I remember the first months of 2010 like it was yesterday. I was a student, in my first year of college, trying to make a few bucks by doing some online work. Since I was using Adobe Photoshop for a few years, I tried designing logos and banners. Besides this, I had a thing for putting words together, so I also got a few writing jobs. Nothing special, just some quick and easy money.
Until one day, when a guy from France wanted some articles about the Eurostar train, specifying that I should use some words he provided in the body. No idea why he wanted this…
It took me some time to figure out that this was actually my first ‘encounter’ with SEO and content marketing.
Years passed and I got more involved in this, working as an SEO specialist, then as a digital marketing consultant. I wrote a lot of content and understood why everybody claims that it’s king. As a matter of fact, the first time when “content is king” was used was back in 1996, when Bill Gates was publishing an essay with the same title on the Microsoft website.
“ Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
He probably had no idea about how many people will talk about content being king in a few years or, of course, how right he actually was.
23 years later, content retains its title and it’s going to keep it for a lot of time from now on. Oh, and I’m not the only one saying this, as a lot of people from this entire online marketing game share the same impression, due to a couple of reasons.
It answers questions
Let’s get back to the basics. When somebody is typing a query into Google, their expectation is to instantly receive an answer. In most cases, it’s at the top of search results, because the big G is pretty darn fast when it comes to finding answers.
But did you ever wondered how that did that website reached the first position in search results, for that query? Through content. Content that answers questions!
It speaks directly to potential customers
By creating content that makes your potential customers feel like they finally found what they were searching for, you’re basically having a conversation with them.
What you’re doing through content is taking of your time and putting down information people interested in what you’re offering could find useful or, even more, help them solve their problems.
Basically, you’re showing them that you care about them and you’re willing to offer something – your expertise – for free. And you know what this does? It helps to build trust in your brand!
It encourages loyalty
Besides building trust, content has another superpower: it makes your readers feel a connection to your brand. And believe me, a visitor who feels this is way more valuable than one who sees your business as a simple logo and brand.
It’s better than ads
You weren’t expecting this, right? Well, it appears that more than 70 per cent of people prefers receiving information from articles and not ads, according to a recent study.
If you update your website with fresh new content regularly and make it easy to find, you are on the right path! The same study says that people are more likely to research online when they need information about a specific product or service, so if your content marketing strategy is on point, your chances of convincing them to buy for you can significantly increase.
And this leads to probably the number one reason why content is essential for any business…
It sells the product!
I’ll keep this short: content can be the best sales pitch you could ever opt for. Simple as that.
Whether you’re using it to demonstrate the practical uses of what you’re selling, tell how it works or just put together tutorials for your product or service, it will remain one of the most effective marketing tools.
Businesses, no matter if they’re big or small ones, will always need content to make their brands visible and, obviously profitable. And this is why content will always stay at the forefront of digital marketing, for a lot of years to come.
However, Mr Gates, we’re planning to make the title of your essay forgotten. Content will be chief.
Welcome, Content Chief!