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Is Paying for Content Distribution a Must?

It’s time to deliberate: To reap maximum ROI from content marketing, is paid distribution a prerequisite?

When you hit publish on a blog post, it is one of more than 2 million blogs being posted that day. Even if your content is a gem, it still needs extra help to stand out amongst the clutter.
This begs the question: Do you really need to pay to distribute that blog/blessed piece of your soul?

Content is still a main driver of traffic and conversions

Considering the sheer amount of content being published, some content marketers may consider shutting down operations altogether. This is a huge mistake. Marketers agree content is still one of the most effective SEO tactics available. Google uses content to evaluate a site’s relevance to a user’s search. Only the most useful and authoritative will make it into search results.

Paying for content distribution is nothing new

Google has been demanding money in exchange for ads at the top of search results since the ‘90s, and Facebook lowered brands’ reach to a whopping 0 percent in 2014 if they weren’t paying to boost their content. Also take into account newspaper ads, magazine glossies, television commercials, billboards and recorded telephone messages from robots, none of which have been free for decades.

Getting content to the right person at the right time is getting more difficult

Consumers bounce from Pinterest to porn in .2 seconds. Marketers, understandably, have a hard time grabbing attention with a B2B buying guide. To be successful, that guide must hit the buyer at the exact nano-second he is thinking about making a purchase. Plus, it must be on the exact channel he happens to be perusing. Programmatic marketing, a paid method for delivering content, helps marketers get content to the right buyers at the right time, and, yes, even on the right platform.

Competitors are paying to deliver content to buyers

Perhaps the biggest reason to consider paying to distribute content is that other brands already are. And their target is someone else’s customers. They are reaching buyers in the most personal spaces: their email inboxes, their Facebook feeds, even their Snapchat stories. Those who are not paying to play will give buyers an invitation to work with their competitors.

The bottom line

Start with high quality prose, choose the right platforms to reach target audiences and don’t forget to look at the data and tweak strategies over time. Buyers are fickle and so are their online habits. Plans will need to be updated. But if you follow these best practices for paid content distribution, your original investment will be rewarded with a substantial ROI.

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