Is content still king? If yes, why? Indeed, where is the content of the king? Does the kingdom last? Do kings either die or are overthrown? Is the content dead or crashed? If the content has been brought down, what has brought it down? Anyway, why did Bill Gates ever say such a thing?
If you are an SEO expert or a digital marketer or someone who has an internet business, you must have heard this quote from Bill Gates that Content is king. That sentence was the title of an article by Bill Gates that was published in 1996, that is, 26 years ago! Many things have changed in the real and virtual world these years.
Perhaps for the same reason, some digital marketers or SEO experts have made the claim that in the world of digital marketing and SEO, content is no longer so important and decisive. That quote has an expiration date that has passed. Others, however, reject that claim and believe that content is still king in 2022 and will remain king for years to come.
Who is right? And which claim is true and why? If you are also looking for answers to the questions that were raised, you have chosen the right content to read. In this content, the important question of whether content is still king or not has been answered with reason.
Table of Contents
Is content still king?
Let me first talk a little about Bill Gates’ important article and the true meaning of that quote. Believe me, there are much, much more important sentences in that article. Bill Gates’ reasons for choosing that title for his article are not insignificant. And it helps us to better understand the meaning of the title of the article and the question we are looking for an answer to.
Bill Gates begins the article with an analogy. He looks at the Internet as the invention of television, which allowed humans to spread audio and video (that is, audio and video messages and information) all over the world. The invention of television was a means to spread information (audio and video content) more easily and more attractively, just like the Internet and Google. Television soon went to everyone’s home, even the poorest people in every corner of the world. Just as newspapers, magazines, and books (printed content) had already gone. And as the internet will go.
“Bill Gates wants to announce to the world, especially businesses, that the Internet is a platform for the birth of new types of content – online content. He predicts that as the Internet becomes cheaper and more accessible to more people, it will become the main stage of business competition. And the winner of the competition is the business that gives updated, interactive and useful information (that is, content) to people.”
So, content is the king of the internet for businesses and anyone who wants to get their message across the internet. It is the content that determines which business will remain on the competition scene. Content is what determines the success of digital marketing campaigns. It is the content that determines whether or not businesses have sales and profits in the age of social commerce. In SEO, the content is more or less decisive. Because Google robots and humans are the audience of the content.
Reasons for those who claim content is no longer king
Well, now that it is clear why Bill Gates wrote that article, why he told the world and businesses that content is king, and how accurately and accurately he predicted the future (today); we should go to examine the reasons for the supporters and opponents of the kingdom of content. I’d like to introduce you to the arguments of a very staunch dissenter named Mark Schaefer. He is the author of several books in the field of marketing and digital marketing, a university professor and a famous speaker. Other detractors also argue that content is no longer king for reasons more or less similar to the ones below.
1. In reality, few customers buy a product just because of content.
How many of us, if we want to buy a perfume, go and read about it on different blogs? If we know a brand, we go to the same brand and buy the same. If we know a store, we go to the same site and probably check the prices and special offers. So, many factors are involved in customer decision making (customer purchasing power, brand loyalty, etc.) and sales cannot be attributed to just one thing, content, even in the age of digital businesses and online stores.
2. The share of SEO in the sales of businesses is getting less and less.
The first reason tells businesses another important thing: fewer customers are using search engines to find the products they want. This means that SEO is no longer profitable for businesses. In addition to the first reason, the rise of online stores also reduces the importance of search engines and, as a result, the SEO of the site. For example, instead of the search engine, buyer goes to the Amazon site and finds what he wants there.
3. Content is no longer king because UGC is king.
People do not trust the advertisements and content of business websites and social media. The buyer knows that what he reads and sees on social media is actually advertising and all produced with one goal: to persuade the user to click (buy). Buyers know that bloggers and influencers get paid by brands to write or speak well of their products.
But when I buy a dress from a store and wear it and put my photo on Instagram and tag the store, my friends are encouraged to go and visit that page and even buy from it. Because they know I didn’t get paid by that business to produce that post (content). So, not every content is king, and the king of those contents is generated by users or User Generated Content.
Reasons for those who believe content is still king
What do the supporters respond to those objections? In this section, an attempt is made to refute the reasons for opposition by citing the opinion of famous marketers and experts in the world and data.
1. Business investment in digital marketing shows that content has a significant contribution to sales
Yes, it is true that many factors affect the behavior of customers and their decisions; but the opponents did not provide any statistics and data for the share of each factor. Who says content shares are zero? And who says that a brand’s social media content is completely ineffective in customer decision-making? Is it possible that all Internet users, that is, a number of nearly 5 billion people, know exactly what they want to buy and do not need to compare several similar products?
It can be said with some tolerance that social media marketing and digital marketing is nothing but the production of attractive and useful content. Social media marketing trends in 2022 show that businesses will invest more in those two areas. Because it has been proven to them that digital marketing and social media marketing have a direct impact on increasing sales and profits.
2. Statistics show that website SEO is still decisive for businesses and brings customers to them.
Is it possible that 5 billion Internet users only buy from online stores and familiar brands, and no one searches for a product on Google? No, it is not possible! It is enough to look at the statistics related to the Google search engine to understand that almost half of the users start their search about a product from Google.
Although it cannot be claimed that every search on Google necessarily leads to a purchase, it cannot be claimed that SEO is not useful for businesses. At least SEO brings the customer to the business site and introduces him to the business. If a potential customer enters the site and sees attractive, useful and convincing content and has a good experience interacting with the site, he may buy something or perhaps come back and buy another time.
3. Any content that answers the user’s question correctly and reliably and leads him to what he wants is like UGC king.
Not all advertising is bad. By the way, social media and online reviews have forced businesses to advertise purposefully and honestly. Businesses know that a disgruntled customer can easily post an ad on any platform to let everyone know that the ad is fake and what his experience with that product or service or interaction with that brand is. This is exactly the reason why a specialty called content marketing or content marketing has been created in digital marketing.
The goal is not just to create content. The content that is produced for business must have features. Content (including text content, video, motion graphics, animation, podcast, blog post, etc.) should be produced based on the content strategy. Also, the content should be value-creating and answer users’ questions. Users can easily distinguish unrealistic and simple advertising content from useful and helpful content. Just as Bill Gates mentioned in his article, online content has standards. In other words, content produced based on standards is king, not just any content.