Why content is no longer the king, but rather connections.
The main reason why I grabbed this book was to learn more about content marketing. However, rather than learning about content I ended up learning more about the importance of creating connections through content. In his book Bharat Anand, guides us through the misbelief media companies have, on focusing on their content as their only value rather than seeing the whole picture of their business and understanding that their value lie on different areas. Although it was a heavy book with many interesting concepts that surely deserve a whole essay to discuss about,
in this essay, I will be focusing on few specific topics. In overall I will mention three points, the power of Network Effect, creating connections and the value of complements.
- Network Effect
This concept was very interesting to me as I am a big fan of start-ups. To understand the value un connections we need to understand what is a Network Effect.
“A network effect (also called network externality or demand-side economies of scale) is the positive effect described in economics and business that an additional user of a good or service has on the value of that product to others. When a network effect is present, the value of a product or service increases according to the number of others using it. -Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian (1999). Information Rules. Harvard Business School Press”
An easy example is Whatsapp, why do we use Whatsapp? Because we are able to communicate with our friends. What if our friends did not use Whatsapp? We would also not use it.
- Creating Connections
When creating a product or a service it is important to realize the networks or connections that can be built throughout different areas of the product which in essence increase its value.
What this book made me realize was that rather than create content, we should be creating connections. Current marketing strategies should not be focusing on creating “high quality content”. Which I have to say is one of the main value offerings of ääriviiva. One line from the book which stuck with me which says, “The content trap is to think that your content is the best, what can one single person could be creating on content, that millions of people are not creating every second?” Getting customers to like your advertising is good, getting customers to like your product is better, but getting customers to tell others about it, it’s the best. One example, Hershel a company famous for their backpacks has been using crowdsourced content for most of its social media life. Content that is high quality and low cost (almost free). Here is where I found the value on a community.
How can you help connect your users together? What brings your users together? Can you find a way of creating connections between your users? These few questions came to my mind while reading this part of the book.
Product Connections – Complements
Another interesting topic mentioned was on complements.
“A complement is any product or service where the availability of that complement increases value for your whole product. To put it another way, the cheaper is the complement, the greater the demand for your product.
One example that I find particularly intriguing is what movie theaters in some parts of the US and Europe have done over the last decade, is they saw theater-going declining. Your instinct might be what are interesting complements to movie theaters? So we think, oh, bigger seats, better movies, HD, popcorn. So yeah, that’s all true. But what some theaters have done is start offering childcare services right next door. And again, it’s one of those examples where you think about it and say, oh my gosh. That’s so obvious. The moment we have kids, we stop going to the movies.” https://hbr.org/ideacast/2016/11/how-focusing-on-content-leads-the-media-astray
I found complements very interesting because it helped me analyze several products and services offered by companies. It is good to understand that not all of them have the same purpose and that some of them are meant to add value to the main product of the line. Recently I have been thinking what possible complements could be created for our services.
What type of complements could we offer for our products/services? How can you use those complements to increase the value of your product?
This book was very interesting to read. To be able to meet the deadline I had to skip through a lot of material. I will probably save this book and read it, another time as the content was heavy to process and also very interesting. I learned very interesting concepts and the book allowed me to reconsider our approach to current social media marketing. Although I have not figured out how to use the complements for the products we offer, I find very valuable to have learned about the concept. Now I will consider it for my future projects.