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Social Media as a Distribution Channel

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So, if you're not hearing it from us, you're hearing it from one of a million other sources - modern marketing entails content.  Relevant, compelling (there's that word again) content, in adbundance, but on a regular and sustainable trajectory.  Creating it can be an issue for many small businesses today; who, let's face it, didn't think that recruiting copywriters, videographers and app developers was something they'd have to contend with any time soon, if ever!  For those that can and do access the talent, however, there's an equally daunting task at hand - getting it seen by the right target audience.

Many have somewhat rightfully turned to social media to help them throw a spotlight on their well-considered blog posts, articles and infographics, but to think only of the now-traditional methods of social distribution would be folly.  Tweeting and posting to the company Facebook Page are merely the tip of the iceberg, and a not-so-very effective on in many cases.  The days of the "throw mud, see what sticks" attitude is long gone, and your ever-more-discerning next client needs a juggernaut of a reason to engage.  And remember - whichever method of distribution you choose, in an effective content strategy, it's merely a route into your customer acquisition journey.

Effective distribution assumes influence.  If your network is immature or has been built without real thought as to your ideal clients or "connectors", you may find that very few of your target prospect ever arrive at your door.  But if we were to start from scratch, in building a more appropriate network of connections, you may find yourself with a long and drawn-out affair ahead. So how can you steal a march, and ensure some quick(er) wins?

Leverage the influence of others, or ingratiate yourself in someone else's community.  LinkedIn, for example, is awash with highly-targeted Groups of like-minded individuals, all gathered around a niche topic.  A simple keyword search can highlight a great many "pools" of potential connectors, and a little charm can go a long way to ingratiating you with the people you seek.  One tip ... Never begin life in a new group with a post about how great your stuff is, or worse, how all these new "friends" can get 10% off if they buy today!  Give without expectation - for a while - and build your own influence to such a level as to be a welcome and valuable member of the community.  In fact, always aim to be just that.  Anyone that harbours any disingenuous intentions will be sniffed out in a heartbeat - so why risk your reputation?

A Lot of Effort for Nothing?

So how do we position the REAL call to action, then?  It has to be said, that the "inbound" approach is often swept aside, with it's intentions forgotten in place of the quick wins of PPC and social ads.  The benefits are endless, however, when done right.  Improved conversion rates abound at every stage of the marketing funnel, when the prospective buyer is the one making all the decisions - whether to read that blog post, whether to download that mobile app, whether to submit to your survey - it's not because you took out an advertisement that told them to do it; it's because they truly want to!

Finally, ask yourself the question: Did it work?  Measuring the effects of your content distribution is the ONLY way to ensure you can replicate or even improve upon its' effectiveness.  If a certain approach to a certain platform or group brought you untold leads, then do it again! If not, move on ... continuously optimise your approach, and you can grow your pipeline like never before.  

Lead Generation Lessons from 4,000 Businesses

Matt Hodkinson

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