Wouldn’t it be great if every piece of content you create is seen by your target audience and moves them to buy your product and service?
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.
No matter the amount of effort you put into creating excellent content, your Saas company’s potential for success lives or dies by who your content reaches — after all, great content is wasted if no one sees it.
This guide will assist in building a content distribution strategy that’ll get your content in front of the right audience.
This guide covers the following:
- What is content distribution?
- Value of content distribution to your Saas company
- Why content distribution is different for Saas companies
- Types of distributed content
- How to develop a successful content distribution strategy
What is Content Distribution?
Content distribution is the process of promoting or distributing your content across different platforms and channels to ensure it reaches your target audience.
Your content distribution strategy is the set of rules, a guide or a plan, that determines how you distribute your content across different channels.
“But my company has already created content. Do we really need a content distribution strategy?”.
Yes, you do. Here’s why.
Importance of Content Distribution
Every business worth its salt realizes the importance of creating content. If you’re a B2B Saas company, you likely have your marketing and sales team creating content as you read this.
However, creating content isn’t enough. Why not?
Because EVERYONE is creating content too. Consider the following statistics.
- Google processes more than 40,000 search queries every second
- 9,550 tweets are sent every second.
- 1084 Instagram photos are uploaded each second.
- 4 out of every 5 B2B marketers use LinkedIn
These statistics reveal that individuals and brands create a lot of content every minute.
While these statistics are enough to boggle the mind and make even the strong-hearted feel faint, B2B Saas marketers face even more ‘problems.’
More and more people and businesses use Saas solutions daily and are constantly looking for efficient products to make their lives easier. As a result, by 2022, 78% of organizations will have 80% of their business running on Saas applications.
Therefore, getting your content in front of the right people NOW is more important than before. So, not only must you create killer content, but you must also be great at distributing it.
This is why having a content distribution strategy is essential.
If you don’t distribute your content, you’ve nearly no hope of getting it to the right people. Gone are the days of “If you build it, they will come.” If you don’t distribute your content, nobody will know anything about your product, what it can do, and how it can help them. And this lack of visibility will kill your ‘awesome’ product.
However, knowing the importance of content distribution is just one side of the coin; you must also learn how to develop and implement a successful content distribution strategy.
Why content distribution for Saas companies is different
Here are the ways content distribution for Saas companies is different from distribution in other industries:
- You’re selling technology and service
- Your content marketing focuses on SEO
- Your content needs to educate your prospects
- Your distribution strategy must promote repeat business
- Your success relies heavily on reviews
At first glance, Saas companies sell a product. However, when businesses choose providers, they consider not only the effectiveness of the product but also the support quality.
Thus, Saas companies have to sell the product and the support behind it.
Additionally, your buyers look for products and services mainly via digital sources, which means you need to cut through all the noise and make your content the first thing they see.
Before I talk about how you can develop a killer content distribution strategy, let’s go over the types of content distribution.
Types of Content Distribution
Types of content distribution or content distribution channels refer to the platforms, applications, websites, and other tools to share content effectively.
These channels fall under either of these three categories:
While each channel is different, savvy content marketers know these channels overlap and can be combined to increase their reach and effectiveness.
Let’s now consider each of the channels in detail.
- Owned Distribution Channels
As the name implies, these channels are your property. To that end, you can determine when and how to publish content on these channels.
Some of the channels that fall in this category include:
- Your newsletters
- Your blog section
- Your social media pages
- Your applications
- Your e-books & long-form content
- Your website pages
- Earned Distribution Channels
You earn content distribution when a third party shares your content. For instance, someone shares your content for free or gives your content a mention on social media. Rankings on SERPs also qualify as earned content.
- Paid Distribution Channels
This, as the name implies, is when you pay someone to help distribute your content. This is relatively common (think Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Paid Influencer Content, and Paid Social Ads.)
While the content is still your content, other paid distribution channels share it for you. One benefit of this category is it lets your brand share the content it wants in an environment of your choosing(at a cost, of course)
Now let’s see the various types of content you can distribute.
Types of Distributed Content
There are loads of content you can use to draw potential customers to your business. These are the most common options:
- Articles and blog posts
Articles such as this one are arguably the most dominant content type on the internet. Well-written and researched articles are a win-win for you and your audience. It gives your audience information they find helpful while driving plenty of organic traffic to your website.
Articles and posts are distributed in different ways, ranging from including them in an email newsletter(owned) to running ads that direct traffic to them(paid) and, when well-written, being shared by readers(earned).
Long-form content like e-books is valuable. They promote an extensive level of knowledge and expertise, and when well-written, can help secure the attention of leads in the research stage of your strategy.
Podcasts have risen in popularity over the years. Ten years ago, these weren’t a big deal, but today, millions of episodes are on the internet. While other forms of content might seem saturated, this isn’t the case with podcasts. So if your business hasn’t jumped on the podcast train, now might be a good time to do so.
As a Saas company, your product likely undergoes changes, new features, and updates. Therefore, a regular email newsletter is a must!
Videos are essential content types and should be integrated into your marketing efforts – if they haven’t been already.
Audiences love infographics because they are easy to understand, contain helpful information, and are pretty easy to share.
- How-To Guides
I wasn’t sure whether to group this in the ‘Blog posts/Articles’ type of content, but I ultimately decided that How-To guides are a different type of content. These guides are some of the most popular content types. Type ‘how to’ into your search bar, and Google will give you endless suggestions. They are some of the most helpful content your audience appreciates.
- Case Studies
Social proof has a lot of power, and case studies are one way to channel that power. However, while these hold a lot of weight with your audience, they are usually the most challenging type of content to write because of the time and energy they take. When done right, though, they can attract more leads than many other content categories.
Now that you know how vital content distribution is, content distribution channels, and content types, how can you create a successful content distribution strategy?
How to Create a Successful Content Distribution Strategy
Ready to create a kickass content distribution strategy for your company? I bet you are! Here is a step-by-step way to create the best content distribution strategy.
- Identify your target audience.
- Identify pain points
- Explore your distribution options
- Choose your type of content
- Determine important metrics & goals
- Schedule your distribution
- Create your content
- Distribute and promote your content
- Evaluate and iterate
- Identify your target audience.
Content distribution helps you get your content in front of an audience. But a successful distribution strategy helps you get your content in front of your audience.
Therefore, the first step to creating an excellent distribution strategy is to understand your target audience. Some of the things you need to know about them include:
You’ll be surprised at the sheer number of brands and businesses that fail to do research about their audience before they put out content. But the first step to a successful content distribution strategy is research, research, and more research about your audience. You’ve simply got to do all that groundwork.
Collect demographic data from those that visit your owned distribution channels like your social media pages, website, email list, and customers. Google Analytics is an excellent tool that helps you get all this information.
Demographic data helps create a user persona, which is very useful as you build your distribution strategy.
Knowing your audience has far-reaching effects in the grand scheme of things distribution-wise. For example, when you understand your audience, you not only create content they enjoy, but you also know where they can be found and adapt your strategy accordingly.
- Identify Pain Points
After you identify your target audience, get feedback from your customers, particularly about pain points, needs, and how they feel about the current distribution strategy. This feedback will assist in gearing your strategy towards their needs.
One of the proven ways to get your audience’s pain points is by creating a customer journey map. This map shows the steps your ideal buyer takes as they pass through your sales funnel.
It includes but isn’t limited to:
- awareness of your product
- visiting your blog or website
- building interest in your product which might lead to using a free trial
- conversion into a paying customer, and so on.
For B2B Saas companies, the initial contact with your brand and website is the most critical stage of the customer journey.
Therefore, your distribution strategy must address the pain points that caused potential customers to seek out the product or solution you provide.
- Explore distribution options
As we’ve pointed out earlier, content distribution options are usually owned, earned, or paid channels.
Each of these has its strengths and drawbacks.
Owned channels, consisting of your websites, newsletters, and social media pages, are free, but it can be hard to get audiences to visit them as often as you’d like.
Earned channels afford your strategy the ability to post original content on schedule or in response to relevant customer events. However, a drawback is that your activities on these (think social media) are governed by a third party, who can change policies and procedures whenever they like.
Paid channels allow you to promote your business content with messages you like and let you choose where and when your content appears.
You can distribute content using a mix of all these channels. However, Saas companies that are just beginning their distribution strategy might be best served by starting with one channel on your owned platforms.
The benefit is that it’s easier to control the content. In addition, optimizing your owned distribution channels is relatively cheaper. Once you’ve built an audience, then you could expand to other media.
Regardless of the channel you choose, consider the following factors:
- The type of audience
Think about the type of audience the channel is most likely to reach. Consider if this matches the user personas that are best for your business. Also, think about whether the content aligns with your audience’s preferences and behaviors.
You also need to determine how your content will engage with the audience on the platform. Ask yourself the following:
- How often will my target audience be willing to hear from me?
- Do I have to avoid specific topics?
- What will be the length of my content?
- What is the content type best for the channel?
Answering these will help you determine the best channel distribution type.
You also need to determine if you have the right resources to engage on the channel consistently.
- Choose your content type.
After determining the best distribution channels for your content, you need to consider the types of content your audience would like.
Since each business is different, consider the types of distributed content discussed earlier in this guide and think about which is best for your audience. You don’t have to use all of them. Using your user persona, determine which of them will appeal most to your audience and consider whether you have the resources to use the content type.
- Determine metrics & goals
Creating a content distribution strategy without goals and metrics is like traveling without a destination. That’s great for a nomad, but you’re running a business, and success is defined by meeting your goals.
To that end, your content distribution strategy should have goals and metrics to track these goals.
Marketing Insider Group has an excellent article on some of the most important metrics to measure content marketing performance.
While there are several metrics to measure, some are more important to you as a Saas company. Some of these include:
- Free trial registrations
- Software demo requests
- Customer acquisition cost
- Lead conversion rate
Since your metrics might vary based on the distribution channel you choose, ensure you select those that align best with each channel. By making your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-constrained, you can determine your approach and get the best results.
- Schedule your distribution
It’s crucial to schedule and document your distribution plan, especially if you’re working with a team. That way, everyone on your team knows what to expect and can act accordingly.
Content distribution and marketing don’t happen by chance and require lots of planning. Using an editorial calendar to distribute your is vital to the success of your marketing efforts.
Some of the best management tools for managing your editorial calendar include
- Create your content
If you’re reading this to improve your content distribution strategy, you might not need to create new content from scratch. You might already have published content like articles, social media content, and more.
Creating new content in this sense first involves auditing existing content to see how it affects your goals.
If it delivers excellent metrics, that’s great. If not, it would be time to scrap it or repurpose it.
Auditing content takes a lot of work, but thankfully, several tools can help you audit your content effectively.
Check out this list of excellent content auditing tools.
When creating or repurposing content, remember to personalize your content (once again, a user person comes in handy). Personalized content that speaks to the individual or a group can make your content more enjoyable, relatable, and engaging.
Therefore, invest in creating personalized content – it will improve customer relationships, increase open rate, engagement, and conversions, as this report discovers.
- Distribute & promote your content
Promoting your content involves positioning assets so they reach your audience. For your content to be discovered, you must optimize it.
Here are some factors that will help your content appear at the top of search results and improve your content’s performance:
- Calls to Action
These factors not only work for new content but are also great for your old content. By amplifying old content that has proven effective, you increase the chances it’ll get discovered by an audience that missed it initially.
Here are some techniques to help you get even more value from old content:
Republishing great content allows it to work its way back into the orbit of your readers. When republishing, be sure to update any old content.
Repackaging old content includes breaking long-form content like e-books and white papers into smaller content. In such a form, it might prove more attractive to your audience.
Unlike repackaging, repurposing involves combining broken-down long-form content with other content pieces.
Infographics are an excellent example of repurposed content and open the way to using other distribution platforms ( think Instagram and Pinterest).
Content syndication is pretty effective, especially if you’re a small company. It allows you to collaborate with partners that have a more considerable following, increasing the chances of your content being discovered.
- Evaluate and iterate
Lastly, you must analyze the results of your strategy. Keep an eye on the KPIs, metrics, and goals that are relevant to your strategy.
Many companies have found it helpful to set up a schedule to measure and analyze their content to know the values to beat next time.
As you see how your content performs, rework or maintain your approach as required and aim for optimization.
Content distribution can be a long and arduous path, but it is certainly worth the effort. Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities available to spread your company’s value and get the best from your assets.
Use this content distribution strategy for Saas guide to promote your business and enjoy an enhanced performance from every piece of content you create!