You Gotta Earn It: Making the Most of Earned Media Content Distribution

Posted on May 11, 2015 by Amy F

543126211 (1)You’ve got the content; the next step is figuring out how to get it out to the people. While taking the “sit back and let the people come to you” approach can seem like the easiest way to go, it’s also the way that might not get you the best results. You’ve got to put some effort into distributing your content, and some methods might produce better results than others.

What is Earned Distribution?

There are three ways to get your content there. If you use owned media distribution, you’re spreading the word through sources your company has control over, such as your social media pages and your email newsletters. Paid distribution means you’re paying someone or something to spread the word. An example of a paid distribution method is social media advertising.

You can think of earned distribution as kind of a holy grail of content distribution. A 2014 study from Nielsen showed that it is considerably more effective at reaching customers than owned content. Earned content can be several things: It can be a blogger mentioning and linking to your post on his or her own blog or someone sharing your post to their followers. It’s also being invited to write a guest post for someone else’s blog. In some ways, getting earned distribution is a bit like getting someone else to give you the thumbs up.

How Does it Fit Into Your Plan?

Getting earned content distribution to fit into your plan can be a bit trickier than the other two methods, since you are depending on the interest and engagement of other people. You can’t simply hand over some money or send a quick email to your subscriber list. But, you don’t have to sit back and wait for someone to notice you, either. One way to get earned distribution is to spread the word about your content far and wide. Let online news outlets and aggregator sites know about your latest posts. You don’t have to send a press release about your content, but the tactic is similar.

Another way to get earned distribution is to start talking to other content creators who are in a similar niche. You don’t want to share with competitors, obviously, but look to people who are writing about what you’re selling and point them in the direction of your content. If they like what they see, they might share it with their readers or followers.

Making the Most of It

Not all types of earned distribution are equal. Some outlets are going to give you more attention and traffic than others. That said, it’s a good idea to choose who you engage with carefully. It’s all well and good if a blog with limited readership or a Twitter account with only a few followers links to your content, but you don’t want to put too much effort into reaching out to those blogs or accounts. Instead, target those sites with thousands of followers and with a high PageRank.

Getting people to pay attention to and to keep paying attention to your content isn’t easy. But, just like getting into the popular crowd in high school, sometimes all it takes is one stamp of approval from an influential blogger or news site for your company’s content to get the attention it deserves.

A professional writer since 2007, Amy F specializes in personal finance, gardening and writing for the web. Based in Philly, she also blogs about fashion and sewing projects in her spare time.


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