deeper understanding of audiences over time, as deliberate decision-making from the start allows them to conduct analysis and draw relevant conclusions in review. This is the basis of Performance Storytelling.
But just because a distribution strategy is important – doesn’t mean developing one is easy. Developing a distribution strategy can be challenging for multiple reasons:
Challenges Creating Distribution Strategies
- Misusing Your Channels: It can be tricky to gauge what segments of your audience are present in each channel and who will be responsive to your content. You can have stellar content with a meaningful point, but if your audience doesn’t use the channel in the context of what you’re presenting, the content goes to waste.
- Trying to Speak to Everyone: While you may have a broad audience, it’s near impossible to speak to everyone at once. Creative in TikTok won’t have the same impact as Instagram. It’s challenging to decide how to segment your voice and interact on different platforms while still keeping overall branding consistent. However, if you are too vague, your message won’t have the impact it should. Your audience engages each social platform for a specific purpose, and you need to think about the context of how you shape your message.
- Tracking the Wrong Metrics: You can’t hone your strategy if you don’t understand how to track your metrics. Unfortunately, data can be tricky, especially as critical variables differ. However, misunderstanding the process of proper analysis can lead to misleading or irrelevant conclusions.
But fear not. Despite the challenges you may face when developing a distribution channel – it’s a necessary step that when done strategically can lead to astounding growth. In this guide, we’ll discuss some different types of channels, helpful tips, and specific steps to take when crafting an effective distribution strategy.
Types of Channels
- Owned Content Channels: These are the content platforms that your company owns, which means you have complete control over when and how the content is distributed including blogs, newsletters, websites, social media, and more. And you need to consider hosting your videos via Youtube, as they often have ads and other elements that can easily guide your away from your site. It’s crazy to think about, but you need to create videos… to promote your videos.
- Shared/Third-Party Channels: These channels consist of external figures who can help to share and promote your content organically. These include social media shares, forum websites (like Reddit), reviews, and media coverage.
- Pay-Per-Click Ads: In PPC, the advertiser pays when people click to engage with the ad, commonly found in Google results pages and usually paired with SEO strategies. You can drive traffic to your videos and produce quality leads from consumers searching for related topics.
- Sponsored Content: Content is sponsored when the advertiser pays an entity, whether a brand, public figure, or other company, to promote the content on their channel. It can help associate the advertiser with the entity and help introduce the advertiser to new audiences.
- Influencer Content: Content can also be distributed by utilizing a network of influential creators on different social networks. It’s even better if you can leverage them to be a part of the content so they can help “word-of-mouth marketing.” Consumers are more likely to trust influencers’ recommendations as much as recommendations from their family and friends. And “influencer” can be pretty general description. Even someone with 10,000 followers in your industry can play an important role in getting your video seen.
- Paid Social Ads: Somewhat of an umbrella term, paid social ads are shared on social media platforms and can include all the other paid distribution channels. They are often seamlessly integrated into users’ feeds and can help advertisers integrate more organically into a consumer’s attention.
Steps to Creating a Distribution Strategy
- Research Your Target Audience: Research, research, research. In order for you to understand the content you should use for each platform, take a look at the data. What content has performed well? Who is your target audience? Where are they located? You can take a look at both numerical and qualitative data to gauge perceptions. As you move forward, logging all relevant data will be useful in making future adjustments.
- Choose Distribution Channels: After taking a look at your existing data, select the channels in which you’ll spread your messaging. While there is no correct answer, good channel selection will be in line with your findings and consistent with your target audience’s behaviors/needs/preferences.
- Lay Out Your Content Goals and Assign KPIs: Each piece of your content should have a deliberate intention tailored to its specific channel. Assign KPIs (key performance indicators) that can be used to quickly evaluate and check in on your channels over the course of your campaigns
- Create, Package, and Distribute: In accordance with your overall messaging strategy and distribution plan, produce and publish your campaign
- Measure Performance and Conduct Analysis: After releasing content, make sure to cycle back to review the results. Look into the data with a specific focus on your KPIs. What went well? What didn’t? Did anything surprise you? What could be tailored better for next time?
- Apply Your Findings Forward: With each campaign, you gain a more profound knowledge of your audiences and how they interact within your different channels. Your distribution strategy is “alive,” and with each new lesson learned, it should be altered to reach your audience better for your content to be seen by your target audience. For more on that, check out our latest eBook on Performance Storytelling.
Don’t Forget the Basics
- Use Compelling Thumbnails: Make sure that you intentionally use images that potential viewers will find engaging. Yes… smiling people if you have to. Or cool product features. At the very least, just make sure that your player doesn’t arbitrarily land on someone mid sneeze.
- SEO – Yes. Video for SEO matters. Think about the title of your video. Add a text description in your player. Add transcripts of what’s being said. All of these elements play a key role in getting your video seen.
- Choose the right Hosting Platform – Make are that the platform you use integrates with your site, and be sure that there are no blockers in place that might prevent users from getting to the site. Youtube is the second largest search platform – so make sure that you’re discoverable there. But also remember that ads can be placed over your video… and your viewers might be pointed away from your site at the conclusion.
Tips for Optimizing Your Distribution Strategy
- Consider what device your audience will be viewing your content on and tailor your social design accordingly. Be sure to consider aspect ratios when you do that – because sometimes important information could get cut off if it’s cropped to fit within specific player sizes.
- Build up platform personas for each channel that speak differently to various segments of your target market, but also combine to a holistic brand personality. Make sure to consider how your audience engages with these channels. Do they use this channel for professional development? Share ideas? Or simply relax?
- Have strict brand guidelines for the copy on each platform, including a standard for fonts, colors, and design that helps unify your platforms. A consistent look and feel across your posts helps create a sense of cohesion and trust.
- Be active on your accounts. The more time you spend on your channels in the conversations, the better your understanding will be of your audience. This will also help you stay relevant to current trends. Understand what elicits the most engagement, and double down on those that produce successful outcomes.
You can use everything within this guide as a general guideline for crafting distribution strategies for your campaigns. You can make many easy errors when developing your channel plan, but with careful research, experimentation, and analysis, you can figure out the best way to reach your target audience with your messaging. We believe in you!