A New Take on B2B Content Distribution—with 4 Uncommon Examples

Distribution is increasingly competitive. By going against the grain, you’ll learn how to increase the reach of your content marketing.

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If you hang out with content marketers, you've probably heard enough about distribution.

"It's not enough to spend dozens of hours creating something amazing—you have to spend just as much time and effort getting it in front of the right audience."

That shit is hard work. Distribution is competitive. In 2021, it ranked as the sixth-most important area of content marketing investment. This year, it’s ranked number two.

Once-reliable distribution tactics like organic social and search are returning weaker results. This means marketers must either invest more time, energy, and money into declining approaches—or find innovative and unorthodox ways to distribute their work.

For this article, we asked content marketing leaders to share some of their favorite lesser-known distribution tactics. By going against the grain, you’ll learn how to increase the reach of your content marketing with:

  • Related B2B newsletters
  • Employee advocacy on social media
  • Sales enablement
  • Contributor podcast appearances

#1 Find related B2B newsletters

Most B2B newsletters these days include links to third-party content. Depending on list size, even a minor placement in a relevant newsletter can send hundreds or thousands of eyeballs to your article, eBook, or podcast.

When Fadeke Adegbuyi was leading content at Doist, she understood the value of getting links into popular newsletters. But she wanted a more targeted approach, and decided to focus on organizations that were already promoting Doist's content.

Highlight newsletters organically promoting your content

As a start, she suggests monitoring newsletters in your orbit. For Doist, this meant newsletters focused on productivity, organization, and remote work.

“I’m an avid reader of newsletters,” Fadeke says. “I subscribe to over 100 to keep a beat on what people are writing about. On several occasions, I’d find that newsletter writers included our links organically. That gave me a hint that they were interested in a certain topic.”

Whenever a newsletter organically links to your content, follow up by sending them similar pieces, suggesting the editor include those, too.

Fadeke forged many relationships with newsletter editors, building a network of supportive publications around Doist. However, even if you’re an avid newsletter reader like Fadeke, you’ll struggle to monitor every single one in your space.

Scale this strategy with backlink analysis

To expand the strategy, replace manual monitoring with automated backlink analysis.

Start by using Ahrefs (or another SEO tool) to export all your backlinks.

A list of backlinks to Doist.

If a site is linking to your content, it’s a sign that they respect your work. Search your backlinks for sites with newsletters and highlight them in your spreadsheet. These are prime targets for content distribution.

Also note what sorts of topics and subjects each site focuses on—productivity, business, finance, healthcare, and so on.

When you publish a new piece of content, filter your spreadsheet by topic. Now you have a hyper-targeted list of websites that have a) linked to you in the past, and b) shown a specific interest in the topic you’re writing about.

Next, pitch them your blog, eBook, or podcast. Your email doesn’t need to be fancy. A simple template like this will work:

Hey [editor’s name],

A while ago you shared/linked to our blog on [blog subject]. We’ve just published a piece on [related subject] and I think your readers would love it!

Would you include it in your newsletter?


[your name]

Using this expanded strategy, Fadeke found dozens more newsletters, many of which she’d never heard of. Whenever she published a new piece, she had a handy list of relevant newsletters to help amplify her promotion efforts, taking her blogs, infographics, and videos to a wider audience.

#2 Cultivate employee advocacy on social media

Organic social reach is plummeting. Between August 2021 and July 2022, the average reach rate of a LinkedIn company page was an abysmal 5.1%. Today, most social networks operate on a pay-to-play model for businesses.

Faced with falling organic reach and rising social CPM/Cs, Eugenia Koptelova, content marketing specialist at Haiilo, turned to employee advocacy—and for good reason:

Recruit employees to your campaign

To launch an employee advocacy campaign, start by recruiting employees. Make sure the business impact is clear (see stats above) and don’t forget the WIIFM (“What’s in it for me?”).

In her advocacy program, Eugenia stresses the advantages of personal brand-building. Employees can build a name for themselves in their industry. They can unlock speaking opportunities and attract new job offers. They build their own audience of engaged peers and prospects, people they can share ideas with or ask for help.

Build an advocacy spreadsheet

As you recruit people to your advocacy program, create a list of employee advocates along with key demographic data:

  • Region
  • Department
  • Interests

If you’re running a mature employee advocacy program, or if you’re at a very large company, you may want more data such as job seniority, market segment, or product focus. But they’re not necessary to get started.

Download a free employee advocacy template here.

Use spreadsheet filters to find the best employee advocates

With your database complete, you can begin distributing content to your advocates.

Whenever you publish a blog, eBook, or podcast, use filters to identify the best-placed employees. For example, if you’re publishing a piece about sales compensation models, prioritize your sales employees. If you’re promoting news of an acquisition, select your company leadership and executives.

Share pre-written content to make promotion easy

Along with the link, Eugenia provides a couple of suggested optional messages.

An example message on Haiilo’s employee advocacy platform.

“People can create their own post,” she explains. “But our account executives and customer success managers love it as they don't need to come up with their own social media messages.”

Eugenia estimates that one-third of Haiilo’s workforce participates as brand ambassadors. Each month, their posts and shares reach 500,000 readers.

If you’re bootstrapping your advocacy program, you can message folks on Slack or use a mail merge to send out emails. While employee advocacy platforms automate a lot of the admin work, they’re not required to get started.

#3 Use content for sales enablement

Most content distribution tactics focus on the top or middle of the funnel. However, content also plays a significant role in sales-led funnel stages like intent, evaluation, and purchase.

Laura Saracho, content marketing manager at Bonusly, discovered her sales colleagues weren’t only prepared to share content with prospects—they were eager to do so.

When it came time to promote a new series of thought leadership pieces by Bonusly's CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks, Laura started by sharing them on the company's Slack. Reps saw the pieces and decided to integrate them into their sales sequences.

“From what I've learned chatting with them, reps love to share content that isn't authored by 'Bonusly the brand',” Laura explains. “Prospects want to hear from the CEO.”

Build a database of engaged sales reps

Operationalize this tactic in the same way you’d build an employee advocacy program. Recruit reps, ask what sort of content they want, and build a database.

Whenever you publish a new post, filter your database to show engaged reps and send them the link.

Share articles with messaging guidelines

Although it’s not strictly necessary, Laura suggests including some messaging guidelines. That way, you keep your marketing narratives consistent across all distribution points. Keep your guidelines simple.

Here’s a quick example based on one of Raphael’s Inc. articles:

  • The high-level story: HR alone can’t reduce turnover. People managers have a role to play, too.
  • Key takeaways: HR professionals should focus on training managers; managers can (and should) lead by example in recognition; and HR leaders should establish fair and consistent recognition practices.
  • Our unique perspective: According to our data, HR leaders report retention (29%) and engagement (32%) are top challenges. People managers say being understaffed (60%) and burnout (49%) are top challenges. There’s a connection between burnout, turnover, and retention. There’s an opportunity for HR leaders to work intentionally with people managers to keep their teams engaged and retained.

Create a content library for sales reps

While this strategy works for reactive distribution—publish a piece and encourage reps to include it in their outreach—it doesn’t empower sellers to explore your content library and select older (but still valuable) pieces to share.

To make this distribution tactic even more effective, build a content library and share it with your sales team. Here’s a snapshot of what that looks like for a single post:

Download a free content library template here.

#4 Pitch contributors as podcast guests

Jordan Miller, editor at multi-channel help desk Gorgias, takes an unusual approach to promoting large assets: enlisting third-party contributors to spread the message.

Here’s how it works.

Gorgias recently published a playbook on CX-Driven Growth. To learn which CX plays were working, Jordan and his colleagues interviewed 25 Gorgias customers, including top ecommerce brands like Jaxxon, Figs, Los Angeles Apparel, and Good American, and featured their advice and stories in the playbook.

After publishing the playbook, Jordan worked with Gorgias’ partnerships team to identify promotional opportunities. He knew the company had established strong relationships with several CX, customer service, and marketing podcasts.

While each podcast would happily feature one or two Gorgias employees a year, Jordan wanted more regular coverage to help promote the playbook.

"The podcast host gets a great guest, the interviewee strengthens their personal brand, and Jordan increases awareness of his playbook."

Instead of asking podcast hosts to feature his Gorgias teammates again, he began introducing the hosts to the playbook’s interviewees.

“We send our customers to those podcasts, which is great for their exposure,” Jordan explains. “We suggest they deep dive on revenue-generating CX, which is a unique way of looking at CX. And we ask them to mention that they were a part of this longform playbook that covers a bunch of other similar revenue-generating tactics, which is obviously great for us.”

Like Jordan says, it's mutually beneficial:

  • The podcast host gets a great guest
  • The interviewee strengthens their personal brand
  • Jordan increases awareness of his playbook

How to find podcasts

To run this tactic yourself, use ListenNotes or PodSearch to compile a list of target podcasts. Find shows with comparable guests to the people you’ve featured in your piece. In other words, don’t introduce a mom-and-pop operator to a show that exclusively features Fortune 500 execs.

How to pitch guests

As with all outreach, warm prospects up first. Listen to their shows and offer feedback. Engage on social media. Ideally, run your warm-up touches before you publish a piece. That way, you can introduce contributors to podcast hosts immediately after you hit publish.

Distribution requires more than table-stakes tactics

The basics of B2B content distribution—social media, email marketing, organic search—haven’t changed. An effective promotion strategy still needs these channels. However, with competitors ramping up their distribution efforts, reach is falling and costs are rising.

To improve (or even just maintain) performance, marketing teams need to adopt innovative distribution ideas.

In this article, you’ve learned how to pitch content to related B2B newsletters and turn your fellow employees into brand advocates. You’ve seen how sales reps will naturally integrate good content into their outbound sequences. And you’ve learned to turn content contributors into promoters.

But what have we missed?

What B2B content distribution tactics are working for you?

David is a former craft beer journalist turned writer and digital strategist. He now helps ambitious technology brands tell narrative-driven stories.

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