What is the most effective way to use non-owned channels for content distribution?

Ever seen a lighthouse? It’s a tall tower that is designed to radiate light. They work as a navigational aid, especially to mariners.

Why am I telling you about a lighthouse, when the topic is about content and content distribution?

Because if content is light, content distribution channels serve the same purpose for content, as lighthouses do for mariners.

Now, another important analogy is where are these lighthouses situated – Location. That’s the trickiest part. If it’s not where people know and value its purpose, all the investment into it is worthless.

Similarly, if content is valuable but it doesn’t locate people for who it imparts value, all the effort is futile.

Who your audience is, where does it exist, and how to reach them? – These are the three important questions you need to ask yourself when producing and promoting content.

There are 3 kinds of content distribution channels –

Owned – Your websites, blogs, social media channels, emails

Earned – Guest blogs, mentions, shares, 3rd party forums like Quora, Reddit, social media groups

Paid – Sponsored content, Influencer content, PPC, Social media ads

While we have complete control over what and when content goes on owned channels, we have little to no idea of how earned and paid channels will work. It’s hard to keep track.

So, here is an attempt to understand the most effective way(s) to use non-owned channels for content distribution, that mainly involved ‘Earned channels’ –

  • Join social groups that consists of your target audience. That’s one of the easiest and effective ways to share and promote your content to people it’s meant for. Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Twitter lists – these are some of the easily accessible platforms. Look for groups that have members that you would like to be associated with and sent out a request to join today. Engage with people through your content regularly.
  • Guest Channels. I am a fan of Tanmay Bhatt – Indian stand up comedian. He doesn’t stop when it comes to creating and sharing content. Apart from his routine vlogs on his life, he collaborates with entrepreneurs, marketers, other vloggers, leaders for a win-win content sharing strategy. Reach out to such people in your circle. Conduct podcasts, interviews, random conversations with them so as to increase your reach.
  • E-books. Couldn’t hold this one back. Just write and publish. Put it up there on 3rd party platforms. Self-publish. Serves as a great way of increasing reach and building credibility.

Always make sure that the channel you are using is helping you reach people who need your content and who will achieve value from your content.


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