The phrase ‘content is king’ has been around for a very long time- over twenty years, but what does it mean exactly? And is it a phrase that is still relevant today, in 2024?
Content is king is a term popular in marketing. Originally coined by Bill Gates in a 1996 essay, it refers to the important role that content plays in bringing traffic to a business, and how the internet will be the home for it.
As for whether it is still relevant today, the answer is 100% yes. In fact, I believe that in this digital age with so many available platforms to share and create content, there has never been a time where it is so relevant and crucial to businesses big and small.
But what exactly is content? And why exactly is it still ‘king’? How can you make sure that the content you create is going to benefit your business in the way intended by the phrase ‘content is king’? Read on to find out more…
What Is Content?
Content is something that, especially in this day and age, everyone consumes in some form or another- usually digitally.
From a business’s perspective, content is a crucial asset that has the opportunity to build an audience, increase sales and drive traffic, as well as improve business reputation too.
In a more basic definition, content is information.
It can be a variety of different types of information- but it should build trust, establish reputation and be used tactfully. It should be valuable, get people engaged and reach the target audience perfectly, as well as being beneficial to the people consuming it to keep their interest.
The big one- it has to be consistent. This is 100% the key to creating great content that will be the ‘king’ of your business.
Why Is Content Still the King?
Whilst this might seem like a lot of information to take in, you can probably already see that there are lots of benefits to having great content, and therefore lots of reasons why content is still considered ‘the king’ in 2024. Here we are going to delve into just a few of them:
When a business creates content, they are essentially speaking to their audience. They are providing them with statistics, trustworthy information, facts, inside information about the business or industry- etc. All of these things help to build a bond with the audience, who gain trust in the business because of the content they are sharing, in turn improving their reputation.
When you think about the fact that content these days can be free to create and distribute, and how wide an audience content can reach, it has never been easier to build this bond with the audience that is essential to businesses big and small.
Builds an Audience
Not only does content build a trustworthy relationship with the business audience, but it also builds an audience. When people want to find something out, or have a question about something and they enter these keywords into a search engine, they are presented with pages and pages of search results.
When a business creates their content, uses proper search engine optimisation and publishes it- the audience is presented with their content, they read it, learn more about the brand and, in an ideal world, make a purchase with them.
Here are just a few examples of the kind of content that establishes and builds relationships with an audience/customers:
- How-to guides
- Educational posts- about your industry, business, staff
- Promotional content- products/services
- Entertaining content- behind the scenes, day in the lifes
Helps to Understand the Audience
So far we’ve discussed how content has the ability to build an audience and gain their trust, but another important role that content has is that it also helps the business to understand their audience too.
This is an incredibly important part of content marketing for businesses, because if their content does not speak to its audience, it’s not effective.
Content, when done correctly, can help to increase customers and/or sales and conversions, but only if it speaks to the audience properly. By producing content and looking at the statistics, you can figure out which keywords attract the most attention for your business, how people are finding your business, how people are engaging with the content, which kind of posts do better than others and even what pain points they have.
All of this information is crucial to a business’s success, and can be easily found through distributing content that, in turn, will be made more valuable the more you learn about your audience too.
Tips for Creating ‘King Like’ Content
So, now that we have established that content is, indeed, still the king, how are you supposed to know how to create content that shines? Or how do you make your existing content better? Here are a few tips to consider:
Put Yourself in the Position of Your Audience
We have spoken a lot already about the importance of content in understanding your audience and what they want from your business. But even if you don’t have pages and pages of stats yet to give you a detailed insight, before you start to create a piece of content it is a good idea to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and think about the following things:
- Who are you trying to reach with your content? Think about age demographic, industry etc.
- What do they need from your product or service? What are their pain points?
- How do they consume content? Is there a particular platform that is used more by your audience than another?
- How does your product or service address their pain points, and how do you directly get this across in your content?
Any way you are able to learn a bit more about your audience is a key to creating great content that does everything discussed in the above section, ensuring your content is, indeed, the king.
Optimise Your Content to Give It That Royal Shine
You can only consider the content you create to be ‘king-like’ if you optimise it properly. You can make the best content you can but if it isn’t optimised it won’t have the best impact on your business.
By understanding SEO (search engine optimisation), you can create titles, meta descriptions and content that is search engine friendly, increases your audience and encourages action.
Now, SEO is a big topic (like huge) and not something that can simply be touched on. For the purpose of this article though, all you need to know is that SEO is essential to any piece of content, and it is what will drive traffic to your content, hopefully converting them into leads and sales in the process.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Whilst a lot of people will think that a ‘throw it at the wall and hope it sticks’ sort of method is fine for creating content for their business, if you truly want your content to reflect the ‘content is king’ phrase, you have to have some kind of planning and strategy in place, even if, right at the start, it isn’t very detailed.
Planning ahead means that you can work out what content will be best and why, and spend the time making sure it is perfect, and also distributed perfectly across whichever channels you use. It also saves time and panic trying to put something together at the last second that possibly doesn’t reflect your business in the best way.
Make It Look Pretty!
This one maybe seems silly, but if you think about it, the visuals are just as important as the written word when it comes to making content. Content that looks shabby also looks unprofessional, and will not generate the same leads and engagement that professional, good looking content will.
Read also: Content Writing Tips for Beginners
Design plays such a huge role, not just for aesthetic reasons but because your content is the face of your brand, so you want it to represent it well. I know that when I consume content online, I am naturally drawn to things that are visually pleasing, and are more likely to engage with them- and I am sure lots of people will agree with me on that.
Read also: UX and UX in Digital Marketing
Though first said over 20 years ago, the term ‘content is king’ is still very much relevant today, if not more so than it ever was. Spoken in the days before Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and everything else, it is quite mad to think about the home that content has in our social media and website channels, and how much they are the backbone of successful businesses.
Content is absolutely still the king, and carefully crafted, optimised and targeted content can have benefits for businesses that are unmatched in other marketing tactics. 2024 brings numerous platforms for content to be shared on, audiences to be reached, sales to grow and reputations to build, and the impact that content can have should not be ignored. Though it can seem complicated getting your head around how to create content that benefits your business in ‘king-like’ ways, having a simple plan, well-designed, written and optimised content will set you on the right path.