I recently read a blog post by Jeff Bullas, who says “New Study Reveals: Content is King… Not Social Media”. The conclusion refers to the Online Publishers Association’s (OPA) analysis of its Internet Activity Index (IAI) which shows that the “content sites continue to be a place where consumers spend the majority of their online time”.
OPA produce research into online advertising and media consumption with the goal of advancing the online publishing industry, where the Internet Activity Index is a new way of looking at consumer engagement online.
This six-year analysis of the Internet Activity Index is a monthly gauge of the time being spent with:
- Content (Sites like NYTimes.com, ESPN.com and Edmunds.com (Content sites)
- Communications (websites offering email, and Instant messaging)
- Community (Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn)
- Commerce (such as Ebay, Amazon)
- Search (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc)
In his blog post, Jeff Bullas came up with five key findings from the study:
- Internet users continue to spend a majority of their “time” with Content sites, up from 34 percent of total time spent in 2003 to 42 percent in 2009, a 24 percent increase
- Emergence of Community (it wasn’t measured in 2003 as it wasn’t statistically significant enough and not on the radar)
- Content is still king; the content rich sites continue to be a place where consumers spend the majority of their online time and provide an environment for brand marketers to reach and engage with consumers despite the emergence of community sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace
- Community sites are reducing the share of online time by communications sites due to community sites ability to offer the same activities such as email and instant messaging more efficiently
- Time spent with Search doubled
This is of course good news for both Jeff and me, who are working with content marketing and PR. I guess that’s one of the reasons for why we are so committed to this topic. And it doesn’t surprise me that Jeff’s key take away is the importance to optimize and utilize content for social media. I completely agree.
But I would add a couple of reflections in this matter.
First, I believe there’s too much talk about the importance of great content, for the benefit of being remarkable by organisations themselves. I know Jeff are very much aware of being great is the basis of great content. But still, I’ve seen so many bad practices of organisations which aren’t. And that’s not only a bad idea, it might be devastating. From my perspective, I believe organisations should focus more of being “remarkable”, as Seth Godins says in his book “Purple Cow”. “Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service.”
Second; what’s the difference between “content sites” and “communities” these days really? I mean isn’t Facebook all about content? What about Pinterst, Tumblr, and other content curation social sites, are these content sites or communities? Probably both?
No, NYTimes is not a community – yet. But Mashable might be… almost, when they launched Mashable Follow – their new “social layer”? However, most of the content these days is published in some kind of social context. And most of todays news items are the basis for discussions.
Furthermore; if community sites are reducing the share of online time by communications sites due to community sites ability to offer the same activities, then we’re not spending less time to communicate, we just do it with new kind of communication sites, don’t we? It’s just a merge. Like the merge of Social and Search, right?
When we’re looking for solutions on our problems, we do search for them, on social networks as well as on the web? Or both on the same time… social search e.g Google Search – Plus your world.