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How to Unlock Overlooked Content Distribution Channels with Ross Simmonds

How to Unlock Overlooked Content Distribution Channels with Ross Simmonds

Is your content distributed to its fullest potential?

Do you utilize all the potential content distribution channels available to you?

Or are you missing out on distribution opportunities that provide value, raise your profile, and drive traffic to your website?

Your own content distribution channels (e.g., your website and email list) are brilliant for safeguarding your content – but they are limited.

Traditional third-party content distribution channels, like social media platforms, are fantastic for reaching audiences far and wide – but they’re crowded with competition, and it can be difficult to speak to your ideal audience in a noisy place.

But there are some lesser-used content distribution channels that so many content creators overlook. That means there’s less competition and sometimes more opportunity available for you to swoop in and unlock.

Sharing his approach to winning on these underutilized content distribution channels is Ross Simmonds, Founder of Foundation Marketing and B2B marketing strategist.

Ross joined me in this episode of The Content 10x Podcast to share how content creators for B2B businesses can use Reddit and Quora to realize huge gains. He also reveals strategies to get your content noticed in these niche spaces, including how to get on the front page of any subreddit and how to get more of your content ranking highly in the SERPs.

Hit play to watch some of the highlights from our conversation…

…or listen to the full discussion on The Content 10x Podcast (just hit play)…

Or keep reading to find out Ross’ cheat codes to unlock the potential of these overlooked content distribution channels…

What does content distribution have to do with content repurposing?

Before I launch into Ross’ top tips for unlocking the potential of under-utilized content distribution channels, I want to talk a little bit about the definition of content repurposing, content distribution, and how they go together like peas and carrots!

Content repurposing is a creative process by which you take a pillar piece of content and transform it into another type of content or multiple types of content.

Content distribution is a system-led process where you take your content and distribute it to various channels.

So say you’re a podcaster. You create a weekly podcast episode and use that to create a blog post, a bunch of engaging social media posts and some eye-catching quote graphics. This is content repurposing.

Then you upload your podcast to your podcast hosting site, publish your blog on your website, and schedule your social media posts to go out across various social media channels over the next few weeks to promote your podcast. This is content distribution.

An effective content marketing strategy combines both content repurposing and content distribution to maximize your impact online and connect to your audience wherever they like to hang out.

If you haven’t repurposed your content, you have nothing to distribute!

You really can’t have one without the other.

What content distribution channels are there?

Typical content distribution channels include your own website, email list, and third-party sites. By this I mean any site that you don’t own that you use to launch your content out into the world.

Third-party content distribution channels can be your social media profiles (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), your video host (YouTube), podcast host (Captivate) or blogging sites like Medium.

What’s great about third-party sites is they get a lot of traffic. Way more than your website will likely ever get (unless you’re Amazon). Which is why they’re perfect tools for getting your content out there, consumed, and bringing people back to your website.

Think of third-party sites like a hub of communities. Your content’s job is to find people who belong in your community and move them away from this crowded, shared space to your own private land.

Why explore alternative content distribution channels?

The problem with third-party sites that are typically used for content distribution is that they’re overflowing with content. Luckily, there are enough people using these channels that having competition doesn’t mean you’re shouting into the abyss – but it can sometimes feel like you’re fishing in the ocean with a tiny net.

However, distributing your content on traditionally overlooked third-party sites is more like fishing in a small pond with a spear.

This is because of two reasons. Firstly, there’s far fewer competitors vying for attention in that space. It’s easier to stand out when there’s less noise.

Secondly, you’re typically speaking to people who are actively looking for this kind of content. They’re not just mindlessly scrolling – these are people who want a solution to a problem or have an interest in what you’re talking about.

But there is a caveat to being successful on any third-party content distribution channel. You have to play by the platform’s rules and provide real value. Fail to meet either of those requirements, and your content will flop like a dead fish.

The content distribution channels worth your attention

So what are the most undervalued and overlooked content distribution channels, and how can you unlock their potential?

Ross Simmonds shared his keen insights into two platforms that he’s seen huge success with. Keep reading to discover how you can use these to distribute your content in a way that will get you real results.

1. Reddit

Reddit is essentially a huge collection of forums where users can share news, content, and interact with others. It’s frequently described as a social channel, but it’s more akin to forums than anything else.

From a content marketing perspective, it’s not the first content distribution channel that might spring to mind. But according to Ross:

“Reddit is one of the best places to distribute and create content that resonates with very niche audiences.”

Reddit, formerly known as “the front page of the internet”, attracts hundreds of millions of monthly users. In June 2021, it measured approximately 1.7 billion visits – making it one of the most-visited websites on the internet.

With that much traffic, how can you use it to target niche audiences?

Because each forum (called a subreddit) contains a group of people that are passionate about a certain topic. It’s a ready-made community that all have one key interest in common. What’s more, there are subreddits about almost anything.

Superheroes, baby names, marketing, AI, futurology, growth – you name it, there’s a community talking about it on Reddit!

How to distribute content on Reddit

The key to distributing content on Reddit is to find a community that your content is valuable to. You could go in at a high level and find a community talking about a topic that you cover broadly in your content, or you could pull a specific theme out of an existing piece of content and look for a community based on that.

This is where content repurposing comes in. Here’s Ross’ approach to distributing pre-existing content on Reddit:

“When you create a piece of content, think about how you can take that asset and send it to these communities in a way that is going to resonate with them. That could be taking a full blog post and repurposing and repackaging it in a way that Redditors are going to like. On Reddit, you can submit links and text posts. So if you take that blog post, and you turn it into a text post, and you share it with the community on Reddit, they will resonate with it, they'll comment on it, and they'll engage with it.”

Ross points out that it’s not enough to just copy and paste your blog into Reddit (as I always say, reposting isn’t repurposing!). You have to make platform-specific edits. That means researching how people are talking about that topic and what posts are most valuable to that community, and then repurposing your content with that in mind.

So say you’re repurposing a blog post for a subreddit all about classic cars. You take a look at the subreddit on that topic, and notice that the highest performing posts are text posts around 200 words long. Your blog post is 1,200 words.

In this instance, it’s not suitable to repost your entire blog to the subreddit. The best practice would be to take the key points, or one compelling idea that stands alone, and post it in the forum. Always make sure it adds value and contributes to the conversation. Then you can add a link back to your full blog post for those who want to read more.

Cheat code: be on the lookout for questions about your specialist topics and answer them – if you can, adding links to your existing content that expands on your answer is a brilliant way to go the extra mile and provide exponential value to that community.

How to get on the front page of any subreddit

Ross says he’s “cracked the code” for how to get content ranking extremely highly on subreddits, and the process is actually fairly straightforward.

The key is to understand the audience and what content resonates most strongly with them and then create content with this in mind. Here’s his strategy:

  • Go into a community subreddit and sort the content by top posts of all time
  • Export the top 100 posts in this community and analyze the trends that appear across all of them
  • Create a piece of topic with these common themes, that’s high-quality, clear, and engaging
  • Post it into the community and engage with the responses!

Ross says that this method of validating and then creating content is “ridiculously powerful if you do it right”. By leveraging past results, you can determine what content will be a hit, and all that time spent will be worth it.

This is the one drawback with Ross’ strategy – it takes a lot of time. Researching communities, reading through hundreds of posts, and creating fresh content requires a lot of effort. But you can maximize your impact and your content by repurposing that new piece of content into further pieces that you can share across other sites.

A word of warning…

Ross is keen to point out that all of this effort can generate some big wins…in fact, they could be so big, it might be a bit dangerous!

“The Reddit hug of death is where, if your website goes to the front page of Reddit and you don't have substantial hosting, your website will probably crash because there will be millions of people visiting it!”

A word of caution from Ross, if you use Reddit, be prepared for mass success!

“Reddit recently surpassed Facebook as being one of the most frequently visited websites on desktop in the US. So that is an insight that I think a lot of people should be thinking about as like, Reddit is not just this nice place where a few internet people are spending time. There are tons of people using Reddit every single day. And it is a great place for you to distribute your content, repurpose your content, if you understand the space itself.”

So, that’s just one alternative content distribution channel you can explore. If you want to find out more about repurposing content on Reddit, then listen to episode 122 of The Content 10x Podcast or check out the blog post, aptly named, Repurposing Content on Reddit.

Now let’s move onto another overlooked content distribution channel and how you can make the most of its content opportunities…

1. Quora

Quora is a social question-and-answer based website. Anyone can post a question and users can answer them.

It doesn’t sound like much, but Ross says that it’s a high performer when it comes to search engine results.

“A lot of people don't realize that it's one of those sites that Google sends a lot of traffic for, like Google sends a ton of traffic every single day to various landing pages and questions that people have answered.”

Anyone who has tried to SEO their own website will know how hard it is to get your site pages high up on the SERPs, so any content distribution channel that can get your content higher up there should be seriously considered!

So how can you piggyback on these results?

How to distribute content on Quora

Ross’ content distribution strategy for Quora isn’t too dissimilar from his Reddit approach. It’s all about providing value to those who are looking for answers.

His tip is to identify questions posted on the site that rank for keywords relevant to your space (even better if they’re long-tail keywords). Once you’ve found these questions, the next step is to answer them with your high-value insights and thoughts that subtly reference content on your website.

Depending on what questions there are about your specialist subjects, you could end up repurposing answers directly from your existing content! Just remember to add links to the full content so people can access more value, and crucially, you can move people from the shared third-party space and onto your own territory.

Top Tip: Like with Reddit, it’s vital to be subtle. If you bombard third-party sites with links, you’ll be regarded as a spammer and ignored, or worse, blocked.

How to achieve total SERP domination with content repurposing

While it may be overlooked as a typical content distribution channel, Ross believes that Quora could be your secret weapon to ranking extremely highly on Google, and even dominating the search results.

He takes an approach that combines research content repurposing, content distribution, and then further repurposing to annihilate the competition in the space.

“First start by understanding what URLs on Quora’s website are ranking for keywords that are relevant to your target audience, map those out, answer those questions, add a ton of value – make sure that they're not just a link to your site and call it a day – fill it with valuable insight. And then, once you've done that, you're now ranking in Google for longtail phrases.”

If this already sounds brilliant, there’s more. Ross recommends taking this one step further by repurposing your answers to these questions onto your own sites. He says that this can lead to total SERP domination!

“If you repurpose your answer and publish it on your site for that question, you can now own two spots in Google for that content. So you can eventually get to a point, and I call this SERP domination, where you own every element of the SERP – you have the featured snippet, you have the link on Quora, you have a YouTube video, you have your own blog posts – that is when you have established a competitive advantage in search. And that is when you have the ability to reap the benefits of content distribution for years.”

Now if that’s not the true power of content repurposing and content distribution, I don’t know what is!

I love this example from Ross about just how thinking outside the box with your content distribution can lead to complete dominance in your specialist subject. But the key here is to not stop once you see traction.

If this content distribution approach works for you, then you have to build on that momentum.

Repurposing your answer into more types of content across various channels is how you’ll get noticed by search engines. So posting that YouTube video, writing that blog, guest posting on other authoritative sites in the space ­– these are all ways you can repurpose your answer, using those keywords, to become the authority on that topic, as shown by Google.

To get started with repurposing content to Quora, check out episode 102 of The Content 10x Podcast or read this blog post, How to Repurpose Your Blog Posts on Quora.

Those were just two of the undervalued content distribution channels that Ross and I focused on in our podcast discussion, but we spoke about plenty more! To hear the full conversation and get more insights from Ross, listen to the podcast episode at the top of this page or find the episode on your favorite podcast app.

To learn more from Ross, check out his newsletter or connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I hope you’ve found this post useful, if you have, do consider sharing it with someone else and spread the word about utilizing overlooked content distribution channels!

If you like the look of all the results we talked about in this post, but just can’t find the time to dedicate to a winning content repurposing and distribution strategy, we can help. We help businesses just like yours realize the benefits of repurposing and distributing content with our industry-leading content repurposing services. Find out more about how we can help you here.


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