As a copy/content writer I am supposed to be over the moon about how the whole world of marketing communications is screaming, “Content is King!” but in all these kingly celebrations, I wonder if the very king has become a commoner. PRactitioner Swetha P Venkataramani muses over how the very popularity of content could mean the death of quality content.
Content marketing, custom publishing, marketing copy, social media content, brand journalism, marketing content – the different names by which content that is churned out by communication agencies and departments is referred to are many. Most communication and content marketing gurus are proclaiming 2013 to be the year where almost every communication professional would turn into a content – or at least an online – write. While this is good news, it is hard to ignore the fact that content is now being overused and even abused. Every single piece of communication that an organization generates is called content, even if it serves no purpose! The true essence of content lies in its ability to connect with the audience – is the endless stream of mass produced content doing this? Unfortunately, we all know that the answer to this is most probably in the negative.
In the world of content, you now have both online and print media inundated with blog posts, authored articles, banner ads, social media content, infographics, videos, podcasts and much more. Yes, creating content has become more fundamental to marketing. Today, marketing is impossible without quality content and there lies the catch. The quality of the content comes from a complex process that involves thorough research, sound strategy and even better execution. Quality content is something that leads to quality conversations, which in turn result in action, resolution, lead generation or even lead conversion. Ask yourself if the content you are generating achieves the aforementioned goals. While dabbling with content creation for various channels and especially social media can seem simple on the surface, it is serious business that is underlined by a complex process.
It is specialized
True – most communication professionals can write, but can they produce convincing copy that is agile, versatile and can work across an endless number of platforms? This apart, content creation is getting more skilled and technical by the day. Writers need to understand how to get the marketing copy published and the medium its published on. It calls for firm subject knowledge coupled with an understanding of technology and aspects like search engine optimization, using not so simple content management systems and web editors. The questions to ask here is – can every professional be a copywriter; and are the copywriters you work with qualified specialists and not just generalists?
As the lines between PR, marketing and advertising are fast fading, content is emerging more crucial than ever. The fact however remains that the quality and relevance of the content is what makes the real difference. So if you believe that content is king, then it’s time to bring in the kingmakers too!