Content marketing isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a necessity in today’s digital marketing landscape. Here are the top 10 benefits of content marketing.

By now, you’ve heard about content marketing, but if you haven’t invested in it by now, it may be because you’re skeptical of the long-term benefits. And you might be intimidated by your perceived complexity of the strategy, afraid to dive in if you fear you don’t really know what you’re doing. Or, you may have held off because you’re busy with other marketing strategies.

If this sounds like you, know that content marketing is one of the most practical, effective, and useful marketing strategies today. Oh, and it’s very, very cost effective. Let these top 10 benefits convince you.

1. More on-site content. It may seem like a simple observation, but more time spent on content marketing means you’ll have more content on your site. That means your potential customers will have more reasons to stick around–and for longer–they’ll have more opportunities to become familiar with your brand, and you’ll better gain their trust, which will lead to higher conversion rates.

2. Higher visibility in search engines. Every new post you add to your blog is another page that Google’s going to index, or refer to in other searches. More pages doesn’t always correlate with more search traffic, but having more quality pages indexed by search engines can grant you more opportunities to rank on search queries. If you target long-tail keywords and topics that your customers frequently search for, you’ll have a better shot at appearing in searches.

3. Higher domain authority. Writing more, higher quality content will enhance the perceived expertise, authority, relevance, and trust for your site. If that content earns more inbound links from external sources, your website’s domain authority will increase even further. A higher domain authority correlates strongly with higher search rankings, so the more quality content you produce, the more organic search visibility you’ll stand to gain in all areas of your site.

4. More referral traffic. This one depends on your commitment to the guest publishing portion of your content strategy. When you contribute to external publications as a guest, you’ll have the opportunity to link back to your site. Do so on a relevant, authoritative site with high traffic, and a single guest post could earn you thousands of new visitors to your site.

5. More social traffic (and followers!). Syndicate your content on your social media platforms for increased exposure. If you do this, more users will see and read your material. In addition, users will have the opportunity to share your content with their friends and followers, greatly increasing your circle of followers. Over time, you’ll earn more followers on social media and enjoy more traffic on your website.

6. Increased conversion potential. Your primary objective with content is to engage, inform, help, and bring value to your readers. Once that’s taken care of, you can use any remaining space you have to pitch one of your products or services. If done tactfully, you can easily increase the number of conversions you’ll get. Just remember the keyword here is “tactfully”; don’t turn your content into an advertisement.

7. Improved brand reputation. When people read your material, they’ll be building an impression of your brand. If they find what they read helpful, informative, or enlightening, they’ll think more highly of your organization. And, if they see your content published on external sources and showing up on their social newsfeeds, they’ll see you as a more trustworthy, established industry thought leader.

8. Tighter customer/reader relationships. A greater brand reputation can help with the size and recognition of your target audience, and great content can increase the loyalty and closeness of your customer relationships. If you use individuals to write and share content, your customers will develop a more personal relationship with your company. If they start to rely on you as a primary source of information, they’ll become more loyal customers.

9. Universal utility. There’s no such thing as an industry that can’t benefit from content marketing. Literally any business in any industry can use content as a major strategy. Even traditional, “un-sexy” industries like manufacturing can still provide insights on industry developments, or make the industry more approachable and relatable to consumers.

10. Decreased marketing costs and compounding value. Content marketing only costs time. It’s incredibly cost-effective, and, even better, it offers compounding returns. Your first few months of a content marketing strategy may not yield much in the way of results, but in subsequent months you’ll start to see growth. Keep writing and it will only grow.

Content marketing is inexpensive, safe, available for anyone in any industry, and beneficial in many different areas. The sooner you start investing in it, the sooner you’ll start to see results. Whether you’re in it for increased traffic, higher conversion rates, or just better relationships with your customers, there’s no reason content marketing shouldn’t be included in your marketing arsenal.