What is content?

September 30, 2019

Word on the street is that people are lost when it comes to content.

These pesky content marketers have got the word out there, and now everyone knows they need ‘content’, but they don’t know how to do it. Or what it actually is.

What is a content? Where is a content? Why is a content?

I saw a really great cartoon the other day. Two people stood in an art gallery looking at a painting. One said to the other “But is it content?”

Of course, I couldn’t find it again to send it to you. But here’s what it made me think…

We’ve all got wrapped up in this insane marketing speak that has us talking about ‘content, content, content’. I imagine that’s why, when I surveyed my Insta audience recently, 63% percent of you said you’d struggle most with 'what to say' over 'how to say it'. You’re being told to focus on pushing the stuff out, not pushing the stuff in the right way for your brand.

We've been sold this story because content marketers are very good at creating content about why you need content marketing. It’s as big a marketing scam as valentines day (p.s. Next time Feb 14th rolls around, I won’t be mad if you drop me some flowers).

Content is just stuff.

Content needs organising, maintaining, creating - but it’s just stuff.

It’s words - mainly words - video, images, infographics. All stuff.

There is no one standing behind us with a whip, saying ‘create content or die’.

We really need to take that pressure off ourselves.

(Marketers come at me).


Because when we feel the pressure to create stuff , all we’re doing is adding to the noise. And there is enough noise out there.

The internet has been around for over 25 years. In that time, we’ve all been amazed at how our access to information has grown. Then, we were amazed at our access to creating and sharing information through things like blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Then, we realised we could use these tools to make money. Woo.

And that’s all good. But just step back and think about how much stuff the internet holds. And how it grows exponentially, day by day. There is so much out there to find, that the biggest companies of the day are the ones that help us find stuff - Amazon, Google, Facebook.

But stuff is getting harder to find. Why?

1. Our demands on technology have increased

We expect our search to find exactly what we’re looking for, faster. One of the first things I was taught at uni was how to correctly structure a boolean phrase to return the right journal article. Searches looked like, “this term” + “that term” not “this term”. Now, we use search terms like ‘the best skincare for me’ and expect Google to know the answer. Then we get cranky at people stealing our cookies and getting all up in our privacy to tell us these answers...but that’s another story.

2. Our rate of publishing stuff to the internet has increased

With these two things increasing together, our pal Google is going to have a hard time.

Why? Because there is so much more stuff to sort through to get to the very specific, personalised, tailored thing that you are looking for.

So what do we do ? Especially when everyone else is out there recording 5 new podcast episodes, going live on Insta and blogging on the reg.

We do better.

We make sure that we understand our audience, and we answer the questions that they have. We ONLY do this. We stay in our lane and only add content that builds our story, not someone else’s. We only add something if we add something new, useful and important.

We can all do it.

It just takes a little thought.

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