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Content is bigger than I thought

This week, I spent two days in New York City at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Innovation Days “Content Conquers All” event. It was essentially two full days of looking at everything content related that could be imagined. As a result, I came away with more than just an impression that content is much bigger than I thought. In fact, if you would like to look at Internet marketing and the Internet business in general, literally everything is content.

From the images on your site to the forms used to collect data and everything in between, it is all content. Content is the consumable piece of your Internet presence. So my question is “Just what is NOT consumable on the Web?” It all is because it needs to be viewed and digested and it is also something that can be revisited and re-viewed and re-digested. I don’t know about you but I am seriously expanding my definition of content.
Also, beyond content being the thing that the search engines can latch on to, it is the thing that people, as in your customers and prospects, latch on to. In the end, that is the most important fact to remember. Sure, it’s good to appease the engines, but it’s more important to engage your customer or prospect.

Broadway show billboards at the corner of 7th ...

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Surprisingly, it looks like the world in general is just catching on to this concept. After years and years of lip service to the idea that high quality is the most important thing, it looks like the brainwashing is complete.
How so? So much so that there is considerable push back on content farm concept whose leading players are Demand Media, Yahoo’s Associated Content and AOL. This push back has created an interesting effect. All three of these content generators are working hard to position themselves as producing high quality content, not just content for content’s sake.
AOL is doubling its current staff of 500 actual journalists to supplement the 40,000 freelancers they cull content from. The claim of an average of 8.8 years of journalistic experience for these new hires goes well beyond the $5 per article model that was becoming the norm. Demand Media bragged about their platform to ensure quality. Maybe the message has gotten through?
Of course, talk is cheap. In fact, talk is the lowest quality content because it can be twisted and maneuvered at the blink of an eye. Oh, and it is usually forgotten or turned upside down due to our memory’s limited capabilities. Actions will speak in the new world order of content generation. Let’s see what these mass content generators actually do.
What are you doing to make sure you are competing in this area? How do you define content? Tell us in the comments.

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