At a dinner the other day, I got myself tangled up in a heated discussion on content marketing:

We discussed whether or not there were any significant differences between content marketing and the type of editorial services the PR function had been delivering since the beginning of the 20th century. We agreed that the media logic had changed they way we work with different channels, but that the basic principles of editorial marketing had stayed the same.

So it was only natural for us to agree that editorial content was more important than ever.

However, while my dinner company was enthusiastically praising the importance of great content, I soon find myself disagreeing. While I think great content is important, it’s not a magic bullet.

Here’s why:

Great Content = Hygiene Factor

Great content is merely a hygiene factor. If you don’t have content to support your digital strategy, then you’re not even in the race. If you do have great content, then you’re at least qualified to compete.

And that’s a good thing, of course.

But it’s just as much about media logic (timing, platform, channel), promotion, and social psychology (narcissism, incentives, relationships) — as it is about the actual content.

So, if you’re like me and you don’t trust content alone to do the job for you, then here’s a good checklist for your next digital endeavour:

HOW: Incentive Mapping

You need to establish ‘gift status’ where people can gather around ideas or concepts worth sharing with their friends.

WHO: Public Segmentation

You find out what your targets like, what they talk about, what they search for, what they engage with.

WHAT: Monitoring & Analytics

If it gets measured, it gets done. And if you’re about to measure something, make sure your goals are clearly defined.

WHEN: Content Themes

Someone was first to say, ‘Timing is everything’ and many have agreed since. Give people what they want when they want it.

WHERE: Channel Strategy

Now it’s time for you to be very clear about how you’re going to leverage all those channels at your disposal.

WHY: Telling Stories

Speech writers all over will tell you what a difference a good story makes. The subtle art of framing your message shouldn’t be taken too lightly.

  • A Powerful Storytelling Script For Your Blog (The Star Wars Post)

IN WHAT WAY: Outreach Process

If you have done your homework so far, your creative process should be a breeze.

BY WHAT MEANS: Community Management

Allocating resources and executing the planned activities—and analyse the outcome so your efforts can improve.

What is your take on the ‘content is king’-discussion? Please join the conversation and share in the comments.