Why content is no longer king: It’s everything

Shauna Zajac
(Photo: Jordan News)

Gone are the days when marketers loudly proclaimed that “content is king”; gone are the days when content marketing meant churning out endless streams of written copy. It almost seems cliché to say that, in the post-COVID era, content creation and consumption have radically transformed. But it’s a cliché for good reason: There’s no denying that the global pandemic has dramatically changed the way people connect with brands — and with each other.اضافة اعلان

So, what can we expect from this new era of content? Well, for starters:

Shifting away from ‘copy’ as we know it

The traditional definition of ‘copy’ focuses almost exclusively on written material. But so little of what attracts consumers’ attention today actually involves reading: For the most part, we prefer to be visually and audibly engaged whenever possible, especially when we’re online. That’s not to say that the written word is dead — simply that, with digital content in particular, we prefer other methods of consumption. (Not all digital content, though. Email marketing has made a surprising comeback, albeit with considerably greater interaction and customization.)

Copywriters are increasingly engaged in broader definitions of content creation, which requires more than just a mastery of the written word. It means having wide-reaching knowledge about visual engagement, search engine optimization, digital user experience, behavioral psychology, and just about everything in between. Developing content in the modern world — and specifically for online media — is becoming a multidisciplinary talent that will only increase in demand and value.

Making content an interactive and user-driven experience

It’s time to stop thinking of content as a one-way street: Consumers don’t want to be talked at — they want to be engaged in conversation. This is perhaps why, especially in the wake of the pandemic, virtual spaces have become increasingly popular. Whether it’s a Slack channel or an interactive online event, consumers and end users are looking for collaboration, cooperation, and community. Content creators and brands who can provide these features will have a much easier time connecting with their audiences — and will be able to do so in meaningful and lasting ways.

Automating (and democratizing) the content creation process

For those of us working in communication agencies or coming from agency backgrounds, we’re used to certain processes when it comes to developing content for clients — and for working with clients in general. But with tools like AI and automation at our fingertips, it’s time to update how we manage these processes, from client requests and briefings to content development itself.
Does this mean that I think AI-generated content is the future? Not really: Artificial intelligence is still light-years away from being able to produce content that feels authentically human. But I think we can still glean many lessons from AI, big data, and automation when it comes to how we manage and develop content. In particular, I think that these kinds of tools can help make big-agency insights more accessible to smaller businesses and start-ups.

MENACOM Jordan’s own advertising agency, Intermarkets, offers a great example of how agencies can use digital tools to automate the content process: With the launch of the agency’s new online platform, Intermarkets is the first in the market to offer an array of digitally led services, allowing businesses of all sizes and budgets to benefit from their expertise — and all with just a few quick, easy clicks. This is about more than automation. It’s about helping more brands benefit from world-class communication services, especially in the field of content creation. (And in a country like Jordan — where SMEs account for over 90 percent of all private-sector businesses — that’s a very big deal.)

Creating content with a purpose

It’s important to remember that, as communication professionals and content creators, we don’t exist in a bubble. We live in a world where individuals and brands alike are increasingly expected to be informed, to clarify their values, and to take a moral stance when and where it is necessary.

Using our insights and resources for good is something that we are in a unique position to do — and do exceedingly well. Earlier this year, VMLY&R Amman demonstrated this commitment when it took the initiative to develop a deeply impactful and resonant campaign for Save the Children. The Last Possessions is a visually and emotionally captivating look at the prized possessions of Syrian refugee children, and a stunning reminder of how content can be used to make a difference. It comes as little surprise that the campaign was recently awarded a prestigious Bronze Lion in the highly competitive design category at the 2021 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity; purpose is powerful.

Above all, the future of content will carry with it one great lesson from all our past experiences: Whether they’re looking to relax, learn, connect, or feel, people want to be entertained and engaged. And great content always, always captivates its audience.

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