Today’s article takes a look at different content distribution channels, and gives you several resources to help spread the message of your content.

Content Distribution Channel 1 : SEO Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is traditionally viewed as a range of tricks or tactics to get your website or content to the top of Google’s search results. I’m going to show you that this is not only a poor way of approaching SEO, but in doing so you’ll actually hurt your search engine rankings!

The real purpose of SEO is to create a wonderful user experience by communicating to the search engines that they should recommend your website for relevant searches. It’s really that simple.

Using Greg as an example:

We have a young father looking to get new bikes for himself and his son, so that they can spend more time together doing something active on the weekends. He doesn’t want to spend a ton of money, but he definitely wants something that his 8 year old can grow into a little bit, and use for a fair amount of time. He Google’s “bike sizing charts for teenagers” and reads through a few of the articles on the first page.

Which of the following would best suit his needs?

  1. A website that awkwardly repeats the phrase “bike sizing charts for teenagers,” and is cluttered to death with advertisements, vague pieces of content, and a ton of obscure links to overly expensive bicycles.
  2. A website with plenty of well-written and informative articles on different bicycles and their ideal uses and riders. Not only does this website feature a blog with articles, it’s also organized so the father can easily find the information he needed. He can also easily read about other cycling subjects, and wasn’t greeted with a lot of poorly targeted advertisements.

Number two is the obvious choice, right? This means your SEO efforts should be geared towards writing content that actually helps readers with what they’re looking for. However, most business owners seem to focus on the first method when it comes to SEO. They want to use little tricks that “game” the system into ranking their website—instead of working on creating a website that deserves a number one position.

SEO is also, like marketing, a long-term goal. Remember the example above when you’re writing content. Trying to “game” the system into ranking your content will only hurt you in the long run.

Content Distribution Channel 2: Pay-Per-Click

PPC Marketing, or ‘pay-per-click’ marketing, refers to the internet advertising model where an advertiser pays for each click incurred on an advertisement. For example, if you had a picture advertisement next to a Forbes article, or used Google’s PPC system to create an advertisement, you would only be charged every time someone clicked on the ad.

PPC Marketing is also the easiest and quickest way to grow your annual revenue with online marketing. You can literally set up the campaign, choose the correct ad dimensions, write solid copy—and see immediate results.  We’ve had clients make over $30 million through PPC advertising (with a reasonably small budget) and we have a collection of clients that add 5 – 10 new clients per month through PPC advertising.

It’s a great system for a couple of reasons:

  1. Online advertising is an easy way to stand out amidst all of the noise
  2. You can set your own budgets
  3. It’s easy to track and scale

I’m going to leave out other forms of PPC, and focus on Google AdWords, namely, their search based PPC.

When you do a search in Google, the results at the very top and on the far right hand side are the advertisements.

Advertising through AdWords can be a great way to rank in Google searches. We rarely have a client that isn’t using some sort of paid advertising to rank in their Google searches. We have several clients who simply have a well optimized website and PPC campaign—and get anywhere from 3 – 10 new leads a month.

Content Distribution Channel 3: Social Media

You may have seen articles and a lot of buzz in the online community centered on social media. Facebook has done as much as possible to ensure that posts aren’t showing up organically in the News Feed of their fans. Twitter sees an average of 500 million Tweets a day, making it difficult to be heard. LinkedIn has moved a lot of its features to “paid only,” and new networks are popping up every day—leaving business owners confused on where to send their marketing efforts.

I’d like to be very frank with you about this subject, so you aren’t chasing false prophets and looking for the latest silver bullet in the social media world.

The trick to social media and online marketing is simple: make the tools work for your brand, don’t try and make your brand work for the tools. For example, instead of trying to figure out how to squeeze your brand into the Facebook marketplace—determine if Facebook is even the best medium for delivering your content. Maybe using a more direct approach with Twitter, or a better LinkedIn strategy will work for your business and budget. Just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it will work for you.

We have a client that runs an ecommerce store, selling to an older crowd interested in unique furniture. Facebook (even a couple of years ago when it was the latest “silver bullet”) didn’t convert a single visitor over to a customer. However, both Pinterest and Google AdWords have sent solid traffic, and paying customers, to him on a steady basis. If he had spent all of his time on Facebook (or we hadn’t suggested testing many different mediums with him) it’s unlikely his store would still be online.

Social media is simply a new medium for you to spread your brand’s message, it’s not a “marketing tool,” nor is it a system that returns huge payouts for a little investment. Social media is simply a way of reaching your clients, prospects, and target market in a medium they prefer.

Over the course of 10 years, my social media philosophies and practices have stayed exactly the same. The above philosophy, although short, will make the difference in whether your brand succeeds with technology, or is destroyed when new technology comes out and burns all of your previous efforts.

Content Distribution Channel 4: Email

We discussed that having a well optimized website is the most important thing you can have online. The next most important thing you can do with online marketing right now is building a solid, confirmed email list with your clients, prospects, and target market. It’s more important that social media, paid advertising—and anything else you’re doing in online marketing distribution.

With some of my client and partnership work, we’ve been talking to tech companies who had sold their online companies in the past, or been a part of big company buyouts before.

Every single one of them has mentioned the same thing to me:

“If I had a larger email list and database of my clients/customer—I would have made a lot more money when selling my company.”

You know why?

Because email is still the most effective way to communicate with people and sell your products or services. Further, you own your email list! Facebook owns your Facebook followers, Twitter owns your Twitter followers, and LinkedIn owns your LinkedIn connections. They have them all tucked away safely in their database, and use them frequently in their own internal advertising efforts.

YOU own your email database.

People check their emails constantly. It’s also a lot easier for your tweets, social feeds, and similar to get lost in the shuffle of quantity, and also for you to lose all of your “business contacts” when people move on to the next new social network.

If you don’t already have an email service, I highly recommend using AWeber. We’ve used every single major email service, and AWeber has always proved to be the best. Go ahead and sign up for AWeber, or dust off the email subscription you signed up and abandoned, and get ready to utilize this tool.