Bill Gates was supposedly the first to declare ‘Content is King’ as far back as 1996, and unlike his market share or industry thought leadership, his words are still just as big of a deal now as they were then. Content is great, but what many of us under-estimate is how the methods of publishing content are evolving and how much we need to evolve with them.
For example, blog posts published on websites (and more recently sites like Medium or LinkedIn Pulse) are just one example of publishing content. Take the iTunes platform, where you can publish apps, videos and – more financially feasible – podcasts. Podcasts have grown in popularity thanks to their time-efficient method of educating listeners and attracting audiences that don’t often read blog posts. Audience access and expectations are changing as the medium of communication evolves.
So what’s happening in the world today that you need to keep your eyes on? I asked our co-founder, director and all round handsome young genius still with all his own great hair David Wall (with whom my job security lies) how content publishers can stay relevant.
“I think a key aspect is keeping content timely. Prompt and punctual publishing will help ensure key influencer groups (as much as target audiences and customers) are engaged.”
As Gates said, content is king. It doesn’t matter how well you keep up with publishing techniques and trends, without regular content it’s all moot. But Mr Wall wasn’t finished there.
“A set of well defined personas will mean you already know what makes your stakeholders tick, so tap into their daily ‘journeys’ with original ideas and stories. Think also about the context in which your content will be consumed; mobile plays a huge role here and not everyone will be in a position to digest a weighty whitepaper or webinar.”
So when considering what method of publication to implement, you must first establish what your audience is likely to be using to access your content. Phones play a huge part in information consumption (said the author, looking awkwardly as his Blackberry Bold) and if it’s likely your influencers are part of that demographic then staying in touch with mobile software is essential; especially when you consider how quickly the technology is developing.
Take the Apple News App we spoke about some weeks ago, which was itself introduced as a response to Facebook’s Instant Articles announcement. Utilising a hub of content for consumers to digest at their will can spread your brand across the digital terrain, whereas not having it could potentially leave you forgotten. Keeping up with the possible applications of sharing content gives you that edge.
One other such edge is Snapchat Discover – fast becoming a popular place to publish content with publishers including the newly added Mashable, IGN and Tastemade with more expected to join in September, such as Vox.com. The more they expand their publisher base, the greater the popularity, and the greater the missed opportunity for your content.
To incorporate an old trope in a much more handsome way; the times are changing. Whereas publishers were previously able to define where consumers can access their content, this power is now out of our hands. Utilise as many of the outlets as you can, since it will keep your content fresh and varied.
As a last word of wisdom, I asked David if he had anything else to add. “Put some pictures of cats into ya content.” You got it, boss.