Selling your own content is the challenge when anyone can publish.

For content marketers, the phrase ‘content is king’ is an overused mantra that has probably lost its meaning. However, when Bill Gates popularized the phrase in an essay back in 1996 where he said, “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting,” it proved quite prophetic.

The beauty of digital is that publishing is easy. Anyone with a PC, internet connection and basically publish content. The drawback is that because it’s so easy to publish content, more content is being produced, so the challenge is getting seen.

With traditional content marketing, there is a more of a premise of guaranteed viewership because the audience is presumed to be less distracted. For example, if you broadcast on the radio, the ads would be heard because they are in the middle of the program. When you broadcast on TV, people might do something else during the commercial break, but as they don’t want to miss bits of the program, choose to at least partially hear or view the ads.

However, we have moved from a society of rigid entertainment structures to one of digital on-demand entertainment. People can choose to easily skip or ignore content, which does exist in traditional marketing, but with digital, the process of skipping or ignoring is just much easier.

So how do you get seen? I believe it boils down to two things, influence and value-add. The bottomline is that you need to have enough influence, or influential people or channels behind you that your content will be worthy of even viewed. This is why blogger outreach and influencer marketing have become so important in content strategy online. However, if you have influence and no value-add, people will learn that your content is useless and so will ignore you later on. Basically, it comes down to the marketing 101 principle of know your user, what they would find valuable, and give the content to them in the right channel.

There are loads of individual rule sets to follow for each digital channel, but ultimately the key difference with traditional and digital is that you need to prove your content’s value faster in digital. Give them a summary of the value of your content in the intro, not the body. Make the user want to see more right in the first three seconds, because they might skip through. The more influence you have, the longer the attention span they will give you, and the more value-add you provide, the more influence you are likely to gain.

Illustration by Edward Joson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jamie Tolentino works as a digital marketer at a global asset management firm. She writes for TNW (The Next Web) and blogs on the Huffington Post UK.

This article was first published in the November-December 2016 issue of adobo magazine.