Michael O'Neill

Content marketing isn’t new, but it may be new to you, valued reader. So let’s talk about what exactly it is and why it’s so darn loveable.

A few decades ago, there was only traditional advertising. Companies caught people’s attention by interrupting their TV-watching with commercials, catching their eyes with billboards while they were driving or announcing their latest products on the radio. Now, in the age of social media, there’s another, more subtle way to draw in customers and increase brand awareness.

Content marketing is all about being there for prospective customers exactly when they need you, by providing quality content. It requires a little more artfulness and finesse than the old-school marketing strategy, but we’re here to tell you it’s worth the effort.

That’s why we’ve put together this exhaustive (seriously, I’m exhausted right now) list of content marketing benefits for you to peruse. This compilation is meant to inform, empower and inspire you.

We’ve shared 99 benefits of content marketing here, but, trust us, there are more.

Money Money Money

1. Better Lead Generation Than Traditional Marketing

Three times more, to be accurate. Allocate your budget accordingly.

2. Much Cheaper Than Outbound Marketing

62% less, on average. Who doesn’t love to save money?

3. Cheaper Cost per Lead and per Sale

Once a piece of organic content goes live, no extra dollars need to be devoted to it. This differs from advertising, which you have to fund continuously. You thus earn more leads and sales from organic traffic at a fraction of the cost of paid ads.

4. Shorter Sales Cycles

In the B2B space, buyers only spend 17% of the shopping process actually interacting with potential suppliers. They spend the most time (27%) researching independently online. So, organically distributing valuable content to potential buyers and allowing them to make a purchase on their own time is paramount.

5. Freeing up Sales Reps

The inbound marketing model does away with bloated sales teams that cold call all day long – the leads come to you.

6. Reusable and Repurposable

One-time investments can quickly be turned into new assets that drive ROI. Turn a white paper into several blog posts. Convert an infographic into smaller feature images for email newsletters.

7. Marketing and Sales Alignment

Your company has a singular goal: revenue. Both marketing and sales departments can use content assets simultaneously, homing in on lead gen and closing deals.

8. Reduced Marketing and Sales Overhead

With the level of automation, platform integrations and free tools available to content marketers, one person, or a small team, can generate significant ROI. And because content is part of an inbound model, sales teams don’t need to be as large, either.

9. Radio, TV and Newspaper are Stale and Outdated

Why invest in dinosaur media?

10. Complements Paid Ads

Content works in tandem with paid efforts. Don’t pick one over the other – choose both.

11. Consistent Value, Delivered

Valuable content is your long-term ally in a successful marketing strategy. It keeps audiences engaged, informed and educated, enhancing loyalty while attracting new viewers. In a world where Netflix and Amazon are benchmarks, it’s your ticket to stand out and resonate with your audience.

12. Complement to Word of Mouth and Trade Shows

Content marketing is the small business’s secret weapon. It extends reach, increases visibility and levels the playing field with larger competitors. Combined with traditional methods like word-of-mouth, it nurtures connections and cultivates leads, providing big opportunities for small entities.

13. Tangible Results to Justify Larger Marketing Budgets

With even just a quarter’s worth of content performance metrics, you can begin to lay the groundwork for an even larger marketing budget during your next discussion with superiors. If you can show ROI, turning down additional investments is hard.

14. Low Barrier to Entry

Though the web as we know it has been around for more than 2 decades, it’s still a rather democratic institution. Small businesses can start up their content marketing with minimal investment and a cheap domain name.

15. Access to External Creative Talent

You don’t have to go it alone with marketing. Outsourcing to a creative agency rewards your company with talent you would not otherwise have.

Quality Lead Generation

16. More Leads than Paid Advertising

Content marketing generates three times as many leads as paid ads. Include that tidbit in the next slide deck you present to your boss.

17. Improved Lead Quality

Content marketing isn’t just about quantity but also quality. By aligning your high-quality, targeted content with your buyer personas, you can guide the right leads closer to a sale, effectively filtering the most promising prospects.

18. Pre-Qualified, Sales-Ready Leads

Some content works; some doesn’t. Understanding the behaviour of your target audience allows your content to propel prospects down the sales funnel rapidly. Identifying what resonates with them efficiently streamlines lead pre-qualification for a swifter, more effective close.

19. Lead Nurturing

Great content can warm up leads from cold to hot in weeks. When structured within an email marketing campaign, your targeted content can systematically foster leads, propelling them closer to conversion.

20. Gated and Ungated Assets

Your content can serve dual purposes. Gated content behind form fills captures prospects, while ungated content can broaden your reach. Your knowledge base becomes an asset, driving both lead generation and brand awareness. 2 wins in 1!

21. Lead Gen

The middle and bottom of the funnel are where your content strategy shines. Assets like white papers, eBooks, web demos and customer testimonials help you generate leads and then convert them.

22. Rounds Out Your Inbound Marketing Efforts

Your inbound marketing is nothing without content, so if you’re shifting your approach to marketing, content is a starting point and a nice polish.

23. Sales Funnel

Content marketing empowers you to deliver custom assets directly to leads at different sales funnel stages – there’s nothing one-size-fits-all about it. This approach means consistent, targeted nurturing for existing customers to encourage repeat business and loyalty.

24. Ideating, Planning and Executing Meaningful Company Objectives

Content marketing isn’t just marketing — it’s a vehicle to achieve business goals. When your CEO sets a target, your content strategy can be geared towards reaching these goals, turning you from a marketer into a sales facilitator and revenue generator.

Measurable and Results-Focused

25. Measurable, Custom Conversion Tracking

Content marketing is digital, allowing for precise tracking of your marketing efforts through UTM codes on your web pages. With real-time, on-demand conversion metrics, you’re not just measuring — you’re swimming in a pool of actionable data!

26. Cross-Channel Data Capture

In the era of omnichannel marketing, from video marketing to email marketing, the more channels you utilize, the more data you gather. Armed with that information, you can refine your audience targeting and learn where to improve business processes.

27. Persona Development and Targeting

Content performance insights allow you to understand your target audience, including their preferences, stage in the sales funnel, and more. Further building out these buyer personas, you can enhance customer loyalty and provide other departments with invaluable information.

28. Resource Segmentation and Prioritization

Because you have instant metrics to analyze, you know what works and what doesn’t, thus allowing you to allocate team members, talent and ideas accordingly.

29. Retargeting and Remarketing

The data you gather from your organic content can be cycled into retargeting campaigns to serve highly relevant and contextualized ads to former site visitors. This lets you stay in full contact with searchers long after they’ve left your site.

30. Automated Results

Before you go live with new and fresh content, you can schedule it to publish when you want and on which channels you want. It takes the stress out of manually uploading assets.

31. Understanding the Buyer Journey

If prospects tend to bounce after the second interaction with your brand, you may or may not have a problem with your website or your content. Knowing this fact, however, sheds light on who your buyers are and the paths they take to do business with you.

32. Business Intelligence Through Digital Metrics

Tools like Power BI, Google Analytics, Semrush, MarketMuse, BuzzSumo and Searchmetrics give you firm insight into your digital performance and how you truly stack up against online competitors. That’s intel you can’t pass up.

33. Brand Monitoring

Do you know what others are saying about your brand? Are other companies citing your work but not giving your credit? Brand-monitoring tools keep you abreast of every mention of your business and its work.

34. Social Listening

What conversations are happening in your industry? What is being said about the hot topics related to your brand? Social-listening tools afford you the opportunity to monitor prominent interest points, buzzwords, influencers and phrases that you can capitalize on via content.

35. Agile To-Market Movements

Your analytics dashboards and conversations with marketing leads provide you a stream of useful data, trends and developments within your industry that can help you know how to pivot before your competitors do.

36. Super Simple Benchmarking and Analytics Reporting

The number of analytics tools you can use at once (many integrate with each other) permits you to make hyper-informed decisions and calculate how you compare with previous marketing efforts and competitors’ current endeavors. It’s all about making sure people notice and appreciate your brand.

37. Consistent, Practical Feedback

A comments section at the bottom of your posts provides a steady stream of feedback. The same goes for social media likes and dislikes: It enables you to make decisions based not on gut feeling but on information.

38. Uncovering Your Own Weaknesses

Part of content marketing is conducting regular audits that help uncover your weaknesses. Whether it’s underperforming content, sluggish site speed or lackluster social media engagement, the data at your fingertips lets you fix these issues promptly and effectively.

39. Understanding Your Digital Competition, Not Just Direct Business Competition

Content marketing allows you to identify your primary, secondary and tertiary competitors, not only those you directly compete against in the marketplace but also those you overlap with in terms of keyword usage. With this understanding, you can fine-tune your digital strategies for maximum impact.

Search Domination / Mindshare

40. More Organic, Referral and Direct Web Traffic

Content creation is a catalyst for your digital marketing visibility; it sends ripples through the internet. Your website garners more traffic from organic search (thanks to search engine optimization), referrals (through external links) and direct navigation when you consistently publish and share quality content.

41. Compounding Traffic

By producing evergreen content, then regularly optimizing it with updated figures, you retain the traffic you already receive, plus add more site visitors by appearing higher in SERPs — a prime example of content marketing success through compounding traffic.

42. Higher Organic Rankings in Google

Companies that consistently publish blogs have 434% more indexable web pages in search engines. That’s 434% more opportunities to be found via a simple Google search, which significantly boosts your content marketing efforts!

43. More Online Touchpoints With the World

Email. Social media. Industry forums. Your website. The more channels you operate on, the more avenues there are for consumers to navigate toward your brand.

44. Image and Video

Video content alone is expected to account for 82.5% of all web traffic in 2023. Coupled with Google image searches, you essentially tap into user-preferred formats and the direction of Google algorithms.

45. Long-Term Traffic

For as long as your domain exists and remains in good standing with search best practices, you can count on long-term results. A quality blog post today can still deliver value and potential customers half a decade later.

46. Keyword Ownership

The more keywords your content marketing strategy captures, the greater your visibility over digital competitors and some paid ads, enabling you to truly own your search engine presence.

47. Leveling the Playing Field With Bigger Competitors

With proper optimization of landing pages, you can appear higher in SERPs than larger competitors. They may be bigger, but your content strategy is smarter.

48. Mind Share

Consistent content production is key to staying top of mind, thereby possessing a share of public mindshare — an invaluable business asset.

49. Living in Your Target Market

Through local SEO, you can put your company and its offerings directly in front of customers and prospects who intend to purchase locally or regionally.

50. Stronger Core Landing Pages

Landing pages are the backbone of your online presence, and optimizing them for target keywords and better UX funnels more intent-driven traffic to your site with a higher chance of conversion.

51. Optimized Site Architecture for the 21st Century

Your marketing goes nowhere without a crawlable, indexable sitemap to support it. This fact enforces strict compliance with the latest web trends, which is a vital business asset and branding tool.

52. Domain and Page Authority

Relevant, high-quality content increases the Page Authority scores it lives on. As your content continues to perform well, your Domain Authority improves too, helping you accumulate more links and rank higher in search.

53. Link Building

Links are the No. 1 Google ranking factor, and there’s (literally) no better way to build an unbeatable link profile than to produce amazing content that others want to link to and share.

54. More Web Pages (AKA More Prospective Touchpoints)

The more content you produce, the larger your site grows. Having more web pages is like having unlimited online front doors customers can walk through – you increase first-time and repeat visits.

55. User Experience Above All Else

UX makes or breaks customer interactions. It’s also a Google ranking factor. Content optimized for user experience (HTTPs; responsive design; eye tracking, etc.) isn’t just a benefit; it’s a must-have in every successful content marketing strategy.

56. Semantic Search Dominance

Although you should be optimizing each of your web pages for individual keywords, in the natural process of writing, your content will also appear in search for semantically related keywords. This means a user can type in several hundred types of queries and still find the same page on your site. (Again, many front doors!)

Social Reach / Brand Awareness

57. Brand Awareness

How do you promote your brand? How do people know you? Content marketing gives your company a brand image – kind of like an excellent makeover. My, do you look good.

58. Social Media Engagement

Recent research shows that 80% of Americans aged 18-29, 81% of 30-49 year-olds and 73% of 50-64 year-olds use social media. Content marketing allows you to engage with your followers via video, written copy, dynamic graphics and original ideas.

59. Fuel for Email and Social Media Marketing Campaigns

If you’re in touch with followers and subscribers via email or social media, what are you sending them? It better not be generalized company statements. Ignite your campaigns with awesome, custom content that breathes fresh life into your marketing effort.

60. More Fans and Followers

And what’s not to like about that? High quality content attracts potential customers, enhancing your brand loyalty.

61. Shareability and Presentability

Content is visual. It’s dynamic. That goes a long way when pitching new prospects or even internal stakeholders.

62. Increased Syndication and Distribution Opportunities

Publishing through your owned media is fine, but your content marketing campaigns can be expanded to include exposure on third-party websites and automated distribution networks.

63. Multimedia Maven

Content marketing allows you to operate through all digital vehicles, including YouTube, Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, Vimeo and more. See, you’re not only interesting but also forward-looking!

64. Showcasing Products and Services

Product demos. Promotional materials. Press releases. Yep, that’s content.

65. Ubiquity Across All Devices and Locations

TV ads, print banners and radio commercials only exist for as long as you fund them, and they’re only on one channel at a time. In contrast, your content is accessible on mobile, tablet, app and desktop at any location in the world with internet availability.

66. Demographic Media Consumption (Mobile/Apps/Natives)

Demographic trends dictate that consumers are digital natives – those who’ve lived their entire lives with the internet – so investing in content marketing scales with these demands.

67. Activating User-Generated Content Wins

Through hashtag campaigns, follower comments and social media contests, you can put your fans to work for you: It’s called user-generated content. It’s free and it’s more authentic than creating the same types of static content.

68. Early Adoption of Digital Technologies

Content marketing keeps you on the lookout for the next big digital application. This agility permeates throughout the entire organization.

69. Allying With Industry Influencers

Influencer marketing has taken off in the last five years, as social media stars help shaping consumers’ opinions and purchasing decisions. Getting an influencer in your niche to share your work on their feeds parlays into potentially millions of new eyeballs on your brand.

70. Creating Buzz

Social media shares, backlinks, brand mentions, user reviews and comments, spotlight pieces on industry forums and the list goes on. Building buzz around your brand pays dividends both on and offline.

Thought Leadership

71. Customer and Prospect Education

What do you wish your target audience knew about you? What messages do you want to implant in their minds? Relevant, high-quality content that educates and informs is always valuable, and, for the most part, it’s largely evergreen, adding timeless value to your digital marketing effort.

72. Industry Authority

Great products and prices are one thing, but being a dominating industry influence is another. Your opinion should matter, and you should weigh in on important industry trends. Authoritative blogs and white papers allow you to do just that, contributing to your content marketing success.

73. Frequently Asked Questions … Answered Through Content

Create a resource center that answers questions you commonly see. It serves as a focal point to direct traffic and caters to the needs of your buyer persona.

74. Collateral for Every Occasion, Internally and Externally

Pitching to a prospect? Presenting to your CEO? Wooing a top publication? You’ll need copy, visuals and brand messaging – that’s content, and it’s applicable to every business situation you face.

75. Utility in All Industries

Content marketing is universal – every industry vertical and niche can capitalize on it against competitors, making it a core part of any robust marketing strategy.

76. Distilling Complex Ideas Into Simple Themes

Infographics and animations convey complicated, technical messages with simple, seamless visual cues. Even your super-dense software.

77. Putting Your Subject Matter Experts To Work

Your internal staff are experts in their fields. They know your products and services better than anyone else. Leverage that expertise for custom research and opinions that competitors can’t replicate.

78. Podium for Proprietary Research

No one owns your customer data but you. No one employs your workers but you. That is value that can be used for business purposes via proprietary surveys, research and data.

79. Diversity of Assets at Your Disposal

There’s no limit to what you can create. Podcasts. Videos. Logos. Customer testimonials. Whatever you want – it’s all content. The more, the better; diversity in content assets can strengthen your content strategy and contribute to search engine optimization.

Brand Affinity

80. Brand Affinity Through Quality Content

After potential customers, readers and followers become aware of your brand, content can also instill a level of comfort, trust and kinship. Ask any mom; you’re either a Huggies or a Pampers gal. Once you purchase from one of those brands (and the experience is positive), that relationship deepens over time: that’s affinity.

81. Reputation Management

Yelp. Google My Business. Facebook. Online platforms and directories can make or break your public image. Adding value before and after customer purchases via a newsletter, product guide or simple “Thank You” email keeps your reputation shiny. It may even encourage customers to write positive reviews of your business.

82. Marketplace Credibility

Would you buy a book on Amazon that has just one star? Probably not: That book does not have credibility or favorability from your peers. The same logic holds true for your business. Stellar think pieces, high-value videos and original ideas can improve others’ overall impression of your company, contributing to your marketplace credibility.

83. Direct Influence on Decision-Makers

It’s hard to get your products in front of the people and organizations with the authorization to actually purchase from you. There’s bureaucracy and red tape. But content can be shared, forwarded and distributed directly to influencers and decision-makers. This way, they can interface with your brand in a positive way.

84. Communicating a Unified Message

Content is an output. It allows you to present only the information you want presenting in a structured, clear way. It ensures that your brand’s messaging is consistent across all marketing channels, bolstering your content marketing campaign.

85. Telling a Brand Story

Your origins, your goals, your values, your priorities. They matter, and people should know them.

Good content allows you to communicate your brand story effectively, building brand loyalty.

86. Staff Engagement and Morale

Encouraging your staff to share your content on their social feeds creates a positive, collaborative work environment where people are proud of the work they produce. It’s a win for your content marketing effort.

87. Seamless, Unintrusive Brand Experiences

​​Inbound marketing, a significant aspect of your digital marketing strategy, is based on attracting new customers organically. Quality content doesn’t force ads or product pushes on potential customers, ensuring a seamless and unintrusive brand experience.

88. Custom Design, Illustrations and Branding

Your content’s visual aspect can sometimes matter more than your message. Content marketing capitalizes on the visual first impression of site visitors, and you can use design elements to move prospects toward desired actions.

89. Brand Ambassadors

If you can hook a follower or subscriber through great messaging or visuals, they are likelier to share your work and be shaped by your subsequent posts. They effectively become advocates and ambassadors for your brand.

90. Showing a Little Humility

Humans make mistakes. So do the world’s largest organizations. A follow-up blog post or video documenting where things went wrong and highlighting how others can overcome similar obstacles is genuinely refreshing to see.

91. Welcoming Uncommitted Audiences With Open Arms

Content marketing asks very little of audiences. It’s a no-strings-attached conversation that allows you to provide value to consumers upfront without demanding a purchase out of the gate. When they’re ready to buy, you’ll be there.

Customer Retention, Loyalty and Trust

92. Customer Loyalty and Trust

Happy customers are more likely to purchase again, refer others, leave positive reviews online and avoid competitor products. Besides exceptional service, you can bolster customer loyalty and trust with high-quality, useful content.

93. Freeing Up Customer-Service Reps

Fewer people on the phone dealing with customer complaints or simple questions is a business no-brainer. One well-written blog post or engaging animation can serve millions of customers simultaneously.

94. Email Drip

Stay in constant contact with email subscribers based on their inbox actions. This continuous conversation is unique to the realm of digital marketing, providing value beyond traditional mediums.

95. Customer Pain Points, Uncovered

If readers love a certain post because it covers a sensitive subject or issue they always face, you’re onto something. Build more content around that topic, and this will further optimize your content marketing campaign.

96. Customer Retention

It’s 5 times cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to win a new one. Delivering compelling content is a definite customer-retention tool.

97. Staking Claim to Your Digital Storefront

With 57% of the global population aged 18-65 preferring to shop online, it’s crucial to provide this audience with quality content that encourages them to convert. Content marketing success relies heavily on understanding and catering to your audience’s liking.

98. Email List Building and Segmentation

Form fills on your site collect the contact info of those potentially interested in doing business with you. You can categorize and segment this information to shape your email campaigns.

99. Team Coordination and Collaboration

Whether you run your marketing through an in-house team or an agency, you’re only as successful as the staff and talent bringing it all together. Collaboration and coordination at a high level is applicable to all facets of business, extending beyond just content creation.

Had enough yet?

Just remember, there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing. And this is good info to have.

Bookmark this eBook and reference it whenever you’re in need.

Share it far and wide, too. Lord knows there are plenty of marketers out there in need of a little analytical backup.

Editor’s Note: Updated July 2023.