Content is King, what does it mean!?
Bill Gates is said to have first coined the phrase “Content is King.” And while he was not the first to mention it, his use of the phrase placed it at the top of the SEO strategists most sought after memes. And, it remains true today even though he said it way back in the ancient internet times of 1996. Here is his essay, (thanks @HeathEvans!)
So, what makes content so good?
Before we can dive into an answer, we first must understand what content actually is and what it’s a king of. Content on the internet comes in various forms; news, podcast, blog post, infographics, charts, e-books, white-papers, email newsletters, case studies, how-to-guides, videos, interviews and so on. Each of these forms can entertain or inform. And most can do both. These things are the content of which we speak of.
When we use the phrase “content is king” we’re typically comparing to all the other web practices that we might participate in, these are the things it’s a king of. These other things include development, organization, social media, promotion, marketing, publishing, ect. Here’s the rub; content is included in all those practices, hence why it’s the king of them. You cannot market if you don’t have content, you cannot post to social media without content, you cannot publish a website without content. In other words, content is central to the success of any website and required for virtually every internet practice.
What’s it good for?
It’s Great for SEO.
High quality and engaging content has a huge impact on SEO and search engines rankings. First, it helps to organically rank a website for relevant search terms and keywords. Google, Bing, and Yahoo, will better understand your site and it’s content (if it’s good content). As a result, you’ll get high quality visitors.
It encourages engagement.
If your content is genuinely good it might encourage a user to share it on social media, or write about you on their blog, or talk about you to their friends. At the very least, users will pause to consume the content which will help them to understand your brand message. This understanding goes a long way when it comes to creating brand awareness and trust. If your content is not good, then your visitors will just scroll past.
Content adds value.
Good content educates users about your brand and your products. The more a customer understands, the more they will value your offering. Good content can literally enable you to increase your prices. When people have an emotional investment in a product, they will pay more for it (just look at Apple).
Content increases traffic.
The more engaging content you have on the site, the more your visitors will be inspired to come back or stay longer. This means you have more opportunities to land them as a customer. Plus, if they consume enough of your content they will become a brand ambassador for you, meaning they’ll start talking about your content, essentially marketing your company for you, for free.
What makes good content?
It must be original.
Google punishes you for re-used or re-hashed content. Seriously, if you take content from another website, google will decrease your search rankings, plus, thats stealing. So, don’t do it.
Original content does not mean taking an old idea and saying it in a new way. Originality goes a long way. If your content is the same old content that’s everywhere then nobody is going to share or link to it, and that’s the whole point of original content. For example: this blog post probably wont get shared… content is talk about everywhere.
Write awesome headlines.
A good headline engages our curiosity muscle. Your headlines should pose a questions and make a statement all at once. A good headline should be quick, easy to read, and appropriate to your audience. But, it should be general enough to engage new audience members. If you’re going to spend time writing your content, then write a good headline. Rhyms are cool 😉
Make your content actionable.
Your content should provide something for your readers to do, right now. Good content should provide readers with a sense of how to apply your information. They should know what to do with it, but it should also respect them. Put some trust into your audience and allow them to know what’s best. Present tips and ideas, not systems and processes.
The single most appealing attribute of a person is passion. This is true in dating and this is true in content. If you present you content with passion, people will engage with it more. Your enthusiasm will shine through and your readers will trust and engage more. This passion helps to create an emotional investment in what you have to say. It’s easier for a customer to believe, if you demonstrate that belief first.
The very first course I took in college was a course called “Joining the Conversation.” This course focused on defining the conversations around you and then joining them. As business owners or brand leaders we need to be in charge defining our own conversation, and making it easy for people to join. This is the main focus of social media, but we can do a lot to engage our audience with our content as well. Ask questions, offer information, engage in conversation. It does no good to shout into a void and hope someone is listening, we must converse. Unfortunately, there’s an entire internet between us and our audience.
Good question. Technology companies like Mindshare are focused on creating a more connected world through technology. Social media sites (as much as we hate them) have made this connection easier. There are tools, ideas, resources and just fun things that can help us engage in conversation. So, use them! Get on social media and hang out. Talk about yourself throughout the internet. Try out influencer marketing, reach out to other brands, create collaborations, go to events.
There is no definite formula for the success of your business or your brand, so experiment as much as you can! Then, of course, measure your success and refine your tactics.