What Bill Gates Can Teach Us About Creating Content

January 05 2012

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It’s now 2012. Out with the old in with the new, right? Yes. And no. Sometimes there’s some 90’s-era wisdom that’s just too good to forget about. Here’s some old-school inspiration:

Content is King. We’ve heard this a million times. But did you know Bill Gates originally talked about this concept 15 years ago in an essay? Here’s an excerpt:

The broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.

One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.

The Internet also allows information to be distributed worldwide at basically zero marginal cost to the publisher. Opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet.

He said this in 1996. That’s not a typo. The thing is, content isn’t new. But the way we need to start using it is.  The internet has transformed how we interact and advertise. According to Roper Public Affairs, 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles vs. an advertisement. What does this mean? Customers would actually look forward to receiving advertisements – as long as the content speaks to them, not at them. Customers want participation in communities with other like-minded people where they feel appreciated.

This “feeling appreciated” thing is kind of important. It leads to a unique and participatory involvement with an audience. This, in turn, creates a genuine interest and loyalty towards your brand. And what organization doesn’t want that?

 

3 comments
jessica
jessica

I agree and think we're heading into uncharted marketing territory, which can be good news for emerging brands. 2012 will be the year of content marketing, and a great opportunity for brands to emerge themselves in the consumer experience. Thanks for your comment, Ross.

Ross Quintana
Ross Quintana

Great reminder and there is a subtle message underneath the text. I think the reason why people prefer articles over advertising is that you can also see the context around the information. This is lacking in marketing that creates false or no context. Good post Jessica

Savio Sebastian
Savio Sebastian

great post! :) reminds me that I need to get back to blogging! it's been a while! Thanks for posting!

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