Why Content Is NOT King (And What Should Be Instead)

The struggle for control of the internet has taken many forms. Moving from one hot attention grabbing tactic to another in order to get traffic — from SEO to guest blogging, social media, and now content marketing — it's reminiscent of

Game of Thrones

in a way. But without all the nasty beheadings.

Surely by now you've heard the term "Content is King." That it's one of, if not the most important item in your marketing arsenal, bringing people to your site and allowing you to prove your worth without piling on the slimy sales chain mail.

But I'd beg to differ. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's not even queen, like suggested by Under 30 CEO recently.

I'd say there's a few things that are more important for long-term content success. So what exactly is the current content marketing hierarchy? Let's take a look at the lay of the land from one point of view.

Relationships Are King

Whether it be a relationship with your customers, your link partners, guest blogging partners, or other small businesses, developing honest and solid relationships

will take you farther than any content marketing, SEO, or PPC advertising strategy ever will. This means that customer service should live at the heart of your company, and customer service takes many forms:

  • Going above and beyond to make things right when you've done wrong (unknowingly or otherwise).
  • Focusing on using your skills and knowledge to help others.
  • Having a conversation with customers and link partners online rather than blindly blasting your latest message.
  • Lift up fellow bloggers or small businesses — there's plenty of room in the world for all of us so put those your brains together and come up with something unique and useful.

Are you building relationships or sequestering yourself to your own little island in an ocean of opportunity?

Get the rundown on the rest of the monarchy after the break!

Marketing and Promotion are Queen

Do you spend 80 percent of your time creating content for your company or blog, and 20 percent of the time marketing it? You've got it backwards, friends. Spending all of your time creating amazing content, then just letting it sit there without anyone coming to visit is a silly waste of time.

But let's take a step back — what does your content look like? Is it short, 200-word blog posts that regurgitates news that someone else has already reported? Is it a timely post that capitalizes on a current news or pop culture item, but doesn't quite make the connection back to your business? Seems to me like you're aiming for the right targets, you're just running too damn fast to focus.

It's time to slow your roll.

Try flipping the script here: spend 20-30 percent of your time creating

amazing

content that you won't find anywhere else — do an interview, create a detailed how-to, make a video, create a new recipe, really show off your knowledge — and the remaining 70-80 percent of your time marketing it. This will include sending links to your link partners, pitching it to bloggers, sharing it on social media, and inserting yourself into conversations that are already happening.

I guarantee you'll get a ton more traffic for quality content that fills a need, than trying to piggyback onto fleeting news items (hough those can be important, too — just think of them more like the seasoning on your steak dinner rather than the whole meal).

Content is a Sword

So if content is not king, what is it? Imagine your content as a sword you yield to give you power. It strikes the heart of your readers. It provokes emotion. It's a tool. Content is just one soldier in your army of success — it should not rule the entire empire.

But swords are a necessary object in expanding and growing your empire, so make sure yours are sharp and powerful.

Social Media is the Town Crier (But Should Be a Guild)

Social media was king once, but oh how the mighty have fallen. Don't get me wrong — social media is still an important tool

to your businesses success, it just might not be utilized to it's maximum potential.

Yes, social media is a place for you to announce the arrival of new products, news, and things about your business — town crier! — but it should also be a place to form relationships and communities around interests. You're running a bake shop, so start a community on Twitter about the joy of baking. Swap recipes on Facebook, share your food photos on Instagram or Pinterest, and create videos on the latest hack you learned in the kitchen. Cultivate your guild on these networks and they'll follow you anywhere ... maybe even to the checkout cart.

This post originally appeared on kristykorcz.com

Source: Flickr user Mukumbura