Content isn’t King … it’s Gold.

content gold

In a keynote at the Online Marketing Summit last week, speaker Russell Sparkman, president and CEO of FusionSpark Media, proposed that the popular analogy “Content is King,” actually falls short in describing the value good content delivers to a brand.  Instead, he believes content is more like gold, in a whole variety of ways:

  • Like gold, content is a great long-term investment.
  • Like gold, content isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality
  • Like gold, content conducts electricity by provoking sharing, engagement and curiosity
  • Like gold, content and gold are both malleable and can be shaped and stretched into other forms of media
  • Like gold, content can eventually be made into “bling,” and can become very lucrative when we add value.

Russell backed up his premise with several examples of the value of content to an organization’s strategy.  Here’s a video of an earlier  but related presentation  he gave that’s well worth watching:

Spinning Gold into Nonprofit Exposure:

The first example was a nonprofit called Florida Friendly Landscaping which designed a web site (www.floridayards.org) to help residents of Florida learn ecofriendly practices in gardening. The website hosted environment quizzes, a “drag and drop” interactive backyard, and a certification program offered to Florida residents that wanted to be recognized as “eco-friendly”. How well did this content work?  The electricity created by the certification program was astounding! So many applications were submitted that Florida Friendly Landscaping simply couldn’t fulfill the demand.  In terms of initial long-term investment in great content; the site still indexes at the top of desired search results, the foundation gets 6-10 inbound email per day, without any investment in social media or refreshing content since 2005!  Pure nonprofit Gold!

Content to Drive Profits:

Gary Vaynerchuk is a Russian immigrant currently residing in New Jersey that founded The Wine Library TV channel on youtube.  By having a firm grip on his is audience Gary creating a wildly popular series of over 1000 wine tasting videos that have been viewed over 1.7MM times.  Why did these videos garner viewers?  Each video was quirky, fun and appealed wine enthusiasts in a humble or unpretentious manner.  One example worthy of mention is where Gary pairs some of his favorite vino with poplar cereal brands.  His video content is so popular, if you search for wine tastings he comes up right underneath Wine Spectator.

By generating high quality content, Gary has appeared on late-night television, shaped his Youtube video channel into a seven-figure book deal and turned his “mom and pop” liquor store turn into a multimillion dollar retailer.

These examples illuminate exactly why Content is Gold – not King.  For more perspective from Russell, we recommend his post titled “Content Marketing Secrets, Part VI: Content is King … NOT!”

Author Michael Seghieri is a Divisional Vice President with MultiVu, a PR Newswire company specializing multimedia content production and distribution.

One response to “Content isn’t King … it’s Gold.

  1. Response To: “Content isn’t King… it’s Gold”

    Content Creates Buzz, But a Home Creates Prominence

    I found this particular blog post to be extremely informative. In the public relations courses I am currently taking, we focus much of our effort on planning content to be one of the most effective portions of the projects we’ve worked on. Content is a major factor, however I now better understand that content is just another piece to the puzzle. It takes more than fantastic writing abilities to grab the public’s attention. I particularly liked the idea that “you can turn [content] into bling.” Creativity sparks from not only someone’s original idea, but from a dull sentence on the page that can be turned into a more entertaining infographic.
    Public relations has evolved into so much more than newsletters and press releases. Relating to the public through a larger scale media campaign, using media coverage, social networking and websites has become a major part of spreading the word. A funny, but informative video and good press coverage can instantaneously launch a campaign or idea farther than ever imaginable.
    The Florida gardening example was my favorite, in that it only took a well planned website to attract readers to an idea. Their content was the gold, and not the king because the website was the way the content could be found. Sticking the content into a local newspaper may have been less effective because the readers could just throw the paper away after skimming the article. The website is stuck in cyberspace, always viewable and an interactive way to gain viewer attention. Permanent content is key, but permanent housing for the content creates value.

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