Is Concept the New King in Marketing?

King laughing holding bottle and cup at a table with food

Was the idea ever really overthrown by the content, the way most marketers think it was? Did video kill the radio star?

You hire content managers. You dedicate talent and resources to developing email, web, and social media copy. You get monthly reports on how your content is performing.

You do all of this for the same reason we all do, because we’ve all heard the same thing over and over again until we dream about it: CONTENT is king. Content is the ride-or-die factor for SEO, it contains the call-to-action and encourages engagement, content is what drives traffic.

But…is it all those things? Or is content just one part of the bigger idea? A bigger idea that rules all. Here are three reasons why concept, not content, is king.

There is no content with a concept.

Every good marketer knows that you shouldn’t create content in a vacuum. You need to have a plan of action. An often lengthy, time-consuming marketing plan that will be your lighthouse for the next year, or five years, or ten years. That is part of the concept. You have to have a concept in order to create a plan around it, and the supportive content comes later.

Concept is the message, content is the story.

Is it the journey that is important, or the destination? While it is true that content helps tell the story, that story comes from the main message, the concept. Content is vital to making the message count, but it is just a method to deliver the concept.

The concept is also supported by strategy, design, targeting, video and social media. Content is important, of course, because it is what brings all of those to life, but it is still reliant on the concept.

Good content will die under a bad concept.

You can hire the best writer or the best agency, and they can produce absolutely killer content – on trend, well-written, perfect tone – but that content will fail if it is not connected to, and backed by, a great concept.

Without the concept, the content has no roots. It is just published and floating out there on the Internet, but no tether to your brand or your product. The overlying concept is what helps consumers and clients connect the content back to your business, and without one, you might get some likes and shares but you won’t be retaining that audience to reach your long-term goals.

So, against popular thought, it sounds like concept is king and content is the prince. Content is easy to map out once you have a concept. Developing a concept, though, is not as easy. It requires market research and thought-out website, social, email and print designs.

If you’re ready to make sure your concept and content are working together, digital agencies can help you nail down your concept. Continuing to work with that agency to create and deploy that concept’s content to help optimize your brand’s life.