Long ago, in an internet far, far away, someone said, “Content is King.” And internet marketers haven’t stopped talking about it.
Some say that it’s TRUTH! Some say that it’s a MYTH!
Would it help if I told you who said it and when?
Would you believe content is king if Ghandi said it?
What if it was in a poem by Byron?
How about if Bill Gates said it?
“Content is king” is the title of an article published on the Microsoft website on January 3rd, 1996. Yeah, 20 years ago – maybe before you were even on the internet – Bill Gates was making some heavy predictions:
Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting….
Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products-a marketplace of content. (source)
It’s a smart article – so smart that you have to wonder why smart people would disagree. The problem is that there’s 1 critical question that isn’t answered.
If content is king, what is it the king of?
Let me tell you a secret. Bill Gates is a chess player. “Content is king” is a chess-based analogy.
The king (your king) is the most important piece on the the chess board.
The king is also the weakest piece on the board.
The king is so weak that it can’t take the other king. It can only take pieces it “sneaks up on” or that stop right next to it.
And you lose the match when you can’t defend your king.
The goal is to checkmate the enemy’s king – to position your pieces in an attack that the king can’t escape.
There are many combinations of pieces and positions that can be used to create checkmate – 1000s upon 1000s upon 1000s. But they all have 2 things in common:
- You have to be in the game. You have to have your king.
- You can’t do it with JUST your king.
Content isn’t a solution. It isn’t a tactic or a strategy. It isn’t a tool.
It’s the price of admission.
The king can only lose (here’s how you win)
If you lose your king, you lose the match. If you have your king, you’re allowed to keep playing.
You win with your other pieces. In chess, they’re your rook, bishop, knight, and queen. In online business, they’re email marketing, content marketing, and search engine marketing to name a few.
Winning depends on using the pieces that fit your strategy and using a strategy that fits your situation.
And now a question that no one ever asks.
What’s the other king?
If content is king (your content, your king), what’s the other king?
Is it someone else’s content? No, you don’t win by “defeating” someone else’s content.
The other king is 1 single, solitary conversion. It could be 1 sale or 1 sign-up for your newsletter. But it’s always only 1.
The chess match is eliminating objections, demonstrating value, removing distractions, and all the things in the conversion/sales process.
Then, win or lose, you get ready for your next match and try again. Hopefully, you learned something to use in your next match.
Putting it all together
Content doesn’t make sales. Content allows you to try to make sales.
Sales requires multiple moves connected with the right strategy. Sometimes it’s tied directly to your content. Sometimes, it’s based on the relationships or positioning developed through content. But you still need content to be in the game.