Content Is King, But Are Your Subjects Listening?

Let’s talk about the overly stated opinion “Content is king.” First, in regards to people producing content, the first people to say it were Bill Gates of Microsoft and, before him, Sumner Redstone of Viacom. Gates said it back in 1996, adding that producing content is where the real money will be made on the internet. Redstone believed that, instead of focusing on how content is distributed, entertainment companies should focus on the content it produces for success.

Since then, the statement “content is king” has become a rallying cry for marketers and creators everywhere, rushing to produce this magical content that will make them rich. We believe that, since we are creating content, we are the king.

The problem is, content may be king, but a king’s true power comes from its subjects, and in today’s world, nobody might be listening to your content. The makes your content the king of nothing.

A King Is Powerless Without Subjects

It doesn’t matter how much content you produce, if nobody is reading it, it’s pointless. It’s like a king screaming to an empty field devoid of peasants. Nothing happens.

Before you produce your content, determine what type of audience you want it to appeal to. This decision is the most important one you make in producing content because it determines everything else about your content. Blindly creating content and hoping something will stick is not king worthy content.

Choosing the right audience should be an informed decision based on your products and who has purchased in the past. You can create all of the best content in the world, but if it’s aimed at an uninterested market, it’s all for naught. Choose your kingdom carefully because it will affect how successful you will be.

Give The People What They Want!

So now you know what audience you want to rule over. Now you dip your quill in ink and start writing the next proclamation to them right?

Stop. Put down the outdated writing implement and back away from the aged parchment. You might have identified your target market, but do you know what they want from you?

Developing a well rounded buyer persona can help you focus on what consumers want from your content. Millennials just entering the job market want very different things in content versus baby boomers looking to retire. From there, look at what type of sites the live on, how they prefer to ingest their content, (videos vs blogs vs tweets) and what other people are producing. The better you understand your target market, the better content you can produce.

Producing Your First Few Proclamations

Now it’s time for your content to make a bid for the crown. If you’ve just started producing content, do not expect overnight success. Becoming a viral sensation in a matter of hours is nearly impossible, unless you make an utter fool of yourself. Content marketing takes time, and no great kingdom was built in a day.

When it comes to producing your content, find a balance between quality and quantity. You want to update your site with fresh content on a normal basis (I suggest at least once a month) with meaningful content. As you continue to provide great content, you’ll build up your authority with your target market and become a trusted source of knowledge. That way, in the future, your audiences will turn to you for answers, rather than your competitors.

Listening To Your Subjects

A great king is always listening to their subjects so they can better serve them. Businesses that use analytics to drive their competitive strategies are more likely to succeed in their marketing. The best way your audience is communicating with you is by how they interact with their sites, so start delving into your site’s analytics.

The biggest indicator of your content’s quality is each page’s bounce rate. It means people are coming to your site, not liking what they see, and leaving. It’s like a king holding a royal feast, the people show up, see a bunch of disgusting food, and move away. Something interested them enough to check out what you had to offer and you failed to capture their attention.

Look for patterns between pages that have high bounce rates and pages with low rates. Then experiment with your content to see if any trends hold true. By utilizing your analytics, you’ll be able to better predict how well each piece will be received and improve your content as a whole.

Competing Kings and Messy Kingdoms

The world is aflush with content and almost everybody produces some, whether it’s pictures of their dogs on Instagram or their thoughts on the latest Game of Thrones episode posted to Facebook. Unlike a king of old, you do not control a group of subjects and can demand their attention at any one time, it’s something you have to earn every time.

You have to share your audience with the rest of your world. You don’t have exclusive access to anybody’s attention, so it’s a constant battle for their viewership. If somebody else has better content on the same subject matter, your audience will go to them for it. If you’re the only person with a certain piece of content, but it’s poorly done or boring, they’ll move on to something else.

Be A Part Of The World

The worst kings are the ones who hide away in their castles, remaining reclusive from their followers and the rest of the world. The best leaders are ones who live in the world, understanding what is happening in their follower’s lives and stay up to date on important events.

The best solution to this dilemma is connecting with followers on social media. For businesses, there are some rules to being successful on social media. It’s not all about shameless self promotion and spamming people with posts about your products. On social media, you have to deliver the right message, at the right time, with worthwhile information to back it up.

As you gain followers, make the effort to get to know them, and do your best to solve their problems, especially if you have content that answers a question they have. Taking the initiative and providing great content builds trust in your authority and makes your content more worthwhile.
Great kings always push themselves and their subjects to be better. Never be lazy when it comes to producing content, because you’ll lose out on valuable subjects. That extra effort and planning can transform an poor king into one that receives the love and admiration of their subjects.

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