Who is the King of Marketing, Content or Conversation?

Who is the King of Marketing, Content or Conversation?

Please read this discussion and share your insight on the same.

A: Businesses which underestimate #content will be rejected by the smart audience.

B: Sometimes I feel that “content” is mistaken by many in the PR industry as the destination. It is the vehicle. “Conversation” is King, not “content”. Content that doesn’t have a digital equivalent, extension or means to be shared online (by brand or user) isn’t worth creating.

A: No, content is not the vehicle, it is the driver of both traditional and digital media. Secondly, a conversation is nothing but content. It is the soul of every message and communication. Finally, how you share the information is as important as what you share.

B: Disagree. For me, the end goal is conversation (instigation, inclusion, advocacy, participation…). Content is one way (and an increasingly important) to achieve this. But people are talking already. Good content fuels the conversation. In the absence of content, people still talk.

A: In the absence of content, people talk, but don’ articulate, they pursue but fail to convince. And then, the end result is obvious – ZERO CONTENMENT.

B: Depends which side you’re coming from. In the case of reputation management or crisis communication, people will have an opinion and through conversations with others will form more opinions. Brand content can shape this and is valuable. But, it is not always the starting point.

A: When you say ‘opinion,’ then, what is the significance of an op-ed article? An opinion can change into a #crisis with a slight carelessness of words.

B: I think you’ve misunderstood my point which is that content can fuel the flames conversation, but isn’t always exclusively the catalysis for the initial fire. I’m not saying it’s pointless – far from it. Engagement isn’t a lineal path that starts with content.

B: Content is a key component in a complex communication ecosystem. Goes back to my point of needing to define what “content” actually is. Is it a press release? Is it a website? Is it a quote on the back of a brand’s packaging? Is it a Retweet? Is it a LinkedIn comment?

B: All these could be defined as content. But they’re all designed to have a reaction or to elicit engagement. That, for me, is the “conversation.” The two are not the same, but can overlap. However, the end goal should always be talkability.

B: And finally, if we look at this discussion thread… Is it a piece of content in its own right? Possibly, what about today’s tweet between Pizza Hut and Leeds United? Is it the content that’s trending or the conversation? You can look at it both ways. Anyway, thanks for the chat!

A: Thanks for the conversation and sharing some valuable content with me. Have a great future ahead – successful and full of content.

**The above discussion is based on the conversation between two communication professionals on Twitter.