In his March 1996 essay, Bill Gates declared, “Content is king!” As marketers and bloggers, we’ve been fed this golden rule day in and day out. However, the changing dynamics of the web coupled with the evolution of social media makes me believe that content is NO LONGER the king. There’s no denying the importance of content but in my opinion, it’s no longer the #1 defining factor in determining your fate in today’s digital world.
Of course, critics would say that I’m daring to defy conventional wisdom and that’s not something I should be undertaking. However, I strongly believe that the rules of the game have changed in today’s attention driven economy. Here’s why.
Audience is the King!
It’s really about the audience nowadays. As a content provider (blogger, marketer or otherwise), you can make your best effort to serve quality content to your audience. However, it entirely depends on them on what content they choose. Of course, quality content has a better chance of appealing to the audience.
Unfortunate as it is, I know of several blogs and marketers who produced stellar content but lost their way simply because they didn’t pay enough attention to their audience.
Content is the Servant!
Your audience chooses what content they pay attention to, only if it serves their needs. In that sense, ‘content is a servant’ that earns the ‘wage of attention’ from the consumers of a particular content. In other words, the better a piece of content, the better the wage of attention the audience is willing to pay.
Social Media – The Kingmaker!
I have no doubt that social media has completely transformed the content production and consumption industries. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, social media has given a new definition to the way content is produced and consumed in today’s digital economy.
Social media is a great way to get eyeballs for your blog or marketing campaigns. It’s not just about what you are promoting – how you do it is equally vital.
I truly believe that we’re living in the attention economy. If you manage to grab your audience’s attention, that’s half the battle won. While content is important, it’s often the way you present your content which determines whether it strikes a chord with your audience.
In my opinion, Twitter is a classic case study of how social media has redefined the rules of content. Assuming that you are following around 1,000 people on Twitter, it’s almost impossible to read all tweets from the people whom you are following. Therefore, you need to make a choice and that’s often decided by the tweets that gain your attention.
All in all, the bottom line is this – Content is important but it’s no longer the king! Do you agree with that statement? Please leave a comment to share your views on this subject.