I’ve written before about the benefits of perfecting your content distribution strategy through a variety of free and paid methods. But, how do you know which advertisement is more effective for your business? And how do you balance your distribution amongst channels?
This blog post will introduce and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each technique to help you better understand how to take your distribution to the next level.
Free distribution vs paid distribution
Free distribution are advertising outlets that you can use at little to no cost. A few examples of free content distribution would be an email newsletter, or an organic Facebook page. The most obvious is unsponsored results from search engine optimisation (SEO) on search engines like Google.
These options require constant upkeep and improvement from business owners. They can be difficult to manage at times but can be helpful if you’re willing to put in the work.
Paid distribution can be found on any channel that your audience interacts with. They are things such as Facebook boosted posts, or the sponsored content opportunities of LinkedIn. There’s also bought ad words for SEO and many other promotions that your customers may see.
Is free, organic distribution better than paid?
The obvious difference between free and paid distribution is, of course, cost. However, there are several other factors to consider when choosing your content distribution strategy.
Free distribution only costs you in time, and this way of delivering your content can allow you to know exactly who your business is targeting and reaching.
It becomes easier to control if you know that the people you are reaching are current or potential customers. Combined with your knowledge of your personas, you can work out who is receiving or seeing your content.
Although you can see results with paid distribution, it is important to consider the price and attention that this strategy requires in order to maintain and utilise this distribution plan. You don’t want to waste money on advertising that you could have achieved through free distribution in the meantime.
What’s best for your content distribution strategy?
It’s difficult to determine if one type of distribution is better than the other. It really depends on who you’re trying to reach and where they are. Since free or organic distribution costs nothing, it seems like a great way to get your content out there, especially if you’re just starting out. But that’s also tricky if you haven’t got a detailed and specific content strategy worked out to guide you—and few start-ups have.
Price isn’t the only thing that should be considered when choosing a distribution plan. Your industry, personas and type of content are just some of the aspects that should affect how you decide to distribute your content.
Is it still possible to distribute content at no cost?
The short answer is yes, it certainly is. Once you’ve got some critical mass, you don’t have to rely as much on paid distribution. But even then, you should still continue paying to keep growing your customer base.
Unless you had developed an extraordinary way of growing your audience offline, distributing solely on free platforms successfully would be very difficult. Holding events often or running promotions or competitions where you could obtain new leads would be helpful. But it remains unrealistic for a growing business. A good content distribution plan is definitely a mix of the two in combination with hard work.