A lot of people in marketing will tell you “content is king,” but few will bother to explain what that means (or why it’s still true).
The phrase originally comes from the title of the essay, “Content is King” written by Bill Gates in 1996. In that essay, he predicted content would become the primary driving force behind business in the future—the primary way that people on the Internet would make money.
It ends, “Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products—a marketplace of content.”
Today, content is still king in digital marketing—and content marketing is still king in dominating the competition.
Here are 5 reasons content marketing is going to keep its crown going into 2022
#1 – Content Marketing is The Way to Build Trust
Consumers gave up on trusting (or even tolerating) online ads a long time ago. While your online audience largely tunes ads out—or literally blocks them out entirely—they do read and consume content.
Do you have an ad blocker installed? Case in point.
What about a content blocker? Ah.
This doesn’t mean people will believe any crap you say if you post it under the guise of “content” or a “blog” (so many business owners make this mistake). Au contraire, you need to provide quality, valuable content to earn their trust.
If you focus on providing value, not just promoting yourself, and prioritize authenticity at the same time, you won’t just end up doing more business, you’ll be fostering lasting, long-term brand loyalty.
#2 – Content is Still More Effective Than Ads
If content marketing didn’t provide results, why are the largest corporations in the world moving away from traditional ads and shifting more and more of their budgets to content marketing?
Why did 68% of marketers say they expect their content marketing budget to increase in the next year? (Source: https://www.semrush.com/blog/content-marketing-statistics/#how-much-are-organizations-spending-on-content)
You know all that valuable content we just talked about? If you keep it up to date and easy to get to, you’ll find that you can continue to rake in leads and customer conversions indefinitely.
That’s one of the absolute best aspects of content marketing: old content can still make money for you if you maintain it and keep it valuable for people who find it.
This is why content marketing, as a long-term strategy, tends to pay off more and more (and more) as time goes on.
Down the line, when you start reaching critical mass levels of valuable content, you can see how exponential things can get.
#3 – Content is Still More Cost-Effective, Too
While it can be scary to invest in a full-scale content marketing campaign, content marketing provides benefits that far exceed the amount of time and money that goes into it. A 2017 study found that when pit directly against each other, content marketing gets three times the leads per dollar invested as pay-per-click ads.
A 2019 study of 58 marketing companies found that about 70% generated more sales for themselves and their clients’ businesses through SEO focused content marketing strategies than through pay-per-click ads. (Source: https://databox.com/seo-vs-ppc)
And these are just looking at short-term result windows.
They’re “only” looking at the massive short-term benefits content marketing has compared to PPC.
That’s because it would be difficult to precisely quantify the additional benefits you reap from things like, for example, people who are just now discovering evergreen content that was produced years earlier—but those benefits are definitely felt by the businesses that go all-in on their content marketing strategies.
As time goes on, and quality content is consistently produced and deployed, content marketing builds its own momentum. Meanwhile, paid search strategies need continual cash flow to keep getting results.
That alone makes content marketing a considerably more cost-effective strategy.
#4 – Content Marketing Makes You Different
Audiences today are used to seeing those bad, indecipherable SEO articles—hell, many people dive into search results expecting to hit at least one bad result that’s clearly just meaningless spam.
When visitors click on those useless articles and angrily hit the back button after .8 seconds, that sends a signal to Google that the search result they clicked on, that’s presently ranking, just might not be too valuable after all. Add up a bunch of those signals, and they’re not going to hang onto that spot for long.
And of course, when they see that you’re actually speaking to them—not just throwing up a bunch of keywords, they’ll stay on your site.
More than that, they’ll remember you for it.
In an age where an astonishing number of business websites are still serving up keyword-studded garbage in their blogs and article sections, providing actual useful information makes you stand out.
#5 – Content Marketing is King for Ranking in Search Engines
Fortunately, SEO is no longer about cramming tons of keywords and long-tail phrases into crappy articles no one would ever want to read.
Nor is it about spamming exact keyword backlinks in comments on old Blogspot posts, or message board profile pages. Gross.
(Really, it hasn’t been about these things for a very long time at this point, but with the way a lot of SEO “experts” still operate, you’d be forgiven for not being aware of that.)
No—Today you need a solid strategy for creating consistent, high-quality content. Good content demonstrates expertise, builds authority, and proves trustworthiness.
Keep that content machine going consistently, and your site’s search engine traffic will reflect this. As long as you have a strategy for what you’re doing.
Strategy is King in Content Marketing
It bears repeating: Content Marketing doesn’t come down to “doing blogs.”
You must have a content marketing strategy to reach any definition of success.
That content marketing strategy must be specific to your company and planned with your unique business goals in mind. And like any strategy, content marketing requires knowledge, skill, persistence, and consistency to work. But when it works… man does it work.
The bottom line, content is the once, present, and future king in marketing. People just aren’t going to get sick of “useful content” anytime soon. Or anytime ever.
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