By Michele Linn published May 21, 2012

A Simple and Indispensable Template for Content Marketing Distribution

One of our recent posts, 3 Tips for Increasing Your Content Productivity, had a lot of interest and comments. As the author, Roger Parker, aptly states, “Under the right circumstances, many professionals are capable of preparing great content for blogs, books, and online sign-up incentives. But only a few can consistently produce quality marketing content on a daily basis. Those who do, usually have a system or process in place to help them meet the daily deadline challenge.” So this week, we will be bringing you more productivity tips and ideas each afternoon. 

As content marketers, we often spend our time cranking out as much useful content as we can. In our zest to produce, it’s easy to overlook the very important next step: distributing our content. (In fact, two of our most popular posts on CMI have been about distribution: 12 things to do after you have published a blog post with the updated 7 additional tips.)

To help me stay organized, I developed this simple template that walks me through the key channels we use and helps me remember the specific details for each. I don’t necessarily fill out this template for each project, but I walk through it so I don’t forget anything.

A snapshot of some of the template is below, and you can download the Word doc that you can customize.

The template provides the following information:

  • Name of the piece of content
  • Registration page: If the piece requires registration, I record this URL for easy reference.
  • Blog post URL: We often use blog posts to announce our new content. Of course, you can also use this template to help you plan how to distribute any piece of content — including blog posts.
  • Customized shortened link: If we are directing people to a specific shortened link, I include it here.
  • Key distribution channels: This template includes the key channels I use, but you can customize it based on what is important for your business.
  • Date to start promoting content on each channel: Instead of promoting the content on every channel on the first day, consider a scattered release to keep the momentum going.
  • Specific details on each channel: There are different things to remember for each social network. For instance, the section on Twitter includes sample tweets as well as user IDs of people you want to mention.
  • Reminders about various channels: When applicable, I include details on the best uses of various channels. For instance, in Facebook you can only tag company pages from company pages; people can tag a company or a person.
  • Repurposing suggestions: Do you have content you may want to release in different forms? For instance, we have our Ultimate eBook: 100 Content Marketing Examples for which we require registration. We posted a subset of this on Slidehshare with a call to action that leads someone to your landing page for full registration.
By following the steps in this template, I am much more confident that I am getting the word out about our key content while also reducing the time I spend. What other things do you do to keep your distribution strategy on track? 
Want more content marketing inspiration? Download our ultimate eBook with 100 content marketing examples.
Image credit: Bigstock

Author: Michele Linn

Michele Linn is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Mantis Research, a consultancy focused on helping brands create and amplify original research they can use in their marketing. Before starting Mantis, Michele was head of editorial at Content Marketing Institute, where she led the company's strategic editorial direction, co-developed its annual research studies, wrote hundreds of articles, spoke at industry events and was instrumental in building the platform to 200,000 subscribers. In 2015, she was named one of Folio's Top Women in Media (Corporate Visionary). You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn.

Other posts by Michele Linn

  • Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    Checklists are HUGE when it comes to staying on target and most people don’t like them for that very fact. They’re the equivalent of the the nun staring you in the face (sans ruler) making sure you’re doing everything right. Most people want the fame, the glitz and the glamor but they don’t want to do the tedious checklist work that allows for this happen.

    For the few who are willing to put this document to work for them, I’d recommend, if you have a gmail account, to load it up to Google Docs just in case you ever have to put together a post on a machine that isn’t yours, or from your ipad or phone or whatever. Doing so will free you from caving to the excuse that you didn’t do each activity because you didn’t have the list.

    Thank you Michelle for loading this here and reinforcing in my mind how important it is to have a content distribution ritual that is documented. 🙂

    • Michele Linn

      Hi Lewis,
      Yeah, I think there are those of us who love checklists (like me) and those who don’t like to be tied down. Great idea about putting this into a Google doc. I use Google docs a lot when I am collaborating, so this is not only a good way to access this from anywhere, but you can also divvy up tasks and keep track of who is going what.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • timdanyo

    I really appreciate your templates. As a fledgling content marketer, this stuff helps me lock it in and bust it out!

    • Michele Linn

      I love locking it in and busting it out. Glad this is helpful!

  • Muhammad Ayaz

    Nice template Michele! Certainly recording your daily or routine work on a paper or any sheet helps you doing all the things in sequence and you can’t forget anything important.

    • Michele Linn

      Thanks, Muhammad!

  • Nick Stamoulis

    This is a great template to keep things organized.  Organization is key when it comes to content creation and distribution.  Not only do you need to know what kind of content to write- but where it is going, who the point of contact is, and who to promote it to.  If you are distributing content on many sites, keep a spreadsheet of where it was submitted and when it was posted.  

    • Michele Linn

      If I don’t have some kind of list, things take me a lot longer AND I invariably miss steps. is there anything else you suggest to keep organized?

  • Barbara

    I cannot thank CMI and its contributors enough for the information they provide.  As a small farmstead cheese producer who is somewhat of is a luddite, I find that I learn something valuable with every posting.  At the very least, I now can ask the right questions about content when looking for a social media director for our company.  Thanks Michele et al!

    • Michele Linn

      Thanks, Barbara! I”m glad we can help. If you have have any specific questions about content marketing that would be useful for us to cover on the blog, shoot me an email anytime: michele [at] And what a cool job to be a farmstead cheese producer!

  • ken perkins

    Thanks Michele. Awesome template! I already see ways to customize it for our use.

    • Michele Linn

      Glad this is useful. If your customizations would be useful to others, I’d love to learn what you’re doing. It’s fun to see how people apply templates and checklist (well, at least it’s fun to a content marketing nerd like me) 🙂

  • Roger C. Parker

    Congratulations, Michele:
    Invaluable template that can make a big difference if consistently applied.

    • Michele Linn

      You’re absolutely get the best results if consistently applied, but I think using a checklist like this can even help if you apply it to your key pieces of content. Then, hopefully, things will start becoming a habit. BTW, thanks for the inspiration for this series of posts!

  • Elizabeth Joss

    Michele, I’ve been reading quite a few blog posts about content marketing over the last three months. I am EXTREMELY impressed with this post. It is highly detailed and provides individuals with a useful structure especially if they are just starting out in the field, like myself 🙂 

    • Michele Linn

      Thank you, Elizabeth! That makes my night.

  • Alison

    Very useful. I’m adding a section for internal promotion & planning to use this for all of my blog posts.

    • Michele Linn

      Great idea about adding a section for internal promotions! Thanks for addition, Alison. 

  • Kent

    Hi Michele, thank you very much! 🙂

  • Aimee Carmichael

    thanks for sharing this

  • Atif Bashir

    Hi Michele,

    Thanks for the useful article.

    Why would you use the customised shortening link in your blog post? Do you have an example?

    Thank you

    • Michele Linn

      You may want to use shortened links to track how much traffic you are getting from various sources. For instance, let’s say you have an eBook landing page. You could create one shortened link for anything coming from Twitter and another coming from a certain blog post. It’s up to you if that kind of breakdown is useful. And, there are other ways you can track where something is coming from if you don’t want to use shortened links.