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Bill The Prophet & The Content Chef

To quote the Great Bill Gates from his 1996 essay titled “Content is King”:

“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”  Click here to see the FULL version of the essay

Hoooweee! Did Billy Boy ever nail it! Mr. Gates was indeed ahead of his time with his internet prophecy.

Let me illustrate this with a fun comparison. I’m sure you would all agree that FOOD is a very important aspect of everyone’s life? Yes, for obvious survival reasons.  But let’s look beyond that. Food actually influences many of our daily activities and the decisions we make. In fact, a lot of our behaviors are also heavily influenced by how we interact with food. In my humble opinion, content is very much like FOOD:

  • People consume it
  • People crave it
  • People will seek it out
  • People consume it in places they probably shouldn’t. Like in bed, while working, in the bathroom. (Okay that was gross…but probably true… somewhere…ew)
  • People will pay for it if it’s good enough
  • It can be addictive
  • If someone doesn’t consume it for a long time, they can get irritable or grumpy
  • It can be used as a “pick me up” on a bad day
  • When someone consumes something bad, it can ruin the rest of their day (and possibly even make them sick to their stomach)
  • Even when full, some people will consume more (and more….and MORE)
  • People will share it with others they care about
  • Some people create it with ill intention, and do not care about the well-being of the consumer
  • Anyone can cook it up, but not everyone has the skill to make it an enjoyable experience

If content influences many of the same human behaviors and activities as food does, I’d say that it’s a pretty important part of the internet right now. And if I might add, an extremely POWERFUL and VALUABLE resource at our disposal.

So what is content marketing?

Content marketing is when we create content, knowing that the intent is to distribute that content to a target audience. In the process, we want to engage with that target audience while trying to attract new customers or enhance a following.

What forms of content marketing are there?

Here is a list that I put together to help you get off to the right start.

(This list was inspired by a great blog post from Neil Patel on Quick Sprout. CLICK HERE to go to Quick Sprout to see items on this list explained in a little more detail,)

 

Platforms to host content onMediums to create content with
Blogs & Vlogs
Social media posts
Book Reviews
Guides
Opinion post (“rant”)
Product reviews
How-to’s
Lists (kind of like this one here)
Ebook
Link pages
Podcast
Interview
Research & original data
Pictures
Memes
Gifs
Cinemagraphs
Infographics
Videos

As you can see there are plenty of options available on how you can display your content to the world. And truth be told, you can use any one of these mediums (or combination of) to share your content. However, the tricky part is making the platforms and mediums work for you.

Where do you start?

Well, we have to go back to business 101. We need to look at the most important fundamental piece of any business. That critical piece to your business is your END USER. In order to create content that is going to do great things for you, you need to understand everything there is to know about your end user. Then, we can build strategy around that.

Here is an example to illustrate my point. Let’s say that your ideal end user is a millennial (aged 18-29), buuuuuuuut, all you keep doing is referencing 70’s pop culture and cracking jokes about Gene Wilder in your content. Well I hate to break it to you, but this is not a good start, and you are losing in a major way.

Content is king

For those who didn’t get the reference

 

Questions to ponder:

  • Where is your end user hanging out?
  • How does your end user speak? What kind of language/slang/terminology do they use?
  • What interests your end user?
  • Who does your end user look up to as role models?

These are great questions to start with in order to start formulating a plan to roll out strategic content strategy. The whole point of creating content is to make it resonate with your end user on all the right levels. It’s critical that you use specific content strategies that revolve around the following parameters:

Using the right content to reach the right people, at the right times, and in the right quantities.

When you target the right audience, and create content that resonates on their level, you will get many more of them listening to you. The more they listen, the longer they stay on your page. The longer they stay on your page, the more likely you will land a conversion. And best of all, if you are capturing their interest, then they will want to share your content with others. Then when the meal is done and the food is finished, clean your dishes…rinse and repeat.