Why What Bill Gates Said About the Internet in 1996 Is Truer Than Ever Today

The Microsoft founder's prediction definitely came true.

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By Luis Congdon

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In 1996 Bill Gates wrote an article titled, "Content Is King." Fast-forward over 20 years, and those words are truer than ever. Gates predicted that the "big money" would be made with content. The growth of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogging clearly illustrates the wisdom of one of the greatest business minds of our era.

Related: 3 Ways Content Brought My Company Back From Bankruptcy

Since Gates wrote his famous words, the internet has vastly grown, and the importance of content has increased immensely. At the same time, the attention span of humans has tremendously diminished. According to various studies, humans these days have a "shorter attention span than a goldfish," and this means it's not just enough to have content -- but instead we need material that is everywhere our clients go. If your perfect client is on Facebook for 15 minutes, then 10 minutes on YouTube and later 20 minutes on Google, it's ideal to have content on each medium, thus increasing your impact, reach and likelihood to make sales. Having more content these days is essential to business. In fact, a recent study from Demand Gen Report found that buyers now like to consume four to seven pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative.

Understanding that content is crucial to sales isn't new; many of us already know this. The hang-up for most entrepreneurs and companies isn't creating content, but rather what kind of material to make. On top of that, the dilemma of our current time is how to make content that helps us be everywhere possible. As one of my friends and colleagues, Scott Oldford, says, "Being omnipresent is the key to online sales." Ideally, we're everywhere our perfect customers are, and when they're ready to buy, we're there.

Related: How to Produce Content That Doubles Your Sales Funnel Conversion Rate

Start with one type of content.

Whatever your forte with content is, I suggest you start now. If you enjoy writing, start putting words to paper. If you enjoy doing video, get in front of the camera, or if it's recording audio then begin that podcast now. Get started now, because content, like wine, matures over time and as it ages strengthens and will gain more traffic, views and impact.

Repurpose your content for increased visibility.

The next step to content production mastery is taking one type of content and repurposing it for the other mediums. If you can master this, you'll be more likely to stand out in the minds of your potential clients. Not only that, when your fans and leads are ready to buy, you'll be there.

If you take a moment to study the most prolific and popular content creators, you'll see they've found ways to repurpose their work so it can be everywhere their fans are. Take, for example, actor, comedian and podcaster, Joe Rogan; he repurposes his YouTube videos for his widely popular podcast. When Rogan records his YouTube show, he also takes that content and posts it to iTunes as an audio-only show. Similarly, Lewis Howes has found this recipe to be a winning formula for racking up views, fans and omnipresence on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora and all the other pod feeders online. Both these content creators have found that by repurposing their work for multiple mediums, they win more fans and ultimately help themselves become kings online.

Related: 4 Ways Instant Gratification Has Changed Content Marketing

In the pursuit to meet fans wherever they are, we can take our content and pull snippets for social media purposes. One master of this method is top-ranked blogger and multiple time New York Times bestselling author Tim Ferriss. He pulls sound bites from his top-ranking podcast and puts them on every social media channel possible. Another ingenious way that Ferriss repurposes his show is by taking his interviews and transcribing them for his books like Tools Of Titans and Tribe Of Mentors. Now, if you follow these methods, you can take one piece of content and use it to be visible on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, social media and anywhere that sells books (e.g., Amazon and Barnes & Nobles).

If you've been struggling with content that makes you visible everywhere, you don't need to stress yourself out by thinking you need to produce unique content for every medium. What you can do instead is choose whatever method you like best, present it that way and then repurpose it.

In my opinion, podcasting makes it very easy. One recording can turn into a book, a transcribed blog post, a YouTube video with still image layered over it, and a snippet can be grabbed for easy posting on social media. That being said, if you prefer blogging or video, start there. You can always take your blog post, record it for video and audio, and push it out to iTunes and all the other pod feeders online. The point is, if you want to be king on the internet, you'll need content, and in this modern era it's important you learn how to make content that helps you stand out everywhere possible.

Related Video: 3 Great Tips to Engage Your Audience and Build Your Brand With Content Marketing

Luis Congdon

CEO of Thriving Launch

Luis Congdon is the founder of Thriving Launch, a consulting company that teaches individuals and companies how to use digital marketing to increase profits. He and his partner co-host the Thriving Launch podcast  

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