Way back in 1996, Bill Gates foresaw today’s world of content-centered online marketing. In his essay, “Content is King,” Gates predicted that content would drive revenue on the internet, and compared it to the history of broadcasting. Much of what he wrote over twenty years ago is still true today. Content still holds the throne that Gates ascribed to it, for three distinct reasons: it speaks directly to customer concerns; it builds up your reputation; and it complements your SEO strategy.
Content that Speaks to (and from) your Customers
Your content is your message to your customers. Writing strong content is your chance to speak directly to their concerns, by answering their questions. The prerequisite for strong content, in this context, is research. You need to know your customers, what they are searching for online, what products they are seeking, and what features they want.
While marketing research is the usual method of determining customer needs, you can also set up a comment platform and encourage your site users to leave their thoughts directly. Comments fall into the category of user-generated content, and will give you a look into the minds of your visitors. The best comment platforms will permit rich media, such as audio and visual files, in addition to plain text.
Design your website content around the building blocks of customer needs, and you’re on your way to meeting the second test.
Content Builds your Reputation
The second need addressed by content is your reputation, sometimes described as thought leadership. You need to set yourself up as a known expert in your niche, and you do this by tying every piece of content on your site into your main product. Your research here is different; you want to have all the facts at your fingertips, so that you can write with authority, giving accurate information on every topic you touch. Make your site the place where your customers go to get their questions answered.
Content and SEO – Perfect Partners
Finally, make sure to create your content in conjunction with your SEO strategy. SEO – the techniques of driving traffic to your site – works best as a holistic effort, combining back-end and front-end aspects of your website. Content lies on the front end. Content should follow the rules for SEO best practices, hold to good grammar and avoiding plagiarism, as well as match your back-end SEO, using your researched keywords and matching topics and phrasing from your meta tags. When well-written, good content will enhance your site’s SEO.
Staying in the Drivers’ Seat
Customer communication, reputation, and SEO are all important, but the foundation for all of them, and the reason why content truly remains the king of online marketing, is control. Your content is just that – yours. You create it, you commission it, you place it on your site. The content marketing strategy is where you make the decisions about the online public face of your business, implemented in the content you choose to display.
Good Content Brings Results
So, yes, content is still the king of online marketing; not for the first time, Bill Gates was right. The reason is easy enough to fathom: a smart content strategy brings results, boosting performance for many aspects of your website. You’ll see improved SEO, improved site traffic, and improved brand recognition. All of this will affect your online reputation and your customers will be happy.
Happy customers will bring with them the advantage of user-generated content, giving you a steady flow of new material, and keeping your content fresh. You can encourage user-generated content through a blog or social media, with a well-maintained comment section. Make sure to participate in resulting discussions to reap full advantage of this content.
Heyoya is a game-changing comments platform that brings voice to online publishers, improving user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya increases brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content, while preventing spam and abusive content and increasing your blog credibility through voice authentication. Encouraging user-generated content through voice or other rich media platforms is an important step in an effective content strategy. Join Heyoya today and grow your community.
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