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I have been noticing a little phrase being thrown around a lot recently, and that is Context is King. Many seem to feel it is the next evolutionary step for the Content is King adage. The distinction they are trying to make is that content is meaningless if it exists outside of a well-defined and implemented context.

Really? This is Earth-shattering news? Isn’t that the same as saying “Content isn’t King. Complete sentences on a meaningful topic in the right location is King.”

The truth is if you aren’t concerned with context then you aren’t creating content … you’re simply typing. If content creation isn’t taking into account context from the beginning then it has already lost. Sort of like the tree falling in the forest question: Is it content if no one reads, sees, follows or (most) importantly) is engaged by it? Content creation doesn’t exist outside of its context; they are intimately linked, one directly impacting the other.

Context and content need to be created with the goals of both the reader or viewer and the creators taken into account, making sure both are adequately represented. This is done by first deciding what you, the creator, wish to achieve. Do you want to sell, educate, inform, market, differentiate, etc.? Then you must take into account what your readers want. Do they want information on your company or products? Do they want to learn about the industry? Do they even want to be sold to right now?

In other words proper context is created when the goals of the creator meet with the goals of the reader/viewer/follower. And inversely, good content is created when you know what context the reader/viewer/follower is looking for and create to that need.

They both work toward the same end; how effectively or ineffectively they work depends on understand the relationship they have with one another. This comes from planning, review, research and a quality system of writers and editors who understand this dynamic and work to implement it, not work to try and dismiss one element in favor of another.

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