Content Is Still King (For The Time Being, At Least)

Last week, I read an article on LinkedIn: Content Isn’t King. The author presented the idea of learning being the new king, and content as a monarch that had its run.

Ironically, if he hadn’t produced that content, there wouldn’t have been anyone reading it. Having read his content, I now know who he is. I also learned that he is an expert in the field of learning and development.

His point is that content has been replaced by instructional designers. My point is that the source of instructional designers and learning is content.

Two things struck me when reading that post about how content is dead. The author briefly mentions how Aristotle talks of learning, and also speaks critically of YouTube and content. My thoughts on these:

1. YouTube: Acquired by Google for $1.65 billion nearly a decade ago. Imagine how much someone else would have to pay to convince Google to part company with YouTube now – it’d be a whole lot more than $1.65 billion. Content-generation and content on its own is still wearing its crown, and now, in the form of video. It’s safe to say that more people are generating content than at any point in the history of the world.

2. Aristotle: Lived and died more than 2,300 years ago. There were many wise men during his time, but why do we still talk about him and a few others in particular? Simply because they had penned down their thoughts and while Aristotle didn’t live forever, it’s likely that his words will. The content he generated has resulted in learning and development throughout the centuries.

Let me tell you why content is still king. You could be selling anything. Try walking into a meeting and saying, “I have integrity”, or entering a room filled with prospective clients, announcing to you them, “You should listen to me, because I am credible”.

No one will listen to you. There will be utter silence. The first person to speak will ask:

“What do you mean you have integrity?”


“What do you mean you have credibility?”

Generating content that aligns with your brand strategy is what will back you up.

Want a good reason why I say that? I’ll give you five.

  1. It demonstrates thought leadership. Regardless of what you do, you want to present to others that you are ahead of the curve. It is important that thought leadership is shown to the industry in order to keep yourself leading the charge in whatever you do.
  2. Name Recognition. Closely linked with thought leadership is name recognition. The aim of generating effective content is to have your name as the first thing across people’s minds when they think about a certain product or service. Brand association, some say. And this is done by dripping quality content consistently into the industry.
  3. Trust. Content can help build relationships. When readers invest time in perusing your content, trust factor grows too. They feel like they know how you think and hopefully like you too.
  4. Authority. Consistently producing quality content establishes your authority on the pertinent subject. Given that you are a thought leader in your industry, consistently producing A-Grade content shows readers that you are thoroughly well-versed, and experts in what you do.
  5. Search Engine Optimization. Search engines identify keywords, and fresh content. The more content is produced, the higher the likelihood that it lines up with what search engines are looking for. People who view your website will also see it as fresh, and very current (as compared to many websites which sit dormant).

People who run for President write books. Famous people write books and blogs to establish themselves as experts in their field. Think Robert Kiyosaki. Think Malcolm Gladwell. Then think again: for these two aforementioned people, what came first? Their works, or their fame? It can go both ways.

What you must know, is that content generation doesn’t get you money. It gives you a better shot at getting money. It gives you conversations because of the credibility it builds for you and that’s a great starting point. How you distribute your content and how your leverage it is what comes next.

By Alan Chu

MarketingAlan Chu