Content crucial to business success, more so than technology

Businesses depend on content for their success. The Internet has been responsible for a shift of focus from technology to content creation and management. At the same time, Internet technology has enabled individuals to create ‘wealth’ by becoming content creators and curators.

With content taking up such an important place in the creation of success (and that importance still growing), why does much of it — well — sucks? If your success — your livelihood — depends on it, wouldn’t you think content would get the most care and attention before it gets thrown onto the Web or packaged as an eBook or iPad app? Yet, much content is ineffective at convincing and/or selling, poorly written with spelling mistakes even, and shallow. The worst part is that even marketers (who should know better) don’t seem to notice that what they offer is useless at best. As an online publisher who started out as a freelance 22 years ago, this never ceases to amaze me.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Lack of formal education or experience with content creation
  • Little knowledge of the most effective structuring of a text
  • One dabbles in video production but doesn’t know enough about it
  • One knows the subject on a superficial level only

If you take a good look at the list, there’s nothing that can’t be helped with some practical guidance. For example, if the subject is a product and the content creator is an outsider, he can get as much insider information as an employee either by having a “snitch” working inside the company, or by maintaining good contacts with PR people (Public Relations). And if such a relationship is respectful and based on trust, some companies will give a content creator insider information that is actually valuable — much more so than the “rumours” that often prove to be completely wrong.