I’m going on vacation next week, and for the last few weeks, I’ve gone to TripAdvisor.com almost every day to see if there were any new reviews about the hotel where I’ll be staying. Yesterday, I got lucky. There was a new review, and after I read it I may have closed my eyes for a few seconds imagining myself kayaking in sunny Mexico. Man, I love TripAdvisor.
It’s not the lists of hotels or restaurants or the links to book your trip on Expedia.com that make TripAdvisor successful — it’s the traveler reviews offering first-hand knowledge and photos from people who have been where you want to go. It’s unique, valuable content, and it’s the reason I recommend the site to anyone telling me they’re planning a vacation.
So what can your business learn from a site with monthly visits in the millions? It’s simple: Content is king.

If you want to attract and engage customers, you need great content, whether print, websites, blogs, video, webzines, emails, podcasts or newsletters.
Someone out there just rolled their eyes and said, “Why does my auto repair shop need great content? What we need are great mechanics. Content can’t fix cars.”
No, content can’t fix cars, but content can help increase the number of people who come to your shop for repairs. My auto shop sends out a monthly newsletter with helpful car-care tips, profiles of its customers and employees, and information about that month’s promotions. I read it every month, and I’ve been a customer for years.
So what constitutes great content? Great content should always be well-written and updated regularly, but beyond that it depends on the needs of the target audience.