They say behind every great man is a great woman, which makes Gary Vaynerchuk's quote about content's relationship with distribution above all the more pertinent.
Whilst content may steal the show when it comes to exposure, talkability and fame, it is the distribution plan that sits quietly in the background that can make a campaign shine. Like any great love story, content and distribution are stronger together.
But we have not always thought this way; it has taken time for marketers to understand how both content and distribution work.
2013 was the year for content creation and, more importantly, understanding its purpose; to build relationships with its audience.
In 2014 the planners hit back, making it the year for understating the power of distribution to ensure your content was getting the visibility it deserved. But with these added needs came the danger of haphazard and disjointed plans from silo-ed marketing teams.
2015 should be the year for marrying the two, creating a powerful, strong and successful union that sees a strong creative supported by an effective and well thought out plan behind it.
If the adage holds true - behind every great piece of content is a great distribution plan - how does this work and how can a content and distribution strategy ensure we get the best from any campaign?
64% of content marketers feel they do not use content effectively. And rightly so...Content is going unread, unseen and unused everyday. The answer isn't to saturate the market but build your content plan around clear insights into where it should go and who will be there to act on it. Always 'Like a Girl' was based on brand commissioned research into girls and their confidence levels. It was then planned and executed by a number of PR, creative and media agencies across the globe, with a robust media plan and social sharing strategy to get it in front of the right audience.
Viral content is not down to luck but a confidence in approach.
The desire to create content has led marketers to hasty decisions. An intelligent distribution plan can help refine and form that desire into a clear plan. It can ultimately shape not only how the content is pushed out but the content creative itself. As Jason DeMeyers warned in an article for Forbes,
'Companies that continue to distribute responsibility haphazardly and diffusely will find their content marketing less effective and more costly than those who have a solid plan for content creation and distribution.'
Just as Coretta King continued her husband's human rights battle after his assassination, an effective distribution plan can ensure a campaign lives on past a live date or campaign period. For a recent campaign for National Citizens Service (NCS), we used our one 60" TV ad targeting parents to create over 50 assets to be distributed across paid, owned and earned channels. These included Trueview, Facebook advertising, digital video for The Sun and stills for press and partnerships, targeting parents and NCS' main audience; 16 - 17 year olds.
When thinking about any content you create you want to have your content strategy developed first. This may be why, when Soviet Premier Khrushchev was asked to shake President John F. Kennedy's hand for a photo, he replied, 'I'd like to shake The First Lady's hand first.'
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