Content is indeed king

Andrew Stanten


Your business can have the hottest-looking, best-programmed website out there. But when visitors knock on the front door, there had better be something there to answer, invite them in – and keep them there.

If your site is your castle, content is the most important resident. It’s Marketing 101 in 2012: Content is king.

The reasoning is two-fold. First, well-written, easy-to-parse content greatly increases the odds of turning a reader into a lead. That much is obvious.

Second, think about who your most important visitor is. It’s not a prospect or customer. It’s not the media. It’s not your competition. It’s Google. And the search engine giant loves to match what people are actually looking for with content that fits the search parameters. That means the more fresh, relevant content you have on your site, the higher Google will rank it.

Yes, content is king – and it’s more than just words. It’s text, imagery, video and social interaction. It lives on your website, blog and social media sites, and is repurposed in your email marketing, sales collateral, speaking engagements and in the media. It drives people to action, breeds credibility and separates you from the competition.


Text on your website comes in a few basic forms – brand/product messaging, news and thought leadership. They’re very different, but all are critical.

Brand messaging tells visitors – and Google – what you do and why you do it better, in addition to describing your core products and services. If properly crafted, this shouldn’t change often.

Current news is press releases related to product updates, new partnerships, awards, descriptions of sponsored events or repurposing of media clips. It also includes case studies and success stories. These should be updated and added regularly.

Text on your website comes in a few basic forms – brand and product messaging, news and thought leadership. They’re very different, but all are critical.

Thought leadership is where a company leader is put in a position to offer commentary and insight into the state of the market, offer advice and even recommend shifts in how the industry runs. This type of content appears on your blog and in news posts, industry articles, email marketing efforts, media pitches and more. Thought leadership isn’t easy – getting a CEO’s time never is – but it is highly leverageable.

Creating content requires you work smarter, not harder. A client recently wrote a highly technical, 16-page white paper covering 12 key points. It had great information but was rarely used for anything concrete. Through some careful editing, the white paper was cut into 12 350-word blog posts. They’ll be posted to the company’s website throughout the year for use in email newsletters, advertorial copy, pay-per-click campaigns and more. Plus, Google’s crawlers will read them – and be impressed.


Photography is highly relevant content. When images are properly tagged and captioned, Google can interpret what they’re about and use that data when trying to find relevant search matches. Using photos frequently is a great strategy for social and search marketing.

Archery Addictions is opening a new, state-of-the-art range in Walnutport this spring. They’ve been posting images of the facility’s construction on Facebook. This, in turn, has built an early buzz of anticipation as archers check in on the progress – creating a highly targeted and receptive audience.

Many of the billions of people on the internet would rather sit back and watch a 60-second video on a product than read 400 words of text.


Many of the billions of people on the internet would rather sit back and watch a 60-second video on a product than read 400 words of text.

With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, video plays an increasingly important role in disseminating information – and in search. Google often displays video results above text results, and always features a video-only search tab. The good news is that video technology has become downright inexpensive, and YouTube has made hosting and embedding easy. But be advised: Just as websites can cost from $500 to $5 million, the cost of video production can vary dramatically.

Social media

At least five times a week, people ask me what they should be doing in social media. My answer is always the same: It depends. Like any marketing tactic, social media marketing requires a strategy. Planned and managed effectively, it can be a powerful catalyst for your brand and bottom line and be a great channel to disseminate relevant content. If you can effectively engage prospects, customers and the public – and generates a lot of content as well.

Importance of a content management system

One final note: Thinking about producing content isn’t enough. You also need to be able to add it to your website quickly and easily. I am an outspoken proponent of putting control of sites into the hands of their owners, not an outside agency. If you don’t have one already, your business needs a website with a full-featured content management system with a WYSIWYG editor (like Microsoft Word’s interface). This allows any authorized user with general computing skills to add, edit or delete text, pages and images from the website.

Andrew Stanten

Andrew Stanten co-founded Altitude Marketing in 2004. As CEO, he ensures the right people are on board, delivering world-class marketing services to Altitude’s global client base, and staying true to Altitude’s mission, vision and values.
Andrew possesses an innate ability to process, organize and summarize massive volumes of client and market information and turn it into actionable, strategic thinking. This enables Team Altitude to get smart about a company quickly—and develop winning, integrated approaches that vault clients into a position of prominence and strength.
Andrew graduated from Syracuse University and earned his MBA from Lehigh University.