Why “Content Is King” and Other Platitudes Won’t Save Your Marketing

Changing that first word isn’t groundbreaking, and we need to stop acting like it is

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

We’ve all been there. Sitting inside a conference hall, looking at a PowerPoint with “_____ is King” is emblazoned on the screen in a 100-point font. It’s screaming at you, this nugget of marketing gold that will transform how you do everything, fix all of your marketing mistakes, and finally grant you the epiphany you’ve been waiting for.

Oh, that isn’t how that worked?

Like most things, the use of this comes from a good place. Marketers want to share their message in a quick sentence that encapsulates how you create content, speak to your audience, and more. The problem comes with its overuse, and the next wannabe thought leader jumping in to add their spin on it. Content is King. Community is King. Context is King. How about no.

It’s become a crutch for the next marketer to step up with their pivot. Their version of the “be human” or “be authentic” camp. People who are paid for their originality are reading blogs and watching conference sessions that all blend into a muddled mess of whatever the phrase of the year is. Have we lost our creativity, or are we just overthinking all of this?

Depending on how cynical or, honestly, how tired you are, the idea of cliche and snackable content you can use to share your message is either fantastic or headache-inducing. Like most things, overuse kills what was once insightful. We attend talks that focus on a general audience, and so we see the same watered-down content we’ve seen before — just with a different speaker and deck design.

When it comes to sitting in another session, being told the same things over and over again, when does it sink in, and when does it become so repetitive that you tune it out? It’s a fine line. The fact is, unless you ADORE the speaker/thought leader giving out this information, you may need to hear it from multiple sources before it feels like a marketing truth. A wave of people telling you to be authentic, to talk to your audience where they are, and other vital statements can potentially shift how we as marketers perform our daily tasks, but our threshold for the wave changes.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend A LOT of conferences this year. It’s been incredible, and yet I’m reminded that the real key to these conferences isn’t the sessions; it’s the connections you make while there. There are plenty of blogs, webinars, and more than can espouse the same tips and tricks. It’s in the experience where you grow, and that’s the crux of it.

The fact is, it’s tempting to believe that a simple sentence will fix all of your issues. The problem is that you just have to sit down and do the work. That may be market research, analytics, persona builds, customer journey maps, social media strategy… the list goes on and on. But you have to do it. Clutching a blanketed sentence for salvation is just easier.


This is where differentiation begins. This is where you find the people who deliver results versus simply dropping names. Anyone can parrot the latest marketing buzzword or phrase, but can what can you provide that they can’t? What have you created for your clients? What is your return?

By focusing on results instead of just cliches, you immediately stand out and showcase what you can bring to the table — what you can do to solve the problems facing today’s marketers and businesses.

What are your results?

Written by

Digital Marketing Strategist | Social Listening Analyst | Featured in The Startup, Better Marketing, and Digital Vault, and The Next Web | In The Trenches

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