King Content Evolves

Content is King!  That used to be a common refrain in the blog world.  Provide the world with quality content that people come to rely on and success will follow.  Recently, however, old King Content has been challenged by a few rebels who say that content is not enough.

Which side of the battle should you be on?

 

Content isn't just good writing.

 

First of all, if the king really is dead you have to ask yourself what would possibly replace him.  The most sophisticated answer is that King Content has simply been forced to share his crown.  That’s why I put so much emphasis on the Three Cs of social media marketing – Community, Content, and Contact.  It’s not just about having great content, it’s about how people find it and share it, too.

More than sharing the throne, however, our view of King Content is much broader than it used to be.  There are many things that make up useful and valuable content on any successful blog and as a part of a social media campaign.

Let’s go back in time to when the common view of content was created.

Long ago newspapers devised their successful business strategy.  They separated their content into two groups – what people wanted to read about, called news, and what businesses were willing to pay to have printed, called advertising.  The first type of content drove readership, and more readers meant you could charge more for advertising.  “Media”, as we came to know it, was born.

This model was so powerful it survived the invention of radio and TV, even when replacing news with entertainment.  Simply strike the right balance between the two types of content and it all keeps on.

As durable as this model has been it hasn’t fared well in the internet age.  It’s much harder to link what people want to see and what others will pay to make them see.  More impressive is the fact that some ads are popular content – if you’ve ever sat down with the ads that come in a big packet in the Sunday paper you’ll know how powerful information in the form of ads can be.

There are many kinds of valuable content in any social media strategy that stand between the old division of information into news and ads:

Events – Nothing generates excitement like a big event at your business that can draw people in.  Sometimes it is a nearby event you are riding and sometimes it is one you create.  Examples include a neighborhood festival, a Monday Night Football game, and a holiday like Halloween or Christmas.  Any excuse for a party is something to tweet and post on facebook!

Sales and Specials – If you are offering a special deal for a limited time, your biggest fans and most loyal customers aren’t the only ones who want to know about it.  The more you can use this to get your name out on social media, the more you can use these as loss leaders that generate new loyal customers you never had before.

New Products – If you have something new to offer you have to tell the world!  Social media loves innovative new products because they can be icons that the adventurous want to be the first to say they discovered.  Give those who like being on the “cutting edge” content they want to talk about!

Staff – Your employees are often the face of your business.  A little bit of background on who they are invites potential customers into your community on equal terms.  People like to know that they are dealing with a business that cares and is responsible – which always starts with those who work there.  A smiling face says a lot.

Contests – People like to win something.  Social media generates a lot of buzz around contests as a type of content because they are exciting.  If you have a contests that are tied directly to your facebook or twitter accounts, or as a “comment of the week” you’ll encourage your community to help promote or create your content for you.

There is always a role for more traditional content about your industry, trends, and other things that might sound more like news than ads.  A good balance between all the different kinds of content is essential to a successful strategy.  But even if there isn’t a King Content what you share is central to your social media strategy.  It’s about being informative, authentic, and above all else giving your community what they want.

Content isn’t dead – it’s just grown in scope and possibilities even as it has learned to share what King Content once had to itself.  Learning to use all the kinds of content you can create makes your social media strategy stronger and more successful.

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