Social media has become the primary tool for modern content distribution. Post a blog? Post it on Facebook. Have you created a white paper? Distribute it via LinkedIn. Designed a graphic? Share it on Instagram. We all know the drill. It’s safe to say that social media has become the go-to distribution engine for most people and businesses.
But there is an obvious downside to the simplicity with which anyone can share ideas on social media. Now it’s harder than ever to rise above the noise of social media to gain real traction. Every time you click post, your content has to compete for attention against cat memes, baby photos, and hot takes – not to mention today’s breaking news.
For content-driven businesses, reaching your target audience today means diversifying your distribution tactics to include platforms outside of social media. Here are several alternative content distribution tactics you can try in your business.
search engine optimization
Optimization for Google search is what most of us think of when we hear the phrase âSEOâ. It’s popular because it’s powerful. Google owns more than 86% in search engine market share. If your blog or website appears in the first position for a target search term, you may receive approximately 31% of this traffic.
Video content has exploded in popularity. Creating an informative or entertaining YouTube account can be a great way to build an audience around your ideas or brand, just like you would with Twitter or Instagram.
But here’s the real statistic we should all watch out for: YouTube is the second largest search engine, after Google. When your video is optimized for YouTube search, you increase visibility for your brand and channel.
While Pinterest contains functionality similar to social media, the tool is essentially a visual search engine. People use it to find graphics and photos. The next time someone on your team creates a graphic, consider uploading it to Pinterest and optimizing it for your target keywords. You can earn backlinks and site visits by simply uploading and optimizing the images you are already creating.
An alternative to writing content for your own website is to write articles for blogs and posts relevant to your niche. (Integrated, for example, considers guest locations.) There are two main tactics for landing guest posting opportunities:
- Write an article first: In this case, start by considering the writing guidelines of the post you want to feature. Read some of their posts to understand the styles and topics they like to post. Then write an awesome post that matches their preferences and submit the ready-to-publish version to an editor or through a blog submission form.
- First send a pitch: Often, editors prefer to hear the presentation of an article before seeing an article. This is an opportunity for the editor to provide additional notes on what he would like to see. Not to mention, it saves the writer from wasting time and energy if the editor doesn’t think the article would be a good fit.
News stations, radio broadcasts, podcasts, and bloggers are responsible for consistently delivering interesting ideas and stories to their followers. If you tailor a pitch for the right journalist, writer, or media personality, many people might be happy to present you in front of their audience. The key is to come up with topics that matter to the audience of the media you are targeting.
When most of us think of online communities, we probably think of Facebook groups. But there are plenty of non-social media alternatives to Facebook groups where you can network with other people online. Here are two of the most notable communities:
Most people exclusively use Slack to interact with their coworkers. But you can also join hundreds of public Slack channels that exist just for networking and idea sharing.
You can explore public Slack channels by using Slofile.
Forums and social networks are practically cousins, sharing many characteristics in common. The line between forums and social media is pretty blurry.
Think about it: Are Reddit and Quora considered social media or forums? It’s hard to say with confidence. Either way, forums are a great place to share content and spread ideas due to the heavy reliance on community engagement. Just look for opportunities to answer questions relevant to your expertise (and your content).
Submit to content aggregators
Many newsletters and blogs exist just to share and distribute other people’s content. They are content aggregators and media curators – people and organizations that gain popularity through their personal tastes. For example, Tim Ferriss publishes a weekly newsletter, 5-Bullet Friday, which typically includes links to articles, videos, and other media it consumes.
The challenge is that most media curators do not have a process or system for reviewing submissions. Tim Ferriss is simply sharing the content he has discovered through his network.
The good news is that you can find preservatives that ask for suggestions. These sites and newsletters will gladly promote relevant, high-quality content to their subscribers. Here are a handful of places you can submit:
Create a newsletter
Any content creator knows how difficult it can be to get customers to visit your website. It’s even harder to get the same readers to come back to your website over and over again without a tool to improve audience retention (in other words, a newsletter).
Ultimately, the most powerful distribution engine is the one you have. Email newsletters are an easy way to keep old visitors coming back to your website. It is one of the most powerful alternatives to social media distribution. Emails arrive in chronological order, instead of being filtered through an algorithm like social networking sites. In addition, newsletters serve as a marketing tool to inform regular readers about your business, your products and upcoming promotions.
Don’t just go through the motions
It’s easy to follow the moves when it comes to promoting your content. Many companies spend hours creating high-quality articles, videos and podcasts – only to half-heartedly distribute their work by clicking once on social media.
The alternative is to take content distribution seriously. That means finding ways to diversify your traffic sources, experimenting with lots of promotional tactics, and doubling down on what works. As you experiment with new distribution tactics, bookmark this article for ideas and inspiration.