There‚Äôs a serious but neglected problem at the heart of content marketing.
Marketers and agencies have invested large sums to create quality content, but ‚Äď in many cases ‚Äď it‚Äôs not getting discovered.
Audiences are neither finding nor sharing it. It‚Äôs not going viral. It‚Äôs not going¬†anywhere.
One CEO at a company that helps with distribution told me how he finds new clients: He looks for brands on YouTube with great videos but miserable viewing numbers. ‚ÄúNot hard at all,‚ÄĚ he said.
How did visibility become such a problem?
Agencies, bloggers, and search experts counsel marketers to publish truly great content, regularly, to win search rankings and social shares and thus draw traffic.
For many marketers, however, that organic discovery isn‚Äôt happening as quickly or reliably as they need.
Outgoing Content Marketer of the Year Joe Chernov (VP of marketing at Kinvey, and previously VP ‚Äď content marketing at Eloqua) told me:
Marketers always ask me how to make more or better content, and it‚Äôs almost always the wrong question. The right question is: ‚ÄúHow do I get my content in front of the right people?‚ÄĚ
That will include paid placement and amplification, but it turns out this kind of promotion is only one part of a multiphase approach.
I just published a¬†report on distribution of branded content. A few remarkable findings:
- Brands can actually step down content production and step up distribution to get better results.
- An ecosystem of vendors have cropped up to help marketers drive distribution of branded content.
- The most effective promotions often come from doubling-down on past successes.
- Better distribution improves content‚Äôs quality, as the feedback cycle accelerates.
‚ÄúContent is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants.‚ÄĚ (I wish I could claim the quote; it was Jonathan Perelman of BuzzFeed.)
I argue that marketers haven‚Äôt given the issue due focus. What‚Äôs your take? I‚Äôd love to hear your feedback in the comments.
There‚Äôs a huge opportunity here, for marketers who will tackle a common problem head-on.
Ryan Skinner is an analyst at Forrester.