Fuel For Thought


Bill Gates Predicted “Content is King.” But How Long Should Your Specific Content Reign?

Over 20 years ago Bill Gates published the article “Content Is King” wherein he predicted that:

In the long run, advertising is promising. An advantage of interactive advertising is that an initial message needs only to attract attention rather than convey much information. A user can click on the ad to get additional information-and an advertiser can measure whether people are doing so… Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products-a marketplace of content.”

How does this wise prophecy apply to current day marketers? How do we determine if and how content should live and for how long?

Yes, content rules, but it only rules as long as it serves and gets results, so long as it adds value. This is why it is vital to have meaningful and useful content – content that provides information and also entertains -- so it will serve long and make its owners prosper.

Here are Ten Key Factors to Consider as You Strategize Content:

  1. How long is the anticipated product/brand life? The campaign only needs to survive as long as what it’s selling can perform in the marketplace. Some customers, in the tech and automotive industries for example, generate products that will only thrive until the next model is ready to launch. On the flip side, the promotion of a new technology could have a lifespan of a decade and the campaign plan should reflect this.
  2. What are the ultimate goals of the campaign? To gain clicks? To inspire customers to take a test drive, to share on their own social channels? To generate their own content and post to social with a designated hashtag?
  3. What are the manufacturer’s goals and messaging? Find out and be sure to align your campaign so it matches tone, style and serves the parent brand and reputation.
  4. What’s the best form of content? Social, print, video, event, contest, etc.; or is it a combination? Does the client have assets that can be utilized?
  5. What’s the budget? Can you shoot video? Stills? Get name talent? Hire a copy editor? What is the optimal quality content you can create to craft and deliver the best story possible to align with the goals of the campaign? Is there room for graphic animation?
  6. Is the content meaningful for the target audience? Is it original? Is it timeless? Is it useful? Can they find it? Does it include SEO? Will they want to share it? Is it thoughtful? Useful? Emotive? Will it inspire them or make them laugh?
  7. Is there related content and, if so, does it make sense to leverage it? Can the content be leveraged with other timely elements in the news or with partner campaigns? Is there opportunity for a sequel? Related content and posts are great for hooking an audience and giving them places to click-through for even more information.
  8. What are the distribution channels? What is the reach of each and how long a lifespan would it serve? Track previous campaigns and study the analytics of the target audience and what content they are most interested in. When, where and how often you post is vital to reaching your audience, depending on the channel. Consider the value of owned vs. earned coverage. Is there something newsworthy that warrants a press release?
  9. Is there a Call To Action (CTA)? You’ve generated this great content and your audience loves it, but now what? Did you incentivize them to share it or make a purchase, take a test drive? Don’t miss this vital element.
  10. Have you implemented tracking and analytics? This is essential for reporting, a nearly mandatory element in today’s business world. If you can powerfully prove the value, you can potentially open the door to repeat business.

Consider these Top 10 to help you determine the best action plan to win those 15 minutes (or if you’re lucky…15 months) of fame.



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