Monday, November 7, 2016

Content Is Vital, But It Isn't King

Source: Unsplash
Shortly after Obama’s first inauguration, he must have signed the "Content is King" Act of 2009 which required the use of this phrase at every marketing conference and on every agency blog. I have not been able to find a record of this bill, but given the ubiquity of the ridiculous term, the law is clearly enforced assertively. #ThanksObama!

Content is important. Our era of always-on media and fractured channels makes it vital for brands to develop, manage, coordinate, and disseminate content in smart ways. But is it the king?

I’d like to drive a stake through the heart of this phrase and do my part to ensure no one ever utters it with a straight face. Let’s explore why content is not king and why it is vital we identify what is our brands' king.

If Organic Content Is King For Brands…

Why is organic reach on Facebook still falling?

Why have the number of posts per brand skyrocketed 800% while the number of shares per blog post has plummeted 89%?

Why has the number of Fortune 500 brands with a blog declined?

Why is the number of B2B marketers who say their organizations are effective at content marketing falling?

Why has the number of consumers who say they have little or no trust in the brand information they see on social networks increased 50% to 150% in two years?

While organic and paid content are subject to different consumer attitudes and actions, the problems brands face with paid media help further illustrate why content is not king. Consumers trust friends, families, and online reviews more than advertising; a quarter will block ads this year; and email clickthrough rates have been dropping for years.

The data on organic and paid content suggest that, for the most part, consumers do not trust or welcome marketing communications. What consumers want from brands isn't great content but great experiences. Content can be part of a great experience, to be sure, but it still starts with the experience.

For brand examples that demonstrate how content serves customer experience and why it is important your brand pledge allegiance to the right king, please continue reading on my Gartner blog. 

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