No matter what industry you’re involved in, you will have undoubtedly heard the phrase “content is king”. This well-used quote was first coined in 1996 by internet pioneer Bill Gates when he penned an essay for the Microsoft website. In it, he predicted that clever use of content would be vital to ensuring the success of a business in the digital age, stating: “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
At Strawberry Forge we believe that this statement was prophetic, and over 25 years later it is arguably more true, relevant, and important than it has ever been. Here’s why:
What is Content?
Before we delve into what makes content so great, let’s first of all cover the basics and define what it actually means. In essence, it’s a catch-all term that encompasses anything that is created for consumption by your target audiences — such as blogs, newsletters, social media posts, and videos.
But how can companies use content to get noticed and drum up more business? The answer to that is via content marketing. This is a strategy that revolves around the creation and distribution of consistent, quality content designed to boost engagement, encourage traffic, and nurture relationships with an audience.
The concept of content marketing is not a new one, it has been around for decades. However, more recently the practice has been refined, streamlined, and the way we look at it has changed. Content marketing can give you direct access to your consumers on a level that other forms of marketing do not.
It is the ideal method of retaining your customers, while also acting as a way to engage with and target a new audience.
Why Content is Still King
Now we’ve outlined the basics of content, it’s time to look at why content remains king for businesses that want to succeed. Here are our thoughts:
Improves Search Rankings
The rise of digital has meant that the internet has become the dominant way of finding information. A quick check on a search engine like Google and you’re inundated with potential results, every one of them trying to sell something in one way or another. In addition, each of these companies will be vying to appear at the top spot, or at the very least the first page, as these are the positions that usually generate the most clicks.
This is achieved using a process called search engine optimisation (SEO), which basically uses content and other mechanics to make a website more attractive to platforms like Google, in the hope it will push them up the rankings.
In the old days, this was achieved by “keyword stuffing”, where companies would try to fit popular search terms into the content wherever possible — even if it didn’t make sense. The search engines soon cottoned onto this however, and released updated algorithms that put more value on content that the user would actually find useful and informative. Keywords are still important, they just need to be utilised in a much more sophisticated way.
An effective content marketing strategy will have SEO built-in, ensuring that every single piece is written in a way that is attractive to search engines — giving the business the best possible chance of hitting those lucrative top positions.
In a world where we are constantly bombarded by pop-up ads, questionable campaigns, plus the occasional invasive personalised targeting, consumers are becoming weary and skeptical of more traditional marketing. It also makes them more likely to seek out businesses they can trust and who appear to be experts in their field.
Effective content marketing can help portray your company as a thought-leader, somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about. Once you have built a relationship and earned their trust, they will be much more likely to buy from you.
Some key ways you can build relationships through engaging content include:
- Writing interesting blogs that both entertain and inform
- Publishing downloadable assets such as eBooks
- Producing visual content like videos and utilising social media
- Sending personalised newsletters
If you are able to form a strong enough bond with a consumer, they could even spread positive reviews of their experience to their friends, families, and more — funnelling additional business directly to you. Put the effort in and give your audience what they want and find out for yourself how much they will return the effort in kind. You’d be surprised how far it could take you.
Stand Out From the Crowd
In recent years, businesses have had huge success by expressing their brand’s personality directly with their audience. Standing out from the crowd and competition will draw eyes to your product, and go a long way to making you appear unique and special.
Traditionally, a lot of businesses have presented themselves as professional and to the point. But content represents an opportunity for firms to truly express themselves and get across their unique identity and voice.
This distinct tone and personality that you can create with your content output will allow you to show off exactly what you’re all about and allow yourself to shine.
As we come out of a period of unprecedented uncertainty, companies are feeling the pinch more than ever, and need a cost-effective solution to marketing. The great thing about content is that it is extremely flexible and can be moulded exactly how you want it.
Need to write something a bit differently? Want to freshen up your tone of voice? Content marketing lets you do this with ease. Traditional forms of marketing, such as print advertising, cannot keep up. This makes content marketing by far the most cost-effective method of attracting an audience.
Now that you understand why content is still king, perhaps now would be an excellent opportunity to review your existing output and unlock your company’s true potential.
At Strawberry Forge, we understand the true power of the written word and are able to build a platform for you that encourages sustainable, consistent growth via the use of outstanding content. We will gain a thorough understanding of your goals and objectives to build a tailor-made strategy that is driven to generate real results. Contact us today to find out more.