Content is king? Nonsense

When you look at the crap people flock to online, you have to wonder if creating great content is worth it.

In the content marketing world, which is the same as the brand journalism world, which is the same as the corporate storytelling world, one slogan reigns supreme: Content is king.

Everybody knows that. In a world drenched with electronic content, your content better stand out if you want anyone to notice it. And for it to stand out, it better be really, really good. Interesting. Funny. Dramatic. Poignant. Sad. Informative. Touching. It has to be something, right?

Well . . . maybe not.

I mean, take a look at some of the crap that people are drawn to on social media platforms like Facebook. I was splashing about in my news stream the other day when I came across a couple of posts that made me question whether having good content really matters at all.

Both the posts have the same theme. Let’s call it the “Name something without a certain letter” theme. Here’s the first one:

Oh, you bet I can’t name a city without the letter “A” in it? Really? Why? Did someone tell you that I’m mentally challenged? Have you been talking to my wife?

Because, you know, it’s really not that hard to name a city without the letter “A” in it, is it? In fact, why don’t we start with SIX OF THE BIGGEST CITIES IN THE WORLD: New York City, London, Mexico City, Beijing, Tokyo and Delhi!

Or how about THE ETERNAL CITY, Rome? Or the city that started the Renaissance, Florence? Venice? Moscow? Edinburgh? Brussels? Toronto? Boston?

I think it might be harder to name a city that DOES have an A in it.

This post wouldn’t even work as a first-grade exercise. But look at the interaction on the damn thing: It has 70.3K likes and 615K comments. And that’s when I took the screen shot. God knows what those numbers are up to now.

The Facebookers were drawn to this post like maggots to crap.

If you think that post is stupid, look at this one:

Naming a city without an “A” in it was stupid enough, but name a dog without an “A” in it? How silly is that? At least with cities, you have to deal with actual cities. With dogs, you can name your dog anything!

So you want a dog name without an “A” in it? No problem. Let’s go with Kim Jung-il, Eieio, Putin, Missing Vowel, Psssst, Jesus! Or maybe Miley, Cyrus, or Idiot? How about Miley Cyrus the Idiot? Great name for a dog, and no As!

Not that you have to make up names to play this stupid game. Just go to the classics: Rover, Rex, Fido, Spot . . . not an “A” in any of em!

Hell, my two dogs growing up, Sherlock and Freckles, had no As. Neither do most of the famous dogs, like Huckleberry Hound or the Disney dynamic duo, Pluto and Goofy.

Why not just ask to name dogs that DO have an A in them! Lassie, yes! Or Astro, from the Jetsons!

Since you can name a dog anything you want, let’s throw Assface and Asshat out there (two As in each one! Double points!) In fact, you could do an entire Ass theme!!! Assface, Asshat, Asstro, Asstrosmurf, Asslicker (very appropriate name for both my dogs growing up).

Again, look at the participation in this nonsense: 17.2K likes and 148.9K comments.

Now, I know online and social content marketing is a lot more than counting likes and comments. But isn’t it a little depressing to see such asinine content draw so much attention?

Sometimes I think online marketers and content managers should forget about doing great content. Just ask people to come up with some stupid answers to stupid questions and they’ll flock to your page. I’ll even help you get started:

1. Name a vegetable without the letter A in it. Go!

2. Name a celebrity who has never been in rehab of some sort. Go!

3. Name a sexual position that doesn’t have a “Y” in it. Go! (That one is harder than it seems, isn’t it? Isn’t it?)

So get out there, and put out some stupid content! Facebookers will love you for it.

Sign up for Steve Crescenzo’s newsletter on corporate communication, Low Hanging Fruit, at www.crescenzocomm.com.

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