Content marketing isn’t new, but it may be new to you, valued reader. So let’s talk about what exactly content marketing 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, there’s another, more subtle way to draw in customers.

Content marketing is all about being there for prospective customers exactly when they need you. 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 you, to empower you, to inspire you.

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

Money Money Money

1. More conversions than traditional marketing

6 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 continuously fund. You thus earn more leads and sales at a fraction of the cost. 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. Complement to paid advertising

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

11. Consistent value, delivered

Good content is good today and tomorrow. It’s what keeps people subscribed to Netflix and shopping on Amazon. If you prize excellence, your customers notice.

12. Complement to word of mouth and trade shows

Physical marketing still exists, of course. Web content allows you to follow up with verbal leads or referrals without requiring additional, expensive face-to-face meetings.

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, it’s hard to turn down additional investments.

14. Low barrier to entry

Though the web as we know it has been around for more than two 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 search. Include that tidbit in the next slide deck you present to your boss.

17. Improved lead quality

More leads is great, but better leads is, well, better. Targeted, high-quality content delivered to potential customers at each stage of the sales funnel helps push quality leads closer to a sale, while weeding out those that may, in fact, be looking for something else.

18. Pre-qualified, sales-ready leads

Some content works; some doesn’t. The assets that do essentially give you a template for what to produce in the future to move leads further down the funnel much faster. You effectively pre-qualify leads based on their actions, setting up your sales team for a faster close.

19. Lead nurturing

You can move leads from cold to warm to hot in a matter of weeks with great content. Just format and deliver your targeted content in a lead-nurturing email campaign.

20. Gated and ungated assets

Putting content behind form fills allows you to capture leads. Ungating it can increase your total reach across the web. Two wins in one!

21. Lead gen

For the middle and bottom of the funnel, lead generation is your predominant goal. 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 stages of the sales funnel – there’s nothing one-size-fits-all about it.

24. Ideating, planning and executing on meaningful company objectives

If your CEO sets a target of a 40% increase in site traffic and a 25% jump in sales-ready leads, those are commercial objectives you as a marketer can immediately begin working toward. You’re not just a marketer; you’re a sales facilitator and a revenue generator.

Measurable and Results-Focused

25. Measurable, custom conversion tracking

Content marketing is a digital medium, making it highly trackable through UTM codes on your web pages. No other form of marketing provides this level of real-time, on-demand conversion metrics. You’ll have more data than you know what to do with!

26. Cross-channel data capture

The more channels you’re on, the more data you compile from customers and leads. Armed with that information, you can refine your audience targeting and learn where you can improve business processes.

27. Persona development and targeting

Customers are not alike. Based on how your content performs, you can glean who is actually reading, what they enjoy and where they are in the funnel. Further building out these buyer personas gives other internal departments valuable information to use.

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 your 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 into who your buyers are and the paths they take to do business with you.

32. Business intelligence through digital metrics

Tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, MarketMuse, BuzzSumo and Searchmetrics give you firm insight into your own digital performance as well as 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.

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’s all helpful info to have.

38. Uncovering your own weaknesses

Part of content marketing is conducting regular audits. If your content is underperforming, you can easily fix it because you have data at your fingertips to support your decision. The same goes for factors like site speed, UX and social media.

39. Understanding your digital competition, not just direct business competition

You have primary, secondary and tertiary competitors. Some of them you directly compete against in the marketplace; others you simply overlap with in terms of keyword usage.

Search Domination / Mindshare

40. More organic, referral and direct web traffic

Content makes your website more visible; it creates waves throughout the internet. Incoming traffic from organic search (SEO), referrals (external links) and direct navigation (going straight to your domain) increases when you have content to actually publish and share.

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. This results in compounding traffic that grows over time.

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 – score!

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 alone will make up 82% of all web traffic by the end of 2021. Add in Google image searches and you’ve pretty much captured both of the formats online users prefer and the direction in which Google algorithms are trending.

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 good blog post today will likely still be of value six months or six years from now.

46. Keyword ownership

The more keywords you own in search, the more visibility you have over digital competitors and even some paid ads.

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 you’re smarter.

48. Mind share

Staying top of mind at all times is a business asset. Consistent content production enables you to own a share of the public’s mind at all times.

49. Living in your target market

Through Local SEO you can put your company and its content 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 to the latest web trends, which is a vital business asset and a branding tool.

52. Domain and Page Authority

High-quality, relevant content increases the Page Authority scores it lives on. Over time, strong performance of your content raises your Domain Authority as well, which helps you accrue 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 front doors online customers can walk through – you increase first-time visits and repeat visits.

55. User experience above all else

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

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, 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. Send them awesome, custom content that breathes life into your campaigns.

60. More fans and followers

What’s not to like about that?

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. YouTube. Medium. LinkedIn Pulse. Vimeo. Much more. See, you’re interesting and 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. 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)

Demographics 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 shape the opinions, search behaviors and purchasing decisions of consumers. Getting an influencer in your niche to share your work on their feeds parlays into potentially millions of new eyeballs on your brand.

70. Buzz

Social media shares, backlinks, brand mentions, user reviews and comments, spotlight pieces on industry forums, 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 content that educates and informs is always valuable, and, for the most part, it’s also evergreen, so its value is universal and perennial.

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.

73. Frequently asked questions … answered through content

Create a resource center that answers questions you commonly see and direct traffic to it.

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.

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 better than anyone. Leverage that expertise for custom research and opinions that competitors can’t reproduce.

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.

Brand Affinity

80. Brand affinity

After prospects, 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 might 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 thinkpieces, high-value videos and original ideas can improve others’ overall impression of your company.

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, allowing them to 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 presented in a structured, clear way.

85. Telling a brand story

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

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. That’s a win.

87. Seamless, unintrusive brand experiences

Inbound marketing is based on finding new customers organically, on their own time and their own devices. You don’t need to force-feed ads or product pushes, which turn off those new to your brand.

88. Custom design, illustrations and branding

The visual component of your company can 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, in effect, 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. Being open even to uncommitted audiences

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. In addition to great service, you can increase loyalty and trust through content that’s highly useful and practical.

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. It’s a continuous conversation that doesn’t exist in other mediums.

95. Customer pain points, uncovered

If readers love a certain post because it covered a sensitive subject or issue they always face, you’re onto something. Build more content around that topic.

96. Customer retention

It’s five 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

Of the global population aged 18-65, 57% prefer to shop online. You can tap into this fact by nurturing this audience with content that incentivizes them to convert.

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, beyond just content.

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 August 2021.

Mike O'Neill is a writer, editor and content manager in Chicago. When he's not keeping a close eye on Brafton's editorial content, he's auditioning to narrate the next Ken Burns documentary. All buzzwords are his own.