It’s British Egg Week this week (30th September- 6th October) in case you didn’t have this date earmarked in your diary. I am sure there will be tons of blogs coming out citing various egg puns, debates about what classifies as an “organic egg” or tips for getting the perfect soft boiled egg.
As much as I personally love eggs, I am actually interested in the age-old question of what came first, the chicken or the egg.
Which came first?
One of my team told me that dinosaurs laid eggs, then a mutation occurred causing features to develop, and millions of years later chickens evolved. When I Googled it, there seems to be a 50/50 split between the results. The Metro cite that the chicken must have come first as eggs can only be possible due to protein found in chicken’s ovaries.
To be honest I don’t really care what came first, I am more intrigued by why this one question has been sparking debate and deep thinking for thousands of years. Apparently it even interested the minds of some of the greats including Aristotle (384 – 322 BC), for he stated:
“If there has been a first man he must have been born without father or mother – which is repugnant to nature. For there could not have been a first egg to give a beginning to birds, or there should have been a first bird, which gave a beginning to eggs; for a bird comes from an egg.”
There is even an interest here in terms of existentialism – for if the egg contained the essence which makes up the chicken then the egg must have come first. What I like so much about this well-known question is that if you take the nature of it you can relate it to the fact that so much of what we do in modern life stems from things we have learnt in the past, even if we think they are new.
How can we apply this to content marketing?
Content marketing is very much this shiny ‘new’ buzzword encompassing many techniques and strategies, which could in fact date back thousands of years. However, I am a big believer that it is important to understand the behaviour and methods that have worked in the past and adapt them to 21st century life.
Even in the Google search I did for this chicken and egg question there were over 1.2 million returned results. Will there ever be a unique thought or comment again now that the Internet dominates our culture?
I don’t know the answer to that but I do know that as we find these results to our questions so much faster and easier, it means we have to be more precise in the types of content we put out there. To avoid just blending in with the rest of the noise we need a strategy, a distinctive voice and a specific audience that we want to reach.
With blog creation becoming the norm, so many people are just writing things for the sake of it, perhaps to boost self-importance and gain a feeling of power and success. This means that the waters are much more murky than normal and it is actually becoming harder to find the correct answer to what you were looking for in the first place, even with the Hummingbird update.
The chicken or the egg? Content or strategy?
To refer back to the question at hand, in my mind, content strategy is the egg and content creation is the chicken. As yes, I am a believer that the egg came first!
Nothing grinds my gears more than people just creating content because everyone is doing it and they don’t want their voice to not be heard. Content marketing strategies come in many forms and at times require lots of techniques however I really feel it can be simple if you break it down into four key focus areas:
What do I want to say (be sure to think of the why)?
Who do I want to listen?
What do I want them to do afterwards?
How do I want them to perceive me?
Because really, does screaming in a room full of other people screaming get as much attention as whispering something meaningful in the ear of one person?