Content is King, but Quality Content is the Emperor in 2021

For marketers to succeed, it’s imperative to create content that addresses the needs of the audience, and also bolsters key business KPIs. What does this mean, exactly? Check out this comprehensive guide to the content development process, via Sefati & Co.

Content is King, Quality Content is the Emperor in 2021

Content is a must. It is the prerequisite for a successful digital marketing campaign. It is no secret that many marketers push for more and better content. In fact, back in 1996, Bill Gates famously observed that “Content is King.” Since then, that catchphrase has been used many times in the SEO and digital marketing communities, underscoring the conventional wisdom about content’s centrality.

Indeed, most SEO experts and digital marketers truly understand the value of content, which also means they are producing a lot of decent content across the web. In turn, this means it is even harder to stand out from the pack, as consumers are exposed to such a huge volume of content across the Web and the Internet of Things (IoT). Nevertheless, for successful marketing campaigns, creating high-quality content is essential especially in today’s digital world. In other words, we can say, if Content is king, quality content is the emperor. Of course, this raises a salient question…

What is quality content?

This question isn’t easily answered, and any marketer attempting to answer tends to do so based on his or her subjective experience and most precious metrics. In order to better understand the quality content, you must first understand the metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) that work for your business. These will look different from one company to the next. What we can do in this post is provide some general indications of quality content.

What makes quality content?

Some high-level thoughts and observations:

  • Quality content is beneficial to the consumer
  • Quality content improves your metrics and KPIs (as mentioned earlier)
  • Quality content helps your business stand out
  • Quality content doesn’t have to be a blog post. In fact, there’s a misunderstanding that content is basically another word for blogging! Actually, content can encompass a variety of mediums.
    • It could be a social post that goes viral.
    • It could be a blog post that gets a lot of traffic or attention.
    • It could be a video on YouTube, Instagram Reel, or Tiktok.
    • It could be an ebook or a white paper you have published.
    • It could be a podcast that generates a lot of buzz or a lot of shares.

How to create quality content

There is not a template for creating quality content; in fact, it usually requires some trial and error. However, there are a few general guidelines worth following.

  • Understanding your audience is always the first step.
  • Focus on thought leadership, establishing authority in your field by providing content that proves your subject-matter expertise. This is actually even more paramount than lead generation; establish thought leadership and the leads will come later.
  • For businesses, quality content takes time to create. Do your due diligence, seek good data, and allow your content to really develop.
  • Good quality requires planning and it’s a part of a bigger marketing puzzle.
  • Quality content is based on previous data. Figure out which content performs well, which content fails to generate any traction, etc.
  • Quality content is timely. While it is recommended that you do your R&D, you also don’t want to overthink it because you’ll miss the boat if you take too much time laboring over it.

Where to host quality content

Quality content doesn’t necessarily have to sit on your website. As IoT continues to expand and the Web becomes even more decentralized, you will want to focus on expanding quality content across different platforms. Some examples include:

  • Owned Media: Mainly your website(s), your social media channels, or app if you have one.
  • Earned Media: Your quality content doesn’t have to always be on your own website, social, or other owned media. In fact, posting it elsewhere can sometimes be even more powerful. Producing guest posts, videos, and content for podcasters or Youtubers can help you reach out to a wider audience.
  • Paid Media: There’s too much content on the internet. Sometimes, it is good to pay a few dollars to promote your content, be it via social media boosts or media buying on other websites. But make sure you do this wisely, and understand your KPIs.

What are quality content KPIs?

You may ask, what are the primary indicators of quality content? As mentioned earlier, every business must have a set of standards and KPIs to measure what quality content is. But below are some general KPIs to begin with.

  • User engagement:
    • Views, Pageviews, time spent in your web analytics
    • Social media reactions such as likes, comments, and shares
    • Citations and backlinks, especially when it comes to articles and blog posts
  • Micro-moments. Also known as micro-conversions, these are the desired actions you want someone to take. Examples include:
    • eBook\PDF downloads
    • Clicking on a desired button or link on a website
    • Users clicking on and watching an entire video
    • Downloading an app
    • Filling out a lead form on your website
    • Viral content
  • Macro-moments. These are the ultimate conversions you desire. They can be:
    • Filling out a long-form to produce a high-quality lead
    • Performing an eCommerce transaction on your website or app
    • A viral social post that gets the users to become your customers
    • Other major desired actions that help your business’ bottom line

If the pandemic threw a wrench into your content marketing efforts for 2020, make sure you plan on producing lots of high-quality content in 2021. While it is highly recommended you do your due diligence, you also don’t want to overthink it. Learn from Nathan Apodaca (@420doggface208 on Tiktok), a master of content simplicity. Basically, he’s best known as a dude with his car broken down, skateboarding to work while drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice and listening to Fleetwood Mac.  He created many pieces of content before and after that, but that one bit of content gave him the boost he needed in his life, taking him away from living in his RV with a broken car to owning a truck and a house.

The big lesson from Nathan is that he understood his audience, he realized the type of content his audience was looking for, and, in a timely manner, he provided it. This changed his life for good and even won him an interview on CNN.

You can do this for your business. Understand your audience’s content needs, and try to provide them. Don’t overthink it, don’t only make it available on your website, but diversify, learn from the data, improve, and refine.

Work with Us

We are not a content development company, but we can help you define a solid content marketing strategy for your business. And we work with many content vendors and experts that can help with your content creation and marketing, should you need help.

Author: Al Sefati

Al Sefati is an enterprise SEO and search marketing expert and the founder of Sefati & Company. Al works with marketing agencies and enterprise level clients and he is in charge of forming and monitoring their SEO and SEM strategies. Al blogs often about latest SEO, SEM and digital marketing trends and tactics.
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