Create Engaging Web Content for Customers and Search Engines
In 1996 the legendary tech visionary and philanthropist Bill Gates wrote a very famous phrase that has shaped the development of the web since that time.
Content is king.
In that moment, 22 years ago, it was a great and profound statement. And for much of the following couple decades, people took content to mean something like ‘outbound marketing text on websites intended to sell a product or service’. It more or less worked.
Nobody would have predicted that content would cease to be a static thing and that with the advent of social media, ‘content’ would become much more dynamic and fluid. Something closer to a conversation than a series of statements.
And so we need to ask ‘If the nature of content has changed can we still call it king?”
Yes and no.
Content in the modern sense must be written for a purpose that directly reflects, and is informed by, the needs of your customers.
Not only were the old strategies pretty utilitarian but they relegated the customer or client to merely an audience and not a participant in the creation of content.
That is the key difference.
The web continued to evolve past those strategies as Google and other search engines changed their algorithms to better reflect the ‘user experience’.
The King is Dead, Long Live the King!
What we’re talking about here is a change in approach for content creation.
We’re recommending a move away from marketing to customers in favour of a more integrated approach that understands customer wants and needs. We respond to that input with content that provides solutions to customer questions and desires identified by communicating with them directly.
It is a deceptively simple change in our perspective as content creators to begin to generate content in this way.
It requires a crucial and often-overlooked skill: listening.
Listen to your customers, learn from your competition, and make informed decisions on how to create the most useful and relevant content for your customers.
~ ~ ~