Content marketing is a marketing approach focused on creating and distributing free valuable and relevant content to a clearly-defined audience. The key words here are “valuable and “relevant.”

An audience appreciates someone who genuinely wants to help, and isn’t just looking to sell them something. Content Marketers understand this and they are happy to oblige. Some examples of content marketing include: blog articles, podcasts and videos, social media posts and email newsletters. Communicating with your audience often through these mediums in a conversational or even educational manner helps to build trust for your brand.

So, Why is it Important?

Traditional marketing and advertising is dying quickly. I certainly don’t stop to read all of the ads, banners and buttons on every web page, do you? I’ll even admit that I sometimes skip over the Google search results that are marked “Ad.” As traditional methods of reaching audiences are dying, content marketing is growing. It’s growing for the exact reasons mentioned above. As a collective audience, I’m sure we can all agree that we are looking for genuine communication. No sales attached.

Think about your website. Is it search engine optimized (SEO)? Your SEO score determines where your site will show up on search engines like Google when certain keywords relevant to your business are searched. In order to keep a high score, it’s important to have a blog and to update it regularly. Part of what goes into this score is the date your content was last updated. The reason that’s important to note, is because the helpfulness of your content also determines where you stand on the search results page. That means in order for new audiences to find you online, you need to be involved in content marketing. You should be offering helpful information relevant to the problems you are solving and the solutions you can provide. If you are a real estate agent, write something about how the market is doing right now. That’s something people generally like to read about, even if they are not looking to make a purchase right now. When they are looking to make a purchase, you’ll come to mind as a trusted source of information. If your business is carpet cleaning, write an article about the effects dirty carpet can have on your indoor air quality. Many people don’t know! This is why content marketing is thriving, and it’s why 81% of today’s businesses are involved in it.

You might be thinking that’s a high number, but only 38% of those businesses believe they are good at content marketing. With so many businesses using this marketing method, just as many have competition and it’s easy for your message to get lost in the noise. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved. It means you should jump in and aim to rise above the chaos with your clear and direct message. The more helpful, valuable and relevant your content, the more likely you are to get noticed.