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Email, organic/paid search, and social networks all continue to be essential methods for distributing content today. However, marketers who want to set themselves apart from others are turning to other untapped channels to cast a diverse net of ways to reach their audiences.

1. Chatbots

Chatbots answer the challenge of how companies can connect on a large scale with consumers, but still have the interaction come across as personalized. With messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp each having well over 1 billion active users, chatbots are the perfect solution for marketers that want to reach their audience on platforms that have grown larger than social networks.

Rising content distribution trends.png(Credit: Digg)

RunDexter points out that big media brands like Digg, Mic, and the BBC have all used chatbots to provide readers with customized content in a way that was previously impossible. For example, Digg’s bot functions as an automated news-delivery service that lives inside Facebook's Messenger. It’s easy to see why brands, especially content publishers, would want to live natively within apps that have surged in popularity with a new generation. Stories load directly within the messenger app, allowing readers to stay within the app and maintain ease-of-use as their conversations are just a tap away.

2. Content-sharing communities

While targeting popular messaging apps with more than 1 billion users might seem like a play to the masses, the next distribution method is almost the complete opposite. The internet is rich with small niche content-sharing communities discussing pretty much any topic imaginable.

The first step you should take is identifying active communities that have a large audience of your target personas. However, before you just join in a conversation and post a link to your content, it’s important to note most of these communities, particularly Reddit, will not appreciate a brand coming in and brazenly looking for traffic.

Get involved with the community, or have someone from your organization with knowledge in the area develop a profile and take part in discussions to develop a sense of mutual respect among other members. With a track record of sharing useful information, it will be easier to share an occasional post for your own company.

While this all might sound like a lot of work, the reward is worth it for those willing to put in the time. These communities are full of highly-engaged users and many, especially Reddit, are known engines for propelling viral content.

3. Republishing channels

So you’ve sent a blog post out to your email subscribers and posted the link on your social channels, but you’re still looking for a way to give your content a longer shelf life? Republishing content on platforms like Medium or LinkedIn can give your content a second wind.

Many publishers are flocking to Medium because it’s sort of like Twitter for long-form content, except it has an algorithmic timeline that tells you what stories you're going to be interested in. However, instead of just republishing all of your content on this platform, the Content Marketing Institute recommends using it to either tease the original content or repurpose it for the new platform’s audience.

Further opportunities for republishing content include media outlets like Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Mashable. These channels accept republished content, but you’ll need to pitch the outlet on publishing your content to get it out there. An added benefit of reaching out to these bigger outlets is that you’re building backlinks from large, high authority websites.

One thing to keep in mind with any of these republishing tactics is that Google can punish the original post for duplicate content if a newer post on Medium or another platform starts to get more traffic. One way to fix this is to use the canonical tag to note which site Google should use when ranking your content in search results.

These three content distribution trends are different ways to give your content legs beyond what you might already be doing to promote it. Invest time into mixing these ideas with your existing distribution strategy to see what works to best promote your content. Authoring great content is important, but going the extra mile in distributing it will ensure it gets in front of the right audience.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, featured, Digital Strategy

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