The Value of Paid Distribution

What is paid distribution?

Paid distribution involves hiring platforms to promote your content across a variety of well-known websites. You can have paid distribution on both social media as well as on standard participating websites.

The value of paid distribution lies in its ability to help you find an audience for your content. This system has largely been called upon to replace older, flashy forms of advertising, such as banner ads. The goal is to make the promoted content seem natural on the websites to encourage people to click on the links and get exposed to your brand and what you have to offer. It allows you to engage with people, even when they are on other sites.

What are the types of paid distribution?

There are three main types of paid distribution

Social media

The social media platforms, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, have a means for users to promote sponsored content. The content appears on the selected users’ newsfeeds, with a ‘promoted’ or ‘sponsored’ tag to distinguish it from organic posts.

Native placement

Platforms like Nativo take content and promote it on sites that are supposed to be similar to the style and content of your piece. The sponsored content is designed to look just like the natural content on the page and appears within the list of other available to stories for readers to explore. Once again, these pieces have a ‘promoted’ or ‘sponsored’ tag.


Outbrain and Taboola are two of the most popular recommendations-based platforms. These systems promote content at the bottom of articles on participating websites, offering further reading recommendations.

How do I use paid distribution to grow my audience?

  1. Begin by developing content that is worth promoting-- know exactly who the audience is and create content that they will appreciate.
  2. Select a paid distribution system based upon that intended audience.
  3. Use A/B tests to measure the impact of modifications to your headline, images and other key factors and make adjustments as needed.
  4. Track the attributions and ROI from your efforts by looking at results such as bounce rates, click-through rates and the number of leads you get through this system. Find potential areas for improvement, such as the type of content you promote or your selected platform.

Paid distribution can be a valuable means of getting your content in front of fresh eyes and spreading the word about your brand. While it can be helpful, it is important to optimize your use through the careful selection of content and platform.