Content is king (for real this time)

In 1996 Bill Gates declared that 'content is king'. As a copywriter I loved this. But the truth was that content wasn't king for the majority of people. Companies would spend many £thousands on web development, design and UX. But copywriting? Really? I don't think so.

Once the new whizzy WISIWYG content editor was live, content would be dished out to different departments to fill in the grey lines. Only the large corporates could afford the agency fees to do it for them. Corporate websites with curated content accounted for a small percentage of the websites out there.

Now things are genuinely different. Social media has changed everything for the better and has put content at the fore. Business plans and department plans should now be including social and web KPIs. But it's now about much more than impressive channel growth. We're now talking reach, influence, engagement levels.... and conversion.

We now have a massive growth in content strategists recycling old ideas from the golden years of advertising: "tell me something I don't know", "entertain me"... etc etc. Before you pay out to any content strategist read some of the insights shared by Bill Bernbach and David Ogilvy. You'll learn more about persuasion from these guys than any of the new age content strategists.

Forbes revealed the results of a recent survey and it clearly shows the rise in importance of content strategy. "The areas of the largest increase in spending for brands are social (23%) and mobile (19%), certainly, but content (16%) comes in at a strong third this year."

So eight years on, content is king, but we do need a new phrase as it's now worn out, cliched and has been abused for too many years!

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