Content Marketing
5 Tools & Tactics for Effective Paid Content Distribution

5 Tools & Tactics for Effective Paid Content Distribution

September 11, 2015
3 min read

The fundamental core of successful content marketing programs is, well, creating great content. Even great content, however, needs a push. Paid distribution a great way for brands to quickly grow their audiences and jumpstart engagement with their content. The average Hollywood movie spends 50-60% of its production budget on distribution, and the ratio for creating and distributing your brand’s content should be similar. The tricky part is that there are many different types of paid distribution methods at various price points. This can make it difficult to know which method is right for your program’s audience and goals. Below we’ll break down the different paid distribution methods and when to use each one:

1. Targeting a Niche Professional Audience: LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn provides unmatched targeting based on first-person qualified data, reaching professionals with an aspirational mindset. With Sponsored Updates, brands can reach members with their News Feed, bringing them valuable information and insight wherever they are, on their desktop, mobile or tablet device.

Why Sponsored Updates?

  • The world’s largest professional network: 300M members in 200+ countries
  • Multiple targeting options (e.g. industry, job title, seniority, edu, geo, groups, etc.)
  • Multiple ad solutions, including inMail, banner ads, Showcase pages and new Lead Accelerator for ROI tracking

The numbers

  • 91% of business marketers prefer LinkedIn for content distribution – more than any other platform
  • 64% of corporate website traffic comes from LinkedIn, more than Facebook or Twitter
  • 43% of marketers have sourced a customer from LinkedIn

2. Sharing Top-Performing Content: Sharethrough

Sharethrough provides brands with a native advertising platform, which allows marketers to serve their branded content within publisher editorial streams, matching the look and feel of each publication. Its software integrates branded content from marketers like Intel and Pepsi into the feeds of publishers like Forbes and Time Inc. It is advertising for the modern internet. For the self-service solution, there is no minimum cost, but rather a cost per impression. For full-service, however, the minimum spend is $20,000, which may eliminate this solution for smaller budgets. Because of these pricing models, you’ll want to make sure you’re only paying to share the best content you have.

Why Sharethrough?

  • Partnerships with over 200 media publishers, including People, Forbes, Time Inc. and Business Insider
  • Target based on audience type, device, geography, income, gender, and age; by channel, by demo or interest

The numbers

  • 247M viewers (94% US reach), 122M mobile uniques
  • 52% of consumers look at in-feed ads 52% more frequently than banner ads
  • 500+ Native Ad campaigns delivered since 2012

3. Moving Prospects Down the Purchase Funnel: OneSpot

Every marketer knows the first click will only get you so far. OneSpot re-targets your users with multiple pieces of content, at the right time and in the right order. The platform’s Content Sequencing technology automatically converts branded content into online ads and serially distributes to your users – building continually engaged audiences who are exposed to not just one-but multiple-pieces of content in the appropriate order.

Why Onespot?

  • Reach 97% of US internet audience
  • Re-target your content according to the user’s customer journey stage, guiding your audience down the purchase path

The numbers

  • 36M impressions per minute
  • 5x more repeat engagement

4. Targeting a Specific Audience: Nativo

Nativo is an alternative native advertising solution to Sharethrough, but doesn’t work with as many premium brands and works primarily through agencies. Nativo’s core differentiator is that it allows you to drop a retargeting pixel so companies can use their existing bottom-funnel mechanisms.  Its analytics also allows real-time monitoring of time spent with your brand’s content.

Why Nativo?

  • 250+ publisher sites in network, including Newsweek, Entrepreneur, and USA Today
  • Robust targeting and 3rd party tracking of content, by geo, device, network, and day parting

The numbers

  • Nativo’s programmatic platform improves native advertisement performance by 300%
  • Up to 172M uniques per month

5. Content Distribution on a Budget: Outbrain

Almost everyone has encountered Outbrain, whether you’ve realized it or now. With Outbrain, links to your brand’s content appear as recommendations on publisher sites including sites like, Slate and ESPN. Outbrain recommends 150 billion articles and videos each month to more than a half a billion people worldwide. This solution is the most affordable since it has a cost-per-click price model, with a $10 daily minimum. That said, the audience targeting is not nearly as sophisticated as native advertising solutions and many may view Outbrain recommendations as spam.

Why Outbrain?

  • Cost-per-click price model
  • Works with 80% of Forbes Top 50 brands
  • Promote articles and blog posts, videos and YouTube channels, press, 3rd party reviews

The numbers

  • 561M monthly uniques globally
  • 190 billion monthly recommendations served to consumers
  • Reaches 87% of US online population each month
  • Bounce rate 16-25% lower than search and social
  • 2x the page views per session then search and social

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Giana Reno

Giana is the Director of Content for Marketing Insider Group, a top-rated Content Marketing Agency. Connect with her on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on all things MIG.