A colleague sent me this quote recently, “Content is King, but distribution is Queen and she wears the pants.” I believe it was a joke but it got me to thinking about whether there was any truth in that statement.
For anyone interested, I did some digging and found that the quote was from Jonathan Perelman of BuzzFeed and featured in an article by Ryan Skinner of Forrester, Great Content Is Not Enough in October 2013.
But regardless of where the quote came from or when it was published, I wanted to take a deeper look at it to see if my colleague was onto something and more serious than I initially thought.
“Content is King” is an often used phrase that was popularized by Bill Gates in a speech in 1996. Since then, it’s thought of as gospel while at the same time B2B companies struggle with creating quality content on a regular basis.
However, there is little doubt that content feeds the marketing engine. I’ve talked about how creating content is a core marketing strategy several times on this blog so I clearly believe it’s the King. And I’m not sure the quote is saying anything less about the importance of content.
But then what about this Queen? Where does distribution fit in the bigger picture?
There is no doubt that the best content is of no use to any organization if it’s never read by your customers and prospects or other audiences you are targeting. So the fact this quote is saying the two go hand-in-hand is also not controversial for me. There is no doubt that distribution is critical and the number of options that exist continue to grow so it’s important to see which ones work for your company to reach your audience.
The difficult part of the quote for me is whether the Queen also “wears the pants”. Is this to mean that distribution is more important? Does distribution call the shots?
That’s where I don’t agree with the quote. In my mind it still comes down to producing quality content on a regular basis. And while distribution is absolutely critical, if there is nothing to distribute then what’s the point or if the content is not good then you have issues too. So, I’m really not sure distribution can or should call the shots or “wear the pants”.
In the end, I’m fine with the phrase “content is King, but distribution is Queen” but maybe they both wear the pants, or neither do (like in the photo 🙂 )?