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Organic Content Distribution vs Paid Content Distribution

How to determine which one is best for you

They say content is king, but content without distribution is like a king without a kingdom. A great content distribution strategy is essential to reaching your target audience effectively and achieving the desired results for your content marketing efforts.

In this article, we will explore the essential aspects of a content distribution strategy, the channels and tools available, and how to leverage them to enhance your content marketing initiatives.

Should you go the paid route or stick to distributing content organically?

Let's break it down.

Disclaimer: participates in affiliate programs and ads.

What Is A Content Distribution Strategy?

A content distribution strategy is a plan or a roadmap that outlines how you will share or distribute your content across multiple channels (e.g., OOH Advertising, Digital Ads, Printed Ads, etc.) to reach your target audience. The ultimate goal of a content distribution strategy is to maximize your reach and engagement while minimizing time and costs.

Content marketing and content distribution strategies go hand-in-hand. You can write a blog post or make an informative video, but if nobody sees it, you are not achieving your objectives. Content distribution strategies identify the tactics you will use to get your content in front of as many people as possible.

Your content distribution strategy should consider various factors that may impact your distribution plan. These may include your target audience, geographic location, demographics, channels used, content type, and overall content marketing strategy.

Developing a Content Distribution Strategy

The following are the essential elements to consider when developing your content distribution strategy:

1. Identify your Target Audience

One of the crucial steps in building an effective content distribution strategy is identifying your target audience. You will need to consider who your content is intended for, what they are interested in, and how they consume information.

You can use tools such as Google Analytics, Google Console, or Bing Webmaster Tools to help you gain insights into your audience demographics, behaviors, interests, and preferences.

If you are just starting out and do not have adequate data in your analytics tools for your own website (or just want richer, third-party data and functionality), you can begin your keyword research using a tool like Keysearch (on the cheaper, low-end), or MarketMuse (on the more expensive, high-end).

I personally use both tools and if you can afford them, I highly recommend MarketMuse for all your content research needs. If not, Keysearch is a great place to start.

2. Determine your Content Type

The type of content you create will influence your choice of distribution channels. You must decide whether you will use articles, videos, social media posts, podcasts, infographics, etc.

Different content types work well on different distribution channels.

3. Consider your Distribution Channels

There are various channels you can use to distribute your content, including social media platforms, email marketing, organic SEO, influencer marketing, paid channels such as display advertising and Google Ads, owned media properties such as your website and blog, as well as earned media channels such as PR Newswire.

For example:

  • New product releases, innovative new features, or expanding into a new market are great for Press Releases.

  • Limited-time or seasonal products or services are great for social media, email, and influencer marketing.

  • Evergreen content is great for organic SEO. Creating articles like the one you're reading or YouTube videos are great ways to capitalize on organic, search-engine-optimized traffic if the content you're creating will still be relevant 12, 24, or even 36 months from now.

  • Webinars are great for educational and informational content.

  • Podcasts are great platforms for highly entertaining content or things like interviews with people in your industry.

It's best to pick a couple of platforms for your content distribution and focus on those to start with. Over time, as you have the capacity and the resources, you can expand to others.

4. Create a Content Calendar

Once you have identified your target audience, content type, and distribution channels, the next step is to create a content calendar.

This will help you plan and organize your content distribution activities and reduce the risk of missing deadlines or overlooking essential details. A content calendar also helps you to align your content distribution with your overall content marketing strategy.

Effective Content Distribution Strategies

The following are some of the practical content distribution strategies you can use to get your content in front of your target audience:

1. Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms are a popular choice for content distribution and engagement. You can share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, among others.

Social media platforms present an opportunity for organic distribution, but building an audience may take some time.

2. Use Content Syndication

Content syndication refers to the process of distributing and republishing your content on third-party websites.

This allows you to reach new audiences and drive traffic to your site. You can use platforms such as Outbrain, Taboola, and Zemanta to distribute your content.

Personally, I use Missinglettr Curate to distribute my content. It's a low-cost library that gives me access to an entire network of content creators and influencers in my space who are looking for content to share with their audience.

Every time I create new content (blogs, podcasts, or videos), I submit it to the Missinglettr Curate content library, and hundreds of people automatically add my content to their content calendar to share with their audience; it's effortless, and it's amazing!

3. Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is another effective content distribution channel. You can use email campaigns to drive traffic to your site and engage your audience. You can segment your mailing list based on the interests of your subscribers and the type of content they prefer to receive.

For email marketing beginners, I recommend starting with SendFox.

4. Invest in Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is an effective way of distributing your content to a highly engaged audience. You can collaborate with influencers and thought leaders in your industry to promote your content. Influencers can help you reach new audiences, increase engagement, and build brand awareness.

The influencer market is extremely saturated, and it can be challenging to determine which influencers make the most sense to collaborate with, as well as determine which ones are fraudulent with fake followers.

That's why I use Influencify before I collaborate with any influencer.

5. Use Paid Channels

Paid distribution channels include display advertising, Google AdWords, and social media advertising. Paid channels provide rapid results and allow you to reach your target audience quickly. However, it is essential to track and measure your results to ensure that you are getting the return on investment that you expect.

It can help to manage all of your paid ads via a third-party software tool that simplifies the process and unifies all of your ad campaigns under one roof. I recommend searching on AppSumo for a "lifetime deal" marketing software that handles creating and managing paid ads.

Software like Plai and AdsBot are a few that have been available on Appsumo in the past.

6. Leverage Marketing Automation

Marketing automation enables you to automate and scale your content distribution campaigns. You can use platforms such as HubSpot, Marketo, and ActiveCampaign to automate your email campaigns, social media posts, and content promotion.

Marketing automation simplifies your content distribution processes and saves you time and resources.

Again, this is where Missinglettr comes in handy for me for social media management, and SendFox is helpful with automating email campaigns.

7. Leverage Earned Media

Earned media refers to the publicity and exposure that your content receives from third-party sources such as news outlets, bloggers, and social media influencers.

This is where creating high-value, evergreen content can come in handy. Authoritative content is also incredibly beneficial for creating "earned media."

What is authoritative content? It's content that you create using valuable data and analytical insights.

For example, you might create infographics for your industry that provide snapshots of trends, demographics, or other beneficial data points using authentic, citable sources to back up the data you've analyzed and presented.

Choosing the Right Content Distribution Channels

Choosing the right content distribution channels is crucial to the success of your content marketing initiatives. The following steps will help you to choose the optimal content distribution channels:

1. Understand your Audience

You need to know your audience to determine the best channels to use. Consider factors such as demographics, interests, and behaviors to identify the platforms that your audience is most likely to use.

For example:

  • X (Formerly Twitter) is the water cooler of the internet. It's where relevant, real-time data is being exchanged live. If anything of importance is happening - it's probably already on X.

  • Facebook is where people stay in touch with friends, family, and acquaintances. It's also where people find out about local changes, local businesses, and events. Facebook business pages also rank in SERPs.

  • Pinterest is a giant shopping search engine where people look for ideas, inspiration, DIY guides, travel guides, and more.

  • Instagram is where imagery (photos and videos) shines through and remains the focus, and engagement is essential for exposure.

  • TikTok is where (mostly) young adults and teens spend much time watching video content. Roughly 1/3 of all internet users today have a TikTok account, 1/5 of social media users are on TikTok, and 1 billion videos are watched daily.

2. Analyze your Existing Content

Analyze your existing content to identify the content that is resonating with your audience. You should also track metrics such as engagement, shares, and click-through rates to understand how your audience is consuming your content.

If you're not seeing traction using your current strategies, it may be time to reconsider your distribution efforts. Or, it could be your content in general. If you cannot decipher your data, having someone help you with it may be beneficial.

3. Explore Different Channels

Explore different channels to identify which ones are most effective for your content. You can start with social media platforms and email marketing, then gradually expand to include other channels such as influencer marketing or paid media.

Test, test, test.

Just because one form of distribution doesn't work for you doesn't mean none of them will. It all comes down to testing and seeing what you have success with and what you don't.

For example, I'm pretty awful at social media. But I'm pretty good at SEO. So, I largely stick to creating organic content that just shows up when people search about specific topics, using certain keywords.

And it works. That's how I build my sites.

You might be different. Video content might be your thing, and you may gain traction on platforms like YouTube or TikTok. Or maybe photography, drawing, or cartoons and comics are your thing, and you find an audience on Instagram.

You'll never know until you test.

4. Measure Results

Measuring results is critical to optimizing your content distribution strategy. You can use tools such as Google Analytics, social media analytics, or marketing automation tools to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Tracking metrics such as engagement, click-through rates, and conversions will give you insight into the performance of your distribution channels and help you optimize your strategy.

At the end of the day, it's about results. Familiarize yourself with your own data, and when you find something that works, keep building on it.

Tools for Effective Content Distribution

The following are some of the tools you can use to make your content distribution more effective:

Missinglettr is a social media management tool that enables you to schedule and publish your posts across multiple platforms. It also provides analytics and reporting to help you track the performance of your social media campaigns.

And if you add on the Curate library feature, you're likely to find that there are a ton of people looking for your content to share with their audience.

Mailchimp is an email marketing tool that enables you to send targeted email campaigns to your subscribers. It provides segmentation, automation, and reporting features to help you optimize your email campaigns.

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is another social media management platform that enables you to manage multiple social media platforms from a single dashboard. It also provides analytics and reporting features to help you track the performance of your campaigns.

MarketMuse is a content discovery and analysis tool that helps you identify popular content, keywords, and questions in your industry. It also enables you to monitor your own content and analyze your competitors' content to inform your content creation and distribution strategy.


An effective content distribution strategy is essential to achieving your content marketing objectives. You need to identify your target audience, content type, and distribution channels to maximize your reach and engagement.

You can leverage social media, email marketing, influencer marketing, paid channels, and marketing automation to get your content in front of your audience.

When it comes to the organic or paid distribution of your content, it's not a matter of "either," "or." It's a matter of "what works best".  

Tracking and measuring your results is crucial to optimizing your content distribution strategy continuously. With the right tools, you can streamline your content distribution processes and achieve exceptional results for your content marketing initiatives.