Content Distribution Tips for Startups

Jan 30, 2016

Top 13 Content Distribution Tips for Cash-Strapped Startups

In 2014 or 2015 we established with great consensus and applause that content marketing was great, valuable and something marketing has to increase spending on. But as competition on channels and blogs is getting more fierce, it’s no longer just a question of creating quality content and praying that organic reach will provide you with lead generation. I wrote these hacks last year, which were more general.

Content Marketing is Powerless without Distribution Strategy

In 2016, we have do be smarter, and use influencer marketing and strategize and invest in content distribution. Let me remind you (20/80 rule), for every 1 work hour you invest in content for your blog — you should be investing at least 4 hours in how to distribute, amplify, circulate, reformulate, recycle and boost it to your target audience, your customers, your end-users. If you are not putting in the time, you will fail.

You might be creating the best content in the world, but who cares if it doesn’t reach your audience!

That being said, I’ve worked with many startups that barely had a budget for content production, not to mention anything about boosting posts on social, which is not a realistic investment for most small businesses or early stage startups. With saturated channels and targeting that works only for vanity metrics, things are changing fast. Real engagement, starts at home. How social are you digitally? How savvy are you on the channels that matter to your audience?

This guide is for those startups that have no budget, but live on enthusiasm, passion and their entrepreneurial creativity to get the job done.

Top Free Content Distribution Tips

Facebook Groups > LinkedIn Groups for Lead Gen

1- Share your Facebook posts on related Facebook groups by topic to your audience. This increases the chance of amplification by shares and your content going viral. This works wonders if you are doing native video content or if you are sharing your best Youtube short-form video. But it can also work for blog article posts. Tally up the top 100 LinkedIn, Facebook and G+ communities in your industry and engage with them, sharing your own content.

Reshare Frequency (don’t be too cautious)

2- Share your posts multiple times a week, while scheduling your twitter feed, at different hours of the day to reach your target audience in different time zones. They won’t hate you for it, those twitter impressions mean nothing for the most part, remember engagement on Twitter is quite often below 2% and even then it’s not a high quality engagement. It’s a few seconds of attention, if that.

LinkedIn Personal Account Updates

3- Neither should you be afraid to spam LinkedIn “updates”. This is because its an algorithm that shares it only with your strong-ties, which are ridiculously strict. It does not share them with your entire network. This is also easier to go viral than it is for a pulse article to get “featured” on a pulse channel. Play the numbers!

Creating Tweets out of a Blog Post

4- Repackage a blog article into 8 tweets, spread over a month that link to that blog article. Let the tweets stand on their own if you have a good image.

Integrated Marketing Means….

5- Integrate your social channels, e.g. do a contest on Instagram, but announce the winner on Facebook. Do a tweet that leads to a pin on your Pinterest. Do a company update on LinkedIn that features an exert from your blog and leads to it. Make your Twitter profile link directly to your company blog. Get employees to use their Twitter and Instagram effectively to contribute to your brand. Get them to create pulse articles on Linkedin which add value to your brand. Integrated channels means:

  • Connecting Social Media Channels (SMC)
  • Leveraging User Generated Content (UGC)
  • Optimizing Employee Created Content (ECC)

Your brand has to have a coherent story but each channel can have native content that feeds of the other channels and leads your audience somewhere of value.

Optimize Audience-Centric Channels

6- Focus on the social media channels where you are customers are and that you enjoy the most. If your customers are on Instagram and you are not optimizing IG, what the heck are you doing?

Also consider social media a playful social endeavour, so focus where you enjoy spending time, in other words, feed the love.

Influencer Nurturing

7- Cultivate relationships with influencers. Build, support, reach out, communicate and amplify influencers in your field you respect so they begin to recognize and remember you. Other people sharing your stuff who already have tons of followers where you have a reciprocal peer relationship is awesome for poor startups! There are literally tons of software to help you manage influencer relationships and UGC. Both of which are key to what we are talking about here. These types of companies tend to have cool free stuff. I could spend hours debating this stuff with people like Stephen Panico on what an influencer search should look like, but I trust influencer marketing will evolve seeing how big it has been in 2015 and 2016.

Share your Blog Posts via Email

8- Email Marketing Campaigns still are some of the best ROI campaigns your can do. Try to do 12–24 without being too annoying with your transactional (triggered) Emails. In 2016, you could (should) be experimenting with SMS marketing, micro video content and micro content of various forms. Since attention is fleeting.

Create Long-Form Content

9- Long form content. The opposite also holds true, because attention is competitive and content marketing is now being spammed, especially articles under 1000 words, or in the 400–650 words article range. Create more content that’s quality that’s 1200 words +, this ensures you stand out. This kind of content is also more shareable. It’s a no brainer, it’s like doing a tweet with multiple hashtags at an optimal time of the day for your audience, it should just be standard practice.

Nurture your Blog’s Audience

10- Blog Frequency. Pundits will tell you quality over quantity, less is more. I’d argue that for a startup, you have to be more aggressive. I’d suggest 1 blog a day (that cater to various blog tags you have created) and are balanced in your content strategy. This isn’t difficult, but you do have to trust your content copywriters and not over-edit. Remember, people do not care if your grammar is impeccable, they actually care about what you are saying and if it has value to them. So remember what quality means for your audience and if you don’t know, ask them — send them an online survey via your Email marketing.

Do not assume your startup brand matters (as much as you’d like it to). That’s a long ways off yet.

Guest Blog & Blog for your Partners to Add Value to Them

11- Guest Blog. I cannot emphasize this enough, for the cash strapped startup this is essential to growing your traffic, links, brand and social and knowledge authority. Blogging on your partner blogs, getting your copywriter some exposure beyond your little ecosystem and taking risks with your content can pay off. Don’t reinvent the wheel, it has all been done before.

Don’t Take on the World Alone

12- Outsource Copywriting. Do a Twitter advanced search for the top PR, media writers and freelance influencers in your field and send them an invite to write about your startup, brand, product or pitch. You’d be surprised who if you multiply this enough, how much traffic it will deliver. Often this will not cost you a cent, because they are gaining social authority by doing this and may take pity on your bootstrapped startup.

Curate Top Quality Content

13- There’s enough amazing content in the world, let’s face it. While original content that be of amazing value (like a white paper), consider for the poor startup, the power of curating amazing content. Content curating requires you sift though the best and share the best, this will actually win you more followers seamlessly because you are providing your audience with value. This is social and thought leadership of a different nature, but if the content is educational, it’s gold. It doesn’t have to be all about you! Curating the content of your partners, is not just bringing value to your audience, it’s also doing influencer and D2BD (digital business development) for you.

We learn all the time, don’t we, this is my contribution to#SkillsGap & #NewYearNewMe . It’s describing how professionals & Millennial students are surpassing themselves to contribute to a better future both personally, professionally, collectively and as digital citizen building a better online and offline community. We are all digital natives, even if we don’t realize it quite yet.

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