Is Content Really King? Why Creating More Content May Not Be The Solution


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Ever since Bill Gates declared “Content Is King” in his 1996 essay of the same name, online marketers have parroted the phrase and convinced companies all over the world to invest heavily in content creation.

“Write an article on your company’s blog at least once a week. It will help with SEO and people will flood to your site!”

“Continually fill your website with more new content and you’ll be seen as an authority!”

Now, while creating new content is important, and is in fact critical for many businesses operating online today – creating new content is not the be-all and end-all for everyone.

In fact, aimlessly churning out content may end up hurting your business rather than helping it. 

You see, running a business requires smartly and strategically allocating resources (time, energy, money, human capital) on activities which will have the greatest payoff.

And many companies simply  spend too much of their precious resources on an ill-thought out content strategy which relies purely on ‘brute force’ content creation.

Content Creation Is Only A Part Of The Equation

So why isn’t creating more content always the answer?

Doesn’t producing quality new content please the Google gods who control search engine rankings?

Doesn’t an abundance of content show your company as an authority in your space?

Won’t people trust you more if they are able to trawl through pages and pages of useful, valuable and relevant free content before they are ‘pitched’ with a paid product or service?

While all those points may be valid and good reasons for creating content, like most issues in business, the answer is not that simple.

You see content creation is only one part of the equation.

The other side of the equation, which too many people forget about, is the consumption of that content.

You can create the best piece of content, but unless it gets consumed by the right people, it will have little effect on your business.

The Real Limiting Factor

In today’s world, the biggest challenge for most is not creating quality content.

Rather, the big challenge is getting that content consumed, because:

1) People are bombarded with more content and advertising than ever before.

According to a study by Media Dynamics, Inc. in 2014, the typical adult is exposed an average of 362 ads per day.

This figure does not even include the huge amount of free content such as articles, pictures, videos, podcasts, and so forth, which the average person is bombarded with on television, radio, websites and social media networks every single day.

With an ever-increasing number of things fighting for our limited attention, it will continue to be more difficult to get your content consumed by your audience.

2) People are able to access more information than ever before.

According to Google, between 2008 and 2013, the number of unique individual web pages grew exponentially from 1 trillion pages to over 30 trillion pages.

The English version of Wikipedia alone has over 5 million articles.

Thanks to the Internet, people now have access to more information than ever before and the challenge lies in persuading an individual to consume your content, rather than the various other sources of information they may have access to.

3) People’s attention spans are decreasing with an ever-increasing number of distractions and demands. 

Even if you are able to get someone’s attention, you need to fight to hold their attention until they have completely consumed your content.

And this is getting increasingly difficult.

A study done by Microsoft found that attention spans dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds between 2000 and 2015. 

Busier and more demanding lifestyles combined with an ever-increasing number of entertaining options and interruptions from technology and the Internet – is wreaking havoc on our attention spans and you will need to carefully craft your content to not only grab but also retain the attention of your audience.

Getting Your Content Consumed

So if you are going to the trouble of creating great content, how can you maximize the consumption of it and therefore reap its full benefits? There are two parts:

1. Get It Into The Hands Of Your Intended Audience

The first is to get it distributed to your target market. Your audience cannot consume your content unless they can access it. This can happen through a variety of methods paid and organic methods, for example, PPC ads, guest posting, email marketing, etc.

Distribution is incredibly important and too many companies create great content that never gets in the hands of the intended audience.

Most of the content that people create is evergreen in nature. Which means they can actually continually drive traffic to the same piece of content.

This maximizes the mileage you get from the content you create while simultaneously helping you get off the hamster wheel of continually churning out new content just for the sake of it.

2. Deliver Content In A Way That Maximizes Consumption

The second is delivering your content in a way that maximises consumption.

This requires an intimate knowledge of your target market as different audiences will engage and prefer to consume content in different ways.

Some will prefer short articles while others while prefer long posts.

Others will engage more with an audio format while others will engage more with a video format.

When it comes to your own business, you should always test different formats and lengths to see which one maximizes consumption of your content.


Content can play an important part in your business’ success online. However, you must be strategic and purposeful about the way you approach it.

With an increasing number of things fighting for your audience’s limited attention, the challenge often lies in getting your content consumed.

The answer is not always creating more content. In fact, you may find that you are able to achieve better results for your business by ensuring that you maximize the consumption of your content – by improving distribution and delivery.


  1. Agree Nathaniel. Quality of content is equally as important as quantity. It’s somewhat of a numbers game but if the true goal is engagement, you need to put the time in to create quality content that stands out. Thanks for sharing!


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