Marketing in Higher Ed: Content Distribution Explained

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By Patrice Meadows — May 8, 2018 11:00 AM


In the Marketing in Higher Ed series we’re tackling critical challenges facing marketers in higher education. Our previous posts discussed the value of buyer personas and how communicators should tailor marketing messages to make them more relevant to target buyers. Now it’s time to discuss ways to get your content to various audiences.

What is Content Distribution?

Put simply, content distribution is how you and your team promote and deliver content to your audiences. Ideally, this process is governed by a deliberate strategy that reflects your organization’s goals, resources, and budget constraints. In practice, it is often the collection of places companies share information about upcoming events, promotional offers, or other business-related content.

Why is Content Distribution Important?

How and where your organization publishes content is important because it reflects your understanding of the market. As you review your current content distribution strategy (or process) consider each of the following;

  1. Do you maintain a presence where target personas seek information?
  2. Do you optimize posting times, topics, hashtags, and commenting to match your persona's preferences?
  3. Does your publishing strategy vary by platform?
  4. Do you offer ways for users to update communication preferences to improve their experience with your brand?
  5. Is your distribution strategy/practice consistent with the unique value or selling point promised by your brand?

A ton of other questions can further assess your content distribution strategy but ultimately it boils down to whether you use the right channels, to reach the right people, to deliver the right content at the right time. If not, you may be wasting resources or missing critical opportunities to maximize your reach.

How Can I Distribute Content More Effectively?

Crafting an effective distribution strategy involves a fair amount of work. Not only must you understand your audience, their communication preferences, and media consumption habits; you must also have the resources necessary to execute your strategy. If you’re among the 53% of marketers working on a small team, that last part is a kicker.

Don’t fret, even small teams can get more out of their content distribution efforts with a few tweaks to existing processes. Here’s how:

  • Leverage your content management system to publish content on various platforms.This move automatically extends the reach of your blog posts, event announcements, press releases, and other digital content.
  • Use your email marketing platform to segment audiences based on their behavior. Many enterprise email marketing platforms offer ways to differentiate contacts based on how they interact with messages. For instance, certain may users prefer reviewing emails on mobile instead of on desktops. How can you use that information to inform the development or distribution of content? Answers to questions like this can help determine how to optimize communications to increase conversion rates.
  • Revisit your marketing automation platform as many can function as hubs for branded communications. Many tools leverage email, social, chat and more to provide a holistic view of how audiences discover, consume, and share content. While there’s tons variation in terms of features and functionality, these platforms can play a huge role in optimizing content distribution strategies.

How do you share content?

Share your tips for reaching various audiences below or tweet us @hannon_hill. Don’t forget to check out the next entry in our Marketing in Higher Ed series where we will look at some of the challenges involved with managing internal and external audiences.

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