The whole digital industry is awash with phrases, but one of the most prominent is without doubt ‘content is king’.

Originally stemming from a Bill Gates article published in 1996, it soon came to be associated with SEO – and now the wider digital customer experience – highlighting the fact that if you want to see success, you need to be delivering content to your audience.

And for many years, I agreed wholeheartedly with the phrase. In fact, I still agree with it on a high level – as drastic as it may sound, without content, you stand very little chance of seeing any long-term, sustained success with your strategies.

But as with everything digital, the industry has transformed a lot since that phrase first came to prominence. Customer requirements have developed and for the most part, the industry has generally reacted (or is reacting) to them, yet the phrase ‘content is king’ has remained almost exactly the same as when it was first used.

So is it due an overhaul?  Or is it actually still as relevant today as it was nearly twenty years ago?

Content is still king (kind of)

The reality is, on a high level, the value of content is at least as great today as it was 5, 10 or even 20 years ago, but I’d actually say it’s considerably more important today to digital solutions than it ever has been.

As consumers or clients, we now want to know more about a brand before we spend our time and money with them.  We want to feel as though they’re being clear, insightful and honest.  We want to be able to carry out a quick search online and find a wealth of great content that’s been produced by them for us, their target market.

It’s for this exact reason – that content is more important today than ever before – why ‘content is king’ shouldn’t be taken at face value, and instead, should almost always be read with one of numerous words preceding it.

  • Unique content is king
  • Quality content is king
  • Engaging content is king
  • Interactive content is king
  • Shareable content is king

Your content needs to be genuinely beneficial

Despite not being an exhaustive list by any means, the above nevertheless showcases the fact that basic content by itself isn’t going to be enough to satisfy your audience’s needs. When it comes to delivering content in the present day, it’s all about understanding the fact most audiences don’t just want your traditional copy.

Of course, it has its place, but audiences want content that’s of true value to them; content they can feel has actually benefited them in some way, whether that’s to have provided advice or simply made them laugh.

What’s also important to remember here is that content doesn’t just relate to copy.  Content is essentially anything that your audience can interact with, whether that’s a copy-based blog post or report, or something much more visual, such as an infographic or video.

Just as the phrase ‘content is king’ has developed, so have the resources available to utilise within the term ‘content’.  Once relating almost purely to copy, that’s anything but the case today and with your content needing to be unique, engaging and shareable, for example, it’s important you deliver it in the way that’s going to tick all of these boxes perfectly.

Brand reputation and the customer experience are now bigger considerations than they ever have been and without the most appropriate content, it’s difficult to impact positively on either of them. The two are very much topics that go hand-in-hand with one another and the key to success with both of them – and the vast majority of other digital aspects – is the delivery of content that is as suitable, relevant and as in demand by your audience as it can possibly be.