Applications for streaming a variety of content, ranging from videos, music, tweets, podcasts, and blogs, to the latest additions like augmented reality experiences and NFTs, continue to evolve rapidly. The landscape of content creation has expanded to include numerous independent creators and unique corners of the internet, creating a diverse and dynamic environment that might be unfamiliar to outsiders.
Well-known platforms such as Reddit, TikTok, Discord, and the more recent addition of Clubhouse represent just a few examples of the specialized apps that facilitate the sharing of niche content.
Despite these changes, the supremacy of content remains unwavering. Our phones remain hubs for accessing and consuming content, a reality that becomes evident every time we unlock our devices. On a global scale, individuals dedicate a substantial amount of time—nearly 6.5 hours daily—to online activities, with a significant portion of that time allocated to consuming a rich variety of content. This encompasses video games, videos, podcasts, and interactions on social media platforms.
In this context, it’s essential to recognize the enduring importance of content as the driving force behind online engagement. The significance of content is not confined to the past; rather, it continues to shape the present and will significantly influence digital marketing strategies in the years ahead.
To gain a deeper understanding of why content retains its regal status and how it can be harnessed for effective digital marketing in 2023 and beyond, read on.
Who First Said the “Content is King” Quote?
A few months later, the Spice Girls would be ruling the airwaves, Motorola StarTACs would be stylishly clipped onto yuppie belts, and the world would bid farewell to 2Pac.
In the early days of 1991, a significant moment in the tech world occurred when Bill Gates penned an essay titled “Content is King” for the Microsoft website. More than 25 years later, this essay still holds a place of prominence, its insights echoing through the corridors of time. In this essay, Gates made a bold prediction that content would emerge as the internet’s prime revenue generator as technology advanced.
Drawing an analogy to the way broadcasting garnered profits through content, Gates foresaw a similar trajectory for the internet: “In the same way that broadcasting made its money through content, I expect the Internet will make its money through content.” He envisaged that as the internet evolved, content would undergo a transformation, shifting away from the realms of traditional TV, radio, and subscription services. Instead, it would embrace software-driven experiences, independent creators, and interactive forms of content.
While recent years have witnessed streaming services and news outlets turning to digital subscriptions as a means of monetization, Gates’ perspective on content is more expansive. He contemplated whether entities that catered to specific interest groups through print media could successfully replicate their endeavors online. The future prospects of certain printed magazines even hung in the balance.
Gates’ prophetic insights remind us of the ever-evolving nature of content in the digital age, shaping industries and transforming how audiences engage with information and entertainment. The notion that “Content is King” has transcended time, remaining a central principle in the digital landscape.
Content is King Because It Levels the Playing Field
In the present day, the supremacy of content reigns supreme, as websites and businesses that offer exceptional content flourish by attracting and nurturing online audiences. However, the proclamation of content as king dates back to a time when the landscape of internet content brought about a democratization of opportunities.
Back in 1996, Bill Gates’ insights into the future didn’t encompass the full scope of algorithms and the rise of social media (Mark Zuckerberg was a mere 12 years old at that point). Yet, he did possess a foresight that the internet would revolutionize content creation, opening doors for independent creators and small businesses to thrive:
“What’s really exciting about this is that it opens up the opportunity for the small guys. The new ways to create content pay off for the most talented and creative individuals. In the new marketplace, anyone who can create something of value (a.k.a. good content) will find a niche audience to enjoy it.”
Gates highlighted the empowering aspect of the internet, emphasizing that individuals armed with a PC and a modem could become creators, contributing their unique content to the digital realm. This perspective foresaw a world where innovation, creativity, and quality would determine success, allowing even the smallest players to have a significant impact.
As time unfolded, Gates’ vision played out in the emergence of diverse content forms, the rise of influencers, and the democratization of information sharing. The concept that anyone could craft compelling content that resonates with their intended audience continues to be a driving force in the digital landscape, shaping the way we create, share, and engage with content.
Gates expected audio and video to take over:
In the realm of digital engagement, individuals deserve to be rewarded for their commitment to interacting with computer screens and consuming content that offers profound and constantly updated insights, accessible for exploration as desired. This content medium encompasses not only text but also the inclusion of audio and even potentially video elements.
In the contemporary landscape, anyone has the potential to achieve online success through the delivery of captivating, compelling, and valuable content. However, Bill Gates’ perspective from 1996 might have underestimated the evolution of technology, as he anticipated the need for special incentives to motivate people to “turn on a computer” or “read a screen,” given the absence of smartphones at the time.
Fast forward to today, content creators find themselves competing for attention amidst the vast expanse of the internet. Yet, as Gates aptly foresaw, those who manage to thrive in this digital arena hold the power to propel the internet forward as an expansive marketplace brimming with ideas, experiences, and products. The potential for success lies in creating content that captivates, educates, and resonates with audiences across screens, channels, and devices.
Here are 10 reasons why content is (still) king in digital marketing in 2023
A quarter of a century later, the concept remains steadfast: content continues to reign as king. Content marketing transcends the realm of outwitting Google’s search engine algorithms or crafting attention-grabbing headlines solely for the purpose of amassing social media shares. Rather, its essence lies in forging connections with the appropriate audience, providing something of worth, and maintaining authenticity.
In the context of your digital marketing strategy, here’s why content retains its regal status:
1. A brand’s content builds trust with its audience
Robin from KodeKloud highlights a significant point: a staggering 96% of consumers hold a level of distrust towards ads. It’s worth considering how many individuals among you are utilizing ad blockers as a testament to this sentiment.
When individuals seek solutions to their queries and concerns, they typically turn to organic results displayed on platforms like Google, YouTube, and various social media channels. While immediate trust might not be extended to the content they encounter, it does provide a notably superior opportunity compared to paid advertisements. Moreover, paid ads necessitate the presence of non-sales, high-quality content to effectively resonate and establish a connection with consumers.
2. As a comprehensive branding tool, content is king
In the realms of visual search, video streaming, podcasting, and Google snippets, content remains paramount for effective branding.
It’s crucial to treat each content piece as if it’s the sole representation of your brand. Prioritize image optimization and quality to create something truly valuable and engaging for your audience.
3. The content is cost-effective, sustainable, and scalable
If content didn’t yield positive results, an impressive 81% of marketers would either maintain their current content budget or actually increase it. This showcases the strong belief in the efficacy of content marketing.
Conducting an audit and making necessary adjustments to content is a straightforward process, offering valuable insights for optimization:
- Altering the content format can lead to improved engagement.
- Refining your target audience ensures content resonates effectively.
- Budget adjustments, whether increased or decreased, can align with performance.
- Experimentation with novel strategies and tactics can lead to enhanced outcomes.
4. Content helps you segment your audience
Crafting impactful content hinges on understanding your audience segments and maintaining an online connection with them.
Select topics and keywords with precision, ensuring they resonate with your audience.
Address their queries at a suitable knowledge level.
Offer detailed insights and innovative concepts.
Distinguish yourself by staying abreast of emerging trends.
5. Your brand can offer something unique through content
According to Vaibhav from Digital Web Solutions, your unique value proposition extends beyond just the products and services you provide post-purchase. Without comprehensive content, your offerings lack distinction.
Content introduces a secondary UVP that sets you apart in the digital realm. Diversify your expertise by delving into overlooked areas.
Elevate your content by leveraging this unique expertise to make it truly exceptional.
6. For SEO and EAT, content is king
Google prioritizes content ranking based on Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) in search results. This aligns with user expectations.
Modern SEO, as of 2023, goes beyond keyword stuffing and excessive backlinking. The key is crafting top-notch content within your area of expertise.
Consistency in producing valuable content will establish your authority, translating to strong SEO performance.
7. You Can Express Your Brand’s Personality Through Content
In their guidelines, most brands outline two distinct voices:
The other is for marketing materials such as web pages, flyers, and official correspondence.
There is one for blogs, email campaigns, and social media.
The second voice – the one for most content – is where the brand expresses its personality.
8. Connect with influencers through content
Daniel Sarrero of SEA Concrete Contractors Seattle highlights the significance of aligning brand values with influencers. Clarity on values prevents them from straying off track. While contracts may outline values, content offers tangible examples.
When influencers witness your values in action through content, your company culture comes to life. Content diversifies influencer marketing beyond product promotions, offering resources like eBooks, tutorials, guides, and informative lists. This widens the scope of influencer collaboration.
9. In every stage of the customer journey, content is king
Google demonstrates the journey of a customer’s query about headaches, illustrating how it led them to research and ultimately purchase a specific set of headphones.
10. Across all channels, content is king
Austin Fain of Perfect Steel Solutions emphasizes that customers often start their journey on platforms like YouTube due to its seamless integration with Google. However, the key is to ensure a comprehensive experience across all channels through content.
Various touchpoints for your brand’s interaction could include:
- Google searches
- YouTube searches
- Creators on TikTok
- Instagram hashtags
- Subreddits for reviews
- Blog roundups
The effectiveness of these touchpoints depends on your unique customer base and their online research habits. In 2023, it’s crucial to prioritize content as the king of your digital marketing strategy. Those who recognize the power of content tend to excel, while those who overlook it might see it as a mere tool and miss out on its potential.
For effective digital marketing and SEO, content should be at the forefront. By checking out our recent video and AR campaigns, you can witness how interactive content can genuinely engage your audience.