“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” – Ancient Chinese Riddle
While this rather philosophical thought experiment deals with the question of observation and perception, it involuntarily draws parallels to one of the most significant tactical challenge of modern marketers: content distribution.
Here are 7 ways to increase the exposure (and, ultimately, the ROI) of your B2B content:
1) Use your sales team to engage prospects with your content
Base for your content marketing activity should in each case be a clear definition of your audience (for example CMO’s) and the marketing goal the content supports (for example demand generation for product X). Consider sharing the link to your content piece with a description of the target persona and the supported marketing goal with your sales team. You’ll be surprised how much reach you’re able to generate by tapping into existing prospects and leads. If you want to track the reach generated by your sales team, generate a shortened link via link tracking services like Bitly. If you want to achieve even greater transparency, generate separate short links for each sales person you’re sharing the content piece with.
2) Use your newsletter to share content
While in-house content is regularly shared via brand-produced newsletters, marketers often forget to leverage their distribution list for the promotion of native content produced in collaboration with publishers. Newsletter subscribers are often times the most engaged audience across all distribution channels and should in each case be considered.
3) Republish content on LinkedIn Pulse
LinkedIn Pulse – LinkedIn’s blogging platform – is a great way to tap into the professional networks of the article author. According to LinkedIn’s editorial guidelines, Pulse can only be used to distribute content if the article was written by the person publishing it. However, if an article has been collaboratively created by two authors, both can share it via LinkedIn to reach their networks.
4) Share visual posts with your social followers
Visual content is processed faster by the human brain than written content. That’s one of the reasons why video and photo content is becoming increasingly popular in high-paced social network environments. Consider creating assets that provide a preview to your article content in order to generate social media engagement. For example visual assets featuring quotes from the article you want to promote are a great teaser.
5) Run sponsored posts on social networks
Social networks are reducing the amount of organic reach brands can achieve without sponsored posts. If you are a B2B brand marketer, it is likely that your audience is on LinkedIn, however, Facebook and Twitter also deserve consideration as they can often offer relevant segments while being more cost effective when it comes to driving content views. Which social network is right for you will depend on your brand’s needs and will be a balancing act between targeting accuracy and cost per result.
6) Republish native content produced with publishers on your own website
If you work with a B2B publisher like Which-50 to produce native content, make sure to explore the possibility of republishing the content on your blog. Google is very unlikely to get confused when identifying identical content and it’s an urban myth that this will hurt your site’s search ranking. If you want to tell Google who the original publisher of the article is, simply add a little code snippet that is called “canonical tag” in the following format.
<link rel=canonical href=”http://www.publisher-name.com/original-post>
7) Re-publish existing content as native content with B2B publishers
Repurposing existing content in native advertising partnerships with B2B publishers can increase the ROI of your content with little to no extra effort. Let’s say you have spent weeks working on a whitepaper. Native advertising services like Which-50’s Digital Intelligence Unit allow you to create and publish articles based on the whitepaper and include links to drive downloads to the original piece.
While content distribution poses a challenge in crowded online environments, it is still possible to take advantages of under utilised content distribution channels. Small incremental distribution wins will give you the edge you need to grow your share of your audiences’ attention.