Photo by Suzy Hazelwood
As a newbie in the world of content creation, you can get overwhelmed. You consult the internet, and it offers you so many definitions. You are left to wonder which among these definitions is correct.
To know more about content, a newbie can easily research on the internet. It may confuse you but do not let it sway you in your quest to learn more about content. Perhaps, one day, you will get to own a definition that works for you.
Below is a list of easy definitions that might help you understand.
- “Content is the presentation of information for a purpose to an audience through a channel in a form.”
This is an old blog post dated August 23, 2011, from The Word Factory. It drew my attention when he broke the definition into components – information, purpose, audience, channel, & form.
Remembering these components will easily help you remember that in writing content, you give information to your chosen audience with a particular purpose in mind through a channel in any form you want.
Perhaps we can try dissecting the other definitions into words that seem like keywords. (We are not going into that yet.)
- “Content is the subject or ideas contained in something written, said, created, or represented.”
Cambride Dictionary’s definition is very simple. Unlike the definition from The Word Factory, it does not say anything about purpose, audience, and channel. It talks only of information (subject or ideas) in different forms (written, said, created, and represented).
- “Content is both information and communication: the sum total of the freshness, readability, relevancy, and usefulness of the information presented, and the manner in which it is presented.”
Business Dictionary defined the word content in a perspective of attributes (freshness, readability, relevancy, and usefulness). It defines content as information, and also as communication, which is right.
- “Content can take many forms – blog post, video, eBook, Tweet, infographic, advertisement, to name a few.”
Conductor defined content through the many different forms mentioned above. Well, internet readers cannot deny this. Most of us define content this way. It’s the easiest way to define content actually.
- “Content is the material that you produce to market your business and build relationships with customers.”
What is significant with this definition by Brightedge is the mention of marketing and building relationships. Who would have thought that content will evolve as something to use for marketing products and services, and eventually build strong ties with customers?
- “Content is everything marketers produce (and supporting docs and plans) that a customer or prospect might see, read, visit, or watch.”
Here, Kapost presented expectations – a customer might see, read, visit, or watch. Simple but catchy.
- “Content is information that provides a benefit to the person who consumes it.”
Kim Moutsos said, “Content is strangely hard to define.” The above definition breaks down to information, benefit, and consumption.
Her post ‘Content Marketing: What are we even talking about?’ details how people perceive content.
- “Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.”
Lee Odden listed 40+ definitions for content, but the above-mentioned from Avinash Kaushik G+ in his post is truly easy to understand. It captured this essence – add value though it does not mention the channel and the form. It obliterates the doubt you have about your content qualifying as content.
How do you find this list of definitions for content? You definitely have your own definition of content and individual motivation for content creation. It’s okay. Every content creator may have a different objective for creating content.
But we have to remember that content is different from content marketing. I hope this serves to dispel the confusion.