If Content is King – The King is Dead

At this risk of being ironic, I want to talk about how our society has reached “peak” content – through another piece of content.

For some time now we have all been playing the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) game, trying our best to get websites at the top of the Google search rankings. And let me tell you, SEO is important for your website, because what is the point of building an effective website if it can’t be found? It defeats the purpose, right?

However, this rush toward creating content has us all drowning in the stuff. It’s as though someone realized content could be used to attract people to a website, and boom, content marketing was born.

A good example of this is Buzzfeed. It shows us that content marketing can work, has worked, and will continue to work for some businesses: but at what cost? Everywhere I look, there is mediocre content masquerading as business acumen attacking my attention.

No one says it better than David Baker of reCourses, and no platform illustrates this better than LinkedIn. They employed a fairly restrictive content policy up until two years ago, after which the unwashed masses were all considered “authors”, and content was published whether we wanted to read it or not. Now, 160,000 posts appear every day, and one of every 2,000 users publishes something available to 300,000,000 users. In addition, if it gets enough “likes” and comments, LinkedIn picks it up in The Pulse.

That’s a lot of blog articles competing for your attention and chances are most of them reveal nothing you haven’t heard already, or worse, are click-bait articles wasting your time telling you nothing at all.

So what is the solution?  How do we break the mould of creating content that allows us to meet one of our goals (SEO) without conceding another (credibility)?  The answer is to think less like a person trying to create content and more like a publisher.

What’s the difference?

  • It’s the difference between a mass approach that says nothing vs. a targeted approach that speaks loudly to the right people
  • It’s the difference between a mediocre article written every day vs. writing a fantastic article every two weeks that people will talk about within their online and offline communities
  • It’s the difference between being a part of the noise and blending in with everyone’s newsfeed vs. cutting through it and grabbing your audience’s attention
  • It’s the difference between simply existing on the internet vs. being shared by your audience and inundated with comments and reactions
  • It’s the difference between holding the #1 SEO ranking vs. earning the number #1 SEO ranking

If we would take more time to invest in thinking like a publisher, I’m confident that we would actually meet both our SEO and credibility goals at once. Which has more value to your organization? Publishing 30 blogs in 30 days that are chalk full of keywords and viewed by 10 people, or creating two blogs that are impossible to ignore because they are so full of insight and thought-provoking concepts that it is shared and engaged with all over the web?

You know the answer to this already, the hard part is accepting that it’s going to require more work on your end and that content marketing isn’t the silver bullet it was sold as.

 

  1. James Rathwell 5/05/2016, 9:57:16 AM

    Great read Greg! As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “If Content is King; Context is God”. I completely agree, the King IS dead. Keywords for SEO sake may work well to drive traffic to a website, but if I get to a website and it’s only full of keywords and provides no real value, there’s no reason for me to stay. I’ve seen a certain local online business directory employ these tactics and tell the story of how many page views they get. In my opinion, they have already failed their clients because they’ve missed a great opportunity to share their client’s expertise. In Marketing, everybody is constantly asking “what is the silver bullet?”. My answer?!? A genuine interaction with your customer. Thanks for the context Greg!

    • Gregory Moore 5/05/2016, 10:07:12 AM

      Thanks for the feedback James. I know you and I see this problem the same way, and here’s hoping we can work to change it moving forward!

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