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If your idea of content distribution is to share a link to your newest blog post on Twitter and Facebook, and then give yourself a nice pat on the back and call it a day, you’re doing it wrong. Content competition is fierce, and social shares aren’t enough to break through the clutter and get your content noticed and read.

Sure, social sharing is an obvious and necessary step to get your content in front of your target audience. But there are plenty of other methods to distribute your content beyond social sharing.

When used right, these often overlooked yet effective methods can help you to achieve greater brand awareness, readership and audience engagement.

So, if you want to get more creative and effective in your content distribution, here are six powerful ways to distribute a piece of content – whether that’s a blog post, an infographic, a white paper or a case study.

1. Reach out to influencers

If you don’t know what influencers are, the clue is in the name. They’re individuals who have the ability to influence the opinions and buying decisions of your target audience. Usually they have a significant social media following thanks to the authority and reputation they’ve build over time.

In other words, they’re people who are already popular with your potential customers. And they’re people your audience trust and want to hear from.

So, when influencers share your content, you get access to a much larger audience. But before you reach out to somebody with a large fanbase, make sure they have expertise and credibility that relate to your target market. Otherwise, the hundreds or thousands of people who will see your content won’t actually read it. Or if they do, they won’t end up buying from you because they’re just not interested in what you have to sell.

Ok, so how can you distribute content using influencers?

A simple and effective ways to start with influencer outreach is to mention them in your blog posts. So reach out to relevant influencers in your industry and ask for a quote to include in your content. Then get back to them with the link to your piece once it’s published. This approach often leads to a mention or shout out from those influencers.

Of course, you can also reach out to them to ask them to write about or to distribute a piece of content you think would be valuable to their audience. The chances they’ll accept your proposal may be slim when you’re just getting started online. But if you work to build your influence and authority as well through great content that’s worth your audience and influencers’ time, your chances can increase over time.

2. Interview your customers

The fact is: your customers can tell your story better than you ever will! And they won’t hesitate to tell it if you ask them to.

So, no matter what business you’re in, talk to your customers and find those stories that are inspiring and worth featuring in your content. Whether you choose to publish an interview with a customer who has achieved success thanks to your services, or a case study on how using your products has helped them to be more productive, healthier or happier, make sure you take advantage of these lovely stories.

Now, once your content is published, email it to your customers to thank them and to encourage them to share it.

Your customers will appreciate the opportunity to be featured, and chances are they’ll share that content with the friends, family and more. So not only do you keep them engaged and loyal, but you also benefit from the additional exposure to their networks when they share your content.

3. Guest post

Guest posting is not going away. Despite all the myths about it being dead, it’s still a great way to reach a new audience.

So, how can you use guest posting to distribute your own content?

If you’ve just published a fantastic resource – an infographic, a white paper, a case study, the results to a survey – write an article that discusses the key findings or points within that piece of content. Just make sure you write it in a non-promotional way, and focus on the valuable information that can be found in it.

Next, reach out to editors of online publications that are relevant to your market. Just make sure that when you pitch your article you point out the insights and knowledge their readers can gain from your article and the original resource published on your website.

4. Email relevant content

If you’ve already invested in building your email list, kudos to you! You can now use it to promote your content to your subscribers, who can additionally share it with their networks, thus increasing your exposure further.

If you’re just getting started with email marketing, read our beginner’s guide to building your first email list to learn the steps. For more in-depth information, take our free course on using email marketing to grow and engage your customers.

Ok, so how exactly can you use email to distribute your content?

First things first. Segment your email list so you can then share different pieces of content to exactly the audiences that would benefit most from each resource. For example, the 123 Reg Email Marketing tool allows you to segment your subscribers based on their engagement, their location, personal information, how many emails they have previously received, and lots of other criteria.

By segmenting your list, you can add a level of personalisation to your message, which can increase open rates and engagement. Plus, your subscribers will appreciate the fact that you take care to not waste their time and only send them content and information that’s relevant to the stage they’re in.

So, for example, if you have a list with prospects that are past the research phase but have objections that are preventing them from moving forward, why not send them a relevant case study? This case study can be the story of a previous customer who has achieved success using your products or services. Or it can be an infographic with numbers of happy customers and other success stats.

If you have a list of customers who have recently bought from you or signed up for your mailing list, include links to relevant and educational content in your “Welcome”, follow-up and post-purchase email sequences.

This tactic is particularly effective with content that is educational and addresses specific questions and concerns that your subscribers have.

Let’s take a simple example from our own blog and website. Say we have a list of customers who have just purchased a domain name but may not know what to do next to get their site up and running. No problem!

In a post-purchase email, we can send these customers a useful resource like this one that outlines the next steps to follow:

Or, better yet, we can encourage them to take this excellent free course on Designing and building your website that we’ve created specifically for them:

As you can see, there are lots of ways you can distribute your content via email in a way that can benefit both your business and your subscribers.

5. Collaborate with complementary businesses

There are surely other small businesses out there with complementary audiences that you can work with to help distribute your content.

For example, if you’re a fitness trainer you can collaborate with a catering business, a restaurant that you know has lots of healthy food choices, or a small business that sells vitamins and/or sports supplements.

Get in touch with those businesses and ask to guest post on their site or to do an aggregated email newsletter where you include your articles, infographics, and other pieces of content in their newsletter, and you can do the same for them.

6. Use distribution platforms

Content distribution platforms are a relatively new way to distribute and promote a content and, as such, are underutilised. So, why not take advantage?

A good place to start is Medium, a blogging platform from the creators of Blogger and Twitter. What’s fantastic about Medium is that you don’t need to rely on social media promotion to get your content in front of a wider audience.

If Medium sounds like something you’d like to try to distribute your content, we’ve written an in-depth guide on how to get started with Medium, and how to use it to reach more targeted readers and get more traffic to your site.

Wrapping up

Whatever tactics you choose to use, the most important thing to remember is that content distribution isn’t a step you can skip. And it also goes beyond a tweet.

With the right strategy in place you can put your content to work for you, reach more of your target audience, and achieve your business goals

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