Content is king (is that still true today?)

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 Since the beginning of my journey in the world of digital marketing and content writing, I have heard the famous sentence that most of you have surely heard: “Content is King.”


Since then, I've been asking myself a lot of questions: Why is content king? Is he still the king until now? And if so, will content still be king in the future?


These three main questions and many others kept bothering me a lot, so I did a lot of research and listened to tons of celebrity opinions in the areas of marketing and content writing as well as dozens of videos, all to come to a satisfactory conclusion.


In this article I am going to share with you all the information and opinions I have come across, but I will do one small extra thing, which is that I will be impartial and only give you the information.


That is, I will not share my final opinion with you, but I will let you form your own opinion based on different information and opinions, and I hope that this does not bother you, and now to the article.


“Content is king” is a sentence that has a history

Content is king A sentence with a history

The majority of evidence on the Internet indicates that the phrase “content is king” dates back to the 1990s, specifically the year 1996.


This year, Bill Gates, the famous billionaire and owner of Microsoft, sent an internal message in the company titled - yes you guessed it right - "Content is King".


In my opinion, this message is genius and revolutionary, especially at the time when it was sent, where Bill Gates begins by saying: I believe that the content will be the source of the money that will be earned from the Internet.


He also says that anyone with a computer and an internet connection will be able to create and publish their own content, and that this opportunity is available to everyone, which is what we're seeing now.


Regardless of the fact that this prophecy is indeed the reality we live with today, the Bill Gates phrase has become the slogan of many people on the Internet who do not stop saying it over and over again.

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Content Is King, Content Dies: What Is Content Essentially?

Before we can talk about the problem of the content being the king or that - according to many now - he has died and we are the ones who killed him, we have to put a clear definition of the content.


Content, or more precisely, content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating and publishing valuable content in order to attract and excite a specific group of readers - or viewers - and then push them to make a decision or take an action, that decision or action Returns profit to the entity that owns the content, either directly or indirectly


Content or content marketing comes in many forms, it can be in various text forms, such as: articles, social media publications, e-books, newsletters, …. and others.


It can also be visual content such as videos, advertisements, etc., and certainly it can be audible content, such as: podcasts or even songs.


As you can see, content goes into almost everything you can do on the internet, and it's the backbone of any form of marketing.


This applies even if it is intended to be a silent advertisement using animation, after all, someone will have written the story and the idea of ​​this video with words (= content).


Now that we know the content, we will move on to our most prominent and biggest question, which is, is the content really king? Let's start with the past first before moving on to our present.

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Was Content King Ancient?

In the year 1895, dozens of years before the invention of the Internet, an agricultural and construction company named John Deere did something very strange in this era.


The company did not send catalogs of its products and solutions to farmers, but instead printed a magazine called “The Furrow” in which it publishes educational content for farmers by providing solutions to farmers' problems that included the company's products.


This brought the company very astronomical results and helped them reach in 1912 more than 4 million customers, which was a staggering number at such a time.


For your information, the magazine is still published today, but it is published in 14 languages, and is distributed to more than 2 million people around the world.


And let me take you back in time back to the late seventh century AD, when the famous poem that you have probably heard of “Say to the Maliha in the black veil” was said, which was one of the oldest marketing or commercial advertisements in history.


Where there was a merchant coming from Kufa to Madinah to sell wine - singularly a veil - so he sold everything he had except for black wine, which he could not find anyone to buy.


The dramatic difference in his condition, despite the fact that he had retired poetry at that time and devoted himself, and composed this poem for him about the beautiful girl who stole his heart.


After the poem spread among the people, all the women wanted to imitate that girl who had fascinated the drama, so they all went to buy black wine until it was all sold.


Are these two examples indicative of a type of content marketing? And if they are, can we say that “content is king” at least in the old days? And if your answer is yes, is the content still king?


I leave it to you to answer these questions, and I will move on to the content of our present.


Is 'content king' now?

The era in which we live now is the era of big data. Statistically, data and information have multiplied many times since the widespread spread of the Internet in the nineties and early 2000s until now.


This is clearly evident in the fact that everyone now produces content and data, and the simplest example of this is social networks, which have become a huge amount of content.


Content that is created and written by companies and individuals and then published and re-shared and interacted by followers, This is what motivates them or others to write other content, whether it is in the same direction as the previous content or against it.


This is what made there an abundance and glut in the use of content, which was also reflected in the increase in our consumption of content, according to statistics, the global consumption of electronic content doubled in the year 2020 only.


The reason for this massive explosion of content is a bit outdated, as old-fashioned marketers realized that playing with feelings and emotions made people want to buy.


Of course, this was realized early on by digital marketers who used this extensively, and the nature of the Internet helped them, especially after the spread of various social media platforms.


And about whether the content is the king, there are many concurring and supportive opinions that differ among themselves, and here I will review the most important and most famous - do not worry, then the role of the opposing opinions will come:

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The first opinion is in favor because the content is still king

Our first people say that content is really the most important thing in marketing, whether in the past, now or in the future.


Their argument is that content or text is the basis of any marketing process or form, at least on the Internet.


Whether you're marketing with articles, video ads, or podcasts, you're using different forms of content.


For them, it's the content that helps you:

 

Your website or store is ranked high in search engine results.

Getting more customers and those interested in your site or your store's products.

Get others to care about you and react to what you have to offer.

Add value to what you offer or, more precisely, highlight the benefit that will accrue to your visitors or customers.

Increasing the effectiveness of the marketing process.

Create a state of trust and loyalty among customers on your side.

Distinguish yourself from your competitors.

And dozens of other matters for which the greatest responsibility is the content that you provide in its various forms and types.


Another famous argument of this team is that content is a “green” form of marketing, since you can at all times re-present it in another form or so-called “Content Repurposing”.

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They also rely on several statistics, including that:


82% of customers feel more positive after reading content designed for them by brands or companies.

90% of companies and organizations use content in their online marketing process.

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and often delivers much better results.

Every dollar spent on content marketing generates three times more customers than traditional marketing.

The second opinion is in favor because the content is still king

Those who hold this view say that marketers who say “content is king” mean that content is very important and should be taken care of.


But it sounds better when you say “Content is King” instead of just “Content is Important,” which can also make you look smarter and get your message across.


For those with this view, content is an important tool in order to make visitors return to your site, make people buy your products more, or help you communicate the image you want about yourself to others and install it in their minds.


The third opinion in favor because the content is still king

The third opinion that we will talk about here is that of some SEO professionals, who mean when they say “content is king” that it is the king of SEO.


For them, high-quality, non-copy content is a very powerful factor - for some of them the most powerful factor - in getting your site or store to top search engine results.


Strong content is the one that visitors will like and will achieve the things we mentioned before, as it will “like” the Google algorithm and make the site or store top the search results.


To be clear and brief, what the owners of this team mean is that high-quality content is the undisputed king.


Although this is common among many, many respond that this is not realistic now that Google has many factors - some estimate it at more than 200 - that control this process.


 Content is just one factor, and no matter how powerful it is, it cannot be relied upon alone.


Fourth opinion in favor because the content is still the king

Those who hold this view say that “content is king” already now, but this will change soon or indeed gradually due to the negative effects of the content glut.


And that the large spread of content, especially the bad content, loses its known strength when there was little of it on the Internet, and that it will soon be replaced by other forms of e-marketing.


Many of them say that the future is in influencer marketing, and some say other types of marketing based on other advanced technologies such as virtual reality, for example.


It is worth noting that one of the most important opposing opinions that we will talk about is that marketing through influencers has already overcome content marketing, and we will mention their reasons when we address the opposing opinions.


Why do others say that content is not king?


On the other hand, there are also many e-marketing experts and professionals and even content marketing professionals who say that the era of content marketing is over.


Although they are few compared to the first group, it is important to review what they have to say because their reasons are also very strong and compelling.

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This group can be divided into three basic views or opinions:


The first opinion is in favor because content is no longer king

Those with the first opinion say that content is no longer king because of the so-called “Content Burnout.”


Which means that the content can no longer achieve the desired results from it as it did in the past, and in their opinion, this matter is now appearing in many statistics.

After reading many of the opinions of this team, I found that many of them agree on two main reasons for the occurrence of this content burning.


The first reason is that brands and websites are seeking to publish content periodically with extreme exaggeration, which is why they sometimes publish poor quality content just to give their followers the periodic dose of content - daily, weekly or monthly -.


Therefore, the Internet in recent years has become awash with a lot of poor and useless content, not only from amateurs and traffic seekers, but also from big brands and famous sites.


For example, you may find this clearly on some US podcasts that have several hundred episodes, but many of them are unhelpful, and have little relevance to the podcast's main topic.


Although if it only stops at 50 or even 100 episodes, these programs will be of high quality and useful to listeners, and all their episodes are related to the main topic.


The second reason is that content is no longer produced as a form of communication, as content marketers no longer use content as a means of communication with visitors and followers.


Rather, they only publish the content that they want to publish and that seems important to them, which was expressed by one of the writers with a clever phrase, which is that the content is written and developed in an “Inside-Out” manner.


That is, instead of knowing what the “outside” followers are interested in and then writing it and focusing on it by marketers and content writers “inside” it is the other way around.


These two things made people on the Internet get bored of the content, and think that it has become unhelpful as before, and therefore they no longer respond to it as they used to.


Those with this view say that there are many other things that have become more important than content, such as: storytelling or the use of context.


We can later dedicate articles to these two things, so if you want to know more, let us know in the comments below.


The second opinion is in favor because the content is no longer king

Those with this view say that the time of content marketing is over, and that the future now lies in influencer marketing, even if content marketing is a part of it.


They justify this with several points:


a) Influencers have a lot of experience with their niche and the products they are marketing for


Influencers are one of the most knowledgeable people in their fields and products, and they usually only market the products they like, so their marketing messages are very strong and honest and they can professionally focus on the features of those products.


b) Influencers already own your target audience


 If you choose the right influencer, you will find the audience you are targeting, who has a great interest in your niche, so you will not need to stress yourself in order to target your ideal audience as you did in content marketing, but will focus on searching for the ideal influencer for your brand.


c) Influencers already have the trust of their followers


In the end, what makes influencers have such a great ability to influence others is their trust in them and the appreciation of their different opinions and choices.


d) Their ability to provide greater interaction more easily


The magic mix of influencers makes the marketing process through them creates a distinctive situation for the target audience that makes them more likely to interact with you and your brand.


e) Often they can achieve results similar to content marketing, but at a lower cost


By targeting influencers who have some thousands or tens of thousands of followers, you may be able to get more sales than you will get with content marketing, and it will not require you to have a large budget, but rather, it may not require you to do anything, whether some of your products that you will give them for free.


The third opinion is in favor because the content is no longer king

The third opinion owners who oppose content being king are also SEO specialists like the third opinion owners we mentioned in the supportive opinions.


And they say that content is not the king in SEO, because there are many other important factors that equally contribute to sites being ranked first in search engine results.


This phrase also prompts many people on the Internet to do some wrong practices, such as:


Posting too much content and not caring about the quality and real value of it.

Paying more attention to the fact that the content is at the top of the first results than caring about the fact that the content is the most appropriate and useful for visitors.

Ignore many other important things in SEO and non-SEO and focus on writing and publishing content only.

We will suffice to mention these three points only because they are the most important, and since the first and second points are understandable, we will delve into the third point.


Caring for content makes website owners neglect the distribution of content or Content Distribution, so you, as an interested person in the content industry, should be very interested in distributing content through various channels.


For example, some of the best content distribution channels are:


Post content on various social media platforms.

Re-utilizing the textual content by converting it into an infographic or any other visual form.

Convert textual content into visual content such as videos.

Make a voiceover for your articles and publish them either on your site, on SoundCloud or any other suitable platform, i.e. converting text content into an audio form.

Reuse the various articles of your site and publish them as an email newsletter.

Use articles as material for podcast episodes for your site.

Although there are those who say that content is king and are concerned with content distribution, the majority focus only on textual content that will help them top search results, and do not care about other forms of access to the audience.

In addition to distributing content, some also neglect the technical aspects of SEO, such as: the speed of the site and its being interactive and suitable for many screens and devices, and other factors that constitute a very important part of the sites' ranking of search results.


Finally, paying attention to the content only may make the writer lose focus on the goal of the content he is writing, so he does not focus on the nature of the audience he writes for them or the action he wants to motivate them to do.


Which is certainly what makes its content, even if the search results are published and attract many visitors, neither useful nor influential, because he will not get what he wants from him.

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How to make the most of your content

Whether “content is king” or not, I have a few tips that will help you get the best out of your content.


In order to write content that achieves your marketing goals, you need to know who you are writing well, define your target audience, know their pain points, and the things and characteristics they give the most attention to.


Then you have to get to know your competitors well, identify their advantages and disadvantages, and know how they use content to communicate with their customers, and only then will you be ready for the writing stage.


When you write to your customers or visitors to your site, give priority to them and what they want, and try to make your first goal not to sell your products or get as many visitors as possible, but to benefit the readers of your content.


Also, if you are writing articles for your clients, try to use catchy titles that will motivate them to read, and make them unable to ignore your articles.


Focus as much as possible and use the appropriate tone or tone with your target audience, and maintain it throughout the marketing process. Certainly, by studying your target audience, you will be able to identify which dialects are more appropriate with your customers.


These are the most important things that you should pay attention to, but they are not all that will make you master content marketing, and you will find the rest of the tips, strategies and tools when you read the other winners' articles about content marketing in the hashtag I linked to you above.


Conclusion


In this article, we discussed the saying “content is king” from all possible aspects, whether its history or the meanings included in the phrase.


We also dealt with its reality, reviewed the most important opinions for and against it, and presented all the arguments supporting or opposing these opinions.


And we've put our experience together in order to get the best out of your content, whether it's king or not.


At the end of the article we are very curious to know if you believe that content is king or not, and we would very much love for you to share with us in the comments your opinion and your rationale.

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