Back in the ‘90s, the internet was in its nascency but tech leaders like Bill Gates could already see the potential of this new technology. In January of ‘96, Gates published an essay on the Microsoft site titled “Content is King”. In it, he talked about the near and distant future of the internet as he saw it—and his projections proved to be pretty much spot-on.
What is content?
In Gates’ essay, he compares the internet to television broadcasting and talks about how it is the content available on the platform that drives the success of the platform. He gives content a very broad definition that encompasses everything including “not just software and news, but also games, entertainment, sports programming, directories, classified advertising, and on-line communities devoted to major interests.”
Content can be anything from videos of cats playing keyboards to instructional industry blogs and everything in between. The internet is packed to the gills with content, and growing every second at an estimated rate of 1.7MB of data per person on the planet. That’s over 2.5 quintillion bytes per day. This is fascinating (at least we think so), but what does it have to do with content marketing?
Putting the Content into Content Marketing
The unfathomable amount of data being added to the already staggering ocean of content on the internet can be incredibly intimidating to think about—especially for content marketers. If that much content is being generated on a regular basis, how is your content ever going to be discovered?
Understanding the sheer volume of content on the internet is difficult, but consider this: you will never see the overwhelming majority of that content and neither will anyone else. The content you digest will be content that is relevant or at least entertaining to you. And the content created by your organization will (hopefully) be relevant to your audience. Increasing your audience engagement while growing the size of your audience is the goal of content marketing. This can be achieved using a myriad of approaches with content acting as the driving force.
Today, we can see how the world has been shaped by content in all forms of media from Hollywood movies to backyard YouTube videos. Social media platforms and the ubiquity of the internet turned practically everyone in the world into content creators. The low barrier for entry offers the chance for nearly anyone to make a name (and a business) for themselves through content generation. While the idea is certainly tantalizing, it turns out that making content is fairly easy, but making good content? Not quite so much.
What was true back in the ‘90s remains true today and shows no signs of faltering—content is king. Content continues to reign supreme, but it’s up to you to harness its power while leveraging it for the betterment of your organization. Flooding the already overcrowded internet with more slapdash content created with no other purpose than to advertise won’t get you far. Good content is purpose-built to provide value to those who consume it.
If you’re looking to harness the power of content for your organization, check out our quick guide on developing a content strategy. If you have any content marketing questions, need some guidance, or just want someone else to take the helm, get in touch with us.