Content is King But Distribution is Queen—and She’s In Charge.

Boy selling newspapers in front of a building

The days of single platform content consumption are over and with so much content being created, modern content marketers know that they need to take a more diversified platform approach to content distribution. The same is true for great branded content. When the distribution of branded content is not carefully thought out, the content falls flat.

So, who has had success? And what constitutes a quality, engaged audience? We rounded-up a few examples of brands that have garnered significant cross-platform reach and engagement, two metrics that come to mind when measuring branded content success, in order to see what their distribution strategies have in common. In each instance of success, the following seem to be involved:

Identifying target audience and the distribution channels where they consume content

Developing highly shareable (not just consumable) content, optimized for mobile

Establishing a distribution budget that includes strategic partnerships that extend beyond owned channels to earned, shared, and paid channels


Content Distribution Strategy

Source: Stickyeyes via SlideShare


General Electric

We’ve discussed GE on this blog before and their ability to create quality branded content with a holistic distribution strategy in mind. As innovators, they’ve experimented with various forms of content and used emerging distribution platforms to tell their brand’s story time and time again. Click HERE to hear about a few our favorite GE branded content pieces.

In a recent interview with DMN, Sydney Williams, GE’s manager of global digital and social media marketing had this to say about the future of content marketing,

“…It needs to be daring. There are so many ways to meet audiences. There are so many new platforms popping up every day. Adapting the way you tell stories and produce content to fit into these new platforms is how a brand stays relevant.”

The logo of news website BuzzFeed is seen on a computer screen in Washington on March 25, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)


Instead of relying on their website alone, BuzzFeed has strategically built a distribution network involving many different platforms and channel types. Of their 45 distribution channels, nearly half are video syndication partners, which distribute their original content beyond their own channels. These charts created by NAYTEV Insights provide insight into BuzzFeed’s distribution strategy:

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 12.13.20 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-03 at 12.13.32 PM

BuzzFeed is also great at building out new content from the successful franchises they’ve created (Try Guys, etc). A smart strategy considering these franchises have built-in audiences and lend themselves well to brand’s looking for contextually relevant content to be involved with. BuzzFeed has also seen success distributing their content on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat.


Dollar Shave Club

This brand has a deep understanding of its target audience: the millennial male. And the DSC knows how to create and distribute content to their target audience. In fact, their brand was built on video marketing, ever since the release of their first YouTube video in 2011:

The DSC experienced continued success distributing content on both digital and traditional channels over the last 5 years, and according to The New York Times, they were recently bought by Unilever for $1 billion. 

Beyond these brands, network groups like NBCU and Viacom are launching their own cross-channel branded content studios, according to DigiDay. With a deep bench of talent and the ability to produce and distribute branded content at scale, it will be interesting to see what becomes of these studios in the near future. 

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Posted by on August 3, 2016 in Media, Now & Then and tagged Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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