What is content?

Over the past few months we have been talking quite a bit about Content Marketing. Today we try to look at the one part of this term, content. What is Content? What makes up content? Who creates content? Answering these questions will help us to answer the question: What is content. Here are some of the articles we have shared in the past around content:

This article assumes that a brand already understands clearly who their target market is and what their business needs are.
Is content data or information or none of this? Let’s start with a simple definition. Content is information which adds value to the careers or businesses of your target market. This point is key. You might have some great information in your hands but unless it adds value, unless it is relevant, then as we see it, it’s not content. It might be content in someone else’s business. If you took product information and mailed it to your clients, would that be content? Someone could argue that it would be but does it add value? Is it relevant?

Below is the relationship between Content, Data and Information.


Who creates content?
While there should be someone overally responsible for content, various people in the company can help to create content. For example content in the form of opinion pieces can come from people suitably qualified in that area of work. Brands should also be open regarding external sources for content. For example customers can share their brand stories which can serve as valuable insights for existing and potential customers but also be recommendations. Coca Cola predicts that by 2020 their consumers will produce most of the content.

Does Content have to be articles?
Content comes in many types and forms. It does not have to be articles. Content can be in the form of video, podcasts, blog articles, white papers and newsletters. The brand must use a format which it finds most suitable for the target market. What format is used it is important that the content is as engaging as possible.

Why has content become so important?
Content has become very important because customers are now much more discerning about what they buy. They are more informed and empowered in terms of decision-making. Customers now have far more information before they make the final buying decision. What role can brands play in influencing this decision? Consumers now make sure they do their research before they make the decision. They seek out the experts. If a Brand has valuable and well-researched content consumers are likely to not just. Consumers now discriminate what they listen to. There so many channels that they are quite spoilt.

Do you have to produce original content?
Yes and no. You have to be original in one way or another. Perhaps we could say the end justifies the means. Consumers need to know you as a trusted source, one way or another. You could do research and share valuable insights. The traffic might not end up on your website but consumers will know you as the first port of call. If you copy content from another source Google will rightly deem you to be a copy and penalise you for this. However, there is nothing to stop you from being inspired by the article and putting your own speed.
You can do research to find out what kind of content is most topical in your industry. There are many kinds of tools that you can use for this. However, a lot of content is time sensitive so you will need to move reasonably fast.

Does your content have time bound?
Writing content that is time-bound or containing information that may expire has its pros and cons. Consumers get informed around current events. However, the relevance of the content decreases with time. Thus there should be a mix between time bound content and timeless content if you like.
In a nutshell there are quite a number of issues to look at regarding content but hopefully we have answered the simple question, what is content.