It was back in January 1996 that tech mogul Bill Gates penned a piece entitled Content is King. As technology has continued to expand at an exponential rate, those in sales and marketing that are racing to keep up with its overwhelming pace hold Bill's statement to heart.
"Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting," boasted Gates at the time.
While this statement rings as true today as it did then, it was made nearly three decades ago. So much has changed in the world of high-tech since the late twentieth century. Even content itself has evolved in the way it's being shared, viewed, and absorbed. Let's take a deeper look at how and why content has continued to reign supreme for those in the sales and marketing game.
The Evolution and Expansion of Content
Over many centuries, the concept of content evolved from ancient images uncovered as cave drawings to our modern written and spoken word. From its infancy, content was meant to be viewed, digested, and shared by both creators and their audiences. Given all of today's technology, we've watched as photographs developed into videos, hieroglyphics morphed into infographics, and so much more.
With access to the internet at nearly everyone's fingertips, the volume of content has also kept pace with this tremendous growth of information accessibility. Perhaps most importantly, online content has become more and more interactive. Posting, commenting, and perusing social media platforms is a daily occurrence for people of all ages and demographics. These platforms offer a wonderful playground for sales and marketing teams to succeed with content.
Uncovering the Secrets of Successful Content
Given our current subject, popular podcaster Alex Low recently interviewed Scott Rogerson, CEO of UpContent where they shared their views on this topic. From his Death of a Salesman channel, Alex and Scott discussed the query of Is Content Still King? offering answers to this complex question. Here are some of the highlights and insights from this discussion along with some solid solutions for success.
Content Builds Relationships and Trust
Storytelling with content has been around since humans have been able to speak (or at the very least draw) and sharing these tales has historically built relationships and strengthened bonds between friends and family members over many generations. The same can be said for businesses promoting their brands, products, and services while sharing and providing content to new and existing clients.
“Sharing is caring” - and given that almost every relationship starts with a foundation built on trust, ensuring relationships begin by giving value before asking for it has never been more important.
Creating Context Within the Content and Creation vs Curation
This is a common conundrum often leading to confusion among those faced with building brands, businesses, and industries. Scott refers to the three "C" words (creation, curation, and context) when he shared why context is so important within the content itself.
"If I don't know where these ideas are coming from (as an audience), how do I know if I should spend time watching that video or reading that document?" - Scott Rogerson, CEO, UpContent
This brings us to our next vital query in this important equation - What's the difference between creation and curation when it comes to content? If you went by the official definition between the two, you'd likely find the term curation is more often associated with museums. Conversely, creating is when an artist delivers a requested piece. It's much the same when it comes to content. Rogerson shared,
"Curation is what you can do to create that context to stimulate and to create engagement. It's what we all do naturally when we are first talking to someone (about something). It's putting together the best resources that are available today and presenting those to an individual with who you are just starting to build a relationship with - or have already built a long-term relationship with - so they have all the information they need to make the best decision."
It's important to remember that content should be a mixture of posting original pieces along with sharing relevant information and data that resonates with your ideal customer or client. In other words, publishing everything that's available in regard to any particular topic is not only nearly impossible but will also alienate users who will be overwhelmed with this enormous amount of content. Where’s the value in that?
So, Who's the King Anyway?
While content remains a critical enabler of communication, the individual has now taken the crown and become “king”.
No longer can organizations simply push content through their employees to expand reach across the individual’s networks and communication channels.
Instead, companies that have developed the infrastructure to support their employees in being seen as thought leaders within their industry and amongst their customers, partner and clients in an authentic way are able to “win” in both competing for talent and for customers. This is only able to be accomplished by providing each individual with the systems for easy distribution and the content that resonates with each individual’s unique perspective.
As Low discussed, “An employer is leasing, or high-renting, the brand of the employee and it seems to have taken a global pandemic to see that at scale.”
Organizations must take this perspective, and invest in the individual brands of their team in order to see their organization’s collective brand grow as well.
A Trust-Building Lesson
As an added bonus, when it comes to building consumer trust, it is critical to not only show the “finished product” of your original perspective, but to “show your work” in exposing those underdeveloped snackable thoughts that came to mind while reading someone else’s perspective, listening to their podcast, or watching their video.
You’ll quickly find that these pieces not only require less effort, but also allow you to be a bit more nonchalant in what you share, and help to ensure consistency in your voice to your audience.
Learn more about Scott Rogerson on LinkedIn and how UpContent delivers the best in supporting your team’s content curation strategy across sales, marketing, and human resources. Not yet ready to implement, chat with a member of the UpContent team to map out your strategy during a free, no-obligation consultation call.
"France-001310 - Gold Crown" by archer10 (Dennis) is licensed under CC BY 2.0