The 3 Primary Ways People Discover New Content


Why waste your time buying advertising?

Advertising is what most people try to avoid. They hate commercials (except at the Super Bowl). They hate pop up ads. They hate billboards. Let’s face it – they hate advertising.

It’s also a terrible way to introduce people to your content. What’s better? A distribution strategy that mixes earned, owned and paid media.


Because here are the three primary ways people now discover new content.

#1 – Search

No news flash here. The first place most people go when they need an answer is to Google or another search engine. They type in their inquiry and then click on the links served up to them. Usually they don’t go beyond the second page of results. If they can’t find what they are looking for within the first twenty returns they generally try a different search inquiry.

To break into search results you need content – content that is optimized for search. This is the owned media part of your distribution strategy. This is why using your owned channels – online channels that you control such as websites, blogs and social channels – to publish content. Your goal is to get your content onto the top of the most common keyboards and phrases that are related to your brand, products and services.

#2 – Social Media

People get lots of content from their friends, family and co-workers. This social circle posts articles, videos, blog posts, cartoons, infographics and other content that interests them on their social media networks. These links to content appear in your News Feed or on your Twitter feed and you click on the links because you trust the recommendations of those you follow.

Many people, myself included, rely heavily on their social circles to point them to good content.

This is the earned media part of the equation. Your content is so good – so compelling, funny or interesting that other people want to share it. The people sharing this content can be consumers, customers, media outlets, influencers and even employees. And, yes, I said media outlets. One of the best ways to pitch the media these days is to you use your content.

#3 – Recommendations

This is, perhaps, the broadest category. Recommendations are everything to reviews found on and Yelp to recommendations you find after reading an article on CNN or Mashable pointing you to related content. This is both an earned media and paid media. I’m most interested here is the paid distribution services because it is growing at a rapid rate.

It is NOT advertising. It is highly targeted paid distribution that places content that you have shown a tendency to interact with and gives you an easy pathway to get more like it. It is highly effective.

So where are you finding your content? How are you finding it?


OutBrain study on Content Discovery

Begging is Not a Distribution Strategy

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