The top content distribution strategies for local publishers are email marketing and social media. Keep reading to find out how to implement these strategies, and others, at your publication.
With traditional print newspapers closing in record numbers, local publishers are stepping in to fill the void in communities around the country. Despite publishing original local reporting on a daily basis, many publishers still need help disseminating content to a wider audience.
What’s the best way to increase the size of your audience and attract more readers to your website? We all know that publishing original reporting on a regular basis is the key to success for local news outlets, but you also need to make sure people are reading the high quality articles that you’re publishing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a topic we’ve covered quite a bit at Web Publisher PRO. You can read about SEO for local news publishers, here. But beyond SEO, there are other content distribution strategies that we recommend local publishers try, as well.
Research shows us that the top content distribution strategies for local publishers in 2020 are email marketing and social media. Local publishers who invest in building their email lists can promote their content for free.
If you don’t publish new content on a regular basis, or if your website has just recently launched, then you might want to start by publishing some evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that’s relevant for an extended period of time. Many publishers use evergreen content as a way to bring in new visitors from search engines, but evergreen content can also be valuable for publishers who are building their content distribution strategies.
Another thing to keep in mind if you are planning to use email newsletters for content distribution is that you don’t have to send your newsletters manually. A number of marketing automation tools are now available to help local publishers automate the process of sending email newsletters and other email marketing materials.
One of the most advanced content distribution strategies for local publishers involves partnering with other publishers to cross promote content to complementary audiences. If you have developed relationships with peers in the industry, now is the time to use them. Ask another local publisher to include one of your evergreen articles in their next email newsletter or in a social media post, and offer to do the same for them. You could also put together a list of publishers who do aggregated newsletters and let those publishers know whenever you post new articles that are relevant to their audiences.
Outside of email, social media is another one of the top content distribution strategies we are seeing local publishers use right now.
Most hyperlocal news publishers are already sharing articles on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not, then now is the time to start. But what else can you do beyond that if you want to expand your reach?
One idea is to use lesser-known platforms. With Pinterest, for example, you could post original content as a way to drive users back to your own website. If this is a strategy you’re interested in trying, make sure to follow relevant Pinterest boards and join any group boards that might be related to your community or niche.
Other platforms that you might want to consider posting on are Reddit, Quora, and LinkedIn.
Paid content distribution is something that most local publishers are not interested in pursuing. Not only can it be expensive, but readers who arrive at a publication through paid ads aren’t known for sticking around and becoming subscribers. However, if paid content distribution is a strategy that you would like to invest in, then you should know that pay-per-click ads, paid social media advertisements, and paid influencer content are the three most popular channels in this category.
Sponsored content is another opportunity that some publishers will want to explore. Whether this makes sense for your publication depends on your relationship with other publishers and the topics you cover.
Regardless of which of these content distribution strategies you choose, it’s important to closely measure and analyze your results. Without tracking your KPIs, metrics, and other goals, you are essentially flying blind with no idea which distribution strategy is bringing in new readers. Keep a close eye on Google Analytics, as well as social media analytics dashboards, and analyze results on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
To learn more about how to track website analytics, check out The Most Important Web Analytics for Magazine Publishers.