In an age where digital marketing can be said to be the most personal way to reach customers, why are so many companies still failing to create meaningful and ultimately transactional interactions with people online?

The answer is twofold, and it’s in the title. Content and distribution. This seems very obvious, and it is. However, the thing that most companies confuse is the ratio to which they should be working on these two particulars.

Priorities in Digital Marketing

In the current online economy, where every outlet is occupied with companies pushing content at you, it can be very difficult to stand out. This is why high quality material is essential. It is not the only thing that requires large amounts of focus in order to impact effectiveness of the campaign. The most critical part of digital marketing, by far, is distribution. Very rarely will the subject drive its own distribution. When this does occasionally happen it is viral content, which has shared across social media and thus generating its own form of distribution.

I want to talk not about these anomalies, because that’s a topic for another article. Instead, I would like to concentrate on the millions of content heavy articles that unfortunately do not receive the viewings they are due.  No matter what platform you deploy the material through, or what type of media you use or even how content researched your article is, if not enough time and resources are spent planning your distribution, the work you are doing may go unseen and not get the exposure that it deserves.

Spending the Right Amount of Time

Time management is another factor to consider. The saturation of online media means that it is unlikely that people will find your content without being referred to it. Always remember this before you spend most of your time or resources on the content. The way that you divide the time up between planning, content generation and distribution varies greatly depending on the project. It is important to always consider timing carefully. Development and distribution time should be carefully balanced so that the content is both appealing and reaches its audience in the first place.

Quantifying Success

Facebook know that distribution is key way to well and run their business off the back of advert distribution tools, doing so extremely well. Facebook tools provide targeted opportunities for content distribution and follow-up analytics to track campaign success, making it easier for an individual to spend less time worrying over where and how to distribute their content. However, you can’t rely on these to circulate your content around your market, you have to do that.

Working with people and other businesses, especially when you’re a small or new business is, is absolutely important. Offering mutual value that increases the audience for both parties means that everybody is profiting. Join forums in related fields, become a member of Facebook groups and scour Twitter and Instagram hashtags to discover people who would be interested in your content and then offer it to them.

Closing the Deal

The final step is following up on your content. This is best described with an example. Let’s say that you went for a job interview and felt that you really nailed it but weeks later you where yet to receive a response, you would feel extremely disappointed. In the same intensity that a individual would feel disappointed if you released content that they where engaging with, leaving comments and feedback and asking questions and nobody responded. This is because with great content people become involved, and the involvement leaves them wanting to know. Ideally you should follow up by responding to a number of comments. Interacting with the audience and create meaningful interactions with people off of the back of the content. Current and potential customers will hugely appreciate your effort and the value that you are providing, and they will remember it.The larger your brand gets, the harder it’ll be to interact with the majority of your audience, but those people will value the individual interactions so much more. Do not undervalue the ROI of dealing with people on a personal level like this. Give as much value to individuals as possible.

In summary, you should generally aim to spend a disproportionately large amount of time on distribution and converting viewer interactions into transactions. This is not to say that the content can be sub-par, in fact, in the current market it cannot even be par, it has to be exceptional. Your distribution just has to be better if you really want to make conversions. At the epicentre of your digital marketing should be people. Your goal is simple: provide them with as much value as possible.