Content is king, content is everything. How many times have you heard that? Since the beginning of marketing, this is true.
Today we have new jobs being created such as content curator, storyteller, content manager, social networks content manager, etc. We need to produce content for people to engage with our companies, our products and our services. Storytelling helps understand how people can interfere with a product or a service. Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. The work involves sifting, sorting, arranging, and publishing information.
According to Wikipedia, In publishing, art, and communication, content is the information and experiences that are directed towards an end-user or audience. Content is “something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing or any of various arts”. Content can be delivered via many different medias including the internet, television, audio CDs, books, magazines, and live events, such as conferences and stage performances.
Content itself is what the end-user derives value from. Thus, “content” can refer to the information provided through the medium, the way in which the information was presented, as well as the added features included in the medium in which that information was delivered. The medium, however, provides little to no value to the end-user without the information and experiences that make up the content. Communication theory philosopher Marshall McLuhan famously coined the phrase, “The medium is the message.” In the case of content, the channel through which information is delivered, the “medium”, affects how the end user perceives content, the “message”.
The author, producer, or publisher of an original source of information or experiences may or may not be directly responsible for the entire value that they attain as content in a specific context. For example, part of an original article (such as a headline from a news story) may be rendered on another web page displaying the results of a user’s search engine query grouped with headlines from other news publications and related advertisements. The value that the original headline has in this group of query results from the search engine as a medium may be very different from the value that it had as message content in its original article.
Content also leads to influencing other people in creating their own content, sometimes in a way that the original author didn’t or couldn’t plan or imagine. This feature adding the option of user innovation in a medium means users can develop their own content from existing content.
In today’s world, you cannot succeed without owning and producing your content. You need to produce a lot of data to show your know-how and your expertise. You also need to use all media available. Videos, blogs, forums, websites, pictures, pins, case studies, storytelling, press releases, white papers, leaflets, advertising, tweets, articles on social networks… and I am sure I missed some. As we have become a society of consumption, data and content are the center of it all. The more you leave a trace, the better you will be seen, the more effective your marketing becomes, the more credibility you get, the more customers you get, the more successful your business becomes. Content and content delivery need to be created, mastered and optimized. More importantly as a lot of content is now created, you need to be very innovative in what you do and how you do it. By engaging your sales force (who face customers on a daily basis and therefore understand the use of content better), you will create information that will serve your business like never before. Some products will be better explained thanks to a video therefore, you will need to create videos regularly. Some services will be better explained with pictures, this is what you will need to do. By creating deep analysis of your business, you will understand how your customers will want to be served. Customer support will adapt itself to the best delivery/media system for your customers. Therefore, today you see a lot of support done via Twitter or YouTube. This is what companies have understood from their customers. By mastering and optimizing your content creation and delivery (note that it always goes together), you will make sure that your business is tailored for your customers and not the other way around. You will now perform like no other.
Looking back at how things were done, it is very interesting to see that in the 80s, we only had one delivery route for our content. First content was not as developed as it is today. Then, if you were a singer and wanted to sell your record you had 2 options:TV or radio. In France, we had 3 TV stations and only one national radio. From 1981 when radio stations became authorized to air (outside the national one), you had a few more of radio stations. If the radio station aired your record, you had won because everybody would know about it. Today when you have content available it is hard to reach the right target and for people to find you. There are so many delivery channels, you miss most of the time the content you are interested in. Unless you are very organized with robots screening the web and all online content, it is very complex to stay on top of your subjects.
Robots are indeed a way to keep abreast. Using keywords around your subjects of interest, it allows articles, whitepapers, press releases, case studies to be delivered to your preferred media, when you want and how often you want. As far as I am concerned, I use 3 different type of robots. Each screen different sources online (websites, press sites, social networks). When the robot finds my predefined keywords, it selects the content found and delivers to my Twitter account, Facebook or LinkedIn. As I use these 3 sites daily, I am pretty sure to get all content I am interested in.
So, in the last 30 to 40 years you have had to become very organized to be informed. The good news in all this is that if you master your content and your content delivery today you are much better informed than you have ever been.
I cannot conclude this paper without talking about fake news and fake content. As I have said, content has become so important that now you find malicious people and companies creating fake news and fake content to influence people with lies. This means that you make up your mind with false information.
Fake news is a type of yellow journalism that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via the traditional print, broadcasting news media, or via internet-based social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead to gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention. As such, intentionally misleading and deceptive fake news is different from obviously satirical or parody articles or papers. Fake news often employs eye-catching headlines or entirely fabricated news stories to increase readership and, in the case of internet-based stories, online sharing and Internet click revenue. In the latter case, profit is made in a similar fashion to sensational online “clickbait” headlines and relies on advertising revenue generated from this activity, regardless of the veracity of the published stories.
Easy access to online advertisement revenue, increased political polarization between the left and right, and the ubiquity and popularity of online social media, primarily the Facebook newsfeed, have all been implicated in the spread of fake news. Anonymously-hosted fake news websites lacking known publishers have also been implicated, because they make it difficult to prosecute sources of fake news for libel or slander. The relevance of fake news has experienced greater growth in a post-truth reality. In response, researchers have explored the development of a psychological “vaccine” to help people to detect a fake news.
Whether you are a company or someone interested in marketing, sales or customer support you will need to conquer content and content delivery. The choices are vast and you will need to know all the media available to ensure you have the right content for the right person at the right time on the right media. This is fun and I encourage you to contact me so I can help you with your content management.