Forty years ago if you had media to publish, your choices were fairly simple: print, television, or radio (for simplicity.) Narrowing down a content strategy was a matter of selecting a particular outlet (channel, publication, station etc.) and the right time to broadcast. With the internet age has come a deluge of media outlets that are optimized for many different formats and many different audiences. What this means is that it is more important than ever to carefully select where to broadcast your film, article, video, etc. So what is a content producer to do?
a) Demographics can Demolish:
It sounds obvious, but you need to go where your target demographics are. This requires some careful analysis and research to figure out which ‘user personas’ (demographics) are going to be interested in what you are putting out there. Taking these personas, determine which platforms they are most engaged with and where they consume and discover similar content. Similar content is defined in two ways here:
– Format (i.e. images v. video v. graphs v. text, etc.)
– Theme (i.e. documentaries v. comedy etc.)
b) Keywords are Key:
Examine what keywords are being used by similar media, and how related content is ‘tagged’ on the platforms that you are targeting. Incorporating these fundamental keywords into your distribution strategy will improve the chances of your target users discovering your content. You also need to research and test “long-tail” keywords that more closely define your content – these are more specific and more unique. (Google Keyword Planner can take you a long way).
– In a nutshell: figure out what keywords led your target audience to relevant content – how did they get there?
c) Platform Specific Advertising/Promotion Strategy:
Research to determine what promotional strategies are being used to draw traffic to particular places, focusing on past successes is obviously useful! Which peripheral platforms (such as news websites, forums, etc.) do your target audience use to discover new and interesting content? Determine how you can obtain promotion through these channels, whether paid or earned. Figure out which social media platforms are drawing the most engagement(**NOT necessarily traffic, “Hits” can quickly become meaningless ‘vanity metrics’) for related media and audiences, and what tags are being used to generate that engagement.
There isn’t a secret recipe to make any media release a success, but taking the care to place your media where your audience lives (with the right timing) is massively important. Success requires picking a logical deployment order on a few key platforms, developing a thought out keyword and promotion strategy, and finally, targeting well-researched demographics with precision, as separate ‘categories’ rather than a single ‘mass-audience’. Media distribution has become enormously complicated, so treat your distribution strategy with that in mind!
Image credit: CC by AGoK