Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Content Trap Forces Marketers to Re-Think Their Basic Premises


“Getting things right requires understanding how small things are tied to big ones.”
--Bharat Anand, The Content Trap

"Nearly 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 3 million pieces of content to Facebook and 230,000 new photos to Instagram EVERY MINUTE."
--Bharat Anand, The Content Trap

"Compete in a world of four broadcast channels and you know what you are up against. Compete against 900 channels, millions of short-form videos and re-releases of entire libraries of video archives and it’s a strategic and marketing nightmare to make consumers aware of what you’re producing."
--Bharat Anand, The Content Trap

During the past ten to fifteen years, one of my most oft-repeated phrases has been, "Content is King." Philosophically, I had been firmly rooted into this idea, which has been a driving force behind my motivation to produce fresh content every day on this blog. I have been wedded to the notion of being a content generator as opposed to being a content sharer. "Content is King," I declared to any who would listen.

Until now.

I've been reading a relatively new book by an author whose aim is to shake the foundations of this idea which has become a mantra of today's online marketing mavens.

One of the biggest problems in business today is the relentless search for “best practices” as if success (a viral video) had something to do with set rules or decisions. As in a wildfire, after the initial spark it is the conditions that determine how fast and wild the fire will rage.

Media observers have historically and repeatedly thought that new technologies would destroy incumbents. That was the predicted effect of radio on music sales, television on radio, VCRs on ad revenue, etc. In each case the results turned out different….

Initially, Anand's ideas seem counter-intuitive. But when as you read the logic behind his arguments it will be like a sun emerging on the horizon to reveal a landscape half-hidden by darkness.

Here are a couple reviews from Amazon:

“Bharat Anand’s The Content Trap is a masterful and thought-provoking book that has reshaped my understanding of content in the digital landscape. For every artist, agent, marketer, creative person, or strategist—even if you think you don’t have time, read this book anyway.”
—Ariel Emanuel, co-CEO, WME | IMG

“In my professional life I have seen audiences’ relationship with movies, television programming and music be radically transformed by the digital revolution. Bharat Anand’s book is invaluable in its analysis of how this change has affected the media space and in particular how consumers relate to the content that we are creating. It helps to explain what has happened and also provides insights as to what we might expect. I thoroughly recommend it.”
—Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment

“The Content Trap by Bharat Anand is a must-read for anyone entering the digital age of business. It corrects common misperceptions that are based on assumptions rather than fact-based research. Filled with anecdotes and case studies, it will free you from making mistakes that others have learned from. It is a page-turner.”
—Deepak Chopra

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I haven't lost faith in the importance of content creation. I have, however, been reminded of other principles--which I have actually learned through experience but never formally articulated--that are equally, if not more, essential to marketing and personal success.

Here's the book. I've not yet finished it myself, so you won't find it in our Duluth library till I return it later this month. Once you see what Bharat Anand is saying, you will have acquired an important edge on your competition,

* * * *
Bonus Recommendation: Obvious Adams -- The Story of a Successful Businessman
Obvious Adams was published in 1906, so you will not find one word of advice for Internet marketers, will you? It's ideas are old a moldy, right? Wrong.

It's basic principle has to do with thinking for yourself, observing with unbiased eyes and seeing what is really happening. Then making recommendations. You can't prescribe the correct medicine until you have performed the correct diagnosis.

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Meantime, life goes on all around you. Keep pressing on.

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