Content is king, and a good king throws a great party

Content is king, and a good king throws a great party

We hear it all the time, “content is king,” but where does that phrase even come from and what does it mean?

First coined in a 1996 article written by Bill Gates, the principle behind “content is king” is simple: good content—in a variety of forms that provides information or entertainment—is key to engaging your audience. And, with search engines, the size of your company or organization doesn’t matter—everyone is invited to play in this game. So, are you ready to take on the competition?

Your audience has other places to go—make them want to stay

In his article, Gates compared the internet to a copy machine everyone has access to, with no limits on the number of copies you can make to spread your message to the world.

But, with more competition for consumers’ attention comes less patience and more content jumping. It’s kind of like inviting guests over to your castle for a royal ball—if it’s boring, your guests will leave early. And, with different internet content being only a click away, people spend less and less time at any given “party” enjoying your content before waltzing on to the next article or blog post.

Want your guests to stay (and come back)? Serve them content that’s: 

  • Relevant (Make sure it answers one simple question: what’s in it for me?)
  • Simple (Cut the industry jargon and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).)
  • To-the-point (We know you’re passionate about what you do, but cut to the chase and keep your content clear and concise.)
  • Easy to read (The design, or way you display your content matters. Constant flashing, blinking, shouting and streaking would alarm and scare your house guests away, and it’ll do the same to your website visitors.)

Be proactive—get to know your audience to provide content they want to see

When you invite guests over to your house for the first time you typically ask if they have any food allergies or dietary concerns—after all, you don’t want to serve your vegetarian, lactose intolerant guests a big ol’ steak with a side of cheesy potatoes, do you?

It’s easy to set a content schedule based on your business goals and pump out blog posts, videos, podcasts, articles and website copy, but you should be producing content that matters to your guests—it needs to be relevant and relatable.

Thankfully, we have tools at our disposal to find out what it is our audience is interested in.

  • Take a look at your website analytics and look for your top visited pages and top search terms on your site and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
  • Use a keyword tool to find out what terms and topics are being searched to align your content with what’s in demand—and boost your SEO at the same time.
  • Ask them. That’s right, add a poll to your site or send out an email to your mailing list to see what your audience wants to see more (and less) of.

A winning content strategy is worth the investment

Investing time and resources into well-planned, well-timed and Crystal Clear™ content will set your organization up for long-term success.

Whether your audience is craving videos, can’t get enough blog posts or demands only the best website copy, Writing by Design can help with our business writing services. Need to lay the foundation by developing a content marketing strategy that meets your organization’s goals and gives your audience what they want? We can help provide strategic direction for your communications, too.

Headshot of Kayde Kempen

Kayde Kempen has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and previously worked at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh as an associate marketing manager where she served as a marketing project manager, writer, social media manager and web content specialist. During her five years at UWO, Kempen led nearly 90 website redesign projects. She has a Higher Education Experts certificate in Web Analytics for Higher Ed, and received a 2016 Platinum Hermes Creative Award for Integrated Marketing Campaign, a 2014 Platinum Hermes Creative Award for Overall Website in an Educational Institute and a 2012 Hermes Creative Gold Award for a microsite.