We’ve all heard of the comment “Content is King”, right? But did you know who coined that phrase? It was none other than Bill Gates all the way back in 1996! A whole two years before Google started and at a time when the internet was still in it’s infancy. At a time when Digital Marketing wasn’t even a thing. For those who are interested in reading exactly what Bill stated, I have copied the entire post at the base of this update.
So why was he absolutely on the money? Contrary to some posts that have been flying around this month (June 2019) from a leading marketing and SEO expert, content has been and still is the #1 way to build a business and a brand.
Before I start, let me say one thing. There’s a big difference between a new or small venture and that of a marketing behemoth with hundreds of thousands of followers and a social media platform being updated on a daily basis. If you are such a beast with that level of following and a team to back it up, then great – content may not be as important… why? Because you’ve got literally thousands of people waiting for your next post or update. You’re not have to create content to drive traffic, you’re creating content to inform your followers. And with that level of followers, who share it and repost, one blog post a week is going to get some heavy hitting.
But for Joe Bloggs the plumber, or Janet Bluggs the hairdresser who have a Facebook following of double digits and a website bringing in maybe 100 hits a month, one post a week, 52 posts a year* is not going to drive any major increase in their traffic. *But 52 posts a year is certainly better than none!
Google has succeeded in becoming the largest search engine in the world by offering the customer a degree of accuracy for content that is often unnerving. And that’s why they drive around 89% of the worlds internet searches. Simply, because when you search on Google you know that 99 times out of 100 what you are looking for will be in result position #1, and if not, certainly top three. They also give you hundreds, if not thousands of related websites and content. They look for sites where the owners and marketing teams are passionate about their chosen subject. Ultimately, they are looking for two things – relevancy and volume.
In the grey fog that is SEO and Digital Marketing, these key factors are often forgotten. Marketing teams and owners will often just throw out content in a scattergun approach – aiming for the volume element without worrying about the relevancy.
When you’re writing your post, think about your target audience. If you’re an expert in your chosen field, think about the questions that your consumers would be asking. Give them answers to those everyday problems they will experience. Become THE authoritative voice that they listen to and ask questions of when they need advice. Doing so will:
- Grow your audience – people speak to people. They’ll know other people who have similar questions and they’ll share your post, site, Facebook page, Twitter account and more.
- People who come to your site to read about specific issues decrease your bounce rate, a metric which Google uses to review page rank.
- If the consumer has read your post, they are then more likely to read other posts. This increases your average pages per session, another metric therefore another plus.
- And because they are reading your increased post range, your average session duration increases.
- Increases your CTR (Click Through Rate) as users are navigating through your site.
- You’ll get more quality and qualified traffic!
And with more traffic comes increased ranking.
Now here is the kicker for most small businesses – “What earns you money is the work that you do”. Therefore, if you’re a plumber, what will earn you money is fitting boilers, fixing leaks and all of the other good work you guys do. You understand the importance of marketing your business, but if you’re working 12 hours a day doing jobs, you don’t have time to market your business. This is where Dream Web Design come in… we can help by creating content rich, relevant posts for your site and pushing that content out to your social media accounts, all at an affordable cost. Let us do the marketing heavy lifting, while you do some actual heavy lifting. To find out more about how we can help your business, drop us an email today on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 07968 129060.
Bill Gates – “Content is King” 1996
Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.
The television revolution that began half a century ago spawned a number of industries, including the manufacturing of TV sets, but the long-term winners were those who used the medium to deliver information and entertainment.
When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide. For example, computer software is a form of content-an extremely important one, and the one that for Microsoft will remain by far the most important.
But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.
One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.
The Internet also allows information to be distributed worldwide at basically zero marginal cost to the publisher. Opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet.
For example, the television network NBC and Microsoft recently agreed to enter the interactive news business together. Our companies will jointly own a cable news network, MSNBC, and an interactive news service on the Internet. NBC will maintain editorial control over the joint venture.
I expect societies will see intense competition-and ample failure as well as success-in all categories of popular content-not just software and news, but also games, entertainment, sports programming, directories, classified advertising, and on-line communities devoted to major interests.
Printed magazines have readerships that share common interests. It’s easy to imagine these communities being served by electronic online editions.
But to be successful online, a magazine can’t just take what it has in print and move it to the electronic realm. There isn’t enough depth or interactivity in print content to overcome the drawbacks of the online medium.
If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.
A question on many minds is how often the same company that serves an interest group in print will succeed in serving it online. Even the very future of certain printed magazines is called into question by the Internet.
For example, the Internet is already revolutionizing the exchange of specialized scientific information. Printed scientific journals tend to have small circulations, making them high-priced. University libraries are a big part of the market. It’s been an awkward, slow, expensive way to distribute information to a specialized audience, but there hasn’t been an alternative.
Now some researchers are beginning to use the Internet to publish scientific findings. The practice challenges the future of some venerable printed journals.
Over time, the breadth of information on the Internet will be enormous, which will make it compelling. Although the gold rush atmosphere today is primarily confined to the United States, I expect it to sweep the world as communications costs come down and a critical mass of localized content becomes available in different countries.
For the Internet to thrive, content providers must be paid for their work. The long-term prospects are good, but I expect a lot of disappointment in the short-term as content companies struggle to make money through advertising or subscriptions. It isn’t working yet, and it may not for some time.
So far, at least, most of the money and effort put into interactive publishing is little more than a labor of love, or an effort to help promote products sold in the non-electronic world. Often these efforts are based on the belief that over time someone will figure out how to get revenue.
In the long run, advertising is promising. An advantage of interactive advertising is that an initial message needs only to attract attention rather than convey much information. A user can click on the ad to get additional information-and an advertiser can measure whether people are doing so.
But today the amount of subscription revenue or advertising revenue realized on the Internet is near zero-maybe $20 million or $30 million in total. Advertisers are always a little reluctant about a new medium, and the Internet is certainly new and different.
Some reluctance on the part of advertisers may be justified, because many Internet users are less-than-thrilled about seeing advertising. One reason is that many advertisers use big images that take a long time to download across a telephone dial-up connection. A magazine ad takes up space too, but a reader can flip a printed page rapidly.
As connections to the Internet get faster, the annoyance of waiting for an advertisement to load will diminish and then disappear. But that’s a few years off.
Some content companies are experimenting with subscriptions, often with the lure of some free content. It’s tricky, though, because as soon as an electronic community charges a subscription, the number of people who visit the site drops dramatically, reducing the value proposition to advertisers.
A major reason paying for content doesn’t work very well yet is that it’s not practical to charge small amounts. The cost and hassle of electronic transactions makes it impractical to charge less than a fairly high subscription rate.
But within a year the mechanisms will be in place that allow content providers to charge just a cent or a few cents for information. If you decide to visit a page that costs a nickel, you won’t be writing a check or getting a bill in the mail for a nickel. You’ll just click on what you want, knowing you’ll be charged a nickel on an aggregated basis.
This technology will liberate publishers to charge small amounts of money, in the hope of attracting wide audiences.
Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products-a marketplace of content.