The 80/20 rule is incredibly useful. As marketers, for example, it can help show us what we should be focusing our efforts on and what we should either automate or ditch altogether.

While convenient, there’s also an uglier side. For instance, when it comes to content marketing, many marketers spend 80% of their time crafting the perfect piece of content, while only 20% of their time distributing it.

It’s this awkward balance that causes marketers to be frustrated and, oftentimes, dump their content efforts altogether. But could this just stem from a lack of understanding?

We spend a large amount of time crafting long, incredibly valuable blog posts that get shared and spread – but that doesn’t just happen organically.

We also have a very comprehensive distribution process that makes sure our content drives traffic.

The importance of great content is another post in itself, but today I want to share with you some of the most effective channels for distributing your content.

The benefits of doing this include driving traffic, boosting your SEO efforts and, most importantly, generating conversions.

Email list

Email is still one of the most effective channels for marketing. In her article on The Next Web, Poormina Vijayshanker explains why she would rather send cold emails than spend money on advertising.

I’m not endorsing you just email people links to your content with abandon, but the sentiment in that article remains. Your list of current subscribers is the first channel you should be distributing your content to.

These are people who already advocate you, and likely have their own audience they’re constantly looking for content to share to. If yours is outstanding, and relevant, there’s a high chance yours is one they’ll share.


In the same breath, there are influencers out there who already have huge audiences that you can leverage. It takes time, but once you’ve done so they can be great amplifiers for your message.

Start by identifying 10 to 20 of the key influencers in your space and follow them on Twitter. Start the relationship by contributing to their conversations on Twitter, commenting on their own blog posts and sharing their content yourself.

Then, and only then, should you think about approaching them with a low-pressure email about your content.


Forums are quite old school, especially in the SEO world, but they’re still out there and are likely full of people who fit your overall buyer personas.

There are new communities such as Growth Hackers and that have taken a Reddit-esque style, allowing for a lean method of starting conversations and sharing content.

They’re full of people who are looking for new information.

Do a search for “your industry + forum" on Google to find communities relevant to your organisation. Look to see how active they are and what people are already talking about before deciding to go in and joining the conversation yourself.


Content syndication has received a bad reputation recently, namely because of the bad SEO love it gets. But when done right, it can be a good source of new traffic.

Instead of doing the traditional method of syndication – where you supply a publication with your already published content – you create a shorter version instead. It touches on various points your content already covered, but allows people to skim and see if your message is for them.

Then, once they’ve decided they’re interested, you can provide them with a link to the full article. Everyone wins because you’re tapping into a new audience and the publication you’re writing for gets original content.

LinkedIn Pulse

This is one for the B2B marketers. This works in a similar way to the syndication method above, but is also a great way of boosting your authority on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s Pulse platform is a recent addition to the social network, but has grown in popularity very quickly. It allows users to consume the content published by their connections and influencers they follow.

This means that you can tap into this platform in order to spread your own message. If your connections enjoy it, it’s very easy to share, and the commenting system opens up for accessible conversation.

Similar to the syndication method, make sure the content is unique and provides a link back to the expanded article on your website for those who want to learn more.

In conclusion...

When I first started content marketing, I thought that it was all about creating good pieces of content and sharing it through social media and my own list. I soon learned that this wasn’t going to move the needle, and looked to other methods of promoting my content.

What I’ve given you here is a short sample of possibilities when distributing your own content. What really matters, though, is getting it in front of your buyer personas.

Even if you’re a B2B marketer, sharing your content on Facebook or Pinterest is fine as long that is where your audience is active. If you’re unsure, just ask the audience that’s already in front of you.

Tom Whatley

Published 21 January, 2015 by Tom Whatley

Tom Whatley is Head of Growth at Seraph Science and a contributor to Econsultancy. He blogs here, and you can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Comments (4)

David Somerville

David Somerville, Strategy Director at Fresh Egg

Thanks for the post Tom. You've definitely captured the key channels for content marketing - and it's good to see email featuring as it's super effective at driving traffic back. Another area that's worth considering for me is looking at ways you can repurpose your content and then push it out through key inbound channels/platforms. For example, creating a version as a slide deck and listing it on Slideshare, recording a podcast and listing this on podcast directories etc.

I blogged about this for Econsultancy previously, taking a look at some brands that were masters at repurposing (

over 3 years ago


Pankaj Kadam, CEO at Optimization Systems

Thank you Tom for such an excellent blog. Had a doubt whether content should vary according to countries.

over 3 years ago

Tom Whatley

Tom Whatley, Digital Marketing Manager at Seraph Science

Hey David, totally agree - and I think that sometimes content re-purposing is forgotten about. It's important to test which forms of content will resonate with your audience though. We tested SlideShare recently, thinking it would do well, but we've not seen many results so far. Perhaps some tweaking is needed.

I just read your post - really like the way you lay out the possibilities. Will certainly use this and refer back to it often :).

over 3 years ago


Greg Churilov, Owner at WooTheWeb

I agree with everything in this article (especially email marketing) except for syndication. I really think that's dead now. I liked the bit about Pulse - that was good stuff.
Greg Churilov,

over 3 years ago

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