In 1996, a certain individual at the helm of one of the world’s most well-known technology companies said in an essay that “content is king”. But whilst there are numerous debates online and offline regarding whether this is still true, for any business – from global tech giants to local florists – we at AAA Digital Marketing believe that one thing is undeniable:
Quality content rules.
But does content still matter as much as other forms of marketing? And what makes content valuable? Whilst the latter takes a bit more explaining, the first question is easy to answer.
Short answer: yes.
Long answer: yes, perhaps more so than ever before.
Does Content Still Matter?
Whenever you browse the internet, you will undoubtedly come across adverts related to websites you have previously visited, showing you various tailored products and services based on what you search for.
This is the power of paid advertising, and for many years it has served businesses well in spreading their offerings to as wide a net of customers as possible. Paid adverts used to be incredibly effective at retaining customer loyalty and have a measurable impact on reducing online shopping cart abandons.
We say ‘used to be’, because chances are some – if not the majority – of the people reading this will say “I don’t see adverts because I’ve got an ad blocker installed.” And you are not alone. Hundreds of millions of devices have ad-blocking software installed across the globe to make their online experience more enjoyable and less obstructed by annoying adverts.
But for businesses which have been pumping huge portions of their marketing budgets on paid adverts, this is a massive problem, as the return on the investment – through capturing customers and selling products – has been drastically cut.
The solution? Content, shared across as many platforms as possible and in as many formats as possible. Whilst on paper (or screen) this may sound straightforward, producing quality content requires more work, although the rewards are certainly worth it.
What Makes Quality Content?
To understand how to make valuable content your customers – past, present, and future – will want to consume, it’s first worth establishing what exactly content is. Pre-internet content was much more simplified, but thanks to developments in software, businesses can now utilize more forms of content than ever before, including:
- White papers
- Social media posts/comments
…and so on! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it highlights an important point: almost anything online is content in one way or another. More obvious examples, like blogs or vlogs, are there for your customers to consume, but even your products or any interactions you have with other people on social media platforms count as content.
In other words, content is everywhere and everything.
However, AAA Digital Marketing is not after content – we want quality content, which brings us back to the question:
What makes one piece of content more valuable than any other?
It all comes down to strategy.
A copywriter could write the best article on a given subject, complete with the most well-researched SEO keywords. A graphic designer can create a stunning infographic that perfectly distills a large volume of information in an easy to digest and accessible format. A video marketer could conduct a well-formatted interview with their CEO that highlights the strengths of their business and their plans for future growth.
But it is all completely meaningless if the content is not backed by a viable, thorough strategy to get it to its target audience. Whilst your customers may come across your content organically, for example by searching on Google or them already being aware of your products and services, you as a business need to be able to cast your net much wider.
So, the first trick to making quality content is to create it and then share it with everyone you possibly can, through every medium available to you, like social media posts or email marketing campaigns.
But note, this should never be treated as a one-off exercise because the best content is something that can be shared again, and again, and again. We call this “evergreen content”, and this is the ultimate goal for any content marketer or business wanting to produce an effective content marketing strategy.
Creating high-quality content takes time, which translates to higher costs, so whenever possible, businesses should be in the habit of finding ways to make their content stick around and be relevant for as long as possible. But this does not necessarily mean marketers need to have a ‘third eye’ and be able to predict the future. Like any plant, quality content can be maintained by regular editing to keep it updated and relevant.
And if it stays relevant, it will stay at the top of those much-prized search engine rankings, giving you an appreciable boost over competitors as you battle to attract the highest number of customers.
This in turn will help you increase website traffic, generate leads that can be converted to sales, and grow the reputation of your brand.
In 1996, Bill Gates was entirely correct to say that “content is king”. With paid advertising taking a hit as internet users become increasingly more combative to obtrusive or irrelevant adverts, content has come back to the foreground.
But with the millions of businesses out there competing to sell their product or service to the rest of us, content needs to have a purpose and be seen. It is not enough to simply pump out content without thought. It needs to be properly researched, well-designed, and have an effective and in-depth strategy to get the most out of it and get it seen by as large an audience as possible.
Because no matter what your business is, no matter how big it is, quality content rules.