When it comes to overused phrases in the world of marketing, few other expressions can top “Content is King”. At the worst of times, it’s a phrased that’s used to unnecessarily upsell a client or update a website. But at the best of times, it’s a keen and catchy observation into just how important content is on the internet.
The phrase “Content is King” was actually popularised in a 1996 essay by Bill Gates, where he said the internet will become ‘a marketplace for content’. All these years later, that prediction rings true, and it reminds us of two key points.
First, content remains central to digital marketing, even in 2020, and second, when Bill Gates talks, we should all listen.
To find out why “Content is King” is more than just an overused phrase, check out our 6 reasons why quality content still rules in the realm of digital marketing.
1. Content Builds Your Brand Without Being Too Sales-y
The ultimate goal of digital marketing – or any marketing for that matter – is to become the brand that people turn to. You don’t just want people to be googling your products and services. You want them to Google your name or head straight to your website.
Lots of marketing efforts can put you in the picture, but content marketing is perhaps the most effective and least expensive way to stand apart.
The key is to create content not about your products or services specifically, but content that creates value and provides solutions for your audience. By putting the right content in front of the right audience, you can enhance your brand’s authority, reputation, and trustworthiness.
You could achieve the same effect by paying for advertising on radio, TV, billboards, and the internet. However, not only will all of these strategies involve creating content, but they will also be more expensive than simply writing and distributing your high-quality content online.
2. Content Builds Relationships
Building your brand and building relationships go hand in hand, so it’s no wonder both goals are powered by quality content.
Relationship building through content happens in a range of ways. Firstly, there are the relationships you build with customers by producing helpful, authoritative content. As well as building your brand recognition, this content can create devoted followers. These people will visit your website not just for the topics you cover, but to engage specifically with you. Every new piece of content you produce can further strengthen this relationship, and this makes people more likely to buy your products and services. In a survey, more than half of all consumers agreed that free content is an effective way to attract their business.
Content can also help build relationships and unlock opportunities within your industry. Practices such as guest blogging and link building use content as the means by which you reach out to industry bodies. Not only is this great for your website’s domain authority, it also helps you connect with useful industry contacts.
3. A Lot of the Content You Produce Will Be Evergreen
Things like comprehensive blog articles, a perfect ‘About Us’ page on a company website, or other onsite content will never need to be changed after it’s written. This is what’s called evergreen content.
On a practical level, you can create this content once and never have to worry about it again. As well as this, evergreen content can continue ranking in Google, generating traffic and conversions, educating your audience and building your brand for years after it has been produced.
Of course, not all content is evergreen. News stories, company updates, and content related to time-sensitive events are all examples of this. Sometimes, new or better information will come to light, and in these cases, slightly tweaking your evergreen content can have a great impact on your SEO
4. Content Is Incredibly Versatile
There are so many ways to create new content, meaning there is something for every business, every audience and every niche. There are more than 500 million blogs and at least 1 million podcasts on the internet, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are some forms of content you can create:
- On-page website content
- Blogging and long-form articles
- Case studies
- Templates and checklists
- Courses, presentations and webinars
- Social media posts
5. There’s a Type of Content for Every Step in the Buyer’s Journey
People don’t usually just buy things on first glance, but rather, they go on a journey that marketers have mapped into three stages:
- Awareness: Your customer is aware of a problem (e.g. a leaking toilet).
- Consideration: The customer is considering their options, including different plumbing companies and DIY repairs.
- Intent: Your customer intends to make a purchase and call your plumbing company.
You should create quality content for every stage of the buyer’s journey, which will help bring customers closer to making a purchase.
For example, troubleshooting checklists for those who are aware of their leaking toilets, FAQs for those who are comparing products and services, and free estimates/coupons for customers who are in the intent phase.
To learn more about creating content for the buyer’s journey, explore this guide from HubSpot.
6. Content Is the Backbone of All Your Marketing Strategies
Content is truly the king of digital marketing because it is indispensable to all marketing efforts. Even if you aren’t explicitly doing content marketing, you are using content.
Keyword-optimised, high-quality content is essential for your on-page SEO, while high-quality, high-value content is the backbone of a great link building strategy.
Great content powers social media campaigns, PPC strategies, email marketing efforts, product descriptions and much more. Even user-generated content in the form of reviews can positively impact on your business. To generate more online reviews for your business, consider the Supple Reviews tool.
Outside digital marketing, content is front and centre in billboards, radio ads, TV advertising, direct mail campaigns, product catalogues and even packaging.
Making Your Mark in the Content Marketplace
It’s clear that content is not only still king, but that it is indispensable to both your online and offline marketing strategies. You could hire a content writer, work with a digital marketing agency, or do the job yourself. Whatever path you choose, it is essential that you make content a central part of your marketing efforts in 2020 and beyond.