You’ve just published some content, you’re looking into how you can get it in front of more of your target audience and the phrases “content promotion”, “content distribution”, “content amplification” and “content syndication” are flying out at you left, right and centre.
So, you might be thinking, “What’s the difference, exactly?”
Well, wonder no longer. In this article we’re going to take a look at what each of the concepts is, and isn’t, and then look at the differences and similarities between them.
Ready? Cool, let’s get into it.
What is Content Promotion?
Content promotion is a broad term that encompasses all the other methods below. It’s how you promote your content to your target audience. Syndicating, amplifying and distributing content is promoting content. But promoting content might not include syndication or distribution.
Content promotion could be thought of as the pie, with content amplification, syndication and distribution being pieces of that pie. With me so far?
It’s all about ensuring your content is seen and engaged with by more of your target audience. It’s an essential part of any content marketing strategy because without it, content has very little chance of succeeding, no matter how good it is. The figures below prove that.
1. 90.63% of all pages get zero traffic from Google, and 5.29% of them get ten visits per month or less. (Ahrefs 2020)
2. 94% of blog content gets no backlinks at all. Most of the 6% that does, gets just 1 link. (Backlinko 2019)
3. The majority of social shares are generated from a small number of posts. 75% of all social shares come from only 1.3% of published content. (Backlinko 2019)
That makes for grim reading, right? So, yeah, you need to do content promotion if you’re creating content.
Example: Suppose you run a fitness blog and just published an article about "10 Easy Exercises to Do at Home." For content promotion, you might share this article on your social media channels, feature it in your monthly newsletter, or use Google Ads to reach more people interested in at-home fitness routines.
What is Content Amplification?
I would argue that content amplification is, for all intents and purposes, interchangeable with content promotion. However, some would argue that it’s content amplification if you’re using predominantly paid-for tactics, whereas content promotion is both free and paid.
Example: You might decide to amplify that fitness article by paying for a sponsored post on Facebook targeted to people interested in fitness and home workouts. This way, you'd reach a larger audience than just those who follow your page. Or, you might partner with a fitness influencer, investing in a collaboration where they create a video performing the exercises from your article.
What is Content Syndication?
Next up we’ve got content syndication. And that’s all about republishing your content on third-party sites to take advantage of their reach, resonance and influence over new, wider, and often bigger, audiences. Just make sure the audiences they have are relevant to your business.
We’ve actually written a pretty in-depth piece about why you should seriously consider investing in a content promotion platform, which would be well worth reading.
You know when someone writes a novel and a publisher helps them get that novel in front of a bigger audience to boost its readership and sales? That’s essentially what content syndication platforms do.
Example: With your "10 Easy Exercises to Do at Home" article, you could syndicate it on a larger platform like Medium, Converge, or a fitness website that accepts guest articles. This means the entire article, or at least significant portion of it, is also published on these sites, so it’s reaching their audience in addition to yours.
What is Content Distribution?
Right, let’s get to the one you’ve probably heard about the most - content distribution. There’s a bit of a bias towards using this term as a catch-all for “content promotion”, which isn’t strictly correct (thanks marketing “gurus”), so, let’s set the record straight.
Content distribution involves spreading your content across various platforms and channels to reach your target audience where they prefer to hang out. It will often require repurposing your original content into different formats for each of the channels you distribute it across.
So, doing content distribution IS doing content promotion, yes. But doing content promotion MIGHT NOT necessarily mean doing content distribution. It often does (or should), but it doesn’t have to.
Example: Using the same fitness blog, you could distribute your "10 Easy Exercises to Do at Home" on your social media profiles - say, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You could share appetizing pictures from the recipes, some excerpts, or even some testimonials from happy readers. You could also share the content in your email newsletter, or earn the opportunity to share some of it in a guest post on another site.
Hopefully this has cleared things up a little.
Now let’s sum it up nice and quickly for the TL:DR lovers out there.
- As discussed earlier, all of these tactics are looking to do the same thing - to get your content in front of more of your target audience. They should probably ALL form part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy and can/should be used in conjunction to achieve the best results.
- Content promotion and content amplification are broad terms that can include all other tactics and are pretty much interchangeable (although some might consider the latter to be a more intensive, often paid form of promotion - which the former can also be, hence interchangeable).
- Content distribution is about using specific channels your audience love to get content in front of them - social media, YouTube, IRL events, magazines, newspapers, podcasts etc. etc.
- Finally, content syndication is specifically about republishing your content on other , third-party sites to access their audiences and take advantage of their influence and reach.
Right, now we’ve looked at what they are and aren’t, let’s go a bit further and look at the dos and don’ts for each of the concepts.
How do we put these strategies into practice? Let’s look at some of the ways you can do that.
Content Promotion: Prioritize quality over quantity. Not all content needs to be promoted equally - focus your efforts on content that aligns with your marketing goals and is performing, or performs, well. Keep the messaging consistent and don't forget to target the right audience, rather than just a bigger one.
Content Amplification: See above. For successful content amplification and promotion, striking visuals and compelling headlines are key. These draw people in and make them more likely to share your content.
Content Syndication: Be selective about your syndication partners. Their audience should align with your target market. Also, to avoid any potential SEO penalties for duplicate content, use canonical tags pointing back to the original content on your site - a good syndication platform should do this for you.
Content Distribution: Distribute content on platforms where your target audience spends time, and remember to tailor your content format to each platform. An infographic might work better on Pinterest, while a short video could be more suitable for Instagram.
And remember - always measure and analyse the results of your efforts to continuously improve your strategy.
What about some don’ts, then?
Content Promotion: Avoid the 'one size fits all' mentality. Content should be promoted differently on different platforms to engage effectively with your audience.
Content Amplification: See above. And don't just throw money at your content hoping it'll stick. Your amplification efforts should be strategic and well-targeted.
Content Syndication: Don’t work with syndication platforms that might hurt your reputation.
Content Distribution: Be cautious of platform overkill. Spreading your content everywhere can dilute your efforts and confuse your audience. Choose platforms that make sense for your target demographic and content type, as well as your sanity - trying to keep up and be present on every platform can be overwhelming.
Hopefully this article has helped clear up any confusion or misconceptions about content promotion, syndication, amplification and distribution. They’re all very important aspects of a solid content marketing strategy, and their nuances must be properly understood so they can be done effectively.