When companies think about their content strategy, often all they are thinking about is the production side of it. A good content strategy, however, recognizes one of the universal industry truths: if content is king, then distribution is God almighty.

Traditionally, in the marketing community, distribution has been a commodity. Traditional media channels held audiences, you produced a quick advertisement, and audiences saw it and made a quick decision.

All you really needed for effective distribution was exposure, and that was something you could buy.

Fast-forward to today and we know everything has changed. For one, the traditional ad paradigm is under pressure as changing media consumption habits reduce its reach.

Hence the switch to content marketing.

Of course, in the recent CMI research, only 29% of marketers thought their content was effective. Yet only 21% of Australian companies cited producing engaging content as a challenge for their company. So where is the disconnect?

The disconnect is in the distribution. And typically, this type of audience aggregation was left to publishers, broadcasters and media companies. These days, in the digital world, this is no longer the case: instead, brands are forced to find and then distribute content to their audience.

It’s a very simple concept that should form a key pillar of your content strategy. Without distribution, you’re throwing a party without the invites.

Our Edge white paper dealt with some of the challenges around distribution, which you can download here. Here are five key insights about content:

  1. Know your audience. This means understanding how they use media, where they are consuming media and how they are consuming it.
  2. Audit your channels. Whether it is in print, social, digital, events or a plane in the sky, understand how your brand intersects with the different channels and how you can make sure it (literally) gets its message across.
  3. Have a plan to expand. Work out how you are going to draw eyeballs to your site. Will it be SEO? Will it be viral? Will it be an ad spend? In any case, you’re going to have to budget and account for this.
  4. Don’t saturate your audience. We’ve got a term for this at Edge and it’s a dirty one: spam. Too much content is going to make your audience treat your content like ads. And they’ll switch off.
  5. One size never fits all. When throwing your content into a multi-channel format, it’s important to realize people consume content differently between channels. Rework and tweak your content into the best format for each channel.

Content and distribution go hand in hand – and with content quickly becoming the new media trend, it’s more important than ever to get your distribution correct.