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Published by RITIKA PURI for TNW
Marketers are making significant investments in content marketing, and rightfully so. According to Rishi Dave, chief marketing officer at Dun & Bradstreet, today’s consumers are entirely self-directed in their buying journeys. Content helps empower these audiences to make educated and informed decisions.

The challenge with content marketing, however, is exactly what makes it awesome. The competition for eyeballs is fierce. Not to mention, human attention spans are getting shorter.

According to one Web use study, the average attention span in 2012 was eight seconds. Even goldfish are easier to engage. Their attention spans? Nine seconds.

Content marketing programs need more than blog posts, infographics, and videos to take off. Your team needs a carefully defined distribution strategy — which is, in many ways, more like business development and less like marketing.

Build your strategy by following the road less traveled. Focus on these five distribution channels that frequently go ignored:

1. Sales and account management teams
Client managers and deal-closers are the crucial link between your company and the outside world. These team members are constantly in the field, solving your customers’ most crucial problems.

Sales reps and account managers spend the bulk of their days building relationships and fielding inbound questions. Content can help by providing the ultimate conversation starter.

Marketers can work with their companies’ sales masterminds to 1) pinpoint content ideas from incoming questions and 2) distribute material.

Build content into ongoing conversations — this process facilitates relationship-building at scale.

2. Email
Company blogs are everywhere. It’s unlikely that your audience will be checking your blog each day for updates — as much as they might love your content, they don’t have the time.

Email is an invaluable channel for reaching — and engaging these audiences 1:1. When you publish a blog post, send your audience a short and sweet notification. You can monitor peaks in unsubscribe rates to avoid spamming people.
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