9 Awesome Advantages of Content Marketing
In my first week in my first content marketing job, the CEO of the company slipped by my desk and dropped off a copy of Joe Pulizzi’s Content Inc.
I didn’t realize it then, but that was a pivotal moment in my career.
Early on in the book, Pulizzi writes about a gentleman who owned a struggling pool company during the Great Recession. Terrified, depressed, and out of ideas, the owner committed to writing down everything he knew about pools on his company blog.
Pool maintenance, pool installation, pool selection—he published everything on his website.
Gradually, more and more people found his blog. And, just as gradually, more and more people started pointing to him as the pool expert.
And then they started calling for pools.
Suddenly, business was busier than it had ever been, and his company was saved.
That’s the power of content marketing. When people ask me about blogging or SEO or other forms of content creation, this is the story I tell.
In someone’s darkest hour, his subject matter expertise saved him.
It’s a template that’s super transferable, and it’s something that’s possible through content marketing.
Today, we’ll take a deeper look at the advantages of content marketing—as well as really unpack what content marketing is (and how to put together your content strategy).
Defining Content Marketing
First, let’s discuss what content marketing is.
In the simplest terms, content marketing is the process of creating content in your marketing efforts.
In the digital marketing space, we often discuss content marketing against paid advertising, as content marketing is typically “organic,” and paid advertising requires a dedicated advertising budget.
Here’s how we define content marketing at Poetica Marketing:
Content marketing is the process of creating and publishing written and/or visual content to raise brand awareness, reach your target audience, and increase leads and sales.
Written and visual content can come in a wide variety of formats, as we’ll discuss next!
Examples of Content Marketing
Before we discuss the advantages of content marketing, let’s review a few examples of content marketing to get us onto the same page.
Some of the most common forms of content marketing include:
- Blogs – Blogs are one of the most important tools in generating organic search traffic and nurturing leads into paying customers.
- Social Media – Social media is one of the least expensive places to stay in front of your audience. It’s also one of the least expensive ways to grow an audience!
- Podcasts – Podcasts are wonderful pieces of content that can be leveraged into other forms of content marketing. Podcasts can be broken into blogs, social posts, video snippets—all of which can boost your overall marketing efforts.
- Webinars – Webinars are powerful ways of showcasing your expertise, which can generate new leads and inquiries.
- Online Courses – Like webinars, online courses can warm new audience members into hot prospects.
- Ebooks – Ebooks are a great way to provide value to your target audience, and you can keep your products and services top-of-mind for your readers throughout your copy.
- White Papers – Like ebooks, white papers dive into critical topics and keep your brand at the forefront.
- Email – A robust email list is invaluable. We’ve seen companies triple their daily revenue with a great email marketing strategy!
But content marketing can also happen in more subtle ways.
Classic rock legends The Grateful Dead regularly encouraged their fans to bootleg their shows. While audiences today would get kicked out of a Taylor Swift concert for ripping off a portion of her tour, The Grateful Dead celebrated fans who brought along old tape recorders to capture the show forever.
The reason the band was so lax on piracy: Music is for sharing. By allowing their music to be “stolen,” they were increasing access to their music. After fans went home, they could easily show the music to their friends and family—creating even more fans in the process.
Another great example of content marketing in pop culture is many of the stunts Red Bull regularly hires extreme athletes to perform.
Remember when Felix Baumgartner skydived from outer space with Red Bull’s help?
The marketing journals were filled with this stunt as a case study for the energy drink company. And, true enough, Red Bull received a lot of attention for it.
In addition to all of that free publicity (it was also covered heavily in the news), Digital Synopsis reports Red Bull received:
- Engagements from over 7 million people on social media
- Views from 8 million people tuned in to watch the live stream
And that video above? It’s been watched 1.1 million times on Red Bull’s YouTube channel.
More impressively, though, the BBC’s YouTube channel has generated 136 million views!
That’s 136 million views over the last 10 years—and the Red Bull logo is in almost every shot of the video!
That’s one advantage of content marketing you won’t find in advertising! Red Bull hasn’t invested a penny into the stunt in more than a decade, but it’s still paying off. Red Bull and Felix Baumgartner broke records that day (including fastest freefall, longest freefall, and highest jump)—and they’re still getting media attention for it.
9 Advantages of Content Marketing
Here are the biggest advantages of content marketing (either read the infographic, or skip ahead to the copy below!):
1. Lead Generation
Let’s get the most obvious advantage out of the way first: When done properly, content marketing generates leads. Lots of leads.
Unlike paid advertising, which only runs when ads are active, your organic content works 24/7.
Blogs are constantly discoverable. Podcasts can constantly be streamed. And algorithms can constantly serve your social media content.
So, how many leads can you expect?
It all completely depends on your strategy.
For Monster Riff, a Poetica Marketing lead generator and side project, we’ve generated as many as 25 leads in 24 hours from a single social media post pointing musicians to a landing page for a marketing white paper download.
While there are many variables involved, you can improve your chances of generating new leads by following our gated content tips.
Example of Content Marketing for Lead Generation
A small nursing school north of Pittsburgh was struggling to increase application submissions and manage their social media presence.
We worked with them to create a new library of social content—and ensured they were publishing new content on a regular basis.
Within a single semester, they tripled the number of applications they received, giving themselves a better opportunity at increased enrollment and a more robust student body!
2. Increased Sales
Content marketing can also provide a heavy boost to e-commerce companies.
Yes, advertising is typically important for online stores aiming for quick growth, but content marketing provides a long-term strategy to consistently drive traffic (and sales).
In fact, you can even use content marketing to directly compete against your competitors!
For example, one account we work with in the home furnishing space often publishes content comparing their products to their competitors’ products. This helps them show up during Google searches toward the bottom of the sales funnel, when consumers are picking between their solutions.
That’s a big deal.
And although you might not see an influx of sales with every single blog you write (though you very well could once you build an engaged audience), you’ll invariably find long-term success. Each piece of content can lead to multiple sales over time.
Oh, and we should clarify: There are many ways content marketing can increase sales outside of e-commerce as well!
To learn more, check out our blog on how to increase sales with blogging!
Example of Content Marketing for Increased Sales
A small record store was struggling with daily sales, often generating somewhere between $300 and $600 per day, with about a 15% profit.
As they approached the company’s third anniversary in business, they asked for help marketing their one-day celebratory sale.
The problem: They didn’t have budget for advertising. In fact, they hardly had budget for organic marketing!
We worked with them to develop a strategy relying heavily on social media and email marketing.
By the end of their 24-hour sale, they’d grossed nearly $10,000—a huge increase from their daily average!
3. Long-Term Value
One of the best parts of content marketing: It works when you’re not working.
While you’re attending meetings during the day, your website is actively competing for search traffic. When you’re headed out to lunch, your social media is popping up in somebody’s feed. And when you’re getting ready for bed, a newspaper editor is reading your press release to meet tomorrow’s deadline.
In a way, content marketing is a little like investing in your future. The more content you have in the moment, the better it prepares you for competitive markets in the future.
Example 1 of Content Marketing for Long-Term Value
One of our clients loves their blog not just for the SEO value, but also for the value it holds in educating their clients.
They work in the real estate space, and the library of content we’ve built around home maintenance, home buying, and home selling gives them an ongoing repository they can share with new and prospective clients!
Example 2 of Content Marketing for Long-Term Value
For Monster Riff (which we mentioned earlier), our white paper regularly receives downloads, especially when we post about it on social media.
Since its original creation in 2021, we’ve invested about four hours in keeping it updated, and it still is one of Monster Riff’s (and Poetica Marketing’s) biggest and most consistent lead generators.
Consider that: A small product we invested in nearly three years ago has led to hundreds of leads—and, if history is any indication, it will continue to generate leads as the overall brand continues to grow!
4. Building Relationships
Long-term content marketing helps you build relationships with your target audience over time.
In some cases, this will feel a little one-sided. You’ll create content (like ebooks, blogs, and white papers) that your fans will eagerly consume. Over time, they’ll gradually trust you more and more until they’re ready to become a customer or tell their friends and family about your content.
But in other cases, you’ll have an opportunity to directly build relationships with people in the comments and DMs.
Sometimes, these effects take place immediately.
Example: A couple of years ago, we started ghostwriting blogs for a client on LinkedIn. After the first couple weeks of writing and publishing content on her behalf, she called me:
Pat, I have all of these people reaching out to say how much they appreciate my perspective and how well-written these articles are.
In less than a month, she had enhanced her online presence and established herself as a leader!
Content marketing is a powerful starting point for building relationships—and not just with consumers. When other business leaders see your expertise, you can become a valuable referral resource.
Example of Content Marketing for Building Relationships
Years ago, we worked with an influential doctor who owned a health and wellness brand. He’s written a book on weight loss and built out an easy-to-follow system for improving your overall health. He was beloved by his fans, and we helped him deepen those ties even further with a robust Facebook group that had thousands and thousands of members, Facebook Live sessions that regularly had hundreds of attendees, and an email campaign with excellent open and click rates.
These efforts helped ensure that members of his system stayed on the system—keeping them customers for longer—while regularly establishing himself as a trustworthy resource.
5. Positioning Against the Competition
Content marketing is also a great way to help you stand out from your competition. Investing in high-value webinars or podcasts, for example, gives listeners an opportunity to connect with your team as individuals—all while you demonstrate your expertise.
Beyond that, though, your content can help you explain the unique value proposition your company offers—in a way you might not be able to in an advertisement. While a digital ad or billboard has limited room for copy, a blog or YouTube video is really only limited by your imagination.
Example of Content Marketing for Positioning Against the Competition
One of our clients is a leader in developing technologies designed to eliminate hunger throughout entire communities. In each of the last two years, we’ve helped them coordinate their national conference, which digs deep into best practices in food recovery and in using their app.
As a result, their attendees and online viewers gain a deeper understanding of our client’s mission, expertise, and passion for the industry—all of which are important for attracting and retaining new clients.
6. Market Penetration
We typically think of aggressive advertising and sales coordination as the primary strategies for market penetration, but a great blend of content marketing can be just as effective. A few examples:
- Working with a collection of carefully chosen influencers can help you tap directly into your target audience.
- Creating a compelling video can help you gain “viral” social traction
- A well-placed press release can put you in front of the very people you want to do business with
Example of Content Marketing for Market Penetration
When one of our veterinary clients moved their office to a new location, they found themselves with two near fears:
- What if they couldn’t compete in the new area?
- What if their clients started missing appointments because they accidentally traveled to the old address?
In addition to building out a robust social media and PR strategy announcing and reinforcing the new location, we also launched a campaign of custom-designed calendars based on client-submitted pet photos!
The reason behind the calendars: They would hang up in client homes, and they would list the new address every time someone looked at them!
It was a fun campaign, and our client received tons of impressions and some really sharp new calendars to consistently remind clients of the new office address.
7. Increased Discoverability
Content immediately makes your brand more discoverable, especially when you consider this: platforms like YouTube and TikTok have emerged to become some of the world’s largest search engines alongside Google and Bing.
Being present on any one of these platforms helps you:
- Meet your target audience where they are
- Educate your target audience about your brand
- Get your brand in front of your target audience
- Show up in more searches (especially when you’re following the right SEO tips)
More importantly, your presence allows you to control the conversation.
Here’s an example of why that’s so important:
My uncle owns a successful construction company and has never invested in marketing beyond a simple ad in the church bulletin. Instead, most of his business has come through referrals.
But there’s a small problem: When people search for local construction companies, his brand doesn’t show up. Almost as bad: When people search for his company, the first two things that show up are his Yelp profile (which has nothing more than his address) and his Dun & Bradstreet page.
Neither of these pages are helping him. When he expressed to me that he was hesitant to invest in a full website, I suggested he take an hour to create a Google Business profile. This would have numerous benefits, including:
- It would give him a profile to explain what his company does.
- It would give him a profile to share photos of his work.
- It would give him a place to collect reviews.
Most importantly, though, it would make him more discoverable for local searches on Google!
To learn more, check out these SEO secrets.
Example of Content Marketing for Increased Discoverability
For one of our clients in the wedding entertainment industry, we developed a robust SEO strategy over a series of eight months to help him capture traffic at every stage of the sales funnel.
The result: A 600% increase in traffic in less than a year, significantly increasing his inquiries through the website.
8. Lower Costs
As we discussed in our If I Only Had $100 For Marketing… blog, content marketing is one of the least expensive marketing channels.
In fact, one of the best campaigns we’ve ever run for a client was conducted with only $300 (because that’s literally all they could afford).
Instead, the big investment in content marketing is time.
It takes time to write a blog. It takes time to record a podcast. It takes time to build a new social media calendar.
But if you don’t have the budget for advertising, investing time is a strong alternative. Plus, content marketing is a little like exercise. Just as exercise is beneficial for both your short- and long-term health, content marketing can help you make short- and long-term gains in your business.
Here’s another way of looking at it: That client who paid us $300? They grossed about $9,500 on their campaign. If they had chosen to advertise for that campaign, they would have likely paid $600+ for an ads manager, and another $600+ for ad budget—at least 4X more than their initial investment!
Example of Content Marketing for Lower Costs
With one of our SEO clients, we spent the first month auditing the website, finding the weak points (like non-optimized page titles and URLs), then patching them up.
In total, we spent maybe 15 hours on optimization in that first month.
Within a few weeks, their organic impressions on Google had doubled—getting them twice as much exposure in search results without needing to generate any new content.
Again: Time is one of your greatest assets within content marketing.
9. Building Trust
Just as you can use content marketing as a starting point for relationships, you can use content marketing to build trust with your target audience.
We’ve already discussed the benefits of building relationships and educating your audience, but combining those factors together makes you trustworthy—which also makes people more likely to do business with you.
When someone knows you can solve their problems, they know you can help!
Example of Content Marketing Building Trust
One of the content projects we worked on recently supported a home improvement website that sold a variety of digital resources to help homeowners maintain their properties better.
Although our end goal was to generate as many downloads for their mobile app as possible, we first had to create meaningful web traffic to their website.
To that end, we created an enormous library of self-help content, including topics like how to maintain a refrigerator, how to clean your gutters, and how to troubleshoot your pilot light.
All of this was designed to flex the company’s expertise, build trust with the audience, and lead to app downloads!
Unlock the Advantages of Content Marketing
If you’re ready to use content marketing to your advantage, contact us! We’re ready to discuss your content strategy!