Content is the King, Brand is the Queen
Recently, the phrase „Content is the King” has become extremely popular among online marketing experts. As both a discussion spectator and a debater on the subject matter, I must say that the content we’re creating is a bit different from other marketing areas like social media marketing and SEO. Actually, I’ve always stated that each and every marketing tool we use is all about the content. Think about it.
Without the content we create, there would be nothing for you to optimize in the search engines. The metadata which SEO gurus add to their publications, images and videos intends to help Google’s indexing robots sort out the different types of information. Also, let’s keep in mind Internet users are there for one main reason – the content which they are looking for, which they find, process, comprehend and use in the best way possible.
Every e-mail, every social media post, every website’s landing page and every product description are all examples of created content, and one of the best ways for me to show you what they have in common, is to tell you this:
Content is not just “something that we type” to get better search results or “infographics”, or “long articles”. Content is everything that carries out a message to the public.
Content is at the heart of everything we do. Regardless of whether we talk to our clients, readers or followers, we do the same thing every time – we offer content.
Why Google loves content and how do brands succeed?
Have you ever wondered what the purpose of Google is? It’s to provide the most accurate and correct results to its users on a search of a certain keyword. The only way for Google to understand the purpose of your website is via the content it gets about your business. Additionally, in 2013 Google launched an update called “Hummingbird”, which eases the process of identifying the content’s meaning, hence giving better results with the search. However, the most important thing is, that without content, there’s nothing to be optimized!
Unique and high-quality content doesn’t only index well, but it can also entertain, intrigue and even educate the public. Sooner or later, when you succeed in offering interesting and useful content, you can distinguish yourself as an expert in your area of business, no matter how big your enterprise is.
I remember one case in which an online store owner wanted his website to be the first one in the search results of certain keywords. However, the content he used to describe the products was copied entirely from competitors’ websites. Google immediately punished that kind of behavior and makes it extremely hard for his website to show among the top results.
Big brands realize the importance of search engines, and most significantly – Google. 12 years ago, the giant made some changes in its algorithm. “Florida” and “Sandbox” for example, worked to decrease the results of smaller companies. That way brands like Coca-Cola, BMW, Pepsi and Adidas managed to prevail when they quickly adapted their content based on Google’s criteria. And guess what – they multiplied their online revenue. Following its last changes, Google has become the dream of every advertiser – a platform, which can be used immediately to promote a certain brand in the right time and to the right people. However, there’s a catch – in order to fully use its resource, they would have to match some criteria:
In the real world, Armani costs at least 10 times more than some jeans on the street market, because authoritative brands give more value to the products or services they offer. Logically, Google gives more value to the content, submitted by known brands with positive image, rather than newer ones. If you aren’t a known brand on the market, you should focus on becoming one.
Unfortunately for every online content creator, Google is still an engine that needs help. For example, you should use Microdata (small pieces of code, which show the search engine that this line of numbers is actually a phone number, or where exactly your e-mail address is located). This can best be done when you insert in your website Schema.org vocabulary or via Google Rich Snippet implementation.
With time, it’s getting harder to keep user attention. Imagine you have to make your customers wait for 20 seconds before your website loads – do you think they will stay for long? The faster a website loads, the bigger its usefulness is, hence bigger the chance you keep your users longer. Due to this reason, Google prioritizes websites which have higher speed of loading. You should optimize the content and the code in such a way, that you don’t make your users wait.
Websites that are static have been long left in the past – everybody wants for the content to be able to adjust nicely to different devices, all around the world. Now, over 50% of Internet users use mobile devices and the numbers are only going to grow. Not by accident, on April 21st 2015, Google announced a new update (called “Mobilegeddon” by the mass), which prioritizes websites, that are easily accessed during a mobile search. If your website doesn’t look good on smartphones or tablets, you should take the necessary action to change that.
How can branding help me?
Creating specialized content that would symbolizes your company or brand is your top priority. Designing branded images, presentations, infographics and e-books with content from your field of work, gives you more chances for promotional advertising. The unique pieces of content for your brand can only be a serious advantage. Branded content also helps for one very important part of the whole execution – associating your clients’ need for information with your brand.
You’re probably asking yourself “how would this help me”? Very easily. Think about every time you get your hands on a Coca-Cola product when you feel thirsty. I bet that most of the people never think about water in the first place. They automatically associate thirst with the brand. Let’s look at it from another POV – what do you think of when you see three white lines? Yes, I know. You don’t have to name it.
The king and the queen in the great game of chess.
Before you dive into the sea of content, first you have to spend time thinking about your strategy, so that your effort and hard work would get maximum results. Have you ever played chess?
Just like on the chess board, you can play in the online space only if you have a king (content). Without it you can’t even start the game. To win, you can always use other figures (methods) and all sorts of tactics that come to your mind. When we have content (a king) and a good brand (a queen), everything else is up to the way we carry out our turns which can bring us victory and achieving our goal. However, when our opponent has a queen (a strong brand behind their back), and we lack one among our arsenal, then things become noticeably harder for us. It works the same way when we establish a new online business – we don’t have the reputation of an approved brand, so we should compete with the big players on the market. Regardless, if we have qualitative content, use well-thought-out strategy and make the right moves, we can turn out to be the winner, even against a really strong player. Soon enough, we can find ourselves among the leading positions in Google’s ratings.
A few words in conclusion
Content will always be the king of online business, because it’s one of the few clear measures in the digital world. Despite that, the brand will keep having bigger and bigger value, not only for Google, but also for all the users, followers and clients, in front of who stands a vast ocean of choices and opportunities. This tendency is expected to continue in the years to come. Because of that reason, we should think a few moves in advance, not only in creating high-quality content, but also in building a positive brand. Sometimes, we have to sacrifice some of our resources and income to be able to fight the competition, but only then we can become a hegemon in Google’s rank list and everywhere else.