A few years ago, you may remember a man in a blue shirt standing on stage during the big marketing conference and declaring, “content is king”.
That man doesn’t specifically have a name because, well, it was several people. We nodded, and took an axe to our marketing budgets, and got to work with the splinters. Forget these marquee campaigns; we needed content, damn it!
But the question we come to ask ourselves in 2021 is, well, is it king? Or just a well-regarded lord? Is content… duke?
We, of course, have to separate the type of content mere mortals like you and I produce; marketing content, intended to sell, well, some other brand’s shit. As opposed to the costly and frequently patchy TV shows and movies rushed into production to marshal the warring forces of Netflix, Amazon, Disney Plus, and you know, the rest.
Ours is a smaller battle for the individual eyeballs on websites, social media platforms, those display thingies on the train. We’re not trying to carve hours or even half hours. We’re dealing in minutes, usually just seconds. Hell, anything over 3 is counted as a positive.
But to our clients, that just seems such a short time with our audience. How can they truly grasp the wondrous nature and myriad benefits of whatever it is they’re selling in just 3 seconds? Therefore as good marketers, we offer the alternative: Volume.
To meet that measure of attention, we now need ten times the photos, ten times the videos, ten times the copy. Oh, and the budget? You know that never expanded to meet it.
A day’s shooting is no longer expected to yield one piece of marketing; we want multiple cuts, BTS, interviews and follow-ups.
This has given rise to a newer, more applicable descriptor of content than “King”. And that word is “Beast”.
As in, the type with an insatiable hunger.
Our desire to feed this King-Beast creates a problem – focusing on quantity over quality. Forgetting our marketing goals and whatever we’re trying to achieve in our content—always saying something, afraid to stop feeding the beast, lest it turns us away.
So let’s not forget our north star. Quality, effective content will always achieve more of our goals than sheer volume. Effectiveness, targeting, entertaining, convincing… then getting out of the way. That’s how we make our audience… content.
So yes, content is king. But maybe not by the definition we were all thinking.