Content marketing is increasingly important and consuming more and more of marcom budgets. As my colleague wrote in a recent blog, “The sales process is undergoing a fundamental shift as today’s buyers demand a whole new approach. In the new dynamic, the buyer has all the power. As marketers, it’s up to us to support the buying process by educating and informing, guiding decision-making and offering value.”

In practice, content marketing focuses on gaining a person’s attention by offering engaging content that keeps your brand top of mind. So, when that person decides it’s time to buy or consume a product or service, your brand is the one they remember. However, if you haven’t yet embarked on your content marketing journey or if you’re still not convinced it’s the right investment for your brand, this post is for you.

Here are four benefits of content marketing:

  1. Positions you as the expert

As the pace of business accelerates, so does the disruption of products. As a result, clients and potential customers are no longer looking for the best thing, they’re looking for the best brand, one that has foresight, leadership and longevity. While you can enforce these attributes in several ways, one of the most effective is through content marketing strategy.

Creating clear, compelling content that consistently demonstrates your expertise in the marketplace gives your brand competitive advantage; it also helps build trust and rapport through knowledge sharing versus selling. Content is also an opportunity to help your buyers think through industry problems and test new ideas.

  1. Organic traffic

Communicators know SEO is changing. Once upon a time, plugging in specific words on a web page was enough to improve your brand’s search rankings. Today, throwing keywords around willy-nilly will not only not help you, it may harm you. Search engines now use viewer behavior to evaluate what content will be ranked highest. If users come to your site and get bombarded by keywords but the content doesn’t reflect what they are looking for, they will bounce off the first page they land on in just seconds, ultimately hurting SEO rankings.

If, though, you create compelling content that addresses what your audiences are searching for, they will spend more time on your site, thereby improving your search ranking. According to content marketing expert Jason DeMers, “Every new post you add to your blog is another page that Google’s going to index. More pages don’t always correlate with more search traffic, but having more quality pages indexed can grant you more opportunities to rank for more search queries.”

More opportunities to rank for search queries means more people will find your company and land on your site. And the more time they spend on your site, the better your SEO ranking becomes, while also increasing the likelihood that your visitors will engage.

  1. Brand affinity

Another benefit to keeping visitors engaged with your site for longer periods of time is the affinity that’s created for your brand while they’re there. This is the critical step between someone who is a consumer and someone who is an evangelist – someone who will advocate and promote your product or service without payment. For example, I bet we all have at least one friend who participates in what I’ve deemed the barbaric exercise trend of Cross Fit. You may have heard the joke comparing CrossFit with Fight Club. In the film “Fight Club,” Brad Pitt’s character repeats the first rule of his violent club: “The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.” Well, it seems the first rule of CrossFit is to never shut up about CrossFit.

While I may not understand people’s fascination, it’s easy to see how CrossFit has created so many brand evangelists. The company is heavily invested in creating community through content on its site. They have countless training videos, inspirational talks, competition recaps, stories from the community, recipes, etc. They even have a podcast so you can become further indoctrinated while you’re working out in a CrossFit gym. It’s an investment that’s paid off. CrossFit’s popularity has exploded since its founding in 2000. It now has 7,000 affiliated gyms, up from just 13 in 2005, and is estimated to be worth more than $4 billion.

  1. Compounding value

Done right, content marketing can achieve higher returns at a lower cost than traditional marketing techniques. In fact, it’s estimated it can save you 13 percent per lead. Value compounds over time. Over the course of several months, as the amount of useful content on your site increases, you will begin to see growth in the form of inbound traffic, leads and sales.

Content marketing, if done right, can achieve higher returns at a lower cost than traditional marketing techniques. Click To Tweet

Content marketing is quickly becoming an essential component of any PR strategy. While it’s not an overnight fix, it offers a cost-effective way to stand out in the noise of today’s B2B marketplace and demonstrate your brand’s expertise. Whether your goals are increased traffic, higher conversion rates or stronger relationships with your customers, you have every reason to make content marketing a key tool in your toolbox.
How to Launch a Content Marketing Strategy in Eight Easy Steps [Guide]

As supervisor, Taylor converts ideas into results across Stern’s media relations, content marketing, book launch, and conference/speaking outreach competencies. He works with clients – from individual thought leaders to Fortune 500 companies in a spectrum of industries – to design and execute uniquely impactful communications programs tailored to meet their business needs. When he’s not at work, Taylor can be found surfing, snowboarding, or golfing.